Migration, Climate Change and the Environment (MA)


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


This program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and is only available at the Geneva campus in partnership with the UN Migration Agency (International Organization for Migration or IOM).

Program Description

The master of arts in migration, climate change and the environment (MAMCE) focuses on the migration, environmental degradation and climate change nexus. It provides tools to better understand and address migration in the context of climate and environmental change. 

The MAMCE provides students with an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of modern migration dynamics and policy developments and with an original lens of how migration policy connects to other policy areas. 

Students will gain specialized expertise in research methodologies, gathering and analyzing data and evidence on migration and environment, and will acquire the skills required to analyze the role of migration in international environmental law, especially climate change law. 

Moreover, the program offers the analytical tools to grasp the complexities of different legal regimes such as international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law. 

Students will identify the responsibilities of States and also non-State actors such as private companies, vis-à-vis migrants. The program also aims to help students gain insights into what it means in our contemporary world to work with migrants and communities, and to better understand how policy responses are evolving as migration trends are also changing.

The program also prepares students for more advanced studies and advanced research on migration.

Students benefit from the expertise of both academics and practitioners from the International Geneva and from a personalized approach.

Coursework provides exposure to issues such as globalization, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), human rights law, international humanitarian law, humanitarian action and economic development. The program prepares students to work in a governmental agency, an intergovernmental organization, a nongovernmental organization or a multinational corporation. This program is also recommended for students planning to pursue a PhD or an academic career at another institution.

The MAMCE will prepare:

  • Practitioners on public policies at the national level (migration policies and other policies related to development, humanitarian, disaster risk reduction, climate change, international migration law, human rights, etc.).
  • Practitioners on public policies at the regional level (regional organizations, regional consultative processes on migration).
  • Practitioners on public policies at the local level and in particular at city level dealing with migrant services.
  • Practitioners on public policies at the international level and in particular at the UN level.
  • Non-governmental sector and associations engaging with migrants and receiving communities and authorities.
  • Media with a migration focus.
  • International migration law and human rights practitioners.
  • Humanitarian, disaster risk reduction, urban practitioners.
  • Private sector: banks, insurance, data and knowledge companies.

 The MAMCE will also prepare for:

  • Advanced studies and defining a PhD project.

The degree requires satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of the MIGR curriculum, including a compulsory 6 credit hour thesis, and 6 credit hours of graduate electives for a total of 36 credit hours. 

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program will:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of several subfields of the migration, climate change and the environment disciplines. 
  • Demonstrate strong research skills.
  • Critically analyze events and issues concerning migration, climate change and the environment.
  • Apply theories of migration, climate change and the environment.
  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Program Curriculum

The 36 credit hours required for the master of arts (MA) in migration, climate change and the environment must include the following courses:

  • MIGR 5000 Introduction to Contemporary Migration Studies and Practice (3 hours)
  • MIGR 5100 Research Methods and Perspectives (3 hours)
  • MIGR 5600 Migration, Climate Change and the Environment (3 hours)
  • MIGR 5400 International Migration Law (3 hours)
  • MIGR 6250 Thesis* (6 hours)
    and MIGR 6900 University Thesis Requirement* (0 hours)
  • Two courses from the Issues Cluster (6 hours)
  • Two courses from the Skills Cluster (6 hours)
  • Migration and Environment Electives (6 hours)

*Students taking MIGR 6250 Thesis (6 hours) must also register for MIGR 6900 University Thesis Requirements (0 hours). MIGR 6900 acknowledges successful completion of all thesis requirements including conforming to university and departmental guidelines as well as depositing the thesis in the University library.

Issues Cluster (2 courses)

  • MIGR 5580 Migration and Health (3 hours)
  • INTL 5580 Politics of Development (3 hours)
  • INTL 5600 Area Studies (3 hours)
  • INTL 5700 Humanitarian Issues in International Politics: Refugees and Migration (3 hours)
  • INTL 5860 Issues in International Politics: Global Governance and Sustainable Development Goals (3 hours)

Skills Cluster (2 courses)

  • MIGR 5500 International Environmental Law (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5600 International Human Rights Law and Organizations (3 hours)
  • INTL 5400 International Political Economy (3 hours)
  • INTL 5530 International Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 5535 International Disaster Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 5540 International Organizations (3 hours)
  • INTL 5545 The UN in International Politics (3 hours)
  • INTL 5585 Food and Water Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 5595 Energy Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 5590 International Security (3 hours)

Migration and Environment Electives (2 courses)

Any additional courses from the two clusters above, or any of the following: 

  • INGO 5600 Principles of Negotiation (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5610 International Humanitarian Law (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5600 International Human Rights Law and Organizations (3 hours)
  • INTL 5300 Field Work (3-6 hours)
  • INTL 5500 Professional Seminars (1-3 hours)
  • INTL 6500 Internship (3 hours)
  • Any other graduate elective course (3 hours)

If a requisite course is waived, the student must choose an elective course from this major.


See the Admission section of this catalog for general requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution to:

Office of Admission
Webster University Geneva
Route de Collex 15
CH-1293 Bellevue, Switzerland

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.