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M.Sc. in Economics: Application and Admission

 The application deadline for the October 2020 intake has passed (April 30). We will accept applications to our Master program again in March and April 2021 for the October 2021 intake.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not influenced this timeline and no exceptions will be made.


We encourage students with a Bachelor degree in Economics and an interest in quantitative methods and economic theories to apply for admission to the M.Sc. in Economics of the University of Bonn. On this page, prospective students can find information regarding the application and admission to the program. If instead, you are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, you might want to apply for our Master in Economics with a specialization in Economic Research.

Table of contents

Quick facts

Rolling admission: No (fixed application period)
Application period: Once a year (March 1 to April 30)

Admission/Rejection: End of June
Start of studies: Winter Semester (October)
Application mode: Entirely online

Documents to be sent via postal mail: None
Language of documents: English or German
GRE/GMAT: Not required
Letters of recommendation: One, from your professor (see here)

Motivational letter: Not required

Degree required: B.Sc. or B.A. in Economics (3 or 4-year degree)
GPA required: German 2.3 or better
Background required: solid quantitative skills
English proficiency: B2 level (CEFR)
German proficiency: Not required

Number of applications: Typically around 1000
Cohort size: About 120 students

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Eligibility

Applicants are eligible if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. A Bachelor degree in Economics or an equivalent degree, e.g. a Bachelor degree in a related field with a focus on quantitative economics.
  2. A final Bachelor grade “good” or better, i.e. at least equivalent to the German grade 2.3.
  3. A solid quantitative background, i.e. in mathematics (differential and integral calculus, linear algebra), statistical methods (descriptive and inferential statistics), and econometrics.
  4. An adequate knowledge of English at level B2 CEFR, proven in one of the following ways:
    • IELTS test score of 6.0 or higher, TOEFL test score of 87 or higher, Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency.
    • Applicants who have received a degree from a study program taught entirely in English can ask their university to certify that English was the only medium of instruction in their program.
    • German applicants can provide their Abiturzeugnis if it certifies an English proficiency at B2 level.

Please note that rules and regulations compel us to consider only your Bachelor degree when assessing whether you meet the first two requirements.

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Required documents

This section lists the documents required for the application. Please note that failure to submit any of them or to follow the formal requirements, especially for the recommendation letter (see below), will result in the admission committee not considering the application. The only exceptions are the GRE test scores (not mandatory) and the degree certificate: students who have not received it prior to the application deadline may submit it upon receipt.

Applicants need to upload the following documents to the application portal (do not send them via postal mail):

  1. the relevant Bachelor degree certificate, including a certified translation if it is not in German or English. Students who have not received their degree certificate prior to the application deadline may submit it upon receipt;
  2. academic transcripts of the relevant Bachelor, including a certified translation if it is not in German or English. The transcript of records has to include the names of the courses and their grades;
  3. an up-to-date and complete curriculum vitae (in English or German). We do not require a specific format: if in doubt, applicants can use the Europass template;
  4. one letter of recommendation. Please ask one academic teacher to provide a confidential letter of recommendation to the BGSE (she/he will receive an automatically generated e-mail with instructions and an upload link within 24 hours of the application's submission). We will not accept the letter if it does not meet all of the formal requirements detailed below.
  5. the proof of English proficiency at level B2 CEFR by means of either:
    1. a TOEFL test score of 87 or higher. If you want to have ETS send the TOEFL test scores directly to us, please use the following code number: 7156 (University of Bonn, M.Sc. in Economics);
    2. an IELTS test score of  6.0 or higher;
    3. other internationally recognized language certificates, e.g. the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE);
    4. a document issued by the university of origin certifying that English was the only medium of instruction;
    5. an Abiturzeugnis if it proves an English language proficiency at B2 level CEFR;
  6. a bibliography written following this guide. Please read it carefully as we will not accept a bibliography that does not conform to the format shown in the guide;
  7. the APS certificate (only applicants with degrees from Chinese and Vietnamese universities). Applicants who have both the original APS certificate and the Nachzertifizierung are required to submit both;
  8. GRE test scores (not mandatory). Good quantitative reasoning scores in the GRE test can improve the chances of being admitted, especially for candidates who received their degreee from universities outside the EU. Applicants who want to have ETS send the GRE test scores directly to us can use the following code number: 7156 (University of Bonn, M.Sc. in Economics).

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Recommendation letter (formal requirements)

The recommendation letter is a central piece of information when evaluating the academic profile and potential of a candidate, thus one of your university professors (not an employer) needs to write and submit it. Applicants need to:

  1. reach out to the professor in time and notify her/him about the formal requirements detailed in this section;
  2. specify the name and the official university email address of the professor (NOT their private email address, e.g. GMail or Yahoo email address) in the section regarding the recommendation letter;

In particular, the letter must a) have an official university letterhead, b) be signed by the professor, c) address the following questions:

  • How do you rate the applicant's performance in comparison to her/his fellow students?
  • How do you assess the applicant's depth and breadth of knowledge in the field?
  • How do you assess the applicant's potential to perform well in a quantitative and research-oriented Master program?

Please note that your professor can upload the letter only once you have submitted your application. In fact, your professor will receive an automatically generated e-mail with instructions and an upload link within 24 hours of your submission of the application. In case of technical issues (deprecated link, wrong email address, etc.), the professor may directly send the reference letter from her/his official university email address to [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].

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How to apply

To successfully apply to the M.Sc. in Economics you need to follow these steps:

  1. make sure to be eligible;
  2. prepare the required documents;
  3. get in touch with one of your professors and ask her/him to write a confidential recommendation letter that meets our formal requirements: within 24 of your applicantion's submission, your professor will receive a link to upload the letter to the application portal;
  4. after having read the disclaimers, go to the online application portal (open from March 1 to April 30, from 7 AM to 10 PM CET), where you need to register, fill out the form and upload the required documents;
  5. once your application is complete, you need to submit it or else we will not be able to view and evaluate it (do not send it via postal mail).

Please note that failure to submit any of the required documents or to follow the formal requirements, especially for the recommendation letter (see here), will result in the admission committee not considering your application.

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Applying: what to pay attention to

Please note that:

  • inform the professor who writes your recommendation letter in time about the requirements that the letter needs to meet and its mode of submission (see above);
  • when asked about your final GPA, you need to enter the final grade of your Bachelor in Economics (or of the equivalent Bachelor degree), not the grade of your most recent Bachelor or Master degree;
  • the M.Sc. in Economics always starts in the winter term, thus you need to select the winter term (Wintersemester, WS) as your preferred start of studies (both options are provided because the application portal is used by various programs, some of which also start in the summer term);
  • when asked about your home address, please specify your permanent address or the one that is relevant for our VISA process (e.g. if you are studying in the US but are a Kazakh citizen, enter your Kazakh address, not the one in the US);
  • in the section regarding the recommendation letter, you need to specify the name and university email address of your professor (NOT your contact details, NOT the private email address of your professor);
  • once you have filled out the form and uploaded all the required documents, you need to submit your online application or else we will not be able to view and review it.

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After applying

Once the application has been submitted:

  1. your professor will receive (within 24 hours) an automatically generated e-mail with instructions and an upload link for the recommendation letter. She/he needs to upload the letter by May 4;
  2. we will contact you (within a week) to confirm the receipt of the application and inform you in case something is missing or does not meet the formal requirements;
  3. we will inform you about the final outcome at the end of June. Applicants are either admitted or rejected, there is no waiting list. Further, due to the high number of applications it is not possible to give individualized reasons for rejection.

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FAQ and contact

If you have questions or doubts please consult our general FAQ or application-specific FAQ before contacting us. Students who have submitted an application are kindly asked to mention their application number alongside their full name when contacting us.

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