General Information

The Berlin School of Economics PhD Program provides outstanding doctoral students with a vibrant, intensively networked research community. The program develops the students’ talents in a unique combination of a high-level, academic research environment together with applied, policy-oriented research opportunities. Students receive state-of-the-art coursework training and can select into a wide array of specializations. For each specialization, a professional research environment is provided by Berlin’s universities and economic research institutes.

The BSE PhD Program offers four tracks: PhD in Economics and three business tracks (PhD in Accounting, PhD in Finance, and PhD in Management). During the application process, applicants are asked to give their preferred track. However, the track choice can be changed upon developing research interests during the qualification phase of the program. Despite different foci of the tracks, they all share a common structure in their curriculum.

The program's curriculum is divided in a qualification and a dissertation phase.

Qualification Phase

During the qualification phase (roughly three semesters), students acquire methodological and research oriented training in mandatory course work in economic theory, applied economics, business studies, econometrics, and economic policy. Students define their research area and find supervisory support. They write research proposals that are discussed with faculty members individually and in seminars in order to provide early feedback on the scientific potential of research ideas. This is a central part of the BSE PhD Program, in which the students have full flexibility in the choice of the research topics and of the supervisors. During this phase, students are funded through stipends that allow for this flexibility.

Dissertation Phase

During the dissertation phase (three years), students write their doctoral theses while having the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the professional research environment that is provided at Berlin universities and research institutes participating in the BSE. In this phase, students are typically employed at their supervisor's chair or in research groups of research institutes.

The PhD will be awarded by one of the BSE institutions with the right to award doctoral degrees. In most cases, the PhD is awarded by the institution a student's first supervisor is affiliated with.

In total, students have to complete a minimum of 90 ECTS in order to finish the program. The following chart gives an overview of the general structure of the BSE program:

Courses offered within the four BSE tracks

Within the four BSE PhD tracks, the following mandatory Core Courses have to be attended during the qualification phase:

In addition, the BSE PhD Program offers a broad variety of Elective Courses in Accounting, Behavioral & Experimental Economics, Econometrics & Statistics, Economic Policy, Finance, Management, Marketing, Public Economics, and Quantitative Labor that can be attended during the Qualification Phase. The Elective Course program varies over time.