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!
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 over 50 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
Many of our alumni have launched highly successful careers in a number of different sectors:
- International organisations like WTO, UNCTAD, WIPO, UNEP, ITC, ICTSD
- World Bank and regional development banks
- Diplomatic sector
- Ministries of trade, investment, finance and foreign affairs
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs
- EU Delegation / European Commission
- Private sector - PwC, JP Morgan, Audi Forum Ingolstadt, Syngenta, Novartis, Japan Tobacco International
- Leading law firms with a trade and investment practice
- Industry associations
- Non-governmental organisations
You will find a list of interviews with MILE alumni here.
Core elements of the WTI alumni network:
- Alumni meetings in different parts of the world
- Mentoring programme
- Information on job opportunities
- Social media and virtual platforms
For more information about our MILE alumni, please visit the Alumni section of our website.
MILE modules 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. Modular courses consist of lectures and case studies, offering students opportunities for classroom discussions, group workshops, and individual research.
External participants interested in attending weekly courses can join on an à la carte basis.
MILE modules (Semester I, 18 September – 22 December 2017)
MILE modules (Semester II, 8 January – 8 June 2018)
Non-Discrimination in International Trade
15 – 19 January 2018
Lecturers: Lothar Ehring & Gabrielle Marceau
Border Management I: Tariffs & Quantitative Restrictions
22 – 26 January 2018
Lecturers: Ilaria Espa & Paolo Vergano
Border Management II: Customs Procedures & Trade Facilitation
29 January – 2 February 2018
Lecturers: Davide Rovetta & Roy Santana
Trade Remedies II: Subsidies & Countervailing Measures
12 – 16 February 2018
Lecturers: Victoria Donaldson (TBC) & Victor Do Prado
International Investment Law I: Substantive Issues
12 – 16 March 2018
Lecturers: Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer & Rodrigo Polanco
International Investment Law II: Investor-State Dispute Settlement
19 – 23 March 2018
Lecturers: Georgios Petrochilos & Rodrigo Polanco
The Economics of Regional Integration
30 April – 4 May 2018
Lecturers: Joseph Francois & Frank van Tongeren
The MILE 2017-18 programme also includes a number of guest lectures. See the Events page for more details.
To apply, and for details of our requirements please click on the MILE application form (Word document) on the right.
Please send your complete application by email or by mail to World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland (subject line: Admission to the Master of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics).
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 least 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.
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 text 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 one year of study on the MILE programme is 21,000 Swiss francs for both full and part-time studies. MILE applicants will be considered for scholarships upon request by filling out the form in the 'financial aid' section.
Tuition covers all courses, master’s thesis supervision, a range of extracurricular activities, 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 5% 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 teaching in January and the third instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the Spring trimester (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 admittance to the MILE programme. Any charges incurred during transfer must be borne by the applicant.
All MILE applicants will be considered for scholarships upon request. Please fill out the form on the right and submit it together with your application.
Partial tuition waiver:
The WTI offers a limited number of partial grants (up to 25% of MILE/TRAIL+ tuition fees) to outstanding candidates.
Full waiver of tuition fees:
- International grant: this will be awarded to one outstanding student from an OECD country (see list) to follow the MILE programme.
- LDCs scholarship: this will be awarded to one outstanding student from an LDC country (see list) to follow the MILE programme.
The WTI cannot guarantee financial assistance to all students. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for other sources of funding.
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 awards 90 European Credit Transfer System Points (ECTS).
Course work accounts for 75 ECTS and the mandatory master’s thesis is awarded 15 ECTS.
Regular course attendance is required from 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 public international law, international economic law, international micro- and macroeconomics and global political economy. The second semester consists of modular courses based on lectures and case studies that deliver an in-depth analysis of relevant topics in international trade and investment.
During the second semester, at the end of each weekly course, students are given 24 hours to complete a written assessment. These assessments are designed to prepare students for real world cases and scenarios, and reflect what is expected of professionals working in the international trade community.
The MILE programme culminates in a challenging yet rewarding moot court – a simulation of a fictitious trade dispute between two countries in front of a panel composed of top WTO law experts.
Scholarships, Internships, Awards
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.
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). Initiated by Roberto Echandi, Investment Policy Global Lead of the Investment Climate Unit of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group, the Thomas Cottier Internship Programme allows one WTI master's student per year to pursue an internship at the Investment Policy and Promotion Team of the World Bank in Washington DC.
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.
World Bank Geneva Internship Programme
Initiated by Pierre Sauvé, Senior Trade Specialist within the World Bank Group and former WTI Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships, the World Bank Geneva 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.
WTI Advisors Internship Programme
International law firms offering internship opportunities to well-qualified WTI graduate students include:
- Appleton Luff, Brussels, http://appletonluff.com/brussels-office/
- Fratini Vergano, Brussels, http://www.fratinivergano.eu/en/
- VVGB, Brussels, Brussels, http://www.vvgb-law.com
The Thomas Cottier Award for Best Thesis
The 500-Swiss franc award is presented annually to one MILE student for the best thesis submitted. The award winner is selected by Professor Thomas Cottier, founder and former Managing Director of the WTI. The award was set up to honour his leadership and vision.