Study Programmes

Master in Anthropology and Sociology

Our two-year Master’s programme offers rigorous training in anthropology and sociology through a combination of coursework in small class settings, opportunities for independent field research and close mentoring. During the programme, students acquire a breadth and depth of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge, as well as research skills across a variety of methodological approaches.

We aim to foster in our students the analytical, methodological and conceptual capacities needed to develop nuanced understandings of, and responses to, the transnational and globalised dimensions of many of today’s most urgent social, cultural, political and economic problems. Students complete our programme well prepared for careers in the international, public, private and nonprofit sectors. A number of our MA students also go on to pursue PhDs in ANSO or other internationally competitive doctoral programmes.

The MA curriculum enables students to combine broad disciplinary training with the development of specialised research interests. Compulsory courses in social theory and research methods as well as recommended courses in research design and ethnographic writing give students a solid foundation in anthropology and sociology. Students also have the freedom to pursue their particular interests by choosing from an array of elective disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses within and outside the department.

Making the most of the Graduate Institute’s location, MA students may also take up internships in one of Geneva’s many international or nongovernmental organisations. The Graduate Institute also offers opportunities to study abroad for a semester through its numerous exchange programmes.


PhD in Anthropology and Sociology

Within international and development studies, anthropology and sociology are indispensable for the comparative study of global concerns in both margins and centres of power, and across their boundaries. The PhD in Anthropology and Sociology aims to provide students with theoretical perspectives and methodological tools to explore the social and cultural systems that influence, and are influenced by, policy interventions, especially – but not exclusively – in the field of development and international affairs.

Our four-year doctoral programme is tailored to students with a strong commitment to anthropology and sociology and a demonstrated capacity for independent research work. Through the foundational doctoral seminar, a weekly departmental seminar series and further opportunities to participate in cross-departmental colloquia, we offer a vibrant and welcoming intellectual community for PhD students.

The Graduate Institute offers competitively awarded funding for PhD students through scholarships and teaching assistant positions. In addition, a number of our students have been successful in obtaining funding for their studies through external grants, such as the Swiss government’s Doc.CH grants. Emphasising theoretical innovation along with empirically grounded research, the PhD programme prepares students for an academic career, or for research-oriented positions in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. Recent PhD graduates of our programme are pursuing postdoctoral research at the University College London and the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen.

Please note that applicants do not need to have secured a supervisor at the time of submission.