Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Academy's LL.M. degree and the Executive Master?

There is no difference as regards the final diploma or the number of credits. Both the LL.M and the Executive Master are equivalent to a Master of Advanced Studies in the Swiss university system, and they both consist of 60 ECTS. However, the allocation of credits is works differently on the Executive Master. The Executive Master takes into account that participants in the programme are professionals working in the humanitarian field, wishing to advance their theoretical knowledge of the subject. To accommodate participants' work/study schedules a higher proportion of credits is attributed to the Executive Master thesis (21 credits); meanwhile, the courses are split into shorter modules, which facilitates study in one's own time. By contrast, the LL.M is designed for people who have just completed undergraduate or postgraduate studies and do not have much practical experience in this field. The LL.M is a professionalizing master, meaning it is designed to prepare students to work as professionals in this area of practice. Thus, the LL.M is a full time programme of study, whereas the Executive Master is a part-time degree.

Are there are any additional requirements for those wishing to enrol in the Executive Master?

Applicants wishing to enrol in the Executive Master must be professionals working in a field related to humanitarian law.

Is distance learning / online education allowed?

No. Residence in Geneva during the majority of the Executive Master is required.

Is is possible to start coursework in 2013-2014 and continue in 2014-2015?

As a matter of principle, this is now allowed. However, exceptions may be made in exceptional circumstances. Such a decision rests with the Director of the Executive Master.

What is the Executive Master Programme? What is the final exam like, and how much time do students have to complete the exam?

The coursework of the Executive Master is divided into four modules consisting of 5 courses. Each module finishes with a take home exam that participants have eight weeks to complete.

Is it possible to receive an internship once enrolled in the Executive Master?

No, participants in the Executive Master are practitioners, who do not need to acquire further professional experience.

What about visa requirements for Switzerland?

The Executive Master only has 9 hours of coursework per week, so it is very difficult to obtain a student visa (which is usually accorded for full-time study). The L Permit, as an alternative, is also very difficult to obtain. For more information on permits see the Swiss Foreign Office
website (

How much is tuition for the Executive Master and the LL.M?

Tuition (frais d’ecolage) for the two programmes is the same: 15'000 CHF. Discounts are available for the Executive Master; please check the Academy’s website for more information.

Can applicants who missed the deadline for the LL.M apply for the Executive Master instead?

The Executive Master is designed for professionals, and so only applicants with the required background and preparation will be considered.

end faq


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