Universität Bonn

Department of Economics / BGSE

Frequently asked Questions:  Application

Please make sure that you have read our information on admission and structure of the program as well as the application guide. 

You are welcome to get in touch with us in case there are open questions.

GRE

Yes, the admission committee has decided that it is compulsory to take the GRE exam.

No. The admission committee only reviews complete applications that include all the required documents. Please make sure to take the GRE test early enough for the score reports to arrive at BGSE in time.

The average quantitative GRE score of our successful applicant has been 165. There is no point in applying if your GRE quantitative score is below 160. If you have not reached 160 points we recommend to re-take the exam and applying once you have improved your score.

If your quantitative score is satisfactory, your GRE meets the requirements for a successful application, regardless of your other section scores. However, be aware that an overall good GRE does give a good impression about your abilities as a student and may enhance your application.

Please upload an official copy of your GRE report and instruct ETS to give us official access to your scores so we confirm them via their online portal. Our institute number at ETS is 1359.  We cannot accept a screenshot of your score from your personal account with ETS.

Yes, the GRE® General Test taken at home is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the test at a test center due to public health concerns.


No, we only accept GRE scores.


TOEFL / IELTS

If English is not your first language or if the language of instruction of your previous studies has not been English (curriculum must have been taught exclusively in English), you need to do the TOEFL.

No. The admission committee only reviews complete applications that include all the required documents. Please make sure to take the TOEFL test early enough for the score reports to arrive at BGSE in time.

The minimum requirement for the TOEFL iBT score is at least 100 with scores of at least 23 in each of the four sections. There is no point in applying if your TOEFL iBT score is below that. If you have not reached these scores we recommend to re-take the exam and applying once you have improved your scores.

You are asked to upload pdfs of the TOEFL with the online application (Note that the original has to be handed in prior to registration). We cannot accept a screenshot of your score from your personal account with ETS, it has to be a scan of the score ETS send to your per snail mail. Alternatively, you can instruct Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send the report directly to the BGSE. The ETS code number of the BGSE is 1359. 

Yes, the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Yes, we accept IELTS scores taken in the academic format. Please be aware that we have minimum requirements for your IELTS score: Overall 7.0; Reading 6.5; Listening 6.5; Writing 7.0; Speaking 6.5. There is no point in applying if your IELTS score is below that. If you have not reached these scores we recommend to re-take the exam and to apply once you have improved your scores.


Other Application Material

No, there is no form since we want your professors to be able to mention what they think is important. Preferably they should address the following two questions:

  • Does the candidate belong to the top 5% or top 10% of his or her cohort (size of cohort)?
  • Is the candidate likely to perform well in a competitive, structured PhD program with high analytic content?
     

The professors are also informed that the letter should have an official university letterhead and it should be signed. When you submit your application, the application portal automatically sends out an email to your professor, please note that this can take up to 24 hrs.

Yes, we need certified English (or German) translations of academic transcripts.

Yes, you can upload photocopies or digital transcripts. Once you receive an offer, you need to hand in the original sealed transcript.

You can send your APS certificate with your application. It is however sufficient if you show us your APS certificate after you have received an offer from the BGSE.

No, there is no formal requirement for the letter of motivation. It should outline the applicant's motivation to pursue the PhD program at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics and contain all information that you consider relevant for the admission committee to make their decision.


Master Degree

No. The courses of the combined MSc Economic Research/Doctoral Program are on PhD level. Therefore, a start after the course phase is only possible if you have already taken courses within another doctoral program or if you have a master's degree explicitly in economic research.

The duration of our combined MSc Economic Research/Doctoral Program does not differ from that of other comparable doctoral programs. The two-staged structure of a course phase and a dissertations phase gives our students the benefit to earn a (second) master's degree on the way to the doctoral degree.

If you have already successfully participated in courses at another recognized research master or PhD program, you can ask for a course acknowledgment within the framework of the master regulations.

If you decide against taking all 12 required courses of the MSc research track in Bonn, the offer for a continuation to our PhD program will only be made after having written the master thesis in Bonn and after having found a first supervisor in Bonn. 

A grant during the course phase will only be offered if the complete course phase will be taken in Bonn. 

A direct application to the dissertation phase is not possible even if you have finished a research master elsewhere. The only exception is a successful application to our research training group or collaborative research center. 


Start of the Program

No, the program starts only once a year in October.

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