Program Overview

Our two-year program Master of Science in Economics with a specialization in Economic Research (M.Sc. / Economic Research) prepares you for independent academic research, providing you with the skills to push the knowledge frontier in economics. It is the gateway to our doctoral program in Economics.

In fact, your admission to the M.Sc. / Economic Research program comes with a conditional offer (see table below) of progression to our Doctoral Program which lasts for another three years.

 Course phase (2 years)

The M.Sc. / Economic Research offers graduate level courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. With this comprehensive training, you will then be able to choose among a variety of advanced courses, especially topics courses that cover subjects at the current research frontier. Moreover, you will participate in one of the five weekly workshops and learn about our faculty’s research projects, meet advanced doctoral students and renowned guests. In your fourth semester, you will write your master thesis that will be the starting point for your first Ph.D. research paper. 

From the very beginning of the M.Sc. / Economic Research program, we can offer grants of € 1200 per month to a large number of students. Additional grants for the second year of the M.Sc. program and the following dissertation phase are available after a successful completion of the first-year course work. 

If you already have completed a master‘s degree with a less research-oriented focus, you will also enroll in the M.Sc. / Economic Research as the coursework, the early participation in the weekly workshops and the thesis are an integral part of the Ph.D. program. In addition, this structure offers you the opportunity to receive a second master degree as well as a doctoral degree in the course of a combined graduate program. 

+ Dissertation phase (3 years)

After the successful completion of the M.Sc. / Economic Research program you can start 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, postdocs, 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 write the papers that will become part of your thesis.

You will have the opportunity to visit one of our partners of the European Doctoral Program (EDP) or another leading university worldwide for a research stay abroad. This will allow you to extend your network beyond Bonn and to present and discuss your research with leading scientists working at one of our partner organizations.

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.

= Combined graduate program (5 years)

M.Sc. Economics / Economic Research

(two years)


Prerequisites for proceeding to the doctoral program

1st semester

3 Ph.D.-level basic courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, plus mathematics for economists, all 4 courses with a minimum average of 2.5

2nd semester

3 level-II courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics with a minimum average of 2.5

one selected M.Sc. course, preferably topics course*

3rd semester

2-4 selected M.Sc. courses, focus on topics courses*

furthermore: BGSE workshop participation

4th semester

0-2 selected M.Sc. courses, focus on topics courses*

furthermore: BGSE workshop participation, M.Sc. thesis,
find your first supervisor for the dissertation phase

* Students have to take at least three topics courses.


Doctoral Program

(three years)

1st year

brown bag presentation (1st semester)

find your second supervisor (1st semester)

work on and finish your first paper

2nd year

workshop presentation (3rd semester)

work on and finish your second paper

3rd year

find your third supervisor (5th semester)

work on and finish your third paper

submit your Ph.D. thesis

prepare for the job market

The participation in a BGSE workshop is expected during the whole program.

Additional offers: soft skill courses, conference participations, research stay abroad


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