French proficiency requirements for Masters' programs and certificates

In order to study at the University of Geneva, you are required to have a good level of French. If you do not meet this requirement, or if you are unable to provide proof of your language proficiency, you must sit for a French exam (check exceptions below). We strongly advise you to sit for exams in your home country that will exempt you from the University French exams.

Candidates required or not required to sit for the French exam

  • The list below specifies the requirement per program
  • If the exam is required, check if you can be exempted
  • Candidates who are required to sit for the French exam will be notified by e-mail once we have received their application to register at the University.

Exam period

  • Candidates applying for the Fall semester (September - February) will sit for the exam either at the end of August or the beginning of September.
  • Those applying for the Spring semester (February - September) will write the exam at the beginning of February.

--> The exact date of their exam will be writen on the document “Attestation d’immatriculation” sent to the candidates.

Fee

  • There is a fee of CHF 100 to register for the French exam.

Sample exams

 


 

Faculty of Science

  • All Master's candidates are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates admitted to complementary studies at the Bachelor’s level are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.
  • Candidates applying to the Specialization Certificate in Industrial Life Sciences (CILS) are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates applying to the Specialization Certificate for the Assessment and Management of Geological and Climate related risk (CERG-C) are not required to sit for the French exam.

Faculty of Medicine

  • The Interdisciplinary Master's in Neurosciences is the only program of the Faculty that does not require candidates to sit for the French exam.
  • All other Master’s candidates are required to sit for the basic test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

Faculty of Humanities

  • All Master’s candidates are required to sit for the basic and supplementary writing tests. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.
  • Exception: candidates who are enrolled in one of the six programmes that are taught in a language other than French (German, English, Spanish, Modern Greek, Italian, or Russian), are still required to sit for the basic and supplementary writing tests, but the results  will only be used to assess their level of French. Candidates in one of these disciplines whose level of French is judged insufficient (below level B2 as defined by the CEFR*) may be admitted to a Master’s program, but they shall be required to attend a French course appropriate for their level (minimum 2 hours per week) during their first year of studies. This course, which features regular assignments, is organized by the School of French Language and Civilization (ELCF).

*Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

For students admitted to complementary studies at the Bachelor’s level in one of the six disciplines above, the tests are solely for diagnostic purposes

Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)

  • Candidates applying to the Master of Arts in Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates applying to the Master of Arts in Innovation, Human Development and Sustainability are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates applying to all other Master programs are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.
  • Candidates applying to certificates are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)

  • All Master's candidates are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Complementary Master programme candidates are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • The Complementary Certificate in Statistics does not require candidates to sit for the French exam.

Faculty of Law

  • All Master’s candidates are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the programme.
  • ECAV: candidates are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the programme.
  • The Certificate in Transnational Law (CTL) does not require candidates to sit for the French exam.

Faculty of Protestant Theology

  • Candidates applying to a Master’s program within the Autonomous Faculty of Protestant Theology are required to sit for the basic French test.Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.
  • Complementary Certificate : candidates are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the programme.
  • Programs of the Bossey Institute do not require candidates to sit for the French exam.

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE)

  • The Interdisciplinary Master in Neurosciences is the only program that does not require candidates to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates applying to all other Master’s programs are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program. 

Faculty of Translation and Interpretation (FTI)

  • All Master’s candidates who do not have French in their language combination are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

Global Studies Institute (GSI)

  • Candidates applying to a Master of Science in Global Health are not required to sit for the French exam.
  • Candidates applying to all other Master's programs are required to sit for the basic French test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

University Institute of Teacher Education (IUFE)

  • All Master’s candidates are required to sit for the basic test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

Interfaculty Center in Children's Rights (CIDE)

  • Candidates applying to the Master of Arts in Children's Rights are required to sit for the basic test. Candidates who fail to pass will not be accepted into the program.

 

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