Ph.D. in Economics (Germany) Deadline: February 15, 2019

The Berlin School of Economics

Application Deadline

Feb. 15, 2019

Duration of the Program

4 Years

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Program Details

The Berlin School of Economics or BERA is a network of seven research institutions in Berlin dedicated to promoting the careers of postdoctoral researchers in economics and adjacent fields. In its five focus areas Recruitment, Research, Networks, Guidance and Skills, BERA offers a wide program to support its members in gaining further qualifications and develop their careers. 

The PhD Program at BERA unites the successful BDPEMS & DIW Graduate Center programs and incorporates the best of both in a single career development program. It provides outstanding doctoral students with a vibrant, intensively networked research community. The program develops the students’ talents in a unique combination of a high-level, academic research environment together with applied, policy-oriented research opportunities. Students receive state-of-the-art coursework training and can select into a wide array of specializations. For each specialization, a professional research environment is provided by Berlin’s universities and economic research institutes.

Please note that the BSE PhD Program offers  four tracks: PhD in Economics and three business tracks (PhD in Accounting, PhD in Finance, and PhD in Management). During the application process, applicants are asked to give their preferred track. However, the track choice can be changed upon developing research interests during the qualification phase of the program. Despite different foci of the tracks, they all share a common structure in their curriculum.

The curriculum is divided into a qualification phase and a dissertation phase. During the qualification phase (roughly, the first one and a half years), students acquire basic methodological and research-oriented training in mandatory course work, they define their research area and find supervisory support. They write research proposals that are discussed with faculty members individually and in seminars in order to provide early feedback on the scientific potential of research ideas. This is a central part of the BSE PhD program, in which the students have full flexibility in the choice of the research topics and of the supervisors. During this phase, students are funded through stipends that allow for this flexibility. 
During the dissertation phase, students are typically employed at their supervisor’s chair or in research groups of research institutes. This enables a close connection to their supervisor and to the specialized groups of researchers.

In total, students have to complete a minimum of 90 ECTS in order to finish the program. 

Eligibility/ Requirements

Applicants should have a Master’s in Economics or Business Studies and have performed exceptionally well in their studies. Applicants from related fields (such as Industrial Engineering, Statistics, or quantitative social sciences) may also fulfill the admission requirements if they have a sufficient background in Economics or Business Studies. 

All applicants must provide GRE General Test scores with their application. Most successful applicants score at or above the 90th percentile in the quantitative section of the GRE General Test. 

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency, unless they hold a degree from a university in an English-speaking country or can document at least one year of studies at an English-speaking university. Sufficient evidence for a good command of English is a high score in the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL) or the “International English Language Testing System” (IELTS). As a rule of thumb, successful applicants will score at or above 7.0 (IELTS) or 95 (Internet-based TOEFL).

Knowledge of German is not a necessary requirement for a successful application, but students are encouraged to learn and improve their skills. 
In addition, evidence of creativity and inclination toward research will be taken into consideration. Please note that it is not necessary to find a supervisor before applying to the BSE.

More details here

Application Process

Apply online here with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages)
  • Detailed curriculum vitae (without photograph)
  • Copies of academic transcripts and other certificates
  • Two letters of recommendation by academic referees
  • GRE scores (institution code 0096); If you are a business applicant, GMAT scores are also applicable; and IELTS or TOEFL scores if applicable.

Please complete and submit your application as quickly as possible, as referees must also submit their letter of recommendation before the deadline! Incomplete applications, as well as applications sent via email, will not be considered.

For more information, contact Daniela Centemero, Applications officer at or Tel: +49 30 89789‑547.

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