Program Structure

From 2020/21 until further notice there is no enrollment to this program.

General Information

The aim of the PhD program is to prepare students for careers in teaching, research or government service and to prepare researchers to participate actively in the analysis of the fundamental economic questions facing market and transition economies. The program is designed to ensure that students acquire rigorous and state of the art knowledge of core areas of economic theory and research methodology and to offer research opportunity under close supervision of excellent international and local faculty.

Entering the PhD Program at CEU

Upon arrival at CEU, PhD students are required to take an assessment test in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. (For the material covered by the test, please click on the attachments at the bottom of the page). Based on the results of the test, students might be required to enroll in MA level classes in Microeconomics and/or Macroeconomics. In these classes no credit is earned but the exams are mandatory, and taken for grade. The results do not count toward the GPA.

Program Requirements

The program consists of two years of taught core and optional courses and two years of research for completion of the doctoral dissertation. In the first two years students are required to take 40 credits of taught courses, of which 14 credits will be from advanced theory courses and the remaining will be selected from optional field courses. At the end of each core sequence first year students will have to pass comprehensive core course examinations in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Econometrics. As part of the 26 optional credits students have to fulfill the credit requirements of 2 fields offered by the department. The remaning credits can come from any additional optional course a student wishes to follow. Doctoral students are to pass the Complex exam at the end of the second year. Starting in the third year of residence, after fulfilling the credit requirements students will enter the dissertation period. During this period students are expected to work closely with the thesis supervisor and undertake research while in residence at CEU Budapest or in other universities and/or foreign research institutions. This would broaden their experience by stimulating interaction with leading academic researchers and fellow students in other universities. Upon completion of the dissertation and acceptance by the dissertation committee the PhD degree is awarded. The dissertation should be submitted after a maximum of 5 (6 in case of students enrolled before 2016/17) years since enrollment. 

Financial Aid

If eligible, doctoral students can expect to be fully funded for a maximum period of three academic years.

For additional information on other types of available financial aid please see the CEU Admissions Bulletin.


Students will benefit from the library and computer resources available at the Central European University. The library holds one of the best economics collection of books and journals in Central and Eastern Europe. On-line electronic databases are also available.