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View of a Geneva waterfront


Smith College and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva have established a program that enables a small number of students to complete a B.A. from Smith and an M.A. from the Graduate Institute in five years, instead of the usual six years.

Participating Smith students will spend the fall semester of their senior year in Geneva at the Graduate Institute. They return to Smith for their final semester and for graduation, and then go back to Geneva for a fifth year of study to complete their master’s degree.

For additional details on this program, please contact Brent Durbin, associate professor of government.

Master’s Programs at the Graduate Institute

The Graduate Institute offers two categories of master’s programs to Smith students.

1. Disciplinary Master’s Programs in:

  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • International Economics (*GRE required for admittance)
  • International History and Politics
  • International Law
  • International Relations/Political Science

2. Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in:

  • International and Development Studies


There is no language prerequisite at the Graduate Institute. Most classes are taught in English. Students with limited or no French will study French as part of their program in Geneva.

To be eligible for this program, students:

  • Must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Must have completed 96 credits of coursework by the end of their junior year.
  • Must not have spent BOTH semesters of their junior year at an off-campus program (in the United States or abroad). These students are NOT eligible to apply.

Students must complete an application form, which includes a 500-word statement of interest and two letters of recommendation from faculty. The deadline is December 4, 2023.

Students can find the application materials and apply to a Smith Program Abroad online using the new Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES) by clicking on the log in option below.

Smith Student Log In

Before applying to a Smith Program Abroad be sure to:

Students pay the Smith comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board), and Smith will pay the tuition, room and board charges assessed by the Graduate Institute. The Guide to Home School Fees explains which costs Smith covers and which costs are the responsibility of the student.

During the fourth year of study: Students continue to pay the normal comprehensive fee to Smith College. Students on financial aid will continue to receive that aid. Smith will cover the Geneva costs during the fall semester of the senior year. These include tuition and administrative fees, and room and board.

During the fifth year of study: Students are responsible for paying their own tuition to the Graduate Institute as well as room and board and other incidental costs. Students may apply to the Graduate Institute for financial aid according to the Graduate Institute's regulations and practices. Total estimated cost for an academic year in Geneva is 26,000 CHF (approximately $27,500 US). This includes tuition (8,000 CHF or $8,500 US), along with room and board and other expenses (18,000 CHF or $19,000 US).

Visas for Studying in Switzerland

The Swiss government requires all students who are not EU citizens to obtain a student visa before arriving in Geneva. The Office for International Study (OIS) will facilitate a group visa application process for students studying on the Joint BA/MA program during the fall semester of their senior year.

Students must submit a copy of their passport valid six months beyond the end of their studies in Geneva with their program application. Proof of application for a passport or proof of passport renewal such as a receipt will be accepted.

Students (U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international students with valid U.S. visas) will submit all the required visa application materials to the OIS by the stated deadlines. The OIS will in turn submit the visa application materials to the Swiss Consulate in New York approximately 14 weeks in advance of the program start date. Processing may take up to eight weeks. Students will be notified by the Swiss authorities in Geneva when their visa applications have been approved. Students will then send their passports to the New York Consulate for visa issuance.

Students will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa to return to the Graduate Institute for the completion of the masters degree portion of the program.

Things to Consider

Because students must send their passports to the New York Consulate for about a week in late July or early August, international travel during this time is strongly discouraged. Students who arrive in Switzerland without student visas will have to return to the U.S. to obtain the student visa.

Please note that students who stay in Switzerland during the summer are responsible for all living expenses, visa requirements, medical insurance, etc.

Accepted Students

For resources and information about the Swiss visa application process, please visit the Joint BA+MA Program in Geneva Accepted Students website.