Master of Arts in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping

General information

The Master of Arts in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping has been created with professionals, this unique academic programme has been designed to respond to a need identified by Geneva’s commodity trading, commodity finance, and shipping community itself. The Master is designed for young students with a Bachelor degree with no or less than 3 years of work experience. If you have more than 3 years of work experience, in any field of expertise, you can apply to the Diploma of Advanced Studies in Commodity Trading (DAS). You will find more information on the website by clicking here.

Taught fully in English, the Master of Arts in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping is an intensive 18-month program plus a mini-thesis. Students would also work part-time as a trainee at one of Switzerland’s many trading, shipping, specialised commodity finance banks or services companies related to these activities. This Master's program comprises 90 ECTS, being a total of 72 ECTS for the 24 modules, plus 18 ECTS for the mini-thesis.

The academic curriculum consists of 24 modules structured into three complementary sections: Components of Trading; Commodity Hedging and Price Risk; and Commodity Finance and Financial Risk Management, a detailed description of which is provided in the links to the right. The student then completes a thesis. The format is a mix of lectures and case studies, plus field research in terms of the thesis. Student assessment emphasizes group work, which brings the benefits of a mix of students working for different businesses, bringing various sector backgrounds together. This approach embodies the collaborative environment in which students will operate.

There are eight modules per semester. Each module lasts 24 hours. An exam takes place after each module. The module is run either over four days (two Friday afternoons and two Saturday mornings) and exceptionally over three days (all day Thursday, a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning).


Why a Master in Trading at the University of Geneva

  • To meet a growing demand from a flourishing industry
  • A unique environment for students to put into practice the theory learnt in class
  • The only program in Commodity Trading with a link between the academic and professional world
Contact Person: Eliane Palivoda Herren (Program Coordinator) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law", "0031 - Project management", "0413 - Logistics and shipping operational management", "0311 - Maritime economy


Venue: HEC, University of Geneva
Genève, Switzerland

Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales
UNI MAIL - Office 3340 (3rd Floor)
Bd du Pont-d'Arve 40
1211 GENEVE 4 


Open from
1 Jan 2017 to 28 Feb 2017


A quality Master's programme represents a significant investment of time, effort and money.

Under the partnership that has been arranged for this Master's programme with the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA), the student's salary and tuition are paid by the student's place of employment. The cost of the Master is CHF20'000 for companies members of STSA and CHF26'000 for non-members.The list of STSA members is NOT disclosed.

Students pay the normal student fee of CHF 500 per semester directly to the University. 


Given the unique nature of the program, and its small class size, successful applicants to the program must have:

  • An undergraduate (bachelor) degree (not necessarily in Finance) with a good overall average of grades, min. B on ETCS scale, from a university recognized as equivalent to the standard of the University of Geneva.
  • A GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) score of at least 500 (and not the GRE).
  • Internship in a recognized trading, shipping, specialised commodity finance bank or services company related to these activities, in Swiztzerland.
  • Good knowledge of spoken and written English as the program is taught in English.

Application Procedure:

Registrations for September 2016 are now closed. Next registration will open early January 2017 and close 28 February 2017.

The program starts every year in September. 

The admission process is quite long and is divided into three stages, all information can be found here

The first thing to do is to enroll on-line on the website of the University of Geneva. Your application file must contain:

  • The two official registration forms duly filled and signed.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • if you are a foreigner already in Geneva, please add a copy of your residence permit.
  • The Equivalency form duly filled and signed.
  • Certified copies of your university and high school degrees - for swiss diplomas no need to certify your copies.
  • Candidates who graduated from a "Haute Ecole Suisse" please include a copy of your "attestation d'exmatriculation."
  • A copy of your GMAT score (minimum 500 points).Our institution code for reporting your GMAT score is 651-QT-61 (The GRE cannot replace the GMAT). You can print your score at the end of the test and add the copy to the application file.
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional) in English.
  • A complete CV including your high school, College, University education with your picture, your nationality with permit status if you have one, birth date and GMAT score.

More detailed information is available here.


Academic level: Master


In order to obtain the Master of Arts in International Trading, Commodity Finance and Shipping, students must attend each course, hand in all assignments, and write all exams. Any absence must be justified appropriately. An overall average of 4.0 must be achieved in order to graduate, and not more than three marks between 3.0 and 4.0 will be accepted. A mark lower than 3.0 will automatically disqualify the student from obtaining the degree.

Qualification: Master of Arts

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