Anthropology & Sociology

Master & PhD at the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Understand global issues from a grounded perspective

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology  approaches the study of international affairs and development by inquiring into how social and cultural life, as well as political and economic practices, are shaped across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Our master and PhD programmes offer unique opportunities for students interested in conducting social research on the major issues impacting our world: globalisation, development, governance, conflict, migration, democracy, environment, gender and health. Students receive a solid grounding in classical and contemporary social theory, as well as training in a variety of research methods.


  • Two-year programme that includes an MA thesis
  • Offers rigorous training in anthropology and sociology
  • Combines coursework in small class settings, opportunities for independent field research and close mentoring



  • Four-year programme
  • Provides students with theoretical perspectives and methodological tools to explore the social and cultural systems that influence policy interventions
  • Involves a year of coursework and preparation followed by extensive fieldwork and a dissertation

Learn more About our programmes


This has been one of the most wonderful experiences in my academic life so far. I’ve been able to discuss and challenge my ideas, both with professors and students from all over the world, enhancing my ability to analyse problems in a more critical way.
Clara Guardado
Master student, 2017

Our student body

Our master programme is designed to prepare students for careers in the international, public, private and nonprofit sectors. We also have PhD graduates pursuing postdoctoral research at University College London and the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen.



The Graduate Institute community is on a human scale, yet fully reflective of humanity’s diversity. Its cosmopolitanism enriches students and contributes to the Institute’s expert analyses of the challenges of globalisation.


Learn more About our students 


Vinh-Kim Nguyen 03
I adapt my course syllabi every year to take into account the lessons learned from previous years, to update readings and explore new avenues. The last fine-tuning is done when I meet the students for the first time.
Vinh-Kim Nguyen
Professor, Anthropology and Sociology

Funding opportunities

Affordable tuition fees and high levels of financial aid enable our MA and PhD students to complete their studies with less pressure. The Graduate Institute offers competitively awarded funding for PhD students through scholarships and teaching assistant positions. In addition, a number of our students have successfully obtained funding for their studies through external grants, such as the Swiss government’s Doc.CH grants.



90% of our students find work within four months of graduation. Recent ANSO graduates have secured employment with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Labour Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and more. Others have taken up doctoral, post-doctoral or faculty positions at the University of Geneva, the Max Planck Institute, the University of Oxford and University College London, to mention just a few. 


Professor Andrea Bianchi, Director of Studies at the Graduate Institute, discusses what makes the Institute so unique and shares his thoughts on academic excellence.

More about the Institute

Academic excellence

A cosmopolitan community

international career

high levels of financial aid

International Geneva

A vibrant alumni community