Central European University (CEU)

Political Science, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
The Political Science program at the Central European University (CEU) is offered by the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations. It is one of the largest, most international and most competitive programs in Europe, comprised of close to 50 permanent faculty members and over 100 doctoral students from about 40 countries.


The doctoral school offers five specializations based on a system of tracks:

  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Economy
  • Political Theory
  • Public Policy
Quick Facts

Every spring the Doctoral School hosts its Annual Doctoral Conference where PhD candidates present their research to the CEU community and engage with distinguished external discussants.

The Doctoral School also participates in the European Graduate Network, a vibrant platform for sharing research among eight leading institutions and foster early-career scholarly cooperation in political science.

Career path

This highly competitive doctoral program prepares students primarily for careers in research and teaching at top universities worldwide.


In 2016, CEU’s programs related to politics and international studies were ranked 40th, while programs in the field of social policy and administration were among the top 100 in the world according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) subject ranking

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: Applications will open in fall 2017.
  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 72 months
    • Part-time variant
  • Credits
    24 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go To The Course Website

Programme Structure

Select Areas of Research
Comparative Politics
  • Comparative methods
  • Political behavior, political psychology, political culture and public opinion
  • European politics
  • Political institutions
  • Regime change, democratization
  • Parties and interest groups, social movements
International Relations
  • International relations theory and foreign policy analysis
  • International security: strategic studies, security studies, R2P
  • Ethnicity, nationalism, conflict, and conflict management
  • International political economy: political economy of the EU, varieties of capitalism, development
  • European identities, migration, and citizenship
  • Asian politics: Central, North-East and South-East Asia (domestic and foreign policy)
Political Economy
  • Comparative political economy: advanced capitalist countries, Central and Eastern Europe, welfare states, institutions, political economics
  • International political economy: globalization, international trade and finance, transnational corporations, development studies
  • Political economy of European integration: interest groups, collective action
Political Theory
  • Political philosophy: political obligation and legitimacy, theories of justice, egalitarianism
  • Democratic theory: democracy and constitutionalism, the rationality of democratic politics, preferences and deliberation
  • Institutional political theory: constitutional theory, institutional political theory
  • Applied political philosophy: cosmopolitanism, theory of violent conflicts, human rights

Public Policy

  • Public administration, bureaucratic politics, governance, corruption control
  • European integration, EU public policy, comparative European politics
  • International political economy, global governance, trade and development
  • Civil society, social movements, minorities, social exclusion
  • Public goods and regulation: media, energy, higher education, labor market policy
  • Conflict, terrorism and human security

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade A): 200

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 600

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 100

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • Complete online application
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Master’s degree
  • Research proposal
  • Statement of purpose
  • Outline of master’s thesis or other substantial academic work

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 15000 International
  • EUR 15000 EU/EEA


CEU is committed to attracting talented students and scholars from around the world and provides generous merit-based scholarships available to students from any country. Doctoral scholarships include a full tuition waiver and a generous stipend for housing and living expenses.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.