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University of Geneva

University of Geneva
Université de Genève
Latin: Schola Genevensis
Motto Post tenebras lux (Latin)
Motto in English
Light after darkness
Established 1559 [1]
Type Public university
Rector Prof. Yves Flückiger (since 2015)
Administrative staff
approx. 5.600
Students 14,489
Location Geneva, Switzerland
Campus Urban
Affiliations Coimbra Group

The University of Geneva (official name in French Université de Genève) is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded in 1559 by John Calvin, as a theological seminary and law school.[1] It remained focused on theology until the 17th century, when it became a center for Enlightenment scholarship. In 1873, it dropped its religious affiliations and became officially secular.[2] Today, the university is the second-largest university in Switzerland by number of students.[3] In 2009, the University of Geneva celebrated the 450th anniversary of its founding.[4] At least 40% of the students come from foreign countries.

The University is located in the heart of Geneva. This city is as a hub for many sectors with whom the University cultivates intensive exchanges. Indeed many international organizations (including the UN), finance and banking services, headquarters of luxury goods companies, and headquarters of many Non Governmental Organizations are located in and around the city.

UNIGE has academic research and development programs in various fields that are represented through various faculties such as:

The university holds and actively pursues teaching, research, and community service as its primary objectives. In 2015, it was ranked 58th worldwide by the Shanghai ranking. In 2011, it was ranked 73rd worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 69th in the QS World University Rankings.[5]

UNIGE is a member of the League of European Research Universities (including academic institutions such as Amsterdam, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Helsinki and Milan) the Coimbra Group and the European University Association.[6]


  • History 1
  • Location 2
    • Uni Bastions 2.1
    • Uni Dufour 2.2
    • Uni Mail 2.3
  • Organisation 3
    • Faculties 3.1
      • Faculty of Science 3.1.1
      • Faculty of Medicine 3.1.2
        • The University Medical Center (CMU)
      • Faculty of Humanities 3.1.3
      • Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM) 3.1.4
      • Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S) 3.1.5
      • Faculty of Law (Geneva Law School) 3.1.6
      • Faculty of Theology 3.1.7
      • Faculty of Psychology and Education 3.1.8
      • Faculty of Translation and Interpretation 3.1.9
      • Interfaculty centers 3.1.10
      • Associated institutions 3.1.11
    • Finances 3.2
  • Libraries and press 4
    • Libraries 4.1
    • Press 4.2
  • Academics 5
    • Admission and fees 5.1
    • Academic year 5.2
    • Teaching and degrees 5.3
      • Bachelor programs 5.3.1
        • Faculty of Sciences
        • Faculty of Medicine
        • Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)
        • Faculty of Humanities
        • Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
        • Faculty of Law
        • Faculty of Theology
        • Faculty of Psychology and Education
        • Faculty of Translation and Interpretation
      • Master programs 5.3.2
        • Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
        • Faculty Geneva School of Social Science (G3S)
      • Executive Education programs 5.3.3
        • Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
          • Master of Advances Studies (MAS)
          • Diploma of Advances Studies (DAS)
          • Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)
    • International partnerships 5.4
    • Research 5.5
    • Rankings 5.6
      • Global rankings 5.6.1
      • Subject rankings 5.6.2
      • Other rankings 5.6.3
  • Student body 6
  • Student life 7
    • Sports 7.1
    • Associations 7.2
  • Alumni 8
    • Notable scholars 8.1
    • Notable alumni 8.2
  • Literature and popular culture 9
  • Notes and references 10
  • See also 11
  • External links 12



The University of Geneva is located in several districts in the eastern part of the city and in the nearby city of Carouge (on the left bank of the Lake Léman and the Rhône), and the different buildings are sometimes very distant from each other (the Battelle buildings are for instance more than three kilometers away from the Bastions). Lectures are given in six different main locations, Les Bastions (the oldest part), Uni Dufour, Sciences I, II and III, Uni Mail and Uni Pignon, Centre Médical Universitaire (CMU), and Battelle;[7] as well as in other less important locations (for instance the Mathematics Section is located at the second and (partly) third and sixth storeys rented by the university in an office building in Carouge).[8]

Uni Bastions

Uni Bastions

Built between 1868 and 1871, Uni Bastions is the symbol of Geneva's academic life. It located in the middle of a park and is host to the faculty of Protestant Theology and to the Faculty of Arts.[9]

Uni Dufour

Its architecture was inspired by Le Corbusier. It hosts the Rectorat and the administration of the University.[10]

Uni Dufour

Uni Mail

It is Switzerland's biggest building dedicated to social sciences. Uni Mail symbolizes the modernity of the University of Geneva. Its architecture is defined by a great transparency and open spaces. It currently hosts the Faculty of Law, of Economics and Social Sciences, of Psychology and Education and the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation.[11]

Uni Mail


The University of Geneva is structured in various faculties which are representing teaching, research and service to society in the various disciplines.


The University is composed of nine faculties:[12] The university has a partnership with the nearby Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, and students at the university may take courses at these institutes.

Faculty of Sciences

The Faculty of Sciences has 2700 students of which 680 (more than 25%) are research students. The numbers are increasing every year.

In 2014, 583 degrees were awarded of which 129 were doctorates in eight fields: astrophysics, biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, pharmaceutical sciences and earth and environmental sciences.

Over 130 professors, 725 teaching and research staff (of which 570 are research students and post-docs) and 400 technical and administrative staff.

CHF 150 million (the Swiss franc is just over 1 US$), of which CHF 75 million from the canton of Geneva, CHF 25 million of federal aid and CHF 50 million from research grants. Every franc from Geneva generates an additional franc of external revenue

Swiss National Science Foundation grants, UNIGE among the leaders In 2012, UNIGE was awarded some CHF 105 million, 14% of the national total, which places it second behind the University of Zurich (CHF 116 million), and just ahead of the ETHZ (CHF 101 million).

5 national research centers (NCCR) hosted by the Faculty of Sciences At the end of 2013 the Swiss confederation awarded two new NCCR to the Faculty of Sciences : SwissMAP in mathematics and theoretical physics and PlanetS in astronomy. They join the center for Chemical Biology (2010) and two other centers (Frontiers in Genetics and MaNEP – materials with novel electric properties) which were awarded in 2001 and have now reached the end of their funding.

Faculty of Medicine

Founded in 1876, the Faculty of Medicine is one of nine faculties of the University of Geneva (UNIGE). At the heart of International Geneva, it deploys its missions of teaching, research and care in direct contact with the city and the world. The Faculty of Medicine is a leader in neuroscience, genetics, and transplantation, to name only these areas. It also engages in the field of global health. His basic research, internationally and his close association with Switzerland's largest hospital complex, the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), give it everything it needs to develop a translational research major axis, in conjunction with other players within the Lake Geneva region. A major Faculty of the University of Geneva in terms of budget and number of employees, the Faculty of Medicine is one of the top ranked schools, both in terms of the teaching of medical research. Renowned pioneer in his way of teaching (problem-based learning, integrated education), the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva offers its students quality training to enable them to meet the needs of society, they are destined for post-graduate training in primary care medicine or in a specialty of medicine.

The University Medical Center (CMU)

Since 1981, the Faculty of Medicine is located in the buildings of CMU in Champel. The premises of CMU helped equip Fundamental Medicine of an environment conducive to the development of research, using advanced technical means and structures promoting interdepartmental interactions and synergies. To this end, the Faculty of Medicine provides its employees, but also scientists and university hospital institutions in the Lake Geneva region, twenty highly specialized technical platforms. The expansion of CMU work, which began in fall 2009, will accommodate, on the horizon of 2016, the School of Pharmacy Geneva Lausanne (EPGL), Section of Dentistry, research laboratories formerly housed in HUG and a nursery, and a space adapted to new forms of education. The library will be enlarged, as well as the animal, which will be the most modern standards.

Faculty of Humanities

The faculty of Humanities and Arts has various departments and research centers.

Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)

GSEM is a new faculty and exists since Janurary 2014. The creation of the GSEM faculty is a result of a merger between two former departments: Economics and HEC. GSEM has four core values: excellence in teaching and research; social responsibility, participation in research and teaching projects leading to improvement in social well-being; service to the society, with strong relationships with the institutions, business, and international and humanitarian organizations in Geneva and the surrounding region; and disciplinary openness, with multiple collaborations through multidisciplinary centers and other academic institutions. Within the University of Geneva, the GSEM sees its role as a catalyst for education, fundamental research, and service to the city and canton of Geneva and society at large in the domains of management and the economic sciences. The service dimension includes both making available the expertise of GSEM professionals to local actors, particularly through its applied research intitute (LEA), and Executive Education via GSEM-Executive (formerly HEC-Executive). Students of the GSEM Faculty benefit from a Bachelor’s degree in English and French which brings together the principal disciplines they need to master in a core curriculum. By choosing from an array of majors and minors upon graduation they will possess a broad expertise for the pursuit of their professional careers or further studies. The GSEM Bachelor’s degree also affords automatic entry into any Master’s degree program offered by the Faculty and even to a number of Master’s programs offered by many other Universities and Institutes. This new curriculum is in place since fall 2015. The GSEM’s new curriculum includes innovative teaching methods designed to encourage individual learning and for greater relevance to the needs of the job market. The GSEM meets international standards of excellence in order to gain accreditation and a prominent place in international rankings. The GSEM counts more than 1.700 students (Bachelor and Master) and 200 lecturers, including professors renowned around the world for the excellence of their research in a wide variety of disciplines. The Executive Education counts more than 1.500 participants and over 45 programs (including an Executive MBA (EMBA)and International Organizations MBA (IOMBA). A number of research institutes provide avenues for graduate studies at Master’s and Doctoral levels. A primary objective of the GSEM is to improve the working environment in order to enhance the visibility, quality, and dissemination of fundamental research. The Executive Education GSEM-Executive (formerly HEC-Executive) and an institute for applied economics research are dedicated to serve the City and the Canton of Geneva and society at large. The Geneva School of Economics and Management is committed to a broad-based, multidisciplinary approach to the sciences of economics and management. The GSEM ensures that the University of Geneva receives the recognition it deserves in this domain.

Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)

The Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S), born on 1 January 2014, is doing training, research, exchange and dissemination, in order to meet the challenges of major contemporary social issues: economic and cultural globalisation recomposition politics and identity, individual and collective vulnerability, economic, social and territorial inequalities, etc. All challenges that require analyzes that the current expertise of researchers from the Faculty can lead in many areas. But they also require forms of commitment, to the students and the City, as well as in academic, social policies and most diverse networks available. The Faculty of Social Sciences promotes social commitment in the sense of a more sustainable and equitable development, the reduction of social inequalities, including gender, promotion of institutions and more participatory political forms and respectful Justice and differences.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is made up of researchers, teachers, staff and students who wish to renew the production and transmission of knowledge within and outside the academic world. This group is based on several pillars - sociology, political science, geography, political economy - and recognized thematic centers of excellence - the economic and social history, gender studies, communication, socio-economics, territorial development, analysis of social and political institutions, the study of living and social vulnerability courses, the study of international relations, citizenship, etc. But while promoting research and advanced education in the diversity of its constituent fields, our faculty aims to become a laboratory for cross-disciplinary knowledge and articulation of the world of knowledge and the world of action.

Faculty of Law (Geneva Law School)

The Faculty of Law hosts several research centers, including the Centre for Banking and Financial Law, the Centre for European Legal Studies and the Art Law Centre, and offers a wide variety of academic courses covering all areas of law, with a strong focus on international and comparative law. Benefiting from its strategic location in one of the world’s main arbitration venues with a long tradition in dispute settlement, the Faculty of Law has developed a recognized area of expertise in international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution incorporating research projects, conferences and seminars.

The Faculty of Law also has an ongoing student and professor exchange program with Harvard Law School and Melbourne Law School. The former students and alumni of the University and the Graduate Institute include high-profile personalities such as M. Manuel Barroso (current president of the European Commission), M. Kofi Annan (seventh Secretary General of the United Nations), Ms Carla del Ponte (chief prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals), and M. Hans Gert Pöttering (president of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009).

The Law Faculty of the University of Geneva is located on the left bank of the river Rhone, just a 10 minute walk from the historic city centre. For information on current events (in English and French), go to the homepage of the Faculty of Law (in French).

Programs offered in English include the Certificate in Transnational Law, which brings students from some thirty countries to Geneva each year. Such as the LL.M. in International Dispute Settlement, the LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the Executive Master of International Law in Armed Conflict, offered in cooperation with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Faculty of Theology

Since the creation of Geneva's Academy by John Calvin in 1559, generations of students have come to Geneva to study theology. Today there are about 200 students studying at various levels. The University of Geneva's Faculty of Theology is the largest institution dedicated to the study of Christian theology in the Protestant francophone academic world.

The University of Geneva is Switzerland's third-largest university. It is a member of the League of European Research Universities, which includes academic institutions such as Amsterdam, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Helsinki and Milan. It is among the best universities in continental Europe according to international rankings (Newsweek, Times Higher Education, Shanghai University, etc.). In 2014, it was ranked by Times Higher Education as the 2nd most international university in the world.

Theological profile The Faculty of Theology in the University of Geneva is rooted in the Reformed tradition broadly conceived, and as a result open to and interested in the plurality which characterizes our world. In the face of religious fanaticism as well as religious indifference or illiteracy, we are convinced that a critical and constructive theological reflection about our world, humanity, the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, God and faith are as indispensable today as they were before.

Faculty of Psychology and Education

The faculty was created in 1890. It has various departments and several research centers.

Faculty of Translation and Interpretation

The Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI) is one of the oldest centres for translation and interpreting education and research in the world. Founded in 1941 as the Ecole d’interprètes de Genève (EIG), it became the École de traduction et d’interprétation (School of Translation and Interpreting - ETI) in 1972 when a degree in translation was introduced, and adopted its current title, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, in 2011.

The Faculty of Translation and Interpreting is located in Geneva, Switzerland, an international crossroads at the heart of Europe. More than 600 students from all over the world attend our programmes, and the Faculty employs over 100 teachers and researchers. Students in this exceptional setting benefit from optimal conditions, numerous computer and audiovisual resources, and one of the most comprehensive specialised libraries in Europe.

Students can choose their language combination from Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian.

The programmes offered give access to a wide range of professions involving multilingual communication, such as public relations, the media, administration, tourism, court interpreting, linguistic mediation, and of course translation and conference interpreting, as well as teaching and research.

In keeping with our long history of openness to the world, the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting encourages and facilitates staff and student mobility. To this end, we have established exchange agreements with 70 universities in more than 20 countries.

Interfaculty centers

Associated institutions


The University of Geneva had for 2013 a budget of CHF 558,211,000. It mostly comes from the cantonal subventions, the other notable contributors being the federal state and the tuition fees.[17]

Libraries and press


The Sciences Library at Sciences II

UNIGE's library facilities are spread across four sites.

Uni Arve is host to seven libraries: the Bibliothèque Ernst & Lucie Schmidheiny, the Bibliothèque d'Anthropologie, the Bibliothèque du Centre universitaire d'informatique, the Bibliothèque Georges de Rham (Mathematics), the Bibliothèque de l'Institut des Sciences de l'environnement (ISE), Bibliothèque de l'Observatoire (Astronomy) and the Bibliothèque des Sciences de la Terre et de l'environnement.[18]

Uni Bastions hosts the language libraries, as well as the university's libraries focused on history and musicology.[19]

Uni CMU is home to an extensive collection of medical issues. Besides, it is also hosts the Centre de documentation en santé (CDS) and the Bibliothèque de l’Institut de la médecine et de la santé et de l’Institut d’éthique biomédicale (IHMS - IEB).[20]

Uni Mail's collection is focused on the following themes: Economics and social sciences, Law, Psychology and Learning Sciences, Translation and Interpretation, European studies, French as a foreign language and Musicology. Besides, it also hosts UNIGE's multimedia library.[21]


The journal de l'UNIGE is released biweekly. Its purpose is to ease communication inside the university, to inform the students about the research being carried at UNIGE, to convey new opinions and to inform students and teachers of upcoming university events via l'Agenda.[22]

Campus is released monthly with the objective to ease communication between the scientific community and the citizens and to be a "bridge between science and city".[23]


Admission and fees

To be enrolled in a bachelor programme, one must hold a Swiss maturity diploma or a secondary diploma considered by the University of Geneva to be equivalent.[24] If the degree was not pursued in French, applicants must pass an eliminatory French language test at the beginning of September, which consists of an oral and a written comprehension test and of a piece of argumentative writing.[25] Tuition fees are of CHF 500 per semester.

Academic year

UNIGE's academic year runs from mid-September to mid-June. It is divided in two semesters, each one being concluded by an examination session, held respectively at the beginning of January and at the beginning of June. An examination session is held at the end of August and beginning of September as a retake for students who failed their January or June examinations.[26]

During the three days before the start of the new academic year, the Journées d'accueil (Welcome Days) are organized by the University to introduce the new students to the city and the facilities, tips are also given on how to succeed at university. A second chapter including city tours, outdoor concerts and animations is also organized by the student association UniAccueil (AUA) to celebrate the new academic year.[27]

Teaching and degrees

Before 2005, the University applied the French education model of granting academic degrees, with some minor differences: demi-licence (two years), trois-quarts de licence (three years), licence (four years), diplôme d'études approfondies and diplôme d'études superieures spécialisées (DEA/DESS) (1–2 years), and doctorate (3–5 years).

The University now follows the requirements of the Bologna process: bachelor's (three years), master's (1–2 years), Master of Advanced Studies (1–2 years), doctorate (3–5 years).[28]

UNIGE offers more than 240 types of diplomas: about 30 bachelor degrees,[29] 70 masters and 78 doctorates. It also provides more than 200 programmes of continuing education in various sectors.[30]

Bachelor programs

Faculty of Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemestry
  • Bachelor of Science Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Medecine
Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)
  • Bachelor of Geography and environement
  • Bachelor of Political science
  • Bachelor of Sociology
  • Bachelor of History-economics-society
Faculty of Humanities
  • Bachelor of Arts
Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
  • Bachelor in Economics and Management (In English and French)
  • Bachelor d'Economie et de Management (In English and French)
Faculty of Law
  • Bachelor of Laws
Faculty of Theology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology
Faculty of Psychology and Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Learning Sciences
Faculty of Translation and Interpretation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Multilingual communication

Master programs

While all bachelor programs are taught in French (exept in the Faculty GSEM), many master are programs are held in English, mostly in the fields of business and of science.[31]

Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
  • Master of Science in Management (in English)
  • Master of Arts in International Trading Commodity Finance and Shipping (in English)
  • Master of Science in Wealth Management (in French and English)
  • Master of Science in Economics (in English)
  • Master of Science in Accounting, Controlling and Finance - in collaboration with University of Lausanne (in French)
  • Master of Science in Statistics (in English)
Faculty Geneva School of Social Science (G3S)
  • Master of Science in Territorial development
  • Master of Science in Gender studies
  • Master of Science in Cultural and Political Geography
  • Master of Science in Cultural and Political Geography – specialization in economic history
  • Master of Science in International Economic History
  • Master of Science in International Economic History – specialization in geography
  • Master of Science in Public management
  • Master of Science in Political Science
  • Master of Science in Journalism and Communication
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science
  • Master of Science in Socioeconomics
  • Master of Science in Socioeconomics – specialization in demographics
  • Master of Science in Sociology
  • Master of Science in Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development

Executive Education programs

Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
Master of Advances Studies (MAS)
  • International Organizations Master in Business Administration - IOMBA (in English)
  • Master in Management, ressources humaines et carrières (in French)
  • Master in Management stratégique des institutions de santé (in French)
  • Master in Business Administration - MBA en emploi (in French)
  • Master in Business Administration - Executive MBA (in French and English)
  • Master in Sécurité de l'information (in French)
  • Master in Sports Administration and Technology (in English)
  • Master in Stratégie et confiance numériques (in French)
  • Master in Wealth Management (in English)
Diploma of Advances Studies (DAS)
  • Diploma in Aviation Management (in English)
  • Diploma in Business Administration & Management / 1st year MBA (in English and French)
  • Diploma in Commodity Trading (in English)
  • Diploma in Communication digitale, expertise web et réseaux sociaux (in French)
  • Diploma in Contrôle de gestion (in French)
  • Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility (in English)
  • Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Business Development (in English)
  • Diploma in Gestion culturelle (in French)
  • Diploma in Gestion d'entreprise (in French)
  • Diploma in Gestion et management dans les organismes sans but lucratif (in French)
  • Diploma in Gestion des risques d'entreprise (in French), in collaboration with HES-SO, Geneva School of Business Administration
  • Diploma in International Management / 2nd year MBA (in English and French)
  • Diploma in International Organizations Management (in English)
  • Diploma in Management et administration des affaires / 1e année MBA (in French)
  • Diploma in Management et administration des entreprises (in French)
  • Diploma in Management des institutions de santé (in French)
  • Diploma in Management des institutions sociales (in French)
  • Diploma in Management de projets (in French)
  • Diploma in Management, ressources humaines et carrières (in French)
  • Diploma in Management stratégique achats, logistique et approvisionnements (in French)
  • Diploma in Strategic Marketing (in English)
  • Diploma in Sécurité de l'information (in French)
  • Diploma in Stratégie marketing, communication et e-business (in French)
Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)
  • Certificate in Modern Management for Non Profit Organizations (in English)
  • Certificate in Analytical Marketing (in English)
  • Certificate in Audit interne (Certification CIA) (in French)
  • Certificate in Branding & Digital Marketing (in French)
  • Certificate in Communication digitale et expertise web (in French)
  • Certificate in Communication digitale et réseaux sociaux (in French)
  • Certificate in Comptabilité Gestion Fiscalité (in French)
  • Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility (in English)
  • Certificate in E-business et e-communication (in French)
  • Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Business Development (in English)
  • Certificate in Face aux risques: décider et intervenir (in French)
  • Certificate in Gestion des carrières / Spécialisation du MAS GRH (in French)
  • Certificate in Gestion quantitative de portefeuille (in French)
  • Certificate in Human Resources Management in Humanitarian Settings (in French)
  • Certificate in IFRS et IPSAS (in French)
  • Certificate in International Organizations Management (in English)
  • Certificate in Management de projets (in French)
  • Certificate in Management de proximité des institutions de santé (in French)
  • Certificate in Management des institutions sociales (in French)
  • Certificate in Management humain / Spécialisation du MAS GRH (in French)
  • Certificate in Ressources humaines / Spécialisation du MAS GRH (in French)
  • Certificate in Sécurité de l'information (in French)
  • Certificate in Stratégie marketing (in French)

International partnerships

Students at UNIGE have the possibility to study abroad for a semester or a year during their degree. Partner universities include Free University of Berlin, Harvard Law School, École Normale Supérieure, Trinity College Dublin, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Université Libre de Bruxelles, King's College London, McGill University, HEC Montreal, University of Oxford, Uppsala University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, UCLA, University of Sydney, University of Tokyo.[32]


The key sectors of research at the University of Geneva are sciences (molecular biology, bio-informatics, etc.), elementary physicis, astrophysics, economics, social sociences, psychology, chemistry, biochemestry and biophysics.

UNIGE is home to six national research centers: in genetics (Frontiers in Genetics), in material sciences (MaNEP), in study of emotions (Affective Sciences), in chemical biology (with EPFL), in study of mental illness (Synaptic, with EPFL and Unil), in study of life path (with Unil). UNIGE also carries research in international studies since the creation in 2013 of the Global Studies Institute, in finance with the Geneva Finance Research Institute,[33] and in environemental studies, with the creation in 2009 of the Institut des sciences de l'environnement.[34]

Famous discoveries have been made by researcher working at UNIGE including the discoveries of extrasolar planets by Michel Mayor, of genetics by Denis Duboule, or of quantic teleportation by Nicolas Gisin.


The University of Geneva is constantly ranked one of the top universities in the world.

Global rankings

In 2015, the University of Geneva is ranked 58th overall in the world according to the Shanghai Ranking. In 2012, it was ranked 69th overall in the world according to the Shanghai Ranking, 74th overall according to the QS ranking and 133rd overall according to the THE ranking. In 2006, Newsweek ranked the university 32nd in the world.[35]

The QS World University Rankings [36] ranked the University of Geneva as follows:

Year In Switzerland In Europe In the World
2012 - - 74th
2011 - - 69th

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings[37] ranked the University of Geneva as follows:

Year In Switzerland In Europe In the World
2012-2013 5th 52nd 133rd
2011-2012 7th 46th 116th
2010-2011 5th 34th 118th

Subject rankings

In molecular biology, the impact of the research carried in Geneva was ranked 4th in Europe by Times Higher Education for the period 1999-2009, directly behind the University of Oxford.[38] In physics, UNIGE was ranked sixth.

The QS 2013 subject ranking placed the University of Geneva at the 21st place in the field of Pharmacy and at the 49th place in Philosophy. In every subject, the University was ranked in the world's top 200.[39]

Other rankings

In the 2013 QS ranking, the University was ranked 24th in world for most international faculty and 20th in the world for most international student body.[40]

Student body

In 2009-2010, 13,667 students were studying at UNIGE (14,489 students with the IHEID and IEB), of whom 61% were female, the highest female percentage in any Swiss university. 36% of the students were non-Swiss, originating from 131 countries. 3,574 teachers and collaborators, of whom 1,451 are female, are working for UNIGE.[41]

Student life


The Bureau des sports organizes all the sports related activity at UNIGE. Free sports lessons are given everyday and it suffices to show one's student card to access. Other lessons organization with the university's partners demand a small fee.[42] UNIGE is home to the Geneva university championships in basketball, indoor football, rowing, badminton, outdoor football.[43] The university also sends teams to the Swiss university championship in badminton, indoor football, skiing, basketball, fencing, football, golf, ice-hockey, table tennis and volleyball.[44] UNIGE also provides special schedules for students wishing to pursue their high level sporting career and to study at the same time.[45]


Alumni UNIGE is the alumni association of the University of Geneva, it offers a network of several thousand people to its members, as well as other advantages, such as discount prizes, special events, access to the official networking platform.[46] Atout-lettres is the alumni association of the literature students of the University, founded in 1997. Its purpose is to prepare the professional insertion of the literature students, to establish links between literature student and the working world and to promote the formation given by the Faculté de Lettres.[47]


Kofi Annan, UNIGE alumni, Nobel Peace Prize in 2001

Over the course of its history, a sizeable number of UNIGE alumni have become notable in their fields, both academic, and in the wider world. Affiliates of the University of Geneva have won 10 Nobel prizes. Graduate alumni (Martin Hairer and Vaughan Jones) have won 2 Fields Medals.

The University has hosted several Nobel laureates as students, researchers and/or professors: Norman Angell (1872–1967), Nobel Peace Prize 1933; Karl Gunnar Myrdal (1898–1987) Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1974; Daniel Bovet (1907–1992), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1957; Niels Kaj Jerne (1911–1994), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1984; Maurice Allais (1911–2010), Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 1988; Edmond H. Fischer (1920–), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1992; Martin Rodbell (1925–1998), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1994; Alan Jay Heeger (1936- ), Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000; Werner Arber (1929– ), Nobel Prize in Medicine 1978; Kofi Annan (1938– ), Nobel Peace Prize 2001.

It has also hosted or graduated three Fields medal laureates: Vaughan Jones (1952– ), Fields Medal laureate in 1990, Stanislav Smirnov (1970– ), Fields Medal laureate in 2010 and Martin Hairer (1975- ), Fields Medal laureate in 2014.

Notable scholars

Notable alumni

Literature and popular culture

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "University of geneva". 
  2. ^ "University of Geneva". 
  3. ^ "University of Geneva (UNIGE)". 
  4. ^ "University of Geneva honors LHC project leader at 450th anniversary ceremony". 5 June 2009. 
  5. ^ QS World University Rankings - 2011. Top Universities (2012-12-19). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  6. ^ "University in the Spotlight: University of Geneva". 
  7. ^ "L'Université de Genève a fêté ses 450 ans en 2009". 
  8. ^ UNIGE - Plan d'accès aux bâtiments. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  9. ^ UNIGE - Plan d'accès aux bâtiments. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  10. ^ UNIGE - Plan d'accès aux bâtiments. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  11. ^ UNIGE - Plan d'accès aux bâtiments. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  12. ^ Facultés, école, UPER - Archives - UNIGE. (2009-09-03). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  13. ^ Webpage of the Art-Law Centre,
  14. ^ Center for Biomedical Imaging (page visited on 2 October 2011).
  15. ^ Centre universitaire romand de médecine légale (page visited on 3 June 2012).
  16. ^ Institut universitaire romand de santé au travail (page visited on 1 October 2011).
  17. ^
  18. ^ Uni Arve - Bibliothèque - UNIGE. (2013-06-25). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  19. ^ Uni Bastions - Bibliothèque - UNIGE. (2013-07-08). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  20. ^ Uni CMU - Bibliothèque - UNIGE. (2013-06-25). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  21. ^ Uni Mail - Bibliothèque - UNIGE. (2013-08-20). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  22. ^ Journal n°77 - SERVICE DE COMMUNICATION - UNIGE. (2013-05-30). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  23. ^ Perspectives - Service De Communication - Unige. (2010-09-07). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Examen de français - Division de la formation et des étudiants - UNIGE. (2013-06-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  26. ^ Studying/Doing research - International - UNIGE. (2013-02-08). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  27. ^ Programme des Welcome Days 2013 - Accueil et intégration - UNIGE. (2013-08-12). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  28. ^ Réforme de Bologne et système de crédits ECTS - Secteur Formation & Évaluation - UNIGE. (2010-10-13). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  29. ^ Fiches Bachelors - Futurs étudiants - UNIGE. (2013-03-11). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  30. ^ Au service des professionnels - Formation continue - UNIGE. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement - Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement - UNIGE". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results". 
  37. ^ "Times Higher Education World University Rankings". 
  38. ^ "Top European Institutions in Molecular Biology". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "University of Geneva Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  40. ^ "University of Geneva Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  41. ^ "Bureau des statistiques - Bureau des statistiques - UNIGE" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ "Atouts Lettres - Présentation". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  48. ^ "Dominique Levy". Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  49. ^ *   , p. 299

See also

External links

  • Official website
  • Faculty GSEM
  • Official website (French)
  • University of Geneva in the Rankings
  • International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS)
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