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Department of Economics

Admission Procedures

Students applying to the Zurich Graduate School of Economics must submit all (complete) documents on our recruiting platform by January 15th of the academic year previous to the one in which they intend to join the program. A committee of faculty members with expertise across the sub-disciplines in economics led by the Director of Graduate Studies evaluates the candidates and selects those that should be admitted. 

The Zurich GSE typically receives 400 applications and admits between 12 and 15 students each year.

Most candidates are awarded departmental scholarships from the first year on. Additional funding options, such as the URPP, or the UBS Center Scholarship can be awarded to advanced students from the pool of PhDs of the program at a later point.

Student Qualifications

Excellent previous academic performance is required for admission to the ZurichGSE. A degree in Economics is recommended, but applicants from other (especially related) fields will be considered if their academic performance is outstanding. Student holding a Master’s Degree are applying for the PhD Track B, students who didn’t attain a Master’s but hold an excellent Bachelor’s Degree may apply for admission to the Track C (Fast Track). For more information see here.

It is strongly recommended that applicants take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) General Test. Applications from a “Bologna Accord” country without GRE scores will be reviewed, but not submitting GRE results will be considered a major drawback and must be offset by other strong academic credentials. Applicants obtaining a university degree from a non-Bologna country must take the GRE in order to be considered.

All courses are given in English and applicants to the program must show proficiency in English to be considered for admission. No specific test is required, but applicants who have taken the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are encouraged to provide a copy of the official test results. Applicants obtaining a university degree from a non-Bologna country whose native language is not English must provide a recognized English language certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, CPE, or CAE) in order to be eligible for admission.

Note:  Degrees from Master of Advanced Studies programs (e.g. MAS, EMBA, MBA, etc.) do not qualify for acceptance to our program.

Students are expected to devote themselves full-time to our PhD program.

How to apply

Applications for the following academic year open each year in October. Please use our online recruitment portal to submit your application.

Checklist for application (PDF, 45 KB)

Only online applications submitted via the application portal will be taken into consideration.

Annual submission deadline: 15th of January

Courses start in the fall term, although there is also a compulsory pre-sessional Introductory Maths course that begins in mid-August.

All complete applications submitted by the submission deadline are reviewed by the Selection Committee. Applicants are informed about the outcome of their application by no later than the end of April.

If you are shortlisted for an interview, you will be invited by email. Interviews can be conducted either in person or in a conference call.

Besides the admission to the Graduate School of Economics a general application for for matriculation at the University of Zurich must also be submitted. We will inform candidates who are accepted to the program accordingly. Please do not send any documents to the central Admission Office of the University of Zurich without prior acceptance to the doctoral program in Economics.

Rules and Regulations

Official regulations are provided by the office of the dean

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