Geneva, a cosmopolitan city and a premier site of global negotiations and critical economic policies, is the prime location to earn a Master’s degree. The University of Geneva (UNIGE) (Switzerland) is a highly regarded institution serving an international mix of students and teachers.

The University of Geneva

Founded in 1559, UNIGE features intellectual heritage and a cutting-edge research centre as well as fully equipped library and sports facilities. Ranked among the top business schools in the world, UNIGE is Switzerland’s second largest university with 16,300 students representing over 150 different nationalities, and its Continuing Education covers a wide variety of fields such as science, medicine, humanities, social sciences, liberal arts, and law. As a protagonist of the digital revolution, UNIGE is a pioneer in the use of digital technologies in all its sectors of activities.

UNIGE Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM), created in 2014, offers two unique MBA options, the International Organisations MBA (IOMBA) and the Executive MBA (EMBA), both of which emphasise the university’s key principles and educational approaches: multidisciplinarity, quality, international dimension, and partnerships. As part of GSEM Executive, the MBA programme has built a reputation for first-class executive education over the last 25 years, and experienced a myriad of changes to respond to ever-evolving market demands in a dynamic city that is at the intersection of business and international public affairs.

UNIGE is among the top institutions in the league of European Research Universities. The university enjoys a privileged international reputation, a claim gained in part thanks to its strong ties with many national and international Geneva-based organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, the International Telecommunications Union, and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. In particular, the IOMBA attracts world-class future managers of international organisations, international non-governmental organisations, and transnational corporations from around the world. The IOMBA programme meets the needs of these multidimensional candidates with its offer of 24 modules (totalling 90 ECTS), that can be completed in one, two, or three years. IOMBA faculty have an extensive and international background working in such prestigious institutions. The modules are divided into three distinct themes: The Global Context—which includes studies of the United Nations’ strategy and leadership; Business Fundamentals—which looks at emerging markets and international management challenges; and Professional Development—which fosters creative problem solving.

UNIGE MBA Programmes and Specialisations

The ideal IOMBA candidate is between 25 and 35 years of age and has at least five years’ work experience in either the private or public sector.

The EMBA track is structured to ensure that participants gain leadership training through active participation and a corporate executive philosophy. This part-time MBA provides executives with a first-class general management education without interrupting their careers, while helping participants to build foundational skills and confidence so that they can expand their capacity to lead and face cross-functional challenges.

Since September 2016 the EMBA has offered a compressed block schedule format in addition to the traditional bi-weekly structure. This new compressed format allows students from across the globe more flexibility when completing courses with only 3-4 trips per year to Geneva. Candidates take a full day of courses for several days every two months and participate in virtual courses in the intervening months. It is an ideal format for the international student who is mindful of travel time, as well as the local Geneva student with a demanding full-time workload.

During the first year, candidates choose either the traditional bi-weekly structure, wherein students meet on alternate weekends, or the compressed block structure. Upon completion of the 12 core modules in the first year, students join one of the two flagship EMBA curricula, the International Management or the Entrepreneurial Leadership programme, or one of the 15 GSEM Executive EMBA specialisations proposed either in French or English.

International Management provides participants with the specific capabilities and skills required for a higher management position in a multinational company or organisation, while Entrepreneurial Leadership aims to develop participants’ professional agility to seize opportunities and to exploit the digital transformation in today’s fast-moving environment. The EMBA encourages lively interaction between students and professors and stimulates the sharing of knowledge through group work. The participants’ learning experience is further enhanced by corporate work projects, in-class discussions, and presentations, which build on their previous experience. Participants receive personalised evaluations and feedback throughout the programme.

Among the other specialisations, two also offer a block format structure as of September 2017 –Aviation Management and Commodity Trading. The Aviation Management programme enables tomorrow’s aviation leaders to better comprehend the challenges and growth opportunities in an industry that shows the potential for significant volume growth. The Commodity Trading programme is enhanced by the Geneva area, in that nearly 40 percent of all international commodity trading takes place in the city. Participants have the opportunity of specialised and continual training in this valuable sector. In addition to these distinctive programmes, second-year students can also pursue the following specialisations in English: Corporate Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurial Leadership, International Management, Management for Non-Profit Organisations, and Strategic Marketing.

The ideal EMBA candidate is between 35 and 45 years of age and has an average of 12 years of work experience. The candidate is an aspiring business leader seeking a career change or professional development opportunities. To receive an EMBA degree, each participant must complete 90 ECTS, including 24 modules, and an EMBA Project, to be completed within two years.

Stats and Facts

UNIGE offers reasonable class sizes (approx. 25-35 students per class), flexibility of courses, and – as one would expect from a university of this calibre – UNIGE MBA programmes are accredited by the Association of MBAs, lending credibility and reliability to today’s candidate in search of a top MBA degree. The learning experience at UNIGE MBA is beneficial to students and businesses alike, as participants invariably face the challenges and changes found in organisations and businesses. Candidates learn to sustain their drive and determination in their work throughout their MBA courses, and complete their studies with a renewed sense of purpose and a more marketable skill set.

Quick overview of GSEM Executive & MBA features:

  • A wide diversity of EMBA specialisations (approx. 15 in the 2nd year)
  • Personal Development Programme (PDP)
  • Flexibility & modularity of courses
  • Reasonable class size (approx. 25-35 students per class)
  • Diversity of participants from over 35 different nationalities
  • Wide range of professionals from both the private and public sectors
  • Active alumni networking events
  • Accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA)
  • Excellence of academic staff
  • Cutting-edge research centre & various university facilities including a fully equipped library, and sports activities
  • Over a dozen events organised at the university gathering students, alumni, and professionals
  • Two course structures available: traditional bi-weekly format or compressed block structure

Meet UNIGE MBA representatives

UNIGE MBA representatives participate in various fairs and forums in Switzerland and abroad. You can also attend several information sessions organised at the university during the spring and autumn.

For further information, please contact:

IOMBA: I Philippe De Castro
EMBA: I Sun Zuchuat