PhD at the Berlin School of Economics


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

With a full-time scholarship from Berlin’s top research institutes

Since 2019, three successful programs are united: the doctoral programs BDPEMS and DIW Graduate Center, together with the PostDoc career program BERA. Their member institutions have founded the Berlin School of Economics (BSE), a Berlin-wide career development program.

Program Introduction

The BSE seeks highly qualified post-graduate students from around the world to enroll in its structured program Ph.D. in Economics as well as in one of BSE’s three tracks in business studies: Ph.D. in Accounting, Ph.D. in Finance, and Ph.D. in Management.

The BSE provides outstanding doctoral students with a vibrant, intensively networked research community and a training structure that will develop their talents in a unique combination of high-level academic and applied research. During the course phase of three semesters, students deepen their knowledge of economic theory, applied economics, econometrics, and economic policy. During the three-year research phase starting in the third semester, students write their doctoral theses while having the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the professional research environment that is provided in Berlin universities and economic research institutes. In addition to courses and thesis supervision through BSE’s faculty, renowned guest lecturers are regularly invited to hold block courses or masterclasses.

As part of BSE’s programs, students can participate in internships or conduct research stays at universities. Past hosts for such extended visits include the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the Toulouse School of Economics, University College London, the University of California Berkeley, and many others. Furthermore, students will present their research at numerous workshops and conferences and will participate in courses and seminars held by leading international experts. The Ph.D. education also includes scientific skills workshops that help to prepare for a successful research phase and for the job market at the conclusion of the program.

Ph.D. students will receive funding for the expected length of the program, four years. For the course phase, funding is on the basis of a stipend, whereas the funding for the research phase is normally provided through employment at one of BSE’s member institutions: DIW Berlin, ESMT, Free University Berlin, Hertie School of Governance, Humboldt Universität Zu Berlin, Technical University Berlin, WZB Social Science Center Berlin.

After successfully completing the program, students will receive a doctoral degree from one of Berlin’s universities.


Applicants should have a Master’s degree in Economics or Business Studies. Fast-Track options are:

  • Available for applicants who are still on their way to a Master’s Degree. Applicants from related;
  • Fields (such as Industrial Engineering, Statistics or quantitative social sciences) may also fulfill;
  • Requirements if they have a sufficient background in Economics or Business Studies.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency unless they hold a degree from a university in an English-speaking country or can document at least one year of studies at an English-speaking university. Sufficient evidence for a good command of

English is a high TOEFL or IELTS score. Knowledge of German is not a necessary requirement for a successful application, but students are encouraged to learn and improve their skills. Applicants are also required to take the GRE test.

How to Apply: Applications will be accepted from November 15, 2020, onwards and can only be submitted through BSE’s admission portal.

Last updated Jul 2020

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About the School

BERA is a network of seven research institutions in Berlin dedicated to promoting the careers of postdoctoral researchers in economics and adjacent fields. In its five focus areas Recruitment, Researc ... Read More

BERA is a network of seven research institutions in Berlin dedicated to promoting the careers of postdoctoral researchers in economics and adjacent fields. In its five focus areas Recruitment, Research, Networks, Guidance and Skills, BERA offers a wide program to support its members in gaining further qualifications and develop their careers. Read less