Girish Mahajan (Editor)

European Graduate School

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Established  1994
Founded  1994
President  Hubertus von Amelunxen
Type  Graduate School; Private; Not-for-profit
Parent institution  The European Graduate School Foundation
Dean  Margo Fuchs Knill (AHS), Stephen K. Levine (AHS), Christopher Fynsk (PACT)
Location  Leuk-Stadt, Switzerland (Administrative Office); Saas-Fee, Switzerland; Valletta, Malta
Address  Steinmatte, 3906 Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Founders  Wolfgang Schirmacher, Paolo Knill
Notable alumni  Pablo Iglesias Turrión, Mina Cheon, John Most
Similar  Global Center for Advance, New York University, University of Amsterdam, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of California

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The European Graduate School (EGS) is a cross-disciplinary institution of higher education awarding Masters and Doctoral degrees within its two divisions: Arts, Health and Society (AHS), and Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought (PACT). Founded in Switzerland, the School operates on two locations: Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and Valletta, Malta.


The EGS is a privately funded international graduate school founded by the non-profit European Foundation of Interdisciplinary Studies. EGS is not recognized by the Swiss University Conference, the main regulatory body for universities in Switzerland.

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The European Graduate School was founded in 1994 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland as a private “summer university”. Its founding rector is the Swiss scientist, artist, and therapist, Paolo Knill. EGS initially offered Masters programs in Expressive Arts Therapy and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies. In 1996, it began offering PhDs in Expressive Arts Therapy. The early development of EGS was part of a broader initiative to develop a network of training institutes in Expressive Arts Therapy.

The PACT division of EGS was founded by Wolfgang Schirmacher. It was initially named the 'Media and Communications' division.


The Arts, Health, and Society division of EGS offers a Master of Arts (MA) in "Expressive Arts Therapy with a Minor in Psychology", in "Expressive Arts Coaching and Consulting with the option of a concentration in Education or Special Education", and in "Expressive Arts Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding". They offer a "Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies" (CAGS). The certificate program is a mandatory part of qualification for doctoral studies. It can also be taken alone as a continuing education certificate. AHS also offers a PhD in "Expressive Arts Therapy".

MA programs require three summer school sessions and the presentation of a written thesis. The PhD program requires two further years of summer sessions and a dissertation.

The AHS division of EGS has exchange agreements with the California Institute of Integral Studies and with Appalachian State University.


The division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought focuses on socio-political, philosophical, and artistic inquiry.

Faculty and guest lecturers give three- to six-day courses during four-week summer seminars. Students attend six seminars of 18 hours each. Visiting lecturers also give one-off 'evening lectures'.

As of 2004, studies involved two years of coursework, including online writing requirements based on a reading list, and two three-week summer seminars in Switzerland, during which students are evaluated for their participation in nine hours of seminars and lectures each day with visiting professors, philosophers, filmmakers, and artists and spend their final three years writing a thesis or dissertation, followed by a traditional oral defense. Students remain in contact with the university either via the internet or through meetings of so-called "hubs". EGS "hubs" are “decentralized organization of the university arranged in cities where a significant number of EGS students live".

Visiting faculty have included Giorgio Agamben, Chantal Akerman, and Pierre Alféri.


EGS is licensed as a university in Malta and is recognized in the Swiss canton where it operates, but is not recognized by the Swiss University Conference, the main regulatory body for universities in Switzerland.


European Graduate School Wikipedia