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Admission Requirements Doctoral Program (with integrated M.Sc. Economic Research)



We encourage outstanding (top 10%) students with a university degree (bachelor or master) in economics or related fields, such as mathematics, statistics, business administration, accounting, and finance, to apply for admission.

The online platform for applications opens at the beginning of January.

Application deadline for the program starting in October is March 31.

There is an early admission round for complete applications handed in before February 1. Please note that successful candidates of the early admission round will be asked to accept the place before the end of March.

We will accept documents in either English or German. If you have documents written in other languages, you will need to provide a certified translation in either English or German. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered. In particular, letters of recommendation and other necessary documents that arrive after the deadline imply that the application is incomplete.

If you have not yet completed your university degree but will do so before the BGSE program starts, you are of course also invited to apply. In that case, you will be asked to enter relevant information about your current studies during the online application process.

PLEASE NOTE: You will need to present a GRE score report and two letters of recommendation to be considered for a scholarship as well as for the conditional offer for the doctoral program. If you do not intend to go for a doctoral degree, you may want to apply for our regular M.Sc. in Economics.



You will need the following documents to apply for the M.Sc. / Economic Research program (incl. grant application and conditional offer to proceed to our doctoral program):

(1)    GRE

(2)    TOEFL or IELTS (if required)

(3)    two letters of recommendation (uploaded by your professors)

(4)    letter of motivation

(5)    CV

(6)    academic transcripts/certificates

(7)    APS certificate (if required)


(1)    GRE score report (General Test Format)*

The average quantitative GRE score of our successful applicants 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 you to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your score.

You will need to present a GRE score report to be considered for a scholarship as well as for the conditional offer for the doctoral program.

(2) TOEFL or IELTS (academic format) score report is required if English is not your first language or if the language of instruction of your previous degree is not English (curriculum must have been taught exclusively in English)*

A TOEFL iBT score of at least 100 with at least 23 in each of the 4 sections is the minimum requirement.

IELTS in the academic format is also accepted. The minimum requirements for your IELTS score is overall 7.0; reading 6.5; listening 6.5; writing 7.0; speaking 6.5.

There is no point in applying if your TOEFL iBT or IELTS score is below that. If you have not reached these scores, we recommend you to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your scores.

(3) Furthermore, you need to ask two of your academic teachers to provide a confidential letter of recommendation to the BGSE.

Please ask your professors to preferably address the following two questions:
- Does the candidate belong to the top 5% or top 10% of his or her cohort (size of the cohort)?
- Is the candidate likely to perform well in a competitive, structured Ph.D. program with a high analytic content?

Once you have completed your application, your professors will get an automatically generated email (this may take up to 24hrs) with some instructions and an upload link.

WHEN SUBMITTING YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION, be prepared to also have the following documents ready as pdf files for uploading:

(4) letter of motivation,

(5) curriculum vitae,

(6) academic transcripts (transcript of record, university certificate/s, diploma supplements - of all degrees you have obtained or are currently pursuing).

(7) APS certificate mandatory for applicants with a degree certificate from China (exept Hong Kong) or Vietnam; included with the application or once having received an offer.


* We recommend you to instruct Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send the score report directly to the BGSE. The ETS code number of the BGSE is 1359. In exceptional cases you can upload a PDF of the GRE score report 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.

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