The Master in
Global Studies

of the University of Geneva is a two-year full-time programme which focuses on identifying, understanding, and solving global challenges. It aims to train a new generation of professionals to approach today's most pressing challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will notably learn to draw upon knowledge and evidence from different sources as well as collaborate across levels and sectors.

The present era of globalization has ushered in a complexification of international relations, thereby requiring alternative modalities for thinking about the world. Humanity has achieved an unprecedented state of development but, with a population of 8.1 billion and a fast-growing demand for natural resources coupled with environmental degradation, it is facing unparalleled sustainability challenges. The scale and magnitude of global challenges require broad transformations in the organization of societies, economies, and politics. These transformations cannot happen, however, without a concomitant transformation of our knowledge system. This means reducing knowledge gaps within the social sciences as well as between the natural sciences and social sciences to foster 'global system science'. In contrast to siloed disciplinary knowledges, a global system science is more suited for understanding the nature of interconnectivity today and its implications for humanity and the planet. Such a holistic approach is further enabled through the advancement of computing power technologies and big data.

In the Master of Global Studies (MAGS), students will gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary global challenges and how to respond to them, including through the innovation of governance designs. Examples of course topics covered include: 1) international relations, geopolitics, global and regional governance, and diplomacy; 2) interdisciplinarity, collaborative problem solving, and critical theory; 3) systems thinking, complexity science, and data science. The MAGS is highly flexible in terms of curriculum requirements, allowing students to follow their individual interests and chart their own educational path. The MAGS also provides students with opportunities to engage with the international environment in Geneva, notably through the 'Geneva Multilateral Clinic' offered in the fourth semester in close cooperation with International Geneva actors.

Programme length

2 years (4 semesters)

Languages of instruction

Courses are taught in English. Academic work may be conducted in English or in French. Passive knowledge of French is recommended.

Conditions of registration

Admission Conditions

Bachelor or equivalent degree.
Admission based on application file.
The MAGS programme invites applications from students interested in global studies with a background in any academic discipline.

Students must be proficient in English. Except for students whose mother tongue is English or who have successfully followed at least one year of secondary or tertiary (University level) education in English, all applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements (minimal score):

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Internet-test 100, Paper-test 600, Computer based test 250
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English of the University of Cambridge (CPE): A-B-C
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A-B


Deadline: 28 February 2024

The Master in Global Studies

4 semesters (max. 6 semesters) | 120 ECTS credits
Required courses (30 credits):
  • 3 courses on foundational issues in global studies (18 credits)
  • 2 interdisciplinary seminars (12 credits)
Electives (60 credits):
Courses to be chosen among a list of selected courses.
Applying knowledge and skills (30 credits):

Master's thesis or participation in the Geneva Multilateralism clinic (30 credits during 4th semester).

Upon validation by the program coordinator, students who already hold a Master's degree related to the themes addressed in the program may request equivalencies for the third semester of the program, up to 30 credits. Students may make this request during the first year once they have been admitted into the programme.


Master’s students are permitted to go on exchange for one semester maximum, as early as their third semester of study. Between 24 and 30 credits ECTS may be earned at another university. The dissertation cannot be substituted (Mobility is not permitted for students who request equivalencies for the third semester of the programme).

Professional Prospects

The MAGS aims to prepare students to work in a variety of workplace settings, including but not limited to international organizations (e.g., United Nations), civil society such as non-governmental organizations (e.g., MSF, Care, Oxfam...), public sector institutions at the national (e.g., Ministries of foreign affairs, development agencies) or local level (e.g., municipal authorities), public-private partnerships as well as the private sector.

Contact information

Ms Maud Preher
T. +41 (0)22 379 37 11
[javascript protected email address]