Can you provide me with further details regarding the application and selection process?

The evaluation of applications starts after the application deadline. The selection committee will review the applications, decide if you meet the criteria for our program based on our general requirements, and identify promising candidates. There is no preceding selection. Promising candidates will be invited for an interview, which will take place in late April or May. Final decisions are communicated one to two weeks thereafter.

In rare circumstances, we consider students with competing offers who are strongly interested in RGS Econ in an expedited procedure, at any point during the application phase. If your application is complete (including letters of references), you have a documented competing offer, and are nevertheless highly interested in joining RGS Econ, please e-mail Helge Braun helge.braun@rgs-econ.de to see if the expedited procedure may applie to you.


Can I apply to RGS-Econ even though I do not have a master/diploma in economics?

Yes. We are looking for academically outstanding and motivated researchers with excellent analytical and quantitative skills, who have completed or are close to completing a master's, diploma or equivalent degree in economics or related fields, such as business administration, mathematics, statistics, etc. Successful participation in our PhD program does generally require previous exposure to subjects like econometrics, micro- and macroeconomics. This background in economics should be documented in your application (e.g. with relevant publications, transcripts).


Can I apply to the RGS-Econ before completing all examinations of my graduate studies (master/diploma)?

Yes, provided you finish before the start of the program in October. Often, your current university's examination office ("Prüfungsamt") provides a "preliminary certificate / transcipt" with a list of all your results along with a statement about which results are still missing for your master/diploma. You may also want to ask your referees to assess the likelihood of successful completion of your current program in their letter. For your subsequent registration as a PhD student in our program you have to provide your final degree certificate.


Can I apply to the RGS-Econ even though I have not taken the GRE?

Yes. You should demonstrate your analytical and mathematical skills. This can be done in many ways (e.g. with publications, transcripts, certificates, or results from the GRE or GMAT). For applicants without a German "Abitur", a GRE or GMAT is, however, strongly recommended.


I'm not a native English speaker. Can I apply to RGS-Econ even though I have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS?

Yes. A TOEFL/IELTS is not a pre-requisite, but recommended. There are many other ways to prove your English language skills, for instance by documenting at least six months of studies at a University where English is used in instruction or via publications in English. The Selection Committee will also assess the language skills of promising candidates in the interview.

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Can I apply to RGS-Econ if I do not speak German?

Yes. The PhD program of the RGS-Econ is entirely in English. Knowledge of German is not essential, although students are encouraged to learn and improve their German language skills. The participating universities provide German classes free of charge.


Are there any limits for the age of applicants?


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Do I have to apply for admission or register for doctoral studies at one of the cooperating universities (Bochum, Dortmund or Duisburg-Essen) before I apply to the RGS-Econ?

No. Your application to the RGS-Econ does not require prior admission as a doctoral student at one of these universities. Upon successful admission to the RGS-Econ, you will need to register at one of these universities. We will inform you of the necessary steps. At the time of registration, you should have completed or be near completion of your Master's degree.


Do I have to pay any application or tuition fees?

No. But the univeristies raise a fee once you are registered. This "Semesterbeitrag" (semester contribution) currently amounts to around 250 Euros per semester and serves to cover part of the costs incurred by the "Studentenwerk" (student services provided by the university). It also provides you with a season pass for free public transportation in the region ("Verkehrsverbund Rhein Ruhr",VRR).


Are scholarships available?

Up to eight scholarships of 1300 Euro per month will be granted. You will be automatically considered for a scholarship when you apply. Scholarships are usually granted for three years. In some cases, funding in the second year will be provided via teaching assistant positions, involving around three hours of teaching per week. Aour funding arrangement will be specified in the acceptance offer. Students who have not completed their dissertation by the third year usually receive research and teaching assistant positions.



I'm a foreigner. Can I get support for registration, visa issues etc.?

Yes.  Upon admission, we will guide you through the relevant bureaucratic process.


How many students will be admitted?

RGS-Econ usually admits eight to ten fully funded students per year.


How long does it take until my recommendation letters appear in the system?

In late February and March  we receive hundreds of recommendation letters. Please note that it may take up to a week until we upload the recommendation letters into the system.


I can not find a 'submission button'. How can I submit my application?

There is no 'submission button' that you can press. The application portal closes on March 30th and all completed applications will automatically be submitted.


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