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Master in International Relations and Political Science

Course Description

The Master in International Relations and Political Science is a two-year programme designed for students wishing to develop expertise in international relations. The programme prepares students for doctoral studies, research activities as well as careers dealing with different aspects of international relations which require strong analytical and research skills, whether in the public or the private sector.

The program is aimed at providing the analytical tools and the substantive background to understand a wide range of topics, both in the present and in the future. Students follow a standard sequence of core courses, as well as several subfield survey courses; in addition, there are numerous electives that can be taken. During the second year of studies, each student writes a master's thesis or, depending on whether he/she wishes to transfer to the doctoral program, a dissertation prospectus.

Throughout their studies, students have extensive access to political science faculty, both regular professors in the unit and recurring or one-time visitors. Classes for the most part are small and students work closely with faculty. This access, as well as the analytical strengths of the curriculum, the proximity to various international governmental and nongovernmental organizations in Geneva, and the broad geographical and cultural range of students in the program, make for a solid and rewarding grounding in the field.

Visit the Master in International Relations and Political Science page on the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Gauri Khanna

720.jpg Khanna has completed the MIS in International Economics as well as the PhD in International Economics at the Graduate Institute. She is currently working as an economist at the Wold Health Organization (WHO). She has previously been working as a consultant for the World Wide Fund for Nature, Switzerland (WWF), and as a Research Fellow and Project Supervisor at the Center for Development Economics, The Delhi School of Economics, India.

"The Graduate Institute is a haven for students aspiring to think differently and independently. The classes are small and highly interactive involving professors and students, in and outside formal class. The Institute harbours an atmosphere that is uniquely interdisciplinary as students are able to work with professors from other departments to match their interests".

(Student Profile)

Rinako Oka

721.jpg Rinako has graduated from the Master International Affairs (MIA) in 2009. She is currently working in Washington as a Trade and Development Professional.

"Although the possibilities are diverse, I would especially recommend the Institute to those who want to explore the potential of multilateral initiatives - whether in the economic, political, or legal field - in addressing transnational problems. Geneva offers great opportunities for summer and part-time internships to put your academic research into practice."

(Student Profile)

Vladyslav Lanovoy

722.jpg Vladyslav has completed his Masters in International Law at the Graduate Institute in 2009. He is currently enrolled in the PhD program in International Law at the Graduate Institute.

"The Graduate Institute is a huge repository of energy and intelligence. There can be few other institutions in the world offering such a variety of courses in international law. This, coupled with the high quality of the faculty and small bilingual discussion groups made up of people from so many different backgrounds, makes the Institute a perfect place for dedicated scholars with a cosmopolitan outlook. Studying at the Graduate Institute has greatly increased my passion for international law. During the second year of our programme, some of us had a unique chance to participate in an exchange programme. This was an extremely enriching experience. Studying at the Institute also offered me a chance to engage with international organisations."


Graduate Institute Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Each year the Graduate Institute awards an important number of scholarships to Master and PhD students for its study programs in the field of international affairs, development studies, international economics, political science, international law, international economics and international history and politics. Scholarships are awarded according to academic merit and financial need of students.
There are three categories of scholarship:
• Full scholarships: with a few exceptions, these are worth CHF 18,000. Recipients are exempt from Graduate Institute tuition fees.
• Partial scholarships: the value of these grants varies according to the individual needs of the recipient student. These grants do not cover tuition fees which recipients of partial grants are required to pay.
• Tuition scholarships: these grants cover tuition fees for one academic year. They are awarded to exceptional students.
To consult a list of scholarships available through the Institute and how to apply for them, please visit:
Please send your scholarship request at the same time as the documents of your application file (procedure is online). The deadline for submitting scholarship is the same as for the application: January 15.

Value of Scholarship(s)

18'000 CHF


A substantial number of scholarships is allotted each year by the Institute to Master and Ph.D. students on the basis of academic merit and financial need. There are three kinds of scholarships: full scholarships, partial scholarships and tuition scholarships. Their duration is of one year with possible renewals.

Application Procedure

Candidates must apply online by the 15th of January at the latest.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Bachelor's degree in political science, related discipline, or a multidisciplinary Bachelor´s degree in international relations.

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