Master's Programs


1. What are the requirements to apply for a GSEM Master Program?


Each GSEM Master Program has its own admission requirements. Please refer to the GSEM Admissions page.

2. May I apply for several programs?

Yes, any candidate may apply to several programs.

3. I will obtain my Bachelor degree after the application deadline. Can I apply without it?


You may apply to a Master program without having completed your Bachelor degree.

If accepted, your application will be under the condition that you succeed and graduate before the start of the Master program in September.

4. What are the TOEFL/IELTS/CAE?


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) are three standardized tests, which evaluate the capacity to use and understand the English language in a university context for non-native English speakers. The TOEFL was created by an American organization, whereas IELTS and CAE were created by British institutions.


5. Do you accept test results (TOEFL/IELTS/CAE) over 2 years old?


The TOEFL and IELTS results are valid for 2 years.

However, we recommend adding your previous scores (older than 2 years) to your application file with your most recent score.

The CAE does not have an expiration date. However, if it is older than 2 years, please submit proof that you have been practicing English since completing the test.


6. What is considered as a ‘Proof of English language proficiency at a minimum level of B2'?


It can be an official certification (for example, results of IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate, or other examinations, regardless of the year of certification), or documents that indicate that your previous studies were taught in English, either secondary school, previous Bachelor or Master Degree (diploma supplement for example). In other words, you need to certify that you have a good command of the English language (min. level B2) by providing supporting documents in that sense.

7. Is my degree recognized by the University of Geneva?


The University of Geneva recognizes foreign university programs that are similar to those existing in Switzerland (i.e., minimum 3-year Bachelor program, 180 ECTS credits, and a public institution).

The institutions must be listed in the following reference publications as public institutions with a university status: World Higher Education DatabaseUnited Kingdom National Information Centre, and Anabin.

In some cases, the University of Geneva may recognize certain private universities, such as those with whom institutional agreements exist. The private institutions must offer academic programs in different fields (for example in science and/or medicine) and must be able to deliver up to Ph.D. academic degrees.

> For more information: https://www.unige.ch/admissions/en/informations/hei

8. I have problems with my enrollment procedure, whom should I contact?


All questions regarding enrolment at the University of Geneva should be sent to the UNIGE Admissions Office via the online platform admissions.unige.ch.

9. I did not collect all requested documents, can I still submit an online application and provide the documents at a later stage?


No. Your request will not be processed if it is incomplete.

10. Can I modify the documents submitted in my application after the submission?


No, you can no longer modify the submitted documents.

11. How do I apply for equivalencies?


You are entitled to request equivalencies (transfer credits) for previously completed (or not) university-level studies. You will be able to request equivalencies after acceptance to a program.

The request must be submitted via the GSEM student intranet, according to the deadlines stated in the Academic Calendar.

12. Can credits obtained for the Master’s thesis be recognized as equivalent?


No credits can be recognized as equivalent for the Master’s thesis. Equivalency is only granted for classes.

13. Can credits acquired during undergraduate programs be recognized as equivalent for the Master’s I am applying for?


No. Credits acquired during undergraduate programs (i.e., programs below the Master's level) cannot be recognized for the Master's you are applying for.

14. How many credits can be recognized as equivalent?


Equivalencies may not exceed 30 credits for Master’s programs worth 90 ECTS credits and 40 credits for master’s programs worth 120 ECTS credits.

15. Are the grades obtained during previous studies included in my GSEM transcript?


No, the GSEM transcript of records will not include the grades previously obtained.

16. Is knowledge of French mandatory?


Applicants do not have to provide proof of French language knowledge as most GSEM Master courses are taught in English. However, basic knowledge of the French language is recommended if a candidate is required to follow a preliminary or complementary program, a program that may include courses taught in French.

While being an international city, Geneva is a French-speaking canton. All official administrative documents, papers, and letters are in French. Basic knowledge of this language would be helpful.

17. Are language courses offered?


For interested students, the University of Geneva's Maison des Langues offers several language courses.


18. Where can I find main information related to my studies?

All information (Academic Calendar, Schedules, Study plans, Study Regulations, Application Directives, Form, Mobility Guidelines, Directive on exams and on Evaluation, etc.) are available on the GSEM website, under “Student Information”.

You can also consult the status of your studies, on your GSEM Student Intranet.

19. Where do I receive information from the School?


Some important information can be sent to your etu.unige.ch email address. Please consult it on a regular basis.

20. When do courses start?


At the beginning of the academic year in September. There is no Spring intake. The Academic Calendar provides key dates and general information.

21. Where can I find course descriptions and schedules?


You can find all the information about GSEM Master courses on the University of Geneva's page “Programme des cours”.

Fall and Spring schedules are available on the GSEM website.

Schedules and classrooms are subject to last-minute changes. Please check them regularly before the start of the semester.

22. What are ‘co-requisite courses’ and ‘complementary program’?


Co-requisite courses are Bachelor’s level courses which aim to confirm some essential knowledge to pursue your Master Degree.

Complementary program includes several complementary Bachelor’s level classes which are essential for your Master Degree.

You must attend and succeed these classes, with a minimum grade of 4.00 by the end of your first year.

23. Is there a different process to register to courses and to register to exams?


No, at the GSEM, the registration to courses automatically implies registration to related exams.

24. How do I register for courses and exams?


You need to register, each Semester, through your UNIGE Student Portal: portal.unige.ch, according to the deadlines provided by Academic Calendar. Kindly note that no late registration will be considered.

Be careful, registration to Moodle is not a substitute for exam registration.

25. How do I register for co-requisites courses or complementary program?


For these specific courses, you need to register through your GSEM Student intranet (and not through your portal.unige.ch).

26. How do I register to follow a course in another school?


As for any other regular exam, you must register online via the portal in accordance with the GSEM deadline. Please also check if you need to register with the other School’s Student Services, within their deadlines (which may differ from the GSEM's).

27. I forgot to register to courses and exams within the deadline, what are the consequences?


Deadlines must be strictly observed. They are available within the Academic Calendar at any time. If you missed the deadline, you will need to register the following academic year.

28. Can I modify my registration to courses and exams after the deadline?


No, you cannot modify your registration after the deadline. The registration is final.

29. Are courses recorded?


No, not necessarily. Teachers are free to decide whether or not to record their lessons. Please find enclosed the link to Mediaserver.

30. How many exam sessions do I have?


There are two ordinary exam sessions:

  • One in the Fall Semester, in January-February
  • One in the Spring Semester, in May-June

There is also an extraordinary exam session (retake), which takes place in August-September.

31. When are the exam dates published?


The exam schedule is available, at the earliest, 2 weeks before the session. It is available on the GSEM website and on the portal. Once these dates are published, please check the portal on a regular basis, as the schedule may be subject to updates. It is useless to contact the School to know your schedule before that, it will not be available and no answer can be given to you.

32. How are the classes evaluated?


Evaluations may take different formats. It can be an oral or written examination, continuous assessment, written work, oral presentation, etc.

33. What is the system for grading?


Either with grades or with a positive or negative evaluation (i.e., “acquired” or “not acquired”).

The grading scale is based on 6,00, with quarter point. The minimum grade to obtain credits related to classes is 4,00 out of 6,00.

34. How many attempts do I have to pass an exam?


You do have maximum two attempts to pass courses regarding core courses of your program.

Regarding elective courses, you do have four attempts for the same class, or you can change for another class if you failed your second attempt.

35. What does exam anonymization mean?


In order to avoid any unintentional cultural or gender bias at the time of marking, all written exams must be anonymized, whether the exam takes place during the semester or in session. Anonymization is achieved by replacing first and last names with the student's code on the exam paper. Anonymization does not apply to group work, reports on subjects chosen in consultation with the teacher, or any other type of written assessment involving individualized student follow-up.

36. Am I allowed to use the calculator/documents during the exams?


It all depends on the examination procedures adopted by the teacher. You must find out in advance and comply with the conditions set by the course instructor, as well as the general rules laid down in the GSEM Exam Directive.

37. When are the results published?


Results are normally published 2 weeks after the end of the exams. Students can consult them online on the portal.unige.ch, where the transcript of grades for the session is available.

38. I was unable to come for the copy consultation session. Can I see my exam paper at another time?


No, exam paper consultation sessions are unique. They take place during the week indicated in the academic calendar, and the dates are generally announced a few weeks before the end of the examination session. It is up to you to make yourself available during the scheduled period if you wish to see your exam paper.

39. I would like to remove an additional course from my transcript. Is it possible?


No, all courses appear on the transcript. However, an additional course in which you were absent, excused or failed will not have any impact on your degree.

40. Where can I find useful documents regarding internship?


If your study plan includes an internship, you will find the conditions and procedures in the Application Directives (2) and Guidelines (3) of your Master's degree.

If your course does not include an internship, but you would still like to do one, the University of Geneva provides useful information on its website (Vie de Campus).

41. Where can I find useful documents regarding Master thesis?


You will find the conditions and procedures in the Application Directives (2) and Guidelines (3) of your Master's degree.

42. How do I request an extension of the duration of my studies?


For a 90 ECTS credits Master program, you have a minimum of 3 semesters and a maximum of 5 semesters to complete your program. For a 120 ECTS credits Master program, you have a minimum of 4 semesters and a maximum of 6 semesters to complete the program.

If for justifiable reasons, you are unable to finish your Master within the deadline, you may request an extension at least 1 month before the start of the semester concerned.

The request for extension of studies should be motivated in a letter addressed to the Scientific Committee.

      GSEM - Student Services

      Attention Scientific Committee of the Master in ...

      Uni Mail - Bureau 3287 A

      Bd du Pont-d'Arve 40

      CH 1211 Genève 4

43. How do I declare an absence for an exam/evaluation?


 Absence due to sickness or accident:

In case of sickness or accident during the exam session, you should complete the form ‘Notice for an absence for an exam’ through the GSEM Student Intranet and provide GSEM Students Services with the original medical certificate within 3 days following the exam.

If the reason for absence is accepted. The absence is then considered as accepted and is registered as a “justified absence”.

Absence for other reasons:

For any other reason for absence to an exam (case de force majeure), a letter with supporting documents should be posted to the Scientific Committee within 3 days after the occurrence of the case de force majeure. If the reason is accepted. The absence is then considered as accepted and is registered as “justified absence”.

The postal letter should be addressed as follows:

      GSEM - Student Services

      Attention Scientific Committee of the Master in (...)

      Uni Mail - Bureau 3287 A

      Bd du Pont-d'Arve 40

      CH 1211 Genève 4

"Excused" students do not lose an “attempt” (tentative).

44. How do I apply for a leave of absence?


If you wish to temporarily suspend your studies, you may obtain a leave of absence whilst remaining enrolled at the University. A leave of absence is possible for one or two semesters.

During the leave of absence, you will be requested to pay a partial tax of CHF 65.- per semester but will not be authorized to sit exams. A leave of absence semester(s) is not taken into account in the total duration of your studies.

To make a request, please use the corresponding form available online on the GSEM Student Intranet.

45. How can I withdraw?


If you wish to definitively stop your studies at the University of Geneva, and therefore at GSEM, you must withdraw from the program. This procedure, to be carried out by the UNIGE Admissions Department, will suspend your rights and obligations. However, applications for ex-matriculation cannot be submitted during exam sessions or until the end of the session (publication of exam marks).

If the request for exmatriculation is made 6 weeks after the start of the course, students must pay the full amount of university fees for the semester.

46. I am facing health issues, and I would like to find some help. Where can I find some support?


The University of Geneva and the GSEM are aware of the importance of the well-being and mental health of members of the University community. In this spirit, there are tools available to help you if needed. The GSEM student services will be happy to guide you to relevant UNIGE services. For further information, you can already consult their website.

 Page updated 23.01.2024

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