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Economics, Ph.D. / Dr.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #157 (WUR) Mannheim, Germany
The Economics program at Graduate School of Economics and Social Science (GESS) consists of a two-year course phase and a three-year research phase during which students work on their dissertation. The program lasts 5 years and the CDSE commits to funding its students for this duration (contingent on successful completion of the course phase and overall academic standing).
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In the first year, the Economics students from Graduate School of Economics and Social Science (GESS) must take the compulsory courses in Mathematics, Microeconomics (I-III), Macroeconomics (I-III) and Econometrics (I-III).

In the second year students attend a number of elective field courses (40-46 ECTS credit points) and hand in their dissertation proposal at the end of the second year. 

From the second year onwards students are required to participate in the weekly CDSE Seminar, where they are supposed to present and act as discussant at least once in the third and subsequent years, and the faculty seminar. The department’s faculty seminar is among the best in Europe and every CDSE student should be eager to learn from the distinguished visitors, even if it is not his/her field of specialization.

In the third year students take the program’s English Academic Writing course (3 ECTS credit points), a bridge course (5 ECTS credit points) in the Center for Doctoral Studies in Business (CDSB) or the Center for Doctoral Studies in Behavioral and Social Sciences (CDSS) as well as two electives that support thesis writing (10 ECTS credit points). Usually students attend the research seminar of their respective field and earn a pass grade and ECTS credit points by presenting their research. However, any elective from the CDSE course catalogue is fine in principle.

Apart from these minimum course requirements after the second year, the third, fourth and fifth year of the program are mainly devoted to the writing of the doctoral thesis.

Information for Current and Prospective Students

The following sections provide current and prospective students with an overview of various topics related to the PhD program at the CDSE.

For further reference, students are asked to consult the CDSE Student Guidebook which elaborates extensively on the GESS in general, the CDSE program structure, information for international students, studying and living in Mannheim, and many more.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Credits
    40 ECTS

    40-46 ECTS

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Advanced Microeconomics 
  • Advanced Macroeconomics 
  • Advanced Econometrics 
  • Pathways to Decarbonization 
  • Learning Theories
  • Industrial Organisation Empirics
  • Political Economy and Public Policy

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

  • Admission is based purely on academic performance and potential. 
  • In principle, the prerequisite for admission to a doctoral center is a master’s degree in the respective field or equivalent. 
  • Applications from students with excellent Bachelor degrees are considered as well. Applicants from neighboring fields and quantitative fields (like mathematics or engineering) can be admitted if their background is judged to be sufficient.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Doctoral candidates pay no tuition fees.

Living costs for Mannheim

  • 800 - 1100 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Admitted students receive a monthly scholarship (1.250 €) and the CDSE commits to funding its students for five years (contingent on successful completion of the course phase and overall academic standing).

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.


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