Financing your studies

The Graduate Institute strives to attract talented scholars from around the world, regardless of origin and financial ability. We invest over CHF 2 million each year to support our students throughout their studies, thanks to our donors and solidarity fund.

The Institute strives to support its students throughout the duration of their studies, to the extent of its ability. It does so through financial aid (below) and paid jobs (teaching assistantships, research assistantships and administrative positions). In 2019, nearly half of our students received direct or indirect financial support from the Institute.
In particular, the Institute makes extensive efforts to assist its doctoral students. We aim to make financial aid available to all first year doctoral students with documented financial need. In subsequent years, doctoral students may apply for a teaching or research assistantship. The option of applying for a scholarship also remains open during the four-year programme, particularly in the final year to help with the completion of the thesis (more information).

Types of financial aid


A student might be awarded one type of aid or a combination of different types of support.

  • Scholarships: partial (CHF 10,000 per year) or full (CHF 20,000 per year)
  • Tuition reduction
  • Paid employment: teaching assistantships, research assistantships, administrative support positions at the Graduate Institute

In compliance with Swiss immigration regulations, non-EU students are not permitted to work in the first six months of their stay in Switzerland, whether inside or outside of the Graduate Institute.

FAQ's on financial aid

Financial Aid and Loans to canadian and US Citizens and Nationals


Information on affiliated loan programmes (us, canada)
Frequently asked questions on Title IV Student loans


Solidarity fund

In a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, all of our students contribute toward the cost of their education, including those receiving financial aid. The pre-registration fee of CHF 1,000, paid by new students to confirm their enrolment, contributes to the Graduate Institute's solidarity fund.


Applying for Financial aid


New students submit their financial aid applications at the same time as their applications for admission.

  • The two evaluation processes are totally separate: the academic evaluation committees have no access to financial aid application lists and documents during the evaluation process. The admission evaluation is therefore “need-blind”.
  • In the third application round (late applications), it is not possible to apply for financial aid.
  • First year Master students who did not apply for financial aid, or whose financial aid application was not successful, may not apply for a second year aid package during their Master programme.


Specific Scholarships

It is not possible to apply directly for a specific scholarship, such as those benefitting students from our partner institutions or sponsored by individual benefactors. In its evaluation, the Financial Aid Committee identifies applicants who meet specific criteria for such scholarship schemes and allocates the scholarships accordingly.

More information on specific scholarships


Opportunities for PhD students

Doctoral students have several ways to finance their studies by combining the different opportunities offered at the Institute or outside the Institute.

More information

Financial aid decisions


The Graduate Institute does not have sufficient funds to assist all students. Consequently, the Financial Aid Committee evaluates the following criteria:

  1. Documented financial need
  2. Academic achievement

In their online application, students must document all the elements that impact their financial situation, including all sources of income, liquidities, capital and contributions from family members and other organisations.

A small number of merit-based scholarships are awarded each year on the basis of academic excellence only. These scholarships may be paired with a teaching assistantship or with need-based tuition reduction.


Renewal policy


Financial aid is generally renewed for subsequent years of study, provided that recipients are in good academic standing and are able to continue to document their financial need.

Continuing doctoral students are encouraged to seek alternative funds, such as assistantships, research grants, etc.


Earning money from work


Our degree programmes are full-time and are not compatible with full-time employment. Students may work part-time, keeping in mind the potential impact on their academic performance. 

Swiss regulations permit foreign students to work at most 15 hours per week during the term time, and full-time (40 hours per week) during vacations. Non-EU students are not permitted to work during the first six months of their stay.

Our Careers Service  sends enrolled students regular updates about internal and external vacancies, as well as internship opportunities.

PhD Support

Discover services designed to support PhD students in their research-related activities.