The PhD program in Political Science at Central European University (CEU) is one of the largest, most international and most competitive doctoral programs in Europe, providing aspiring scholars with the theoretical and methodological skills needed to challenge and shape what we know about politics, public policy and governance.
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The doctoral program in Political Science – Political Economy Track at Central European University (CEU) focuses primarily on questions relating to the current ‘great transformation’ towards a significantly more liberalized and globally integrated world economy. The overlapping processes of globalization, macro-regional integration and changing relations between public authorities and private market actors have prompted scholars to rethink a number of key assumptions and categories typical of the post-war order. The track seeks to attract students who are interested in those institutional changes considered crucial in understanding this transformation; in particular, the global impetus and multiple scales of politics and economy, European integration, and the problem of development and welfare in comparative perspective (especially with regard to CEE/fSU). 

The aim of the track is to enable students to address political science questions, such as the variance in institutional settings and institutional change under the conditions of internationalization, but from an interdisciplinary standpoint that explores the connections between social and economic processes.

Research opportunity

Members of the Political Economy Track are engaged in a number of international research consortia, such as the EU funded MAXCAP project (Maximizing the integration capacity of the European Union), assume responsibilities in international professional networks such as the ECPR Standing Group on Political Economy, and participate in high profile graduate student networks such as the European Doctoral Workshop in International Relations. 

There are two research groups closely connected with the track: the Political Economy Research Group, and the Global South Research Group. The track welcomes applications in the following research areas:

  • Varieties of Capitalism 
  • East European capitalism
  • Welfare States and Welfare State Change
  • Labor Market, Employment and Industrial Relations
  • Fiscal and tax policies 
  • International Development, Poverty and Inequality
  • International Finance and Investment
  • Political economy of European Integration
  • The Great Recession and the Eurocrisis


  • Program approved and registered by the New York State Education Department
  • Program registered as a non-degree post-graduate specialization program by the Hungarian Educational Authority (HEA)
  • Program accredited by the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ-Austria)

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description

      3-6 years

  • Credits
    US credits: 24 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Comparative Political Economy
  • International Political Economy
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Domestic Politics in the Global Economy
  • Political Economy of Regime Change
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Automated Text Analysis in Political Science
  • Constituent Power
  • Democratic Theory
  • International Relations Theory
  • Public Policy and Public Administration
  • Security Theory and Practice

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    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.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • Completed online application form:
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Letters of recommendation
  • CV
  • Master’s degree
  • Academic records
  • Research proposal
  • Statement of purpose
  • Outline of master’s thesis or other substantial academic work

Tuition Fee

Candidates who apply by February 1, 2021 are automatically considered for CEU Doctoral Scholarship that includes a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend.

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Living costs for Vienna

  • 861 - 1340 EUR/month
    Living Costs

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


In pursuit of its mission, CEU strives to attract world-class graduate talent from all over the world, offering generous scholarships available to students from any country. Doctoral scholarships include a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend for 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.

Political Science – Political Economy Track
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