PhD Programme

The Graduate Institute’s four-year PhD programme offers students the opportunity to work with world-leading academics to produce an original scientific contribution of high academic quality. Intellectually demanding, they require a high level of motivation and application. Scholars receive close personal support from academics who are committed to their students’ success, and enjoy access to significant financial and material resources.

Geneva, with its rich international networks, is an exciting and rewarding place for doctoral research. A Graduate Institute PhD equips students to pursue careers in higher education and research, or as experts working for international and non-governmental organisations, private sector entities, or national administrations.


The Institute’s PhD can be obtained in one of the following disciplinary specialisations:

PhD candidates who wish to carry out bi-disciplinary research choose a main discipline (a major) and a second discipline (a minor).

Each year, a limited number of openings are available for candidates who cannot pursue their PhD studies full-time due to professional or other engagements. Upon special arrangement with the academic department head, the course load per semester may be reduced and distributed over additional semesters. Admitted students can submit a request to their academic department, for evaluation on an individual, case-by-case basis. Weekly class attendance on campus is required of all students for the completion of all required courses.