A degree in international history at the Graduate Institute in Geneva can lead to a career as an international historian and it also provides a set of tools for a practical career in politics and diplomacy as well as in the private sector. The same methods that make for a great international historian are a tremendous, indeed indispensable asset in the world of global politics. Of particular importance are the ways that historians illuminate the political relevance of questions of meaning, culture, mentalities and deep economic structures locally and globally.

The International History Department at the Graduate Institute prepares you for an international career.

From academe to diplomacy to the corporate sector by way of the media, foundations and think-tanks effective analysis and practice of current international affairs need the contribution of an appropriate historical contextualisation and knowledge and this is what we offer to our Master and PhD students helping them secure that quality advantage.

Through historical methodology such as qualitative and textual analysis, applied research seminars conducted with practitioners in partner organisations, archival research and attention to structural change and continuities over time, students study international politics, policy-making, political systems and institutions, transnational actors and actions, and history of culture, societies, markets and environment in regional and/or global perspective.

Studying International History at the Graduate Institute means acquiring a quality of training, an international network and a practical experience. It also means living in a city, Geneva, where international cooperation happened, happens and will continue to happen.

Past and present cohorts of Master and PhD students have been extremely successful and are now employed in the private and public sector.


Master's Students Placement after Graduation

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Data collected since 2008 reveals that after graduation the International History Master’s students have been employed in all four sectors:

  • The third sector attracted 31% of our alumni, from which most graduates work for NGOs or think tanks.
  • The next favourite division is represented by the public sector, where 28% of our graduates work for international organisations and the Swiss Federal Administration amongst other institutions.
  • 23% of our Master's graduates either continued their studies towards a PhD or conducted research as part of an academic institution.
  • The private sector accounted for 18% of our students who are working for a wide range of companies.


PhD Students Placement after Graduation

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Information gathered since 2008 indicates that International History PhD graduates have been employed in all four sectors:

  • The academic sector was the most popular with 38% of our alumni conducting research as part of an academic institution.
  • The public sector appealed to 27% of our alumni, from which the majority work for international organisations.
  • The third sector attracted 23% of graduates, with most working for foundations.
  • The private sector accounted for 12% of our PhD graduates, most of who work for multinationals.