FAQ & Regulations


Please note:FAQicon.png

Before sending an e-mail to the CDT/CTL team in order to ask your question, please read carefully through the FAQs below.

Important information for Spring 2022 semester: 

Kindly take note that it will not be possible to follow the CDT/CTL entirely in English in the spring 2022 semester (in spring 2022, the required course will be offered in French only). If you are interested in starting your CTL in spring 2022, you will need to either pass the Droit comparé: responsabilité délictuelle course in French, or stay for one more semester and pass the Comparative methodology: Contract law course in autumn 2022. 


Updated 25 February 2022


Part A. What is the CTL ? General questions

  1. General information about the programme
  2. Housing 
  3. Language
  4. Further questionsimg-faq.jpg

Part B. Application Procedure 

How can I apply ? What are the admissibility criteria ? 

Part C. Accepted students – Starting the CDT/CTL

General information 

Part D. Enrolled Students

  1. Courses and exams
  2. « Report de notes CDT/Master »
  3. Elimination
  4. Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  5. Global Studies Institute (GSI)
  6. Other questions


Part A. What is the CTL? General questions. 

1. General information about the programme 

I am thinking of applying for an LLM or Master in International Law (MIL), but I have found out about the CTL. Who is the CTL targeted for and what are the differences with an LLM or MIL programme? 

The CTL allows you to deepen your knowledge in international law within only one semester. You might extend it for a second semester, however. If you are interested in getting work experience first, the CTL offers much flexibility. You can follow the programme during two semesters and take only one (or two) courses in one of the two semesters, while working at the same time. Many jobs in Geneva, particularly with International Organisations or NGOs require work experience. Therefore, a prior internship or student job might help you get your first work experience and get in touch with your future employer. 

LLM and MIL programmes take one or two full years. They are broader and allow you to specialize even more. Some LLM programmes require that candidates have already gained prior work experience (whereas the CTL does not). 

The CTL is offered to students starting from their third year of legal studies onwards. Consequently, you only have to pay the applicable fees for undergraduate studies at our University (i.e. CHF 500.- per semester, waived if you are completing the programme via an Erasmus or another exchange agreement). This makes the programme much less expensive when compared to graduate studies. 

Is the CTL equivalent to a Master in Law? Can I practice as an attorney once I complete the CTL? 

The CTL programme is an opportunity for you to deepen your knowledge in the areas of transnational law that interest you most and gain an additional feature for your CV which may prove useful when applying to future university programmes, jobs or internships. 

It is an additional certificate, not an alternative to the Bachelor and Master diplomas awarded by the Faculty of Law. In most countries worldwide, full university studies in the area of Law (Bachelor + Master), are necessary to any person wishing to practice as a lawyer and pass the bar exam. 

For example, in the canton of Geneva, you need a bachelor in Swiss law in order to follow the courses at the Ecole d'Avocature (ECAV). In addition, a Master of law from a Swiss university is required to allow the candidate to pass the final professional exam. Similarly, in the Common Law system, the CTL is not an equivalent to the British LL.B. or the American JD. 

We advise you to get proper information on the requirements set in the country in which you want to practice. This will allow you to choose the university cursus most adapted to your needs and expectations. 

I am also interested in doing a Master of Law at the University of Geneva. Can I apply to both the Master and the CDT/CTL? 

Yes, you can study in parallel the CDT/CTL and a Master of Law at the University of Geneva. 

In principle, a Master of Law at the University of Geneva is open to students having obtained a bachelor of law (equivalent to 180 ECTS credits, or 3 years of law studies). Due to the programme differences, students from universities that do not offer a bachelor of law or its equivalent after 3 years of law studies, will have to provide proof of the 180 ECTS credits already obtained and ask for it to be equivalent to a separate bachelor degree. For more information on the admission requirements, please consult the official Master programmes webpage under the link https://www.unige.ch/droit/etudes/formation/master/d-1/ 

The Master programme requires the student to follow 12 courses at Master level and submit a Master thesis. This usually requires 3-4 semesters. If a student is pursuing at the same time the CDT/CTL, he or she may validate two of their Master courses as part of the CTL or vice versa. In this case, the two courses will count twice (both for the Master programme and the CTL). For information regarding the recognition procedure, please see the section « report de notes » below. 

Please keep in mind that, contrary to the CTL, a good level of French (minimum B2) is required to follow Bachelor or Master studies at the University of Geneva. More information is available at: https://www.unige.ch/admissions/en/informations/french-exam 

Is the Programme open to students from foreign universities? 

Yes, the CDT-CTL programme was initially designed for foreign students in the first place, but it has become very popular also among regular students of our own Faculty, in particular since the introduction of an English version of the programme in 2014. The enrolment steps for external candidates are outlined in the « Instruction A » in the « Admission » section on this site. 

What are the differences between the Certificate in Transnational Law (CTL) and the Certificat de Droit Transnational (CDT)? When do I get the CTL instead of the CDT? 

It is the same programme. Once you have successfully completed the programme, you will receive either the CDT or the CTL depending on whether the majority of your courses were taught in English or French. It is, of course, also possible to take all five courses in English. 

Do I have to decide in advance in which programme (CDT or CTL) I want to enrol? 

No, the application process is identical. Which certificate you get depends on whether the majority of courses you have chosen were taught in English or French. 

What is the structure of the Programme and the workload per week? 

The requirements to obtain the CTL are: 

  • completion of one mandatory course and 
  • 4 optional courses. 

Each course is in principle taught 2h per week but you have to count in enough time for the preparation of each class. In general, a 2h CDT-CTL/Master level course requires 4h of preparation, including preparation for the exam. 

You can complete the CTL programme within one or two semesters, which defines your workload per week. The course list and more details are available at https://www.unige.ch/droit/transnational/en/professeurs/enseignements/ 

May I take more than 5 courses? May I also stay the whole year? 

Yes, in this case you will get two separate transcripts (one for your five CDT/CTL courses and another for your further courses and grades). You can extend your stay to a whole year without any problem. 

I have never studied international law before (or have very limited knowledge). Will I be able to follow the programme? 

Please do not worry. Although the level of education is high, the professors do not expect you to have prior knowledge in the subject (unless specified otherwise for particular courses). If you have already studied international law, the programme will give you the opportunity to specialize in particular issues. Otherwise, the CTL is an excellent way to get involved with international law! 

Switzerland has a tradition of Civil Law (as opposed to Common Law, for example). I am from a country with a different legal tradition (Common Law, Islamic Law etc.). Will I be able to follow the course? 

Of course, we would be happy to have you among our students! The purpose of transnational law is to transcend national borders and approach law on a global level. Your background will be an enrichment to our students’ group. 

Can I follow the CDT/CTL exclusively online, without coming to Geneva? 

No. Despite the difficult situation due to the Coronavirus, it is currently not possible to follow the CTL exclusively online by distance learning. Should such an option become available, specific information will be available on the CTL official website. 

What are the tuition fees? 

The CDT/CTL tuition fees are 500 CHF per semester (the regular semester tuition fee at the University of Geneva). They are waived if you are completing the programme via an Erasmus or another exchange agreement or if you are already paying them because you are doing a Bachelor or Master programme at the University of Geneva at the same time

Why does the Certificate in Transnational Law cost only 500 CHF? 

The University of Geneva is a public institution. The costs are paid by the Swiss Confederation and the taxpayers in Geneva. Thus, the low costs do not affect the quality of the education at all and the University of Geneva is among the best in Europe! 

2. Housing 

Do you have any recommendations for student housing? 

For a none-exhaustive list of student housing, please click here. 

You may also find housing through the Internet (e.g., on housing platforms or in groups on social networks). However: Never make any advance payments before signing your contract or seeing the place; serious offers do not require this. Serious offers often require you to establish a bank guarantee before you can move in, but offers requiring payments via international money transfer businesses are usually a scam. 

When should I start looking for a place to live? 

We advise you to send your application for University residences at the same time as your application for the CTL. 

Private residences make their decisions for the following September generally around April/ May. 

3. Language 

Do you have any exchange students who take only English taught courses?

Yes of course. The CTL can be followed fully in English. Please check, for reference, the list of courses for this Academic Year available on our website. In addition to the courses in our Faculty, CTL students can attend up to two courses at the Graduate Institute (our website lists the Graduate Institute courses open to CTL students). Below you will find the relevant links:



What level of English do I need to for the CTL? 

We do not require proof of your language skills. Nonetheless, your level of English should at least be a B2/C1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. 

Level B2 is described as follows: “Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.” 

Why should I learn French? 

While you do not need French in order to follow the CTL, we highly recommend you to use your time in Geneva to gain some knowledge of French. 

French is the second most important language in international law. It is not only one of the official languages at the United Nations, but also at the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. French has traditionally been the language of diplomats and is spoken by 220 million people worldwide. For a career in international law, it is certainly helpful to know several languages, and French plays a particularly important role. 

NB: If you want to study a Bachelor or a Master of Law at the University of Geneva, a good level of French (B2 at least) is a necessary condition. More information is available at: https://www.unige.ch/admissions/en/informations/french-exam 

I have heard that it is easy to live in Geneva without speaking any French, but I would like to improve my French anyway. Is this possible? 

It is true that the great majority of people in Geneva speak foreign languages. With a population of nearly 40% foreigners, this is not surprising. Nonetheless, the dominant language at the University of Geneva is French and if you make some effort, you will be able to learn or improve your French skills in relatively short time. Of course, your progress will mainly depend on your motivation and the people you are in contact with. 

In general, and while working to learn a little French, you should not have trouble communicating at the University, especially if you only take courses in English. We regularly have students doing the CTL-programme who do not speak French and they manage well. In any case, you can always contact us, should you happen to have a problem you cannot solve in English. 

What possibilities are available at the University of Geneva to learn French? 

The Faculty of Law offers a course for international law students to improve their skills in legal terminology in French. This course is offered without further charges for all students registered for the CTL. 

If you are a beginner, there are courses for all levels (A1 – C1) offered at the Faculté des Lettres. These courses have additional charges, but two of them are free for students coming from our partner universities. You will receive more information with our Welcome Package once you are admitted. 

For the moment, we would like to draw your attention to the possibility of taking intensive courses before the semester starts. Between July and August, there are three intensive courses, each of them three weeks long. For further details on the summer course: https://www.unige.ch/lettres/elcf/coursete/fr/cou/ 

Finally, think of trying out a “tandem” exchange, where you will learn French from a fellow student and teach that same student your own language. Good results and fun guaranteed! You can find more information at https://www.unige.ch/tandems/fr/ 

4. Further questions 

In case I want to work part-time or do an internship during the semester, is it possible to take the programme on a part-time basis? 

Yes, the CTL programme can be accomplished in either one or two semesters. This gives you sufficient flexibility to choose your courses according to your needs and further plans. You might wish to intern or work 50% during the whole year or full-time during one semester only, if your employer allows you to attend at least one course. 

Please be aware that not all students are allowed to work during their studies in Switzerland, or might only be allowed to work no more than a certain number of hours per week. For further information regarding students from your home country, please get in touch with the OCP (Office Cantonal de la Population) regarding your particular situation. 

How likely is it to get a paid internship in Geneva? 

There is no general answer to this question, but note that quite some of our foreign students were able to find an internship (paid or unpaid) after having completed the certificate. The majority of UN organizations in Geneva offer unpaid internships. Some large law firms offer paid internships. Some international organizations such as the ILO and ICRC offer compensation to their interns. As competition is high, early applications are highly recommended. 

Can I benefit from the University’s subsidized activities? 

Yes, as a student you can benefit from many offers at the University, ranging from cultural and social to sports activities. All are offered at a minimal cost, allowing you to make the most out of your time in Geneva! You will get more information upon your arrival. 

See also: https://www.unige.ch/dife/en/campus-life/ 


Part B. Application Procedure 

How can I apply? What are the admissibility criteria? 

I wish to apply to the CDT/CTL. Where will I find all the relevant steps? 

Depending on whether you are participating in an exchange programme or not, the procedure varies. 

If you are a regular or mobility student at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva, you only need to apply for the CTL, as you are already enrolled at the University. 

Information for external candidates or candidates formerly enrolled at the University of Geneva: to follow the CDT/CTL, you need to be enrolled as a student at the University of Geneva. Please note that enrolment (or renewal thereof) at the University of Geneva and registration for the CTL are two distinct procedures with different deadlines. 

All information is available in the « Admission » section on this site. 

What are the enrolment requirements for the CTL? 

Pursuant to art. 3 of the CTL Regulations, the two cumulative conditions that must be fulfilled by the candidates in order to be admissible to the CDT/CTL are the following: 

1) The candidate must have successfully completed two years of legal studies, which in Europe is equivalent to 120 ECTS credits. 

2) The candidate must, in principle, still pursue a basic law degree (Bachelor or Master) in a Swiss or foreign faculty of law. 

I have not yet completed 120 ECTS or 2 years of legal studies. Can I be admitted anyway? 

Only very exceptionally. To give an example: students of International Relations at the University of Geneva (BARI) may be admitted under certain circumstances. Please contact us. 

You can of course apply to the CDT/CTL before finishing your second year of law studies. A conditional admission is possible in order to allow you to meet the enrolment deadline. You will then be accepted “conditionally” and be asked to provide us with the proof of completion of your fourth semester of law as soon as possible (once the transcript of grades is issued) but no later than the start of your CDT/CTL in Geneva. 

For candidates from German universities, a successful Zwischenprüfung will be required. 

Please indicate in a short motivation letter attached to your file that you will provide us with the missing transcripts of grades for your fourth semester. 

If I was refused previously, may I reapply?

Yes, but only if the reason for your refusal has changed (e.g., you now have 120 ECTS in legal studies) and you now meet the required criteria. 

May I apply if I have not yet completed my law degree? 

Yes. We require successful completion of 120 ECTS (for students from European countries) or of two years of legal studies. If you have not yet met this requirement, you may be admitted to the programme on the condition that you attest your successful completion of two years of legal studies or 120 ECTS before the start of the semester. 

I have just finished or I am about to finish my law degree. Does the CTL suit someone with my background? 

Students who have studied at UNIGE before may be allowed to re-enrol if not much time has passed since then (follow admission instructions D). However, students from other universities (Swiss or foreign) can only do the CDT/CTL if they are still enrolled in their home universities and stay enrolled for the duration of the programme.

I have seen that you also accept graduates and I am still an undergraduate student. I am worried that my chance of being admitted will be slim. 

Do not worry! The programme is mainly targeting undergraduate students. We are much more restrictive with students that have already completed their law studies. 

Should I mail the documents directly to Switzerland? Do I have to additionally register online? 

Please follow the steps as outlined on the Admissions web page. At the end of the online form, you will be requested to print it, join your required attachments and mail it (by physical post) to the Admissions Service at Uni Dufour, University of Geneva, Rue du Général-Dufour 24, CH - 1211 Genève 4 (the full address is indicated in the enrolment steps). 

To ascertain the mailing date of the paper application file to the Admissions Office, the post stamp prevails. If the deadline in your case is short and you cannot gather all required documents in time, you can send an incomplete file – provided the deadline is respected. The Admissions Office will then contact you and request the missing documents within a period of 7 days. 

Can I add additional documents that I think would support my application? 

Yes, feel free to add any document or information that you think might support your application. 

In the Enrolment Form: What should I write as my "Registration No."? 

University of Geneva students should write their student number. 

External applicants (not currently enrolled at the University of Geneva) should leave this field blank. The student number will be attributed following your admission to the CDT/CTL Programme. 

In the Enrolment Form: What do I indicate in the semester field? 

Please indicate only the semester in which you plan to start your CDT/CTL. 

Where and when do I have to ask for a VISA? 

EU/EFTA citizens must register with the local authority (Residents' Registration Office - Office Cantonal de la population) within 14 days after entering Switzerland, at the place of residence and apply for a residence permit. You will need to present the following documents: 

  • Personal application for the residence permit 
  • Valid passport or identity card 
  • Proof of registration at the university 
  • Evidence of sufficient funds (e.g., certificate or certified document of a bank authorised in Switzerland) 
  • Proof of address at a place of residence 
  • 2 passport photographs. 

Students from countries other than EU/EFTA must contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in their own country and apply for a visa. If the responsible immigration or police authorities approve the application, the requirements for entry into Switzerland and for residence with the purpose of studying are met. Further information is available at the Federal Office of Migration. Please apply for the visa as soon as you get your first letter of admission. Visa procedures usually take time! 

Foreign nationals who are not EU/EFTA citizens and who are not required to obtain a visa should consult the Swiss embassy or consulate in their country for the current entry and residence requirements and formalities. 

Do I need health insurance? 

Yes, every student needs health insurance. You might want to check with the health insurance in your home country if they cover your medical expenses for the time you study abroad. Our Welcome Package will provide you with further information. 

What are the conditions for applicants having a BARI diploma (Bachelor in International Relations at the University of Geneva)? 

Applicants having completed their BARI diploma with a « mention Droit » are admissible provided they have also completed the accelerated Bachelor of Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Geneva, or have acquired 120 ECTS credits in law courses (when starting the Accelerated Bachelor, these candidates receive for their BARI an equivalence for 90 ECTS credits). 


Part C. Accepted students – Starting the CDT/CTL 

General information 

The information meeting of the programme will take place on the first day of the semester at 12:15 pm. Do courses start before this? 

Yes, courses start on the first Monday of the semester at 8.15 in the morning. Please check the classes' schedule to determine when your optional courses take place. 

The slides of the Welcome Session can be found on this site at https://www.unige.ch/droit/transnational/en/vie/edudiantsinscrits/. 

How much time before the beginning of the semester should I arrive in Geneva? 

For the CDT/CTL it is not necessary to be in Geneva before the courses start. The CDT/CTL welcome meeting will take place on the first day of classes and you will then be informed about all steps you will need to take in order to correctly enrol in the CDT/CTL exams. 

However, if you are an exchange student or new to Geneva, it is always a good idea to be in Geneva a few days before the beginning of the classes, as there are a few administrative things you will need to do. If you are an exchange student, you might want to check with the staff in charge of the exchange. For example, you will need to go to the centre for Admissions to get your student card. If you manage to get administrative things done before the beginning of the semester, you will have more time to meet people and follow your courses right from the start (otherwise you would need to get your student card etc. then). Some students also need this time to organize other aspects of their stay such as housing and a Swiss bank account. 

Arriving a few days before the term starts is therefore highly recommended. 

Do I have to register for my courses in advance? 

No, you do not have to register for your courses before starting in Geneva. The registration period for courses will start a few weeks after the beginning of the semester via an online platform. However, if you want to participate in a Moot Court or a Seminar, you should contact the professor in charge as soon as possible. 

NB: The deadline for the registration to classes at the Graduate Institute (IHEID) is very short: registration is possible only during the first week of classes. Please see the « Graduate Institute » section below for details. 


I would like to do the CDT/CTL programme in two semesters instead of oneIs there a particular procedure that I have to follow or any particular deadline?

No. In the first semester simply sign up for the courses and exams that you would like to pass in the first semester and in the second semester sign up for the courses and exams that you would like to pass in the second semester.


Part D. Enrolled Students 

1. Courses and exams 

Can I pass more than five courses in the framework of the CDT/CTL? In case only five are accepted, can I follow more and then pick the five with the best grades? 

You can only have a maximum of five courses on your transcript of grades for the CDT/CTL. 

It is not possible for you to enrol to more than five CDT/CTL courses and then “cherry-pick” the five with the best grades. NB: You need to choose if you want a certain course to count towards your CDT/CTL when signing up for the exams. 

If you wish to follow more than five courses, you need to decide which of the five shall count for the CDT and then register for the others on a second, separate enrolment form. 

II noticed that one of the courses I chose only corresponds to 3 ECTS instead of the usual 6 ECTSDoes that mean that I have to register to a 6th course in order to have the total 30 ECTS in onesemester ?

No. Even though they only correspond to 3 ECTS in general, all courses available in the CDT/CTL programme are worth 6 ECTS for the purpose of the programme. 

If only five courses are accepted for the CTL, why are there more fields in the online course enrolment form? 

The additional fields in the online form are there for different reasons: 

- in the form of enrolment to courses - you are allowed to choose as many courses as you please (all the courses you are considering passing an exam on). This does not create any obligation on your part yet to pass the exams so you can add many choices. The number of available fields confirms this. 

- another reason is the case where students failed an exam, and instead of presenting it again, choose to abandon it and pass instead (as a last attempt) another course of the same type (compulsory or optional). Then they would need a new field to enter the name of this other course. 

The abandonment is final and must take place before the exam session so you will not be able to "choose" the better grade. 

In general, students are recommended to fill the fields on the online form according to the CTL/CDT regulations - picking one compulsory course and four options (the enrolment to exams form can only be validly submitted in this manner). 

Can I follow more than one compulsory course (ex: Contract Law in the autumn semester and Tort Law in the spring semester)? 

Yes, you are free to follow more than one compulsory course - then the additional course will count as one of your optional courses. 

I successfully completed five courses for the CTL, however I would like to attempt some of the exams again in order to obtain a better grade. Is it possible? 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to "improve" a CDT/CTL course grade once all the conditions for earning the certificate have been met. 

I am a mobility student, enrolled at the same time in the CTL. How should I register for the exams on the IEL platform? 

As a mobility student enrolled in the CTL programme, you have access to two electronic enrolment forms on the "portail.unige" page: the CTL form and the mobility form. 

If you wish to take all your mobility exams in the framework of your CTL (and thus complete your CTL with the five required courses and earn 30 ECTS credits) you can do so without any problem. In this case, please enrol to the classes (and later exams) only on the CTL enrolment form. 

You will be able to use the mobility form for any additional courses. 

I wish to cancel my enrolment to an exam? What should I do? 

In principle, you cannot un-enrol from an exam for which you have enrolled via the IEL platform. In this situation, your only option is to write an official letter to the Dean of the Faculty, explaining your situation and joining potential attachments to support your request. 

You can bring your letter (with date and signature) to the Student Secretariat, asking for it to be delivered to the Dean’s office. 

I wish to cancel my enrolment to the CDT/CTL. Is there a specific procedure I should follow? 

No particular procedure is required. You can simply send us an e-mail notifying us of your intent to cancel your enrolment. Otherwise, it is enough if you do not meet the CTL requirements (for example, fail to pass the required number of courses within the prescribed time-frame). You will then be eliminated automatically from the programme. Bear in mind however that if you are eliminated, you will not be able to apply again to the Programme in the future. 

2. « Report de notes CDT/Master » 

How does the « Report de notes CDT/Master » work? 

Pursuant to art. 7 of the CDT/CTL Regulations, students enrolled at the same time in the CDT/CTL programme and a Master at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva have the possibility of making two of their marks count « twice » - at the same time for the CDT/CTL and for the Master programme. 

Please note: You cannot sign up for one exam for both your Master and the CDT/CTL, but instead you sign up once (either Master or CDT/CTL) and afterwards, once you have the grades, you can ask for the exam to be counted towards the other programme by filling in the online form which can be found here (https://www.unige.ch/droit/etudiants/maitrise/telechargements/) under the name “Report de notes CDT/ Maîtrise”. 

NB: This option is not available to external, mobility or Bachelor students. 

3. Elimination 

What are the conditions to be eliminated from the programme? 

Pursuant to Art. 12 of the Regulations, there are three reasons to be eliminated from the programme. 

„ (1) Is eliminated from the programme: 

(a) the candidate who has failed to satisfy the conditions of Art. 9 of the Regulations for the Certificate in Transnational Law after two attempts. “ 

To earn the CDT/CTL, students have two attempts to complete the “series” of 1 required and 4 optional courses. It is important to note that this means there are not two attempts for each of the five exams! An attempt to present the series of 5 exams fails if: 

  • the required course is failed (grade below 4) (Art. 10 par. 1) or 
  • one of the optional courses is marked below the grade of 3 (Art. 10 par. 2) or
  • more than one optional course is marked between 3 and 3,75. (Art. 10 par. 2) or 
  • the average of the five courses is below 4 (Art. 10 par. 2) or 
  • one course is replaced by another* (Art. 9 par. 3) or 
  • one exam is retaken* (Art. 9 par. 3). 

* Please note: in these cases the first attempt of the presentation of the series (fr: première tentative) fails because of the student’s choice to change the composition of the series or to improve the grade. Both cases result in the second presentation of the series (fr:  deuxième tentative).

If the first attempt fails, there is only one more attempt left to complete the Certificate. All grades equal to or above 4, which were accumulated during the first attempt, can be kept in the second attempt (Art. 9 par. 5). The second attempt fails for the same reasons as the first. Once the second attempt is failed, the student will be eliminated from the programme. Thus, in the second attempt only the courses with grades below 4 need to be retaken. 

(b) „the candidate who has not presented a complete series within two semesters.“ 

To earn the CDT/CTL, students must present 5 exams (1 required course and 4 optional courses) within the first two semesters after joining the programme. Students who sign up for 5 exams but do not attempt any of them are not considered to have presented the series.

(c) „the candidate who has not obtained the certificate within four semesters.“ 

To earn the CDT/CTL, students must successfully finish within four semesters a the latest. Thus, there is a time-limit for the second attempt as well. 

However, all these elimination criteria are subject to exceptions, see Art. 12 of the Regulations: 

„(2) Derogations can be made by the Dean for a just cause (such as sickness, maternity, military service, important professional activities and serious family issues).“ 

4. Graduate Institute (IHEID) 

To which courses offered by the Graduate Institute can I enrol as a CDT/CTL student without additional fees? 

Kindly take note that you can only register for the IHEID courses included in the list available on the CTL website: https://www.unige.ch/droit/transnational/en/professeurs/enseignements/ 

The list of courses is updated at the start of every academic year. Be sure to check if the course that interests you is on the list before applying. 

Some IHEID courses may have limited places for CTL students (courses marked with « * »). Before applying to these courses, you must additionally seek the green light from our CDT/CTL team – please send us an e-mail and we will let you know if there are still places available. 

What procedure should I follow in order to enrol to the classes offered by the Graduate Institute? 

For courses at IHEID, a double registration will be required: 

1) first, at the Graduate Institute – by completing a special form and sending it to the IHEID Secretariat within a very strict deadline – during the first week of classes (IHEID enrolment stage) 

2) then, you will need to register for those courses two times (first for the course (1) and then for the exam (2)) on the online platform of the University of Geneva, portail.unige.ch (UNIGE enrolment stage). 

The full procedure will be explained during the CTL Welcome Session. Participation is strongly recommended as you will receive all practical information, have opportunity to ask questions, and of course meet our CTL team. 

The IHEID enrolment form is available here: https://www.graduateinstitute.ch/visiting-students 

Kindly take note that the deadline for the registration to classes at the Graduate Institute (IHEID) is very short: generally, registration is possible only during the first week of classes.  

When I register for classes at the IHEID, am I automatically registered to sit the exam or can I still change my mind?

The submission of the form to the Graduate Institute is obligatory to later register for the exam, but at this stage does not force you to pass the exam. You can still change your mind later. Only during the inscription on the portail (step 2.2 as explained in the question above) you have to make the final decision whether or not you want to take the exam.

5. Global Studies Institute (GSI)

Do I have to follow a special procedure to register for courses or exams at the GSI?

No. Please follow the standard procedure for courses and exams at the UNIGE (register at portail.unige.ch during the course registration period and the exam registration period). You can ignore the information given on the Portail that there might be a double inscription needed for courses at the GSI, currently this is not the case. A double inscription is only needed for courses at the IHEID as explained above. 

6. Other questions 

Can I pass the exam in English for a course offered in French? 

No. The exams in our courses are held in the course language, and the course will appear in your CDT-CTL certificate in French. 

I started my CDT/CTL in my last semester of bachelor, but wish to do my obligatory military service in the upcoming semester. Can I « pause » my CDT/CTL for one semester, and resume it after my military service? 

You will need to write a formal request for leave due to military service – on the condition that your military service will preclude you from following at least a substantial part of your courses during the semester for which you are requesting the leave. 

To do so, please fill out the form « demande de congé » in the section « Espace Etudiants » of the UNIGE website (link below), and send it at least a month prior to the start of the semester for which you are requesting the leave. Please attach all the relevant documents, including an official information on the date of beginning and end of your service. The Dean will then decide on granting the leave. 


Some courses from the CDT/CTL offer indicate in their descriptions that they are addressed to « Master level students » only. As a Bachelor level student (UNIGE or mobility) enrolled in the CTL, can I follow them? 

Yes, all courses in the CDT/CTL programme are as a rule open to all students enrolled in the CDT/CTL, independently from their level of study at their home universities. 

I have already passed in my home university (Swiss or foreign) a course that is similar to one offered in the CDT/CTL (e.g. International Arbitration, Comparative Human Rights, Vis Arbitration Moot Court etc.). Can I ask for it to be recognized for the CDT/CTL? 

No, you must complete all five CDT/CTL courses at the University of Geneva. 

NB: For students following at the same time the Master of Law at UNIGE, please see the FAQ concerning the « report de notes » possibility. 

Can I do an internship during the semester and make it count as an optional course for the CTL worth six ECTS credits? 

No, the « stage académique » replacing an optional course is only available to students enrolled in a Master programme at the University of Geneva (article 34 of the Study Regulations).