Master in Development Studies | Student perspectives

Livio Silva


Livio Silva, Brazil | Environment, Resources and Sustainability (class 2019)

What impresses me the most in MDEV is the possibility of breaking disciplinary boundaries while keeping a strong thematic focus. A multi-disciplinary approach to environment or conflict equip us with different lenses and facilitates our understanding of complex real-world situations. In addition, the more skills-oriented components of the program, as workshops, capstone, and the possibility of professional experience in Geneva, contribute to a smoother transition into the policy world. It allows students to test different possibilities as communications, project management, and evaluation in different settings as international organizations, NGOs, or private sector. The curriculum is crafted for students to mix and match according to their career goals on the one hand, and disciplinary and thematic preferences on the other hand.

Tim Buder


Tim Buder, Germany | Conflict, Power & Development (class 2020)

After finishing an LL.M. in International & European law focusing on the protection of human rights, I was eager to acquire a wider knowledge that would enable me to contextualize these legal insights. The interdisciplinary approach valued at the Graduate Institute allows me to fall back on my prior master of laws while making use of new perspectives offered from a wide range of disciplines. After a first semester in which I gained fundamental methodological skills and an overview of the field of study I chose as a Major, the second semester gives me the great flexibility to tailor my chosen track as I perceive best for my future professional plans. The international and inspiring environment in both, the Graduate Institute and the city of Geneva itself, confirmed my assumption that this master in Development studies is the perfect choice for someone who wishes to be prepared for a career in the greater humanitarian sector.

Sunaina Bambra


Sunaina Bambra, India | Mobilities, Spaces & Cities (class 2020)

I came to the Graduate Institute seeking a more empirical approach towards examining the lines that connect social theory to real world development. Formerly having worked in the field of education in India for two years, I always believed that I needed to tether my practical experience with theoretical knowledge. The Graduate Institute granted me the necessary academic authority and nurtured my perceptions towards equality and poverty. Now, as a student of the ‘Mobilities, Spaces and Cities’ track, I seek to enhance the resolution of my understanding of contemporary migration governance, focusing on education of refugees and internally displaced children. The specialised classes on these topics at the Institute have helped me find direction in terms of what my niche is - which is working on the education of girls in South Asian countries. The MINT programme, specifically the Mobilities, Spaces and Cities track has inspired me to examine the lines that create and connect disparities in our age as well as establish a set of practices that will better address these issues in societies globally.



Student placement after graduation


Information gathered since 2008 shows that students with a Master in Development Studies have been employed in all four sectors:

  • Our MDEV alumni heavily employed in the public and voluntary sectors, each sector attracting a little more than one-third of our students.
  • Within the public sector, two-thirds of our alumni continue their career path in international organisations; in the voluntary sector, a similar share of alumni is recruited by NGOs.
  • Most of our graduates working in the private sector are employed by SMEs or similar types of companies; one out of four students employed in the private sector works for a consulting firm.
  • 13% of our master's graduates either continued their studies towards a Ph.D. or conducted research work as part of an academic institution.

Class Representatives

The class representatives respond to and assist with academic concerns of students, and represent the programme to relevant administrators. If you have any questions about student life at the Institute, please feel free to contact one of our class representatives.


Gabriela Taveras


Gabriela Taveras | class 2018-2020



Delphine Magara


Delphine Magara | class 2019-2021

The Mentorship Programme


The Mentorship Programme is designed to support incoming MINT students with their transition to life at the Institute and in Geneva.

Your assigned mentor will be available via email  the week leading up to your move to Geneva and will also be available to meet you in person following your arrival.  All mentees and mentors come together for a launch event at the beginning of the semester, which is aimed at strengthening the mentorship community. Second-year mentors assist students with:

  • Planning courses
  • Accessing student services
  • Understanding administrative processes
  • Getting to know the Graduate Institute and Geneva
  • Providing tips for a successful start to the academic year
Aynur Asadli


Aynur Asadli | Mentorship Coordinator


Manuel Simon


Manuel Simon | Mentorship Coordinator
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Student Stories

MDev-Student Pamela Michel Lizarazu talks about her work supporting social development projects in Bolivia.
Watch how Graduate Institute students support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
MDEV student Samita Thapa talks about her experience participating in Hacking4Humanity.
Hafez Abuadwan talks about life in the Gaza Strip and his path to becoming an MDEV student at the Graduate Institute.
Agathe Schwaar (Master en études du développement) de l'Initiative Migration, organise des cours de français pour les réfugiés et les requérants d’asile.