International Programmes 2021/2022

Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE) Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE)

University of Bonn • Bonn

Dr rer pol (PhD) with integrated MSc in Economics (specialisation economic research)
Teaching language
  • English

All courses are taught in English.

Programme duration
9 semesters or more
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies

The semester starts in October 2022.

Application deadline

31 March for the following winter semester
For details on the application process and scholarships, visit:

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE) offers a two-stage graduate programme that combines demanding courses with early individual research in a supportive and intellectually demanding environment. Students finish the two-year course phase with a Master's degree specialised in economic research (MSc in Economics with a specialisation in Economic Research) and the three-year dissertation phase with a doctoral degree (PhD equivalent). Outstanding (top 10%) students holding a Bachelor's or Master's degree in economics or related fields (e.g., mathematics, statistics, business administration, accounting, and finance) are encouraged to apply for admission. The application deadline for the programme that starts in October is 31 March. There is an early admission round for applications that are completed and submitted before February. All BGSE activities are conducted in English. Grants are available. Our student body benefits from an excellent faculty and numerous collaborative research activities. BGSE alumni have excellent career prospects in academia and beyond.

The programme is especially designed for highly qualified students with a strong interest in quantitative economic research.

Course organisation

The programme consists of a course phase (12 courses up to the fourth semester) and a dissertation phase (three years). The MSc Economic Research offers graduate-level courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. With this comprehensive training, you will then be able to choose from a variety of advanced courses, especially courses that cover topics and subjects at the current research frontier. Moreover, you will participate in one of the five weekly workshops, learn about our faculty's research projects, and meet advanced doctoral students and renowned guests. In your fourth semester, you will write your Master's thesis. This will be the starting point for your first PhD research paper.

From the very beginning of the MSc Economic Research programme, we can offer grants of 1,200 EUR per month to a large number of students.

Even if you have already completed a Master's degree with a less research-oriented focus, you will enrol in the MSc Economic Research as the coursework, early participation in the weekly workshops, and thesis are an integral part of the PhD programme. This structure also offers you the opportunity to receive a second Master's degree as well as a doctoral degree in the course of a combined graduate programme. After the successful completion of the MSc Economic Research programme, you can jump straight into research and will be offered a grant for another three years. During these years of doctoral studies (dissertation phase), you will interact with other doctoral students, post-docs, faculty, and international guests in weekly seminars, reading groups, and summer schools. You will present your research projects in our workshops as well as at conferences abroad, and you will write the papers that will become part of your thesis. In addition to state-of-the-art training at the frontier of economic research, we offer an array of further training for a broader set of soft skills, e.g., training in presentation skills, project management, writing, or networking. Towards the end of your doctoral studies, you will benefit from our intense job market coaching, and you will proceed to a promising career as our many alumni have done in the past.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • Other
Description of other international elements

Our students benefit from a set of international exchange programmes. They can visit our partners in Europe (e.g., in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Florence, Leuven, London, Paris, Prague, Rotterdam, Toulouse) or overseas (e.g., UC Berkeley, Yale, Tel Aviv).

Integrated internships


Teaching/work obligations or opportunities

We encourage our students to apply for teaching assistantships at our department in order to gain valuable teaching experience (after finishing their second year of the MSc programme).

Special promotion / funding of the programme
  • DAAD
  • Other (e.g. state level)
Name of DAAD funding programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
The course of study can be taken entirely online
Digital learning and teaching modules
  • Online seminar
  • Mobile learning apps
Description of e-learning elements

Even though the University of Bonn is a traditional university and offers lectures in lecture halls, it additionally offers a learning management system called "eCampus".

Via eCampus, the students get access to course materials, and they can communicate and exchange information with teachers and fellow students using the internal mail service. Teachers can add "eLearning" units.

Participation in the e-learning course elements is compulsory
Can ECTS points be acquired by taking the online programmes?
Can the e-learning elements be taken without signing up for the course of study?
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

The semester contribution amounts to 313 EUR per semester for general social services. A semester ticket for public transportation is included in this service fee.

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

From the very beginning of the MSc Economic Research programme, we can offer grants of 1,200 EUR per month to a large number of students. Additional grants for the second year of the MSc programme and the following dissertation phase are available after a successful completion of the first-year coursework. Travel funds are available during the dissertation phase to support doctoral students in presenting their work at conferences.

Academic admission requirements

Outstanding (top 10%) students with a Bachelor's or Master's degree (or equivalent) in economics or related fields such as mathematics, statistics, business administration, accounting and finance are encouraged to apply for admission to the BGSE.

The application must be submitted online at

The following documents are required:
1) GRE score report (General Test Format; GRE quantitative score must be at least 160)
2) TOEFL or IELTS (if required)
3) two confidential letters of recommendation (sent by professors to BGSE)
4) letter of motivation
5) CV
6) academic transcripts
7) APS certificate (for applicants from China, Mongolia or Vietnam; included with the application or once they receive an offer)

Please see our website for detailed explanations on the required documents in order to submit them correctly.

Language requirements

English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL or IELTS score report if English is not your native language or if the language of instruction of your previous degree was not English (the curriculum must have been taught exclusively in English).

Minimum requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT score of at least 100 with at least 23 in each of the four sections
  • IELTS Academic score of at least 7.0 (minimum per section: reading 6.5; listening 6.5; writing 7.0; speaking 6.5)
Application deadline

31 March for the following winter semester
For details on the application process and scholarships, visit:

Submit application to

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Positions as teaching assistants are available to doctoral students in the advanced/dissertation stage of the programme.


The "Studierendenwerk" (student union) organises accommodation for students of the University of Bonn. Capacity is limited and students have to apply online at For further support, contact the BGSE office (e-mail: International students receive support in finding accommodation by the BGSE office and are contacted in due time.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Career advisory service

Our doctoral candidates benefit from an intense (academic) job market coaching. They participate in workshops on academic presentation skills and once a year, faculty invites all job market candidates to a job market training with a series of mock interviews.

The Bonn Graduate Center (BGC) offers additional training and orientation for doctoral candidates.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Other
Support programmes for international students

We assist international students in numerous ways, for example:
- finding a place at a student dorm for the first year
- individual assistance with visa formalities
- assistance with university related formalities
International students have the opportunity to use the many activities and course offerings of the International Office of Bonn University and the Welcome Center. International PhD students can enrol in German classes on different language levels that are offered by our department as well as by the International Office. The International Club organises student orientation activities, film nights, excursions, visits to companies, and concerts as well as parties at the end of each semester. Student associations at Bonn University cover a broad range of topics, from cultural activities to politics and religion. Some of the student associations are focused on individual cultures or countries, and some of them promote intercultural relations.

University of Bonn

An outstanding reputation in teaching and research as well as a unique location make the University of Bonn an especially attractive place to study.
Founded in 1818, the University of Bonn is considered to be not only one of Germany's but also one of Europe's leading research universities. As the home of learning to over 35,000 students, the University of Bonn is also one of Germany's largest institutions of higher education. It enjoys a long tradition as the alma mater of excellent students from Germany and abroad. Currently, more than 3,500 (10%) international students from all over the world contribute to the international character of the university and enrich both academic and social life in Bonn, making the university one of the most internationally oriented in the country.

University location

The city's charms are hard to miss. Bonn is a beautiful, historic city. It is known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and is peacefully located on the banks of the Rhine. Nonetheless, the city offers a vibrant and engaging environment to live, work and study. As the former seat of government, it still houses various governmental institutions, such as over 20 important United Nations agencies and 170 other international organisations. Bonn is also home to major corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile International and the Deutsche Post.