Looking to embark on a rewarding career in international trade? Then you have come to the right place. The Master of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics (MILE) programme is designed for students and young professionals who wish to broaden their knowledge of international trade and investment in the fields of law, economics and political science.
Master's Programme (MILE)
Be a MILE ahead!
Why the MILE
What makes the MILE programme unique is the interdisciplinary approach to the study of international economic governance.Professor Peter Van den Bossche, WTI Director of Studies
Established in 1999, the Master of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics (MILE) is the flagship programme of the World Trade Institute. It is one of the world’s leading programmes of advanced studies in the field of international trade regulation and has close ties to the WTI’s research portfolio. The programme uniquely combines a multidisciplinary perspective with a strong applied focus. In addition to our resident faculty, we bring in the world’s leading trade experts from law firms, international organisations, policy research institutes and top universities.
What we offer
- A one-year, intensive graduate programme (can also be taken part-time)
- Teaching and guidance from world-class scholars and practitioners - recruited from leading universities, international organisations, think tanks and global law firms
- Highly applicable real-world knowledge and the latest research developments in international trade and investment regulation, and economics
- A vibrant alumni network with over 500 members worldwide
- Strong networks and mentoring programmes to help students secure internships and entry-level positions
What you bring
- The MILE is designed for students and professionals with a background in law, economics, international relations or political science, who wish to embark on a career in international trade and investment
For information about living and studying in Switzerland, click here.
MILE courses and faculty
The MILE curriculum is interdisciplinary, combining law, economics and political science. You will study the global economy, international macroeconomics and applied economics, trade facilitation, competition law, investment law, dispute settlement, trade remedies and much more. The WTI attaches great importance to its teaching methods. Courses consist of lectures and case studies, offering students opportunities for classroom discussions, group workshops, and individual research.
External participants interested in taking single weekly courses can do so on an à la carte basis, as a part of our Winter and Summer Academies. Visit the Winter and Summer Academy page for a current list of à la carte courses, course descriptions, and fee information.
Fall Semester Courses (16 September to 20 December 2019)
Global Economic Governance Seminars – Fall Series
16 September – 20 December
Course description here.
*Every session features an expert lecturer. Please visit the Events page for a current list of seminars.
**Other optional courses available at UNIBE
Winter Academy Courses (20 January to 14 February 2020)
Spring Semester Courses (17 February – 29 May 2020)
Global Economic Governance Seminars – Spring Series
17 February – 29 May
Course description here.
*Every session features an expert lecturer. Please visit the Events page for a current list of seminars.
**Other optional courses available at UNIBE
Summer Academy Courses (22 June to 17 July 2020)
We are accepting applications for the MILE programme starting in September 2020.
To be considered for admission to the Master of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics (MILE) programme at the World Trade Institute, we require you to have completed, at minimum, an undergraduate degree.
The majority of our students have a background in law, economics or political sciences. If you have a background in a different field, you are nonetheless encouraged to apply. A graduate degree in a related field and/or work experience in the field of international trade give you a bonus when the selection committee evaluates your application.
- To apply for the MILE programme, and for details of our requirements, please click on the MILE Application Form (Word document) on the right. IMPORTANT: Please follow the submission guidelines in the application form.
- To apply for a weekly course, please visit the Winter and Summer Academy page. Here you will find a current list of à la carte courses, course descriptions, and fee information.
Please send your complete application by email or by mail to World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
English language requirements
The MILE programme is taught exclusively in English and you need to arrive at the WTI with a level of English that allows you to fully benefit from the courses. In particular, your level of English needs to allow you to express yourself effectively in and outside the classroom, deliver on weekly writing assignments and adequately cover a weekly reading load of up to 200 pages.
When evaluating your application, the selection committee pays close attention to evidence of your proficiency in English. As is common for graduate programmes, you are required to submit objective test scores of one of the accepted tests listed below:
Test Minimum Score
TOEFL ibT 100 points or above
TOEFL Paper 600 points or above
IELTS 7.0 or above
Cambridge CPE C or higher
The following applicants are exempt from submitting test scores:
- Native English speakers
- Students with an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from an institution in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand, where English was the primary language of instruction and the degree was awarded no longer than five years ago.
You may apply for exemption from submitting test scores if you are:
- A student with an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from an institution where English was the primary language of instruction and the degree was awarded no longer than five years ago,
- A student who has completed at least one year of study in an English speaking country and at an institution where English was the primary language of instruction immediately prior to joining the MILE programme.
Please contact us if you are unsure of your exemption status and we will be glad to help. However, please be advised that exemptions from the language requirement are rarely granted. Important: Independent of your exemption status, you are required to fill in the section on English language in the MILE application form and submit a two-page essay in English as part of your application.
Tuition and registration fees
- Tuition for the MILE programme is 21,000 Swiss francs for both full and part-time studies.
- Tuition for single weekly courses can be found on the Winter and Summer Academy page.
Tuition for the MILE programme covers all courses, master’s thesis supervision, a range of extracurricular activities, and several trips to Geneva with visits to the WTO and other international and non-governmental organisations. Tuition does not cover travel costs, accommodation, health insurance, or any other expenditures incurred during your stay in Switzerland.
Tuition payments are not required until you have been accepted to the programme. You may benefit from either one of the following two payment methods:
- A 2% discount is applied if you pay your entire tuition fee prior to the first day of the programme (September).
- Alternatively, the first instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the programme (September), the second instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the second semester in January and the third instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day following the spring break (April).
- No discounts apply to tuition paid in instalments.
Application for the MILE programme is free. A one-time, non-refundable registration fee of 200 Swiss francs is required upon admission to the programme. We will provide you with bank details once we confirm your admission to the MILE programme.
Any charges incurred during transfer of the tuition fee or registration fee must be borne by the applicant.
Partial tuition waiver
The WTI offers a limited number of partial tuition waivers to outstanding candidates. Candidates pre-selected by partner universities of the WTI also benefit from a partial tuition waiver. Partial tuition waivers are in principle for the amount of CHF 3,000. All MILE applicants will be considered for financial aid upon request. Please fill out the form on the right and submit it together with your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for other sources of funding.
Full tuition waiver
A full tuition waiver will be awarded to one person for an outstanding performance during the Grand Final of the Final Oral Round of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition (formerly ELSA Moot Court).
MILE structure and regulations
The MILE is a non-consecutive Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) conferred by the World Trade Institute, University of Bern. The MILE programme counts for 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System Points).
Course work accounts for 75 ECTS and the mandatory master’s thesis is awarded 15 ECTS.
Regular course attendance is required from mid-September until the end of June, with the master’s thesis being researched and written over the summer. The programme can also be taken on a part-time basis within three years.
The MILE begins with a foundational semester during which students are given a solid basis in international economic law, international micro- and macroeconomics and global political economy. The second semester consists of courses based on lectures and case studies that deliver an in-depth analysis of relevant topics in international trade and investment.
As part of many of the MILE courses, students are regularly given writing assignments to be completed within a 12-hour time frame. These assignments are designed to prepare students for real world scenarios, and reflect what is expected of professionals working in the fields of international trade and investment.
The MILE programme culminates in a challenging yet rewarding moot court exercise – a simulation of a fictitious trade dispute between two countries in front of a panel composed of top WTO law experts.
The WTI internship programmes provide financial and/or other support to WTI master's students who wish to do an internship upon completion of their studies.
John H. Jackson Internship Programme
The John H. Jackson Internship Programme was set up to honour the legacy of John Jackson, the most influential academic of his era in the field of international trade law and policy. Prof. Jackson was a long-term friend and supporter of the WTI. Established in close consultation with his family, the Programme offers financial support to one WTI master's student each year to pursue an unpaid internship at an NGO or public institution. During his or her internship, the student will be expected to work on a multidisciplinary project relating to trade and/or investment law and policy.
Luzius Wasescha Internship Programme
Named after the late Luzius Wasescha, former Swiss ambassador to the WTO and long-term Chair of the WTI Board, the Luzius Wasescha Internship Programme allows one WTI master's student per year to pursue an unpaid internship at an international organisation, Geneva-based diplomatic mission, non-governmental organisation or law firm active in the field of international economic law and policy.
Thomas Cottier Internship Programme
The Thomas Cottier Internship Programme was set up to honour Thomas Cottier, the founder and first Managing Director and Director of Studies of the World Trade Institute (WTI). This Internship Programme allows one WTI master’s student per year to pursue an unpaid internship at an international organization, diplomatic mission, non-governmental organization or law firm active in the field of international economic law and policy.
Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca Scholarship Fund
The purpose of this Fund is to give financial support to WTI PhD and master students from developing countries to allow them to conduct research, to pursue advanced studies or to do internships in the field of international economic law and policy. In awarding financial support from the Fund, preference will be given to female students from Latin America. Decisions on the award of financial support are taken by the WTI Director of Studies.
Geneva Internship Support Fund
Funded by Pierre Sauvé, Senior Trade Specialist at the World Bank Group in Geneva, and WTI faculty member, the Geneva Internship Fund offers financial assistance to one deserving WTI master's student per year to pursue an unpaid internship at a Geneva-based international organisation, diplomatic mission or non-governmental organisation active in the field of international economic law and policy. Eligibility for financial support is contingent on a candidate’s selection to an unpaid internship in Geneva subsequent to completing WTI course work, financial need, overall academic performance at the WTI, quality of participation in WTI courses taught by the sponsor and propensity to laugh heartily at all his jokes. Students interested in being considered for financial assistance should send a short motivational message to Pierre Sauvé at email@example.com by 15 June. Funding decisions will be announced annually at the Closing Ceremony of the MILE and TRAIL+ programmes.
Internship opportunities at international law firms and organisations
Other internship opportunities to well-qualified WTI graduate students include:
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- I cannot decide whether to take the MILE or the TRAIL+ programme. How do the two differ?
The MILE has been our flagship programme since 1999 and taps into the expertise of the world’s leading academics and practitioners in the field of international economic governance. The uniquely multidisciplinary MILE programme includes law courses as well courses in economics and political science. Upon completion of the programme, the student is awarded a Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) degree, which is equivalent to a Master of Advanced Studies.
The TRAIL+ programme is a newly-launched programme which includes more law courses and fewer courses on economics and political science and is more suitable for students wishing to pursue a career as a practising lawyer or a PhD in law. The TRAIL+ programme is offered by the World Trade Institute in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the University of Bern. Upon the successful conclusion of the TRAIL+ programme, the student is awarded an LL.M. in International Trade and Investment Law, as well as a Diploma of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics.
- Which programme helps me qualify for a PhD in law programme?
Graduates of the TRAIL+ programme qualify for pursuing a PhD in law. They are eminently well qualified for pursuing doctoral studies in the field of international economic law. MILE graduates with an LL.M. or JD also qualify. However, MILE graduates with a BA, LLB or equivalent degree do not qualify.
- I am an alumnus / alumna of the MILE programme with a degree in law. Can I get my LL.M. retrospectively?
Please contact the WTI to determine your eligibility for the TRAIL+ programme. Please note, however, that credits already used to obtain the MILE degree cannot be used again to obtain an LL.M.
- Is the application process the same for the MILE and for the TRAIL+?
Yes. There are two separate forms to fill out with nearly identical information. Please refer to the 'Admission' section of our website for information on how to apply for each programme. The application requirements are the same for both.
- Why do both programmes have the same amount of ECTS points, but only one qualifies me for a PhD in law programme?
The TRAIL+ programme qualifies students for a PhD in law programme*, because the academic course offering of the Faculty of Law gives them the amount of ECTS points needed to receive an LL.M. (60 ECTS). In addition, TRAIL+ students take additional courses on international law and economics (30 ECTS). Hence the +. Students completing these courses are awarded, in addition to an LL.M. in International Trade and Investment Law, a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in International Law and Economics. Such students are eminently well prepared to pursue a PhD in international economic law.
TRAIL+ students have more law courses and fewer courses in economics and political science than MILE students. Both the MILE and the TRAIL+ programmes are demanding 90 ECTS programmes. The MILE programme is tailored to those students who wish to work in the field of international economic governance as multi-disciplinary experts, while the TRAIL+ programme is more suitable for students wishing to pursue a career as a practising lawyer in this field or wishing to pursue a PhD in law.
- I am currently employed and want to take the MILE or the TRAIL+ programme on a part-time basis. Is this possible?
Yes, TRAIL+ and MILE courses can be taken on a part-time basis over a two to three year period. If you are interested in taking a programme part-time, please indicate so on your application form. Upon admission to the programme of your choice and in consultation with the WTI Director of Studies, you will be able to pursue the programme on a part-time basis.
- I see that it is possible to receive financial aid for the MILE programme. How about the TRAIL+ programme?
All MILE and TRAIL+ applicants are, on request, considered for financial aid. For more information on financial aid, visit the 'Financial Aid' section of our website.
* Article 6 (1) of the Promotionsreglement of the University of Bern Law Faculty stipulates that law students must have received grade 5 or higher in their LL.M. degree to be admitted to the Faculty's PhD programme.
Students at the WTI can look forward to a range of extra-curricular activities during their time in Bern.
In September, students are invited to join the Director of Studies for a walk down the Gurten mountain, one of Bern’s iconic view points, followed by a welcome apéro.
Students also have the opportunity to attend the WTO Public Forum and the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Geneva, both of which are excellent platforms for networking and getting significant insights into the world of trade law and investment.
In-house, we organise an annual table football competition in which students, professors, researchers and staff members alike can participate and compete against each other. The competition involves a preliminary round, a semi-final round and final round.
In addition, Bern has some noteworthy public events and traditions scattered throughout the year which will undoubtedly add to a positive experience during your time here. More information can be found on www.Bern.com.