University of Geneva
  • No. Students: 16500
  • No. Staff: 5980
  • Study mode: 71 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: French, English
  • Phone:
  • +41223797111
  • Fax:
  • +410223797934
Ask Counselors

Photos of university

About the University of Geneva

The University of Geneva (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. 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. Today, the university is the second-largest university in Switzerland by number of students. In 2009, the University of Geneva celebrated the 450th anniversary of its founding. At least 40% of the students come from foreign countries.

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

  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)
  • Faculty Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)
  • Faculty of Law (Geneva Law School)
  • Faculty of Protestant Theology
  • Faculty of Psychology and Education
  • Faculty of Translation and Interpreting

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.

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.

History of the University of Geneva 

The University celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2009.  Jean Calvin was the driving force behind the creation of the Geneva Academy in 1559, the precursor of the present university.

The Academy was originally conceived as a theological and humanist seminary, the guardian of Reform doctrine.  During the Enlightenment distinguished scholars found inspiration here and new disciplines were introduced such as physical and natural sciences, law and philosophy. 

The Academy shed its ecclesiastical vocation during the political and social upheavals of the 19th century and, following the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in 1873, it became a university. 

Contemporary researchers continue to open up new frontiers of knowledge such as the discovery of exoplanets or superconducting materials while humanist values are still strongly integrated into both research and teaching. 

Student life @the University of Geneva 

Sports

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. UNIGE is home to the Geneva university championships in basketball, indoor football, rowing, badminton, outdoor football. 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. UNIGE also provides special schedules for students wishing to pursue their high level sporting career and to study at the same time.

Associations

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. 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.

10 reasons to study in Geneva

TOP-RANKED UNIVERSITY 

The University of Geneva stands out as one of the 150 best universities in the world. 

  • 66th Shanghai Ranking
  • 85th QS - World Academic Rankings
  • 107th THE - World Academic Rankings

LEADING RESEARCH INSTITUTION

Through its participation in the League of European Research (LERU), UNIGE stands out as one of the 20 best research universities in Europe. 

BROAD RANGE OF ACADEMIC FIELDS 

UNIGE is composed of eight faculties (Sciences, Medicine, Arts, Social Science and Economics, Law, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Theology and Translation and Interpretation). There are also several Interdisciplinary Centres.
UNIGE offers more than 280 types of degrees and more than 250 Continuing Education programmes covering an extremely wide variety of fields: exact sciences, medicine and humanities . 

WELCOMING MULTICULTURAL STUDENT BODY 

16'000 students of more than 140 different nationalities (37% of international students).

FRENCH-SPEAKING UNIVERSITY WITH ENGLISH PROGRAMS

LONG-STANDING TIES WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 

Based on its unique international presence in Europe, UNIGE has continously strengthened its ties with the international and nongovernmental organizations established in Geneva, such as the United Nations Organization (UNO), the World Health Organization (WHO)

STRONG INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK 

Multiple collaborations agreements with IOs/NGOs (with UN, UNITAR, UNDP, UNESCO, etc.)

Joint initiatives: InZone, UNIGE-WIPO Summer School in Intellectual Property Law, etc.

AN INTERNATIONAL CITY AT THE HEART OF EUROPE 

Host to several international organizations as well as offices of such multinationals as Procter&Gamble and Firmenich, Geneva is only a few hours by train from the major European capitals 

RICH SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SCENE 

Geneva is home to wealth of cultural institutions, such as the Grand Théâtre, an internationally acclaimed opera house, and many musical, cinematic and artistic venues  

WIDELY RECOGNIZED QUALITY OF LIVING 

Students in Geneva enjoy a unique setting. Rated third-higest in international surveys of quality of life (Source: Mercer Human Ressources Consulting, 2010), the city of Calvin enjoys an abundance of parkland and offers a wide range of leisure activities 

University of Geneva on map :

Study programs at University of Geneva :