FAQs

Most questions prospective students may have will be answered by reading the information on our website. Please make sure that you have read our information on admission and structure of the program as well as the application guide

Of course you are welcome to get in touch with us in case there are open questions.

 


GRE

information on the GRE by ETS: external link

Is it mandatory to hand in a GRE score report?
Yes, the admission committee has decided that it is compulsory to take the GRE exam.

I have no chance to do the GRE test before the application deadline. Am I still eligible to apply?
No. The admission committee only reviews complete applications that include all the required documents. Please make sure to take the GRE test early enough for the score reports to arrive at BGSE in time.

What is the minimum GRE score I need to have in order to become a successful applicant?
The average quantitative GRE score of our successful applicant has been 165. There is no point in applying if your GRE quantitative score is below 160. If you have not reached 160 points we recommend to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your score.

You only set minimum GRE scores for the quantitatve section, are the other sections not important?
If your quantitave score is satisfactory, your GRE meets the requirements for a succesful application, regardless of your other section scores. However, be aware that an overall good GRE does give a good impression about your abilities as a student and may enhance your application.

Can I send a photocopy of my GRE score report instead of the original?
Please upload an official copy of your GRE report and instruct ETS to give us official access to your scores so we confirm them via their online portal. Our institute number at ETS is 1359.  We cannot accept a screenshot of your score from your personal account with ETS.

Do you accept GMAT instead of GRE scores?
No, we only accept GRE scores.

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TOEFL / IELTS

 

Is is mandatory to hand in a TOEFL score report?
If English is not your first language or if the language of instruction of your previous studies has not been English (curriculum must have been taught exclusively in English), you need to do the TOEFL.

I have no chance to do the TOEFL before the application deadline. Am I still eligible to apply?
No. The admission committee only reviews complete applications that include all the required documents. Please make sure to take the TOEFL test early enough for the score reports to arrive at BGSE in time.

What is the minimum TOEFL score I need to have in order to become a successful applicant?
The minimum requirement  for the TOEFL iBT score is at least 100 with scores of at least 23 in each of the four sections. There is no point in applying if your TOEFL iBT score is below that. If you have not reached these scores we recommend to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your scores.

Can I send a photocopy of my TOEFL score report instead of the original?
You are asked to upload pdfs of the TOEFL with the online application (Note that the original has to be handed in prior to registration). We cannot accept a screenshot of your score from your personal account with ETS, it has to be a scan of the score ETS send to your per snail mail. Alternatively, you can instruct Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send the report directly to the BGSE. The ETS code number of the BGSE is 1359. 

Do you accept IELTS score reports instead of TOEFL?
Yes, we accept IELTS scores taken in the academic format. Please be aware that we have minimum requirements for your IELTS score: Overall 7.0; Reading 6.5; Listening 6.5; Writing 7.0; Speaking 6.5. There is no point in applying if your IELTS score is below that. If you have not reached these scores we recommend to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your scores.

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LETTERS OF REFERENCE

Is there a form / format for the letters of recommendation?
No, there is no form since we want your professors to be able to mention what they think is important. Preferably they should address the following two questions:

  • Does the candidate belong to the top 5% or top 10% of his or her cohort (size of cohort)?
  • Is the candidate likely to perform well in a competitive, structured Ph.D. program with a high analytic content?

 

The professors are also informed that the letter should have an official university letter head and it should be signed.


When you submit your application, the application portal automatically sends out an email to your professor, please note that this can take up to 24hrs.

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OTHER APPLICATION MATERIAL


My academic transcripts are written in another language than English or German. Do you need translations?

Yes, we need certified English (or German) translations of academic transcripts.

Can I send photocopies of my academic transcripts?
Yes, you can upload photocopies or digital transcripts. Once you receive an offer, you need to hand in the original sealed transcript.

An APS certificate is mandatory for my application since I received my degree certification from China, Mongolia or Vietnam. Do I have to send this with my application?
You can send your APS certificate with your application. It is however sufficient if you show us your APS certificate after you have received an offer from the BGSE. 

 

Is there a length requirement for the letter of motivation?

No, there is no formal requirement for the letter of motivation. It should outline the applicant's motivation to pursue the PhD program at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics and contain all information that you consider relevant for the admission committee to make their decision.

 

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MASTER DEGREE

I already have a master's degree. Can I directly start with the dissertation phase?

No. The courses of the combined M.Sc. Economic Research / Doctoral Program are on Ph.D. level. Therefore, a start after the course phase is only possible if you have already taken courses within another doctoral program or if you have a master's degree explicitly in economic research.  

The duration of our combined M.Sc. Economic Research / Doctoral Program does not differ from that of other comparable doctoral programs. The two-staged structure of a course phase and a dissertations phase gives our students the benefit to earn a (second) master's degree on the way to the doctoral degree.

Can my courses be acknowledged for the M.Sc. research track? 

If you have already successfully participated in courses at another recognized research master or Ph.D. program, you can ask for a course acknowledgment within the framework of the master regulations. A selection of which credits to be transferred is not possible (and includes failed attempts). 

If you decide against taking all 12 required courses of the M.Sc. research track in Bonn, the offer for a continuation to our Ph.D. programm will only be made after having written the master thesis in Bonn and after having found a first supervisor in Bonn. 

A grant during the course phase will only be offered if the complete course phase will be taken in Bonn. 

A direct application to the dissertation phase is not possible even if you have finished a research master elsewhere. The only exception is a successful application to our research training group or collaborative research center. 

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 START OF THE PROGRAM

Can I start studying at the BGSE during the summer semester?
No, the program starts only once a year in October.

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