ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

WHAT ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES DOES GSD OFFER?

  • BA-IR (Bachelor of Arts in International Relations): A three-year undergraduate academic degree programme in International Relations.
  • MIR (Master of International Relations): A one-year graduate academic degree programme in International Relations.
  • EMIR (Executive Master of International Relations): A one-year degree programme designed for professionals in the field of International Relations.
  • DIR (Doctor of International Relations): DIR by Research (3 year degree programme, by distance) and DIR by Dossier

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE CLASS SIZE AT GSD?

As we believe in an individual and specialised learning environment at GSD, class sizes are in average 15 students per course on the BA, EMIR and DIR level and around 25 students on the MIR level.

DOES GSD OFFER DISTANCE-LEARNING PROGRAMMES?

Although GSD does not offer online-learning programmes by distance, several programmes can be done on a flexible basis and partly by distance:

  • DIR by Research (by distance with several on-site visits to Geneva)
  • EMIR Programme: courses are held in the evenings and occasionally on Saturdays and allow each participants to accommodate their professional commitments during the week.

DOES GSD OFFER PART-TIME PROGRAMMES?

GSD’s BA-IR and MIR programmes are full-time programmes held from Monday to Friday. The EMIR and DIR programmes can be done on a part-time basis and are therefore designed to combine your professional career with your academic studies.

HOW DOES THE CREDIT SYSTEM WORK AT GSD?

GSD uses the system of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). ECTS makes teaching and learning in higher education more transparent across Europe and is aimed at facilitating the recognition of studies internationally. The system allows for the transfer of learning experiences between different institutions, greater student mobility and more flexible routes to gain degrees. It also aids curriculum design and quality assurance.

Click here to find out more about the ECTS system.

WHAT IS THE BOLOGNA PROCESS?

In 1999, the ministers of education of 29 countries and university leaders from the whole of Europe met to discuss the future development of higher education in Europe. The post-summit declaration issued by the ministers – the Bologna Declaration– as it is known – expressed the goal of developing a European Higher Area by 2010. This development process is known as the Bologna Process.

The Bologna Process is pan-European. All signatories of the European Cultural Convention (which is administered by the Council of Europe) may apply for membership. 40 countries are members: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, Turkey and United Kingdom.

In addition, the European Commission is a voting member. The council of Europe, ESIB (National Unions of Students of Europe), EUA (European University Association), EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education) and UNESCO-CEPES (European Centre for Higher Education) are consultative members.

The Bologna Process defines ten action lines or objectives on the road towards the achievement of a European Higher Education Area. These objectives overlap, or are inter-dependent, but each goal is also important in itself. The goals defined in the Bologna Process include the adoption of a comparable degree system with two main cycles, aimed at facilitating movement between countries. This in turn is a condition for achieving the goal of increased mobility for students and academic and administrative staff in higher education. The promotion of quality assurance and increased inter-institutional cooperation is also an objective.

To find out more about the details of the Bologna Process, click here.

CAN I RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE WITHOUT BEING ENROLLED IN AN ACADEMIC PROGRAMME?

GSD’s certificates are awarded for the following categories:

GSD does also offer tailor made training courses for individuals or small groups upon request.

Programme degrees/diplomas are only awarded upon successful completion of one of our academic programmes (BA-IR,MIREMIRDIR).

WHY DOES GSD NOT OFFER LANGUAGE COURSES?

Since the vast majority of our students have a multinational background, they tend to be already fluent in at least three languages before coming to GSD. However, language skills are always an asset and Geneva offers an enormous choice of courses in almost any language you wish to learn. Click here for more information.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE


WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS?

GSD’s current application deadlines for the two intakes per academic year can be consulted under: prospective students.

Late applications from Swiss / Swiss-based candidates as well as European residents may be considered as spaces remain available. However, students who need a student Visa to enter Switzerland, must be aware that due to immigration regulations it takes an average of four to six months to obtain a student Visa.

DIR applications can be submitted anytime throughout the year. 

CAN I SEND PART OF MY APPLICATION DOCUMENTS AND SUBMIT THE REST AT A LATER STAGE?

Only complete applications are taken into consideration by the Admissions Committee. Should part of your documents arrive from external institutions (e.g. official transcripts sent directly by your university, etc.), please mention this explicitly on the cover letter and as to when the Admissions Office can expect the documents.

MY LAST UNIVERSITY ENROLMENT WAS LONG TIME AGO – HOW CAN I SUBMIT ACADEMIC REFERENCES?

In case your last university enrolment has exceeded a time period that does not enable you to acquire letters of recommendation from academic referees, you may also submit one academic and one professional reference in lieu of two academic references.

HOW DO I KNOW MY APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED?

Once the online application form has been submitted, you will be automatically notified via e-mail. Please note that only complete applications will be considered by the Admissions Office and Committee. You will be notified by e-mail,or by surface mail upon request, of the decision of the Committee. Please allow around two weeks for your application to be processed by GSD.

HOW MUCH IS THE REGISTRATION FEE?

The registration fee is between CHF 300.- and CHF 500.- depending on the chosen programme. For additionnal details, please refer to our Tuition Policy.

HOW SHOULD I PAY MY REGISTRATION FEE?

If you are applying from outside of Switzerland, the best way to proceed with the payment of your registration fee is through an international bank transfer. You have to attach the proof of your payment to your application dossier. Please be aware of additional fees charged by your bank for international transfers and currency conversion.

CAN I REQUEST A WAIVER OF THE REGISTRATION FEE?

All applicants must pay the non-refundable registration fee; no student can be granted a waiver for the registration fee since it covers GSD administrative fee for studying your dossier.

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT FOR APPLICANTS?

GSD does not discriminate of the basis of the age of an applicant nor on any other grounds. You can apply at any age.

I WILL RECEIVE MY FINAL TRANSCRIPT / DIPLOMA ONLY AFTER THE APPLICATION DEADLINE. WHAT CAN I DO?

If you will obtain your final transcript and diploma only after the application deadline, we advise you to submit the transcripts of your last two years of school / university to the Admissions Office. On the basis of these, your application will be considered for the intake you applied for. However, until submission of the final documents to GSD, your admission status will remain conditional.

CAN I VISIT GSD?

Interested candidates are at any stage of the application procedure very welcome to visit the school. Please be aware, however, that GSD might be closed on specific holidays (see academic timetable). In order to prepare your visit in the best possible way, we highly recommend to schedule a meeting well in advance. This will allow us to ensure that a staff member can spend quality time with you and that you can sit in a class. To arrange a visit, please click here.

IS THE ADMISSIONS INTERVIEW MANDATORY?

It is highly recommended as it is an excellent way of getting to know each other – for you and for us. An admissions interview is held in a rather informal setting in the way of a personal meeting with one of our staff members and can, once we receive your application, form part of your dossier. The admissions interview can be scheduled before or after submission of your application. The best way is to combine a school visit with the interview.

HOW DOES THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS WORK AT GSD?

The Geneva School of Diplomacy is following a system of rolling admissions, i.e. admissions may be submitted anytime throughout the year for an intake in the future as long as you respect the application deadlines. GSD may offer a place to a successful applicant for a later intake than ticked on the application form.

Once your application file is duly completed, the Admissions Committee reviews the application.

HOW LONG DOES THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE TAKE TO EVALUATE MY APPLICATION?

From the moment you receive the confirmation of receipt of your complete application to the moment the Admissions Committee takes the decision, you should count around two weeks for GSD to process the paperwork.

TUITION & OTHER EXPENSES

HOW DO I PAY MY SCHOOL FEES?

The payment has to be done by bank transfer in Swiss Francs to the school’s account. You will be billed according to the payment option that you chose (for the entire programme OR per semester). Please note that GSD does not offer payment by card nor by cheque other than in Swiss Francs.

For additional information, please refer to our Tuition Policy.

DO THE TUITION FEES COVER BOOKS, THE STUDY TRIP OR ACCOMMODATION?

The tuition fees are separate from other fees and do not include travel, accommodation, meals, medical or health insurance.Book fees and study trip fees are charged in addition.

WHAT ARE THE ESTIMATED LIVING EXPENSES IN GENEVA?

Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world. An estimated budget around 19’000.- per year (in addition to your study fees) is a realistic estimattion of what you should be prepared to pay in order to cover housing, insurances, food and other daily expenses.

For any additional details, please refer to our Tuition Policy.

DOES GSD PROVIDE FINANCIAL AID?

Although the Geneva School of Diplomacy is committed to assisting as many students in need as possible, the number of internal funding opportunities is limited. These limited spaces are highly demanded and applications for financial assistance should be submitted together with your application for admission.

Possible opportunities for financial aid are reflected on our Tuition Policy.

WHAT ARE THE SCHOOL’S ACCOUNT DETAILS?

Beneficiary’s bank:

UBS SA

CASE POSTALE

1260 NYON

SWITZERLAND

SWIFT:  UBSWCHZH8 0A

IBAN (Account no.):  CH46 0022 8228 5581 6401 Q

Beneficiary:  GENEVA SCHOOL OF DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Please indicate the student’s full name as a reference on all payments and be aware that your bank might charge fees for internatiional transactions and for foreign currencies conversion to Swiss Francs.

VISA & IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS

DO I NEED A VISA TO STUDY IN SWITZERLAND?

  • Non-European nationalsYES. You need to apply for a student Visa from your home country or country of residence before entering Switzerland. Please contact your nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate to get further information.
  • European nationalsNO. You can enter Switzerland without any Visa requirements. However, you need to register yourself within the first three months upon your arrival in Geneva at the local Immigration Office (Office Cantonal de la Population, OCP) and request a Study Permit (permis d’étudiant/permis B).

CAN I ENTER SWITZERLAND WITH A TOURIST VISA AND THEN APPLY FOR A PERMIT IN SWITZERLAND?

It is not possible to enter Switzerland on a tourist Visa and to then extend your stay by applying locally for a student permit. You have to apply beforehand from your country of residence. The Swiss authorities are very strict in this regard.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STUDENT VISA AND THE STUDY PERMIT?

A student Visa gives you the right to legally enter Switzerland for study purposes; the student permit gives you the right to stay in Switzerland for study purposes.

WHO NEEDS A RESIDENCE PERMIT?

Everybody. Any non-Swiss national needs to register at the local immigration office (Office cantonal de la population, OCP).

WHO WILL APPLY FOR THE STUDENT VISA AND THE PERMIT – THE STUDENT OR GSD?

It is the responsibility of the student to apply for and to obtain the necessary student Visa and the student permit on time. GSD cannot apply on behalf of a student nor be held responsible for obtaining the required authorisations for entry and residence in Switzerland.

DOES GSD HELP IN OBTAINING THE STUDENT VISA/STUDENT PERMIT?

Although it is the student’s obligation to ensure that all requirements by the Swiss authorities are met, GSD will assist you by providing documents (admission letter, attestation, etc.) that are necessary for the completion of your Visa or permit application. However, GSD will only provide these documents to you, once you have paid at least the first trimester tuition fees; this is a requirement set by the Swiss authorities which we have to abide to.

In addition, all new students receive detailed briefing during the Induction Programme at the beginning of each trimester about exact procedures, documents to be delivered to the Swiss authorities, etc..

INTERNSHIPS

FOR WHOM IS THE GSD INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME INTENDED?

The GSD internship programme is part of the BA-IR and MIR curriculum and of the requirements towards your degree in these two programmes. The aim is to adapt the academic knowledge to the professional life – acquire relevant hands-on practice and make important professional contacts (networking).

EMIR and DIR students are required to have 5-10 years of professional experience before joining GSD and are therefore not the target group of the GSD internship programme.

HOW WILL I FIND AN INTERNSHIP IN GENEVA AND SURROUNDINGS?

While GSD will assist you in the best possible way to find a suitable internship and with all of the necessary documentation and support (Swiss working regulations, CV & cover letter preparation), it is your individual responsibility to proactively find and secure an internship placement. GSD has a limited number of offers, especially, since each student has a different background and cannot always fulfill the internship requirements (academic or professional level, language skills, etc.). Remember that you will be competing for internships with students from Switzerland and from all over the world.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF THE GSD INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME?

All internship projects need to be approved by the GSD Internship coordinator – who guides you to the fulfilment of written and other requirements. Moreover, students are requested to research and write a final report on their internship experience (12 pages minimum). The final phase of the GSD programme evaluation is characterized by the School’s evaluation of the student’s internship report, the employer’s evaluation of the intern and the student’s evaluation of the employer.

HOW MANY CREDITS ARE ATTRIBUTED FOR THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME?

  • Undergraduates: The internship is one trimester and receives a maximum of 9 ECTS (144 hours).
  • Graduates: The internship is one trimester and receives a maximum of 3 ECTS (48 hours).

CAN I GET CREDITS FOR INTERNSHIPS DONE PRIOR TO MY STUDIES AT GSD?

We encourage our students to make the maximum use of the location of Geneva as the most diplomatic neighbourhood on the planet and to gather direct working experience with one of the IOs, Missions, NGOs, etc. situated in a five-minute walking distance. Therefore, the answer is no.

ARE INTERNSHIPS PAID?

Most internships are not paid; however, there are limited cases in which the organizations decide to cover the intern’s expenses (transport, material, food, etc.) or even pay a stipend to the intern.

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