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University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

University of Geneva

The University

450 years of intellectual endeavour

Founded in 1559 by John Calvin, the Academy of Geneva became the University of Geneva in 1873 with the creation of a medical school. The pursuit of higher learning has drawn students and scholars from all over the world to Geneva since the Academy's very creation. Victims of religious persecution, political refugees, students and researchers alike have all drawn intellectual nourishment from the University and made their own contributions to shared intellectual endeavour.
The university is composed of nine faculties: of science, medicine, arts, social sciences, economics and management, psychology and education, law, theology, and translation and interpretation. It also includes seven interdisciplinary centres and six associated institutes. It is the second largest university in Switzerland with about 17,000 students, of whom more than 38% are international students, enrolled in the various programs from the bachelor to the doctorate. A staff composed of some 4,569 persons (professors, lecturers and assistants) is dedicated to the transmission and advancement of scientific knowledge through teaching as well as fundamental and applied research. Moreover the University of Geneva has been able to preserve the ancient European tradition of an academic community located in the heart of the city.

Our Quest for Excellence

The University of Geneva enjoys worldwide recognition for fundamental and applied research. Many international rating bodies have ranked Geneva as a leader in scientific research, in particular in the fields of molecular biology, astrophysics, social sciences, economics and management. This is why it has been a member of the League of European Research Universities since 2002. As an example, the University of Geneva heads eight National Centres of Competence in Research: Frontiers in Genetics, MaNEP - Materials with Novel Electronic Properties, Chemical Biology, Affective Sciences, Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases and LIVES-Overcoming Vulnerabilities in a Life Course Perspective. 

Furthermore, the University of Geneva has strengthened its ties with many of the 300 international and non-governmental organizations located in Geneva. Its science faculty also collaborates closely with international research organizations like the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) whose first laboratories in 1954 were hosted by its Faculty of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the European Space Agency (ESA).

Photo: Université de Genève, Jacques Erard

Its participation in many Swiss and international research programs bears witness to the high esteem in which its researchers are held and such flagship scholarship is assuredly one of the reasons why student enrolment is on the rise.
Implementing the Bologna Declaration is a ongoing process at the University, with the former study courses based on a one-cycle program being replaced by the European model comprising a two-cycle program system. At the end of 2006, the Bologna Reform was completely implemented at the University of Geneva.


Practical Information

Information about housing, visa & residence permit, insurance and other facilities can be found on the practical information page.