The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, or the Geneva Graduate Institute is a government-accredited postgraduate institution of higher education located in Geneva, Switzerland.
The institution counts one UN secretary-general (Kofi Annan), seven Nobel Prize recipients, one Pulitzer Prize winner, and numerous ambassadors, foreign ministers, and heads of state among its alumni and faculty. Founded by two senior League of Nations officials, the Graduate Institute maintains strong links with that international organisation’s successor, the United Nations, and many alumni have gone on to work at UN agencies.
Admission to the Graduate Institute’s study programmes is highly competitive, with a selection rate of only 14% of applicants.
Founded in 1927, the Graduate Institute of International Studies (IHEI or HEI) was continental Europe’s oldest school of international relations and was the world’s first graduate institute dedicated solely to the study of international affairs. It offered one of the first doctoral programmes in international relations in the world. In 2008, the Graduate Institute absorbed the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, a smaller postgraduate institution also based in Geneva founded in 1961. The merger resulted in the current Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Today the school enrolls close to a thousand postgraduate students from over 100 countries. Foreign students make up nearly 90% of the student body and the school is officially a bilingual English-French institution, although the majority of classes are in English. With Maison de la Paix acting as its primary seat of learning, the institute’s campuses are located blocks from the United Nations Office at Geneva, International Labour Organization, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, World Intellectual Property Organization and many other international organisations.
It runs joint degree programmes with universities such as Smith College and Yale University, and is Harvard Kennedy School’s only partner institution to co-deliver double degrees. The school is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), a group of schools that specialize in public policy, public administration, and international affairs.