Find Out More About Our Students


Our students choose the Graduate Institute’s study programmes for numerous reasons such as

  • Its international reputation for academic excellence
  • The continuously updated curriculum which helps offer the best conditions for professional opportunities
  • Teaching based on independent and innovative research
  • International exchange programmes with prestigious universities
  • A policy of bilingualism which allows students to express themselves in French or English, and
  • A wide range of workshops on skills that are essential for an international career

Cosmopolitan and Multilingual Candidates

Our student body of nearly 800 (55% master and 45% PhD students) form a community of incredibly varied cultures; they hail from over 100 countries and have diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Roughly half come from Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

The majority of our students have also lived, studied, and/or worked in other countries and, in many cases, other continents. All of them are fluent English speakers and more than 70% speak three languages or more.

Skills for all Professional Sectors

Our students are good communicators and have experience in multi-cultural settings, qualities which prepare them to work in complex environments.
They are talented and motivated, open to innovative theories and practices, and have the desire put their analytical skills to use in tackling the problems of our world.

Thanks to their studies, they have a strong capacity for global analysis and strategic thinking. Many of them, notably our PhD students, have high-level specialised expertise.

Cosmopolitanism, academic rigour, and open-mindedness characterise the students of the Graduate Institute, a key international resource for institutions who wish to recruit for short-term to medium and long term positions as well as leadership roles.

Potential for Long-Term Development 

Thanks to our rigorous selection process, our students are among the brightest and best. Many of them go on to influential positions in the careers they choose to pursue. Below is a selection of figures who have finished or carried out part of their studies at the Institute:

  • Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1996-2006)
  • Shara L. Aranoff, Chairman of the US International Trade Commission (2005-2012)
  • Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (2003-2011)
  • Jean-Marc Duvoisin, Director-General of Nespresso
  • Carlos Fuentes, Mexican Novelist and Essayist (1928-2012)
  • Philipp Hildebrand, Vice Chairman of BlackRock
  • Leonid Hurwicz, Nobel Prize in Economics  (2007)
  • Nobuyuki Idei, President of Sony Corporation (2003-2005)
  • Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Jean-François de Saussure, Director-General of Caran d’Ache
  • Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft
  • Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy