Our Curriculum

The MIL grants students great flexibility to tailor their studies to meet their own preferences. Students can select courses from the MIL’s own tailor-made, rich, and diverse offer of courses as well as from offers by other master programmes.


A distinctive feature of the MIL curriculum is the carefully arranged combination of mandatory courses and electives. Three mandatory courses ensure that students will acquire a sound general understanding of the normative and analytical framework of international law. At the same time, a rich offering of electives enables them to specialise in selected topics in law, management studies or political science.

The Master in International Law is designed for a study duration of 3 semesters. A total of 90 ECTS must be completed in order to successfully graduate. 

A distinctive feature of the MIL curriculum is a carefully arranged combination of mandatory courses and core electives. Three courses are mandatory for students to take: “The International Legal Order” and “Foundations of International and European Business and Economic Law” in fall term, and “Global Governance” in spring term. These three courses allow students to acquire a sound understanding of the normative and analytical framework of law and governance. Each of the courses is taught by an acclaimed teacher belonging to tenured St. Gallen faculty, namely B. Fassbender, T. Burri, and C. Frei.

The MIL also offers two popular introductory courses in fall term (“Introduction to Meth-ods and Thinking in Law” and “Introduction to International and European Law”) that are designed to bring up to speed those students who have enjoyed less legal education during their previous studies. For those students, these two courses may be mandatory to take and pass.The MIL, in turn, does not require any of its students to pass supplementary credits on the bachelor level to make up for deficiencies in legal education.

The MIL offers a carefully curated set of core elective courses. These courses are designed to deepen the students’ understanding of law, including highly specific international legal regimes. Since most students spend at least three terms to complete the MIL, most courses are offered only every other year. This two-year cycle is one of the reasons why the MIL’s curriculum is so diverse. It also allows the MIL to have the very best international teachers on board. Though subject to change, core electives are typically offered as follows:

2-year cycle MIL

The Master’s thesis allows students to focus on a research question in a subject area of their choice and produce a written piece of scholarship. The thesis is marked and awarded with 18 ECTS. The subject of the MIL thesis must be broadly related to international law and normally be written in English.

Contextual Studies complement the MIL's core studies. They include courses in Skills and in different Concentrations.

Practice credits are awarded for practical activities which are closely related to the MIL, such as internships at law firm, courts, national and international authorities, organisations and NGOs, projects and mandate in various settings.

Information about Assessment Year