Master's in Geography

Geographers build bridges between diverse fields and disciplines. They frequently assume the role of mediators between the humanities and natural and social sciences. In order to do this, geographers not only need to obtain a clear overview of the various fields of geography (Physical Geography, Human Geography and Geography of Sustainability), they also must have extensive knowledge in at least one of these fields. The numerous connections between geography and other disciplines and the knowledge and skills gained through such links are very much in demand in many professions today.

The Master program in Geography builds upon the knowledge acquired in the Bachelor program by offering a specialized yet also interdisciplinary education that allows students to pursue various careers: Geographers can be found in public agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, development organizations and consulting firms. Some work as teachers in upper secondary schools, while others pursue an academic career and specialize in a specific field of research.

Master Geographie
Basic information
Degree: Master of Science in Geography, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Mono 120 ECTS credits
  • Major 90 ECTS credits

Offer for other degree programs:

  • Minor 30 ECTS credits
Combination possibilities several
Duration: 4 semesters
Languages: 50 % German / 50 % English
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

The Master program in Geography consists of 120 ECTS credits. These credits can be earned with a broad range of courses in all fields of geography, whereby students expand their theoretical and methodological knowledge (preferably in the first semester) through coursework for a total of 60 ECTS credits. The Master in Geography at the University of Bern is a "Research Master," which means the master thesis plays a very important role. The thesis therefore accounts for 60 ECTS credits and is written over a period not exceeding 18 months. This master thesis is embedded in the research activities carried out in individual research units. In other words, students select a topic from one of the research units and also choose an advisor who specializes in the chosen topic. The master thesis supplements the broad-based knowledge gained through coursework by allowing students to specialize in an area of fundamental or applied research of their choice. Field work can be carried out in Switzerland or abroad. We recommend that students choose an interesting topic for their master thesis when they begin their Master program. This ensures they will have enough time to write the thesis and attend those courses that support their work on the topic.

The Master program in Geography can be completed as a single-subject (mono) Master with 120 ECTS credits, or with a major (90 ECTS credits) and a minor (30 ECTS credits).

Any subject taught in a sufficient scope at the University of Bern can be chosen as a minor for the major of 90 ECTS credits. However, students are not permitted to have a major and minor in the same branch of study.

Program structure
Mono / Major ECTS
Minor ECTS 
90  30 
Minors you may choose

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Geography (mono or major):

a) Bachelor's degree in Geography from a Swiss university
b) Bachelor's degree from a recognized Swiss university, provided that at least 60 ECTS credits were earned in Geography and that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum of 60 ECTS credits or

Bachelor's degree from a recognized foreign university with equivalent qualifications, provided that with the additional achievements of a maximum of 60 ECTS credits the necessary requirements for the successful completion of the of the Master's degree program can be acquired.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minor as presented in the plan of studies.

The degree used for assessment purposes may not be more than ten years old.

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M Sc in Geography, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application
Steps from application to registration

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Once you have met the specific requirements for the degree, you can register for the completion of the degree with the Dean's Office. You will find more information on the degree completion process here.

Most graduates of the Master program end up working in the following areas:

  • Spatial analysis, spatial planning and consulting (e.g. location analyses, policy consulting, analysis of natural dangers), nature conservation and environmental protection, local, regional and nationwide planning; federal, cantonal and municipal agencies, private engineering bureaus etc.
  • Professional training; teaching at secondary schools, teaching and research at universities
  • Information and documentation: Geoinformatics, media, public relations
  • Development projects: Tourism, regional development, resource utilization (positions in Switzerland and/or in developing countries)