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Academics

Field of Study: Social Sciences 

Take your classroom discovery of global and international studies into the world in this enriching program taught in English. A series of interdisciplinary courses highlight such topics as international trade, politics, the environment, human rights, migration, and global health. Classes also include academic field trips to the many Geneva-based organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the International Labor Organization. Following the spring, you then have the option to participate in a full-time summer internship with a local organization or company.

Unique study opportunities

  • Study the impact of technologies like social media, blockchain, and artificial intelligence on world affairs.
  • Visit international organizations and talk with professionals working every day in global governance, international trade and development, and human rights issues.
  • Explore the complexities of environmental diplomacy and international environmental law.
  • Discover the boundaries of legitimate force when applied to detention, drones, and privacy.
  • Take an interactive Model United Nations seminar.

Language

Language of Instruction: English

French Language Study: Required 

Included in the English-taught curriculum is a required French language course available at intermediate to advanced levels. Language instruction is split into written, oral, and grammar sections. 

If you’re proficient in French, you’ll be able to choose from a broader range of courses taught in French. The availability of English taught courses is a bit more limited. Upon arrival, a placement exam will help determine your French language level.  

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Five courses for a total of 26.5 quarter/17.6 semester UC units.
  • You can take up to one-third of your units for pass/no pass credit.

Current Program Courses

In this program you’ll take five courses: A core course, “International Geneva: Issues and Institutions,” a French language course, and three electives from a curated list of topics. 

International Geneva: Issues and Institutions (upper division, 6 quarter/4 semester UC units) explores issues of global governance, international trade and development, the environment and climate change, human rights, migration, humanitarian law, and global health.

Choose three upper-division electives. Course offerings change each year but in recent semesters the following courses have been offered (5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units):

  • Economic Analysis in International Organizations
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Institutional Law
  • International Macroeconomics
  • Politics of Contemporary Africa
  • Digital Technologies, Europe and International Relations
  • Law and Practice of European Union Foreign Policy
  • Microeconomics I
  • Microeconomics II
  • Probability I
  • Introduction to Econometrics
  • Model United Nations Seminar

French language course: 5.5 quarter/3.7 semester units (intermediate to advanced levels). With two or more years of university-level French, you may elect to replace the French language course with a lecture or seminar taught in French.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

The University of Geneva has a fairly large catalogue of online courses. You will not receive credit for the MOOC courses because they do not carry any credit at the university and they have no form of assessment. These courses do not count toward program requirements. 

Research and independent study are typically not available on this program.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

This program is an ideal environment for challenging your independence and self-sufficiency. Navigating daily life and classes will take a proactive and responsible approach.  

The structure and format of each course is determined by the professor. The online course catalog will list the dates and times of the class meetings and whether they are in lecture or seminar format. Courses tend to have few in-class contact hours per week. 

Reading and self-study outside of class is key to success. Homework and assessment will vary greatly between professors. Each professor will determine the format of the assessment, number of exams, and take-home assignments. Syllabi are not available before the program; however the University of Geneva website does provide full course descriptions in their course catalog.  

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades for the spring semester are typically available by late July.​

Although the university allows students to re-sit exams, special arrangements for early exams are not an option for UCEAP participants.  You must take your exam on the day and time designated by your instructor.