Language requirements

The Institute has an English-French bilingual teaching policy. However, most of the classes are taught in English. Students can speak and write in either English or French.

The Institute values diversity and encourages students with no prior knowledge or only a basic knowledge of French to apply.  We are happy to grant these students a place, if they undertake to attend a free French course. Knowledge of French is not an admission condition or a condition for being awarded a diploma.


  • All students must have an excellent command of English.
  • Students whose mother tongue is not English, who do not have secondary or post-secondary qualifications taught in English, or who have not spent a minimum of one year studying full time at university level in English, must provide a certificate to prove their mastery of English.
Recognised tests Required score

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)*

*The Graduate Institute, Geneva - Inst. code: 8909

Internet-test 100
Paper-test 600
Computer based test 250
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 7.0
CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
(Cambridge English, part of the University of Cambridge)
CAE (Cambridge Advanced English)
(Cambridge English, part of the University of Cambridge)


  • Students with weak or no prior knowledge of French must take an intensive French course, lasting three weeks before the start of the first semester. They must register for this course at the time of their online application. This intensive course will be followed by a weekly course during the first year.
    These courses are organised by the Institute and are free of charge.
    At the start of the third semester, these students have to sit a French test. In case of failure, they can retest at the start of their fourth semester.
  • Students with basic knowledge of French must register for a French test at the time of their online application. This test takes place during the first week of the academic year. Students who fail this test take a French course, organised by the Institute, free of charge, during their first year of study. They can retest at the start of their third semester.
  • The above conditions do not apply to students whose mother tongue is French; or who have a secondary or post-secondary diploma taught entirely in French; or who have spent a minimum of one academic year studying at university level, full time, entirely in French; or who can produce a French language certificate equivalent to a DELF B1 level.