PhD in Political Science


Program Description

The Doctoral School of Political Science was accredited by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC) in 2002. The accreditation was confirmed by the following resolutions: HAC 2009. X. 2 (2009/7/XII/2/); MAB 2014. XII. 12 (2014/10/XIV/51/2/757). The Doctoral School is registered at the HAC with number DVA1818/I/2002. 

Basic Mission

The Doctoral School of Political Science (henceforth: DSPS) operates within the unit Corvinus Doctoral Schools of the Corvinus University, Budapest, under the supervision of the University Doctoral Council (henceforth: UDC). It is assisted by the staff of the Institute of Political Science and the Department of Public Economics and Public Policy. The DSPS may also invite other professors of the university and non-affiliated scholars to participate in its work. The DSPS provides the full curriculum and doctoral procedures in English.

General Rules

This part of the doctoral program comprises of four semesters. A total of 120 and a minimum of 60 credits per academic year must be earned. This part shall be completed by the comprehensive examination.


  • The DSPS provides mandatory and elective courses for doctoral students.
  • The list of courses shall be fixed annually for the next academic year by 30th June. Exceptionally, new courses may be added to the curriculum during the academic year. 
  • The language of study is English. In individual cases, the Head of the DSPS may permit the usage of the Hungarian language.
  • The CDS fixes the credits of courses. Normal courses (14 weeks, 90 minutes per session) are given 6 credits. Individually organized studies such as summer/winter universities, studies abroad, and the corresponding credits are justified by the Program Director. Credits earned by such studies cannot exceed 50% of the total credits earned by taking courses at the DSPS. 
  • Courses taught at the DSPS can be made accessible to doctoral students of other doctoral schools and the students of the DSPS can take courses for credits at other doctoral schools of the Corvinus University. In the latter case, the Program Director and the Supervisor of the student shall give prior permission. 
  • In exceptional cases, intensive (e.g. one week) courses can be organized, provided that the number of instructor/student contact hours is the same as in the case of normal courses.
  • Syllabi and requirements of courses are supervised by the CDS.
  • On an exceptional basis, the Program Director may prescribe taking graduate courses to first-year doctoral students and may permit taking such courses, provided that the mentor of the student agrees.
  • If a student fails to fulfill the requirements of the course, he or she must take it again. A second failure results in ending the program.
  • Total study credits must be between 48 and 60. 


  • Doctoral students shall submit a working plan each September (See Attachment 2.) They are expected to do intensive research throughout the 8 semesters. At the end of the third and the fourth semesters, they shall submit an updated Research Plan which is based on their dissertation topic. The first Research Plan will be presented in a Research Forum, the second is part of the Comprehensive Examination.
  • A total amount of 40 research credits must be earned. 
  • Credits shall be justified by the Program Director who may require certification of external research work. 
  • Credits given for publications shall be calculated according to the scores fixed in the UDR as determined in §24. (No research credits will be given for publications that appeared before this part of the doctoral program. However, all publications will be evaluated and given scores to before defense.)
  • The first Research Plan must reflect on the scholarly literature of the dissertation topic and must contain clearly formulated theses. (See Attachment 1 for further assistance.) The CDS can accept or reject the Research Plan and its presentation. An accepted Research Plan is honored by 10 research credits. Attending research forums is mandatory, absenting must be permitted by the Program Director.
  • Further research credits are calculated according to the following guidelines:
    • For conference/workshop presentations in native language: 3 credits (each); in a foreign language: 6 credits (each). 
    • For participation at draft dissertation discussions, public defenses: 1 credit (each). Total credits cannot exceed 6 during four semesters.
    • For various scholarly activities (e.g. database construction, fieldwork, organizing conferences, making interviews, editing publications) the main rule is 1 credit for 10 hours working.


Eligibility criteria include the following: 

  • University degree or an MA/MSc degree with honors (or equivalent) awarded in an accredited educational program as well as 300 credits obtained in either a single cycle or a two-stage university (undergraduate and graduate) education. Please note that non-master level MBA degrees are not accepted! 
  • Applicants without previous studies in the relevant field (but who otherwise meet all the entrance requirements) can be admitted provided that they take a number of “bridging” subjects during the first semester of their studies and pass the relevant exams.
  • For students graduating in the 2019/2020 academic year, the deadline for presenting the certificates is 2 September 2020. Admission for the given year is only conditional until applicants are able to produce their certificates. Priority shall be given to applicants who have won a prize in the relevant subject at the National Conference of Scientific Students' Associations ("OTDK"). A further advantage is proven researcher capacity (e.g. OTD, scientific publications). 
  • Proficiency in the English language is also a requirement. If the applicant does not have a language certificate in English, English knowledge should be proven in an interview organized by the Ph.D. Programme.

Information with regard to self-financing and scholarship:

The doctoral education program is full time and can be completed with state scholarship or through self-financing. The contents of the program are identical in both cases. All the students take part in the same courses, the only difference being in the form of financing. Students who are granted status with scholarship receive a state scholarship, the amount of which is HUF 140 680/month in semesters 1 to 4 and HUF 180 680/month in semesters 5 to 8. The relevant amounts are transferred to the student’s bank account by the University. 

The following students are eligible for state scholarship: 

  • Ph.D. students with Hungarian citizenship who apply for full-time education in an organized form.
  • foreign Ph.D. students who receive equivalent treatment with students of Hungarian citizenship on the basis of legislation or an international agreement. 

The time period of the payment of the state doctoral scholarship is 4 years (48 months). The amount of the scholarship is set out in Act CCIV of 2011 on Higher Education. In accordance with the Act, whereas the majority of the educational costs of students with a scholarship is covered by the state budget, the costs of self-financed education are borne by the student. 

During the program, all Ph.D. students may apply for funds to support their participation in conferences in Hungary and abroad.

For students to be admitted in 2020, tuition fees per semester for the 2020/21 academic year are as follows:

  • HUF 320 000 Hungarian-language program for Hungarian citizens and foreign (EU and EEA) enjoying equal treatment with Hungarians.
  • HUF 660 000 (regular tuition fee of HUF 320 000 + language contribution of HUF 340 000)  English-language program for Hungarian citizens and foreign (EU and EEA) enjoying equal treatment with Hungarians.
  • EUR 3 200 Third-country nationals.
Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

Corvinus University is Hungary’s most eminent educational institution in the fields of economics, Management, and Social Sciences. University-level education, just as in the most advanced countries o ... Read More

Corvinus University is Hungary’s most eminent educational institution in the fields of economics, Management, and Social Sciences. University-level education, just as in the most advanced countries of the world, started in Budapest in the1920s at the autonomous Economics Faculty of the Hungarian Royal University of Science. Read less