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Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is a leading institution of research and higher education dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues.

Master's Programmes

Business & Management (1)
Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (1)
Humanities (1)
Law (1)



The Graduate Institute’s history dates back to 1927, the time of the League of Nations, when it was created as the first institution in the world dedicated entirely to the study of international affairs. The year 1961 saw the birth of the Institute for Development Studies (known at the time as the African Institute), a pioneer in the field. In 2008, the two institutes decided to unite under the same roof, thereby combining the study of international relations and development in a unique way.


The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is one of the worlds leading centres of teaching and research which focuses on international relations and development issues. The Institute has a long-standing reputation of excellence and shares strong ties with the international and non-governmental organisations in Geneva as well as being home to a diverse and vibrant group of students and faculty from all over the world.


The Graduate Institute's research mission is to produce knowledge that fosters a better understanding of global problems. As a community of scholars in the academy we are committed to advancing insight and debate in the social sciences and humanities. As a community of publicly engaged scholars, we also seek to enrich policy debates at the international and local level, in particular those involving international actors.

Faculty and other researchers at the Graduate Institute work in interdisciplinary teams in our Research Centres, and form disciplinary communities engaged in research and research training. They engage with researchers throughout the world in informal and project-centered networks.


Career Services matches public and private sector employers with highly motivated and skilled students and recent graduates. Among other activities, this service provides recruitment assistance to companies and organisations as well as hosts career events including workshops on professional skills and disseminates exclusive internship and job offers to a well trained public.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

Created in 2008, the Assistants' Association (ADA) represents all teaching and research assistants, who automatically become members of the Association by virtue of their contract.

ADA defends their interests, collaborates with other associations at the Institute and elsewhere while promoting exchanges between its members.

ADA represents assistants in bilateral meetings with the Director, at the Comité d’Institut and the Comité de direction. ADA has observer status in the Collège des enseignants.

Housing services

  • Villa Barton, which houses the Executive Education programmes, was an important meeting place for visiting statesmen, politicians and diplomats to independently and informally discuss matters of world affairs.
  • Maison de la paix opened its doors in 2013. One of the remarkable architectural achievements of 21st century French-speaking Switzerland, it is the home of the Graduate Institute and host to a number of organisations active in the field of peace, international affairs and sustainable development.

Library services

The Library gives access today to:

  • 350 000 volumes
  • 650 specialised journals
  • 685 specialised monographic series
  • 3 500 films
  • Online resources (databases, electronic periodicals, e-books, etc.)

ICT services

IT Facilities

  • Workstations
  • Multifunction printers
  • Printing from a laptop
  • Wi-Fi
  • VPN access
  • Self-service loan stations
  • Microfilm/microfiche reader

Medical services

Health insurance is compulsory for all students.

Student Life

Campus life

Located in the heart of international Geneva, next to a host of international organizations, NGO's, diplomatic missions and multinational firms, the Graduate Institute represents a unique interface between the theory and practice of international relations and offers its students unique employment and internship opportunities.

Sports facilities

Geneva is an ideal city for amateurs of sports. Walk into the train station early on a Sunday morning and you will be surprised by the number of people with back-packs on their shoulders, ready for a long day hike. In the winter, Geneva offers some of the best skiing in the Alps as close as 45 minutes away. 

Local buses bring skiers to the nearby slopes of Chamonix, Flaine, Les Portes du Soleil, Zermatt, Verbier and other such renowned ski areas. Alternatively, Lake Geneva the largest lake in Europe is an inviting environment for water sports.

Student clubs

Our students are represented by two associations:

  • The Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA)

The principal mission of the association is to ensure that all students pass enriching years at the Institute. Every student is a member of the association and is welcome to participate in all of its activities.

  • Association of Assistants of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (ADAEID)

The Assistant’s Association represents students who work as teaching or research assistants at the Institute.


The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies is accredited by the Conférence Universitaire Suisse.

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