Skip Navigation
Application and Admission

Application and Admission


We now accept applications for our PhD program for the October 2018 intake. The application deadline is March 30th, 2018, and we only consider complete application packages, including two reference letters submitted up until that date.


You can find all information on the application process and requirements below. Please note that the descriptions on this page are currently still being updated and checked for clarity. The page will be complete by the end of December 2017. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via Email at


For information about the structure of our program, please refer to, for general information about RGS Econ:, and for what we believe distinguishes our program from others:

For information on our faculty members, please consult and and the links to their webpages contained therein. All of these are potential supervisors for a PhD thesis at RGS Econ.


Accepted students receive financing to cover living expenses, usually in the form of scholarships of €1300 per month or - generally only after the first year of course work - in the form of teaching or research assistantships. For information on living expensen in Essen, Germany, please see you have access to external financing to cover your living expenses, please indicate this on the application form.

There is no application fee. There are no tuition fees.

If you are invited to an interview, travel costs will be reimbursed by RGS Econ. Interviews with overseas candidates generally take place via skype.

General Requirements for Admission

If you would like to apply to the PhD program at RGS Econ, please note the following requirements:

(1) Applicants should have an excellent academic record and should have obtained or nearly completed a  Master's degree in Economics or related disciplines, such as business administration, mathematics, statistics, phyiscs, engineerig etc. The degree program should include a written thesis, written or oral examinations, and two one-and-a-half years of course work. 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). RGS Econ does not accept applications from students who only hold a Bachelor's degree. 

(2)strong background in quantitative and analytical methods is necessary for a successful application. This background has to be documented - for example by course work in mathematics, statistics, or advanced economics in your academic transcript and/or by results from the GRE test.

For applicants without a German secondary school diploma ("Abitur"), a GRE (Graduate Record Examinations, General Test format), a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), or any other internationally accepted test that measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical skills is highly recommended. Typically we expect candidates to score at least in the top 20 percent in the quantitative sections of the GRE test. For details please see ( or  ( 

There is no need have a score sent directly to our instituion via the testing service(and we do not have an Institution code for this). We accept a scan of your official score report as part of your application package.

(3)  All courses, lectures, and seminars at RGS Econ are held in English. Therefore, a "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) or any other internationally accepted English language test with excellent results is highly recommended for all applicants except for those who 

- are native English speakers 
- can prove at least six months of studies at an English-language university or course-program
- possess a German "Abitur" 

For further information about the TOEFL test please click here (

(4) Knowledge of German is not essential, although students are encouraged to learn and improve their language skills. Language classes are offered at the universities which participate in RGS Econ.

(5) There is no age restriction. There are no minimum grade-point-average requirements. We generally only accept students who are in the top 20% of their cohort in terms of academic achievement.

(6) There is no application fee.

Application Manual

A complete application consists of application package provided by you and at least two letters of recommendation from university professors, instructors, or lecturers. 

(1) The application package can be sent via postal mail or email, as a single .pdf attachement with file name in the form [lastname]_[firstname]_apply_rgs.pdf.

The first component of this package is the application form, which you can download here as a fillable .pdf or as a flattened .pdf

rgs_econ_application_form_2018.pdf (Fillable form, print/save as pdf)

This form also details the order of the other information (e.g. CV, letter of otivation, transcripts') you need to merge along with the form into a single pdf (if submitting via email) or add to your package if submitting via postal mail.


Mailing Adress:

RGS Econ c/o RWI
Postfach 10 30 54

45030 Essen

We will inform you of the receipt of your application package via email (to the address you provide in the personal data part of the application form if you have submitted via postal mail, or to the sender's mail if you submitted via email.

We do not accept application materials that are sent in separate installments or multiple attachments or are not ordered as specified in the application form. Also, the file-size of the package may not exceed 10 MB.

We also wish to inform you that transmission of personal information via email may be insecure and that we can in no way guarantee for or influence security during transmission. At RGS Econ, your data is held in the strictest confidence. Do not heistate to contact us if you are concered about how your data is handled at RGS Econ or if you would like to have this data deleted.

(2) Please ask your referees to use the following form for the letters of recommendation. These are sent directly to us by the referee via postal mail or email, as instructed on the form. :

rgs_econ_recommendation_form_2018.pdf (Fillable form, print/save as pdf)

If we have received your application package, we will notify you of the arrival of the letters of recommendation via email.

**** Please Note *****
Make sure to contact potential referees well ahead of the application deadline. Also, submit your application documents well ahead of the deadline, if possible, as we may contact very promising applicants before the deadline.


Selection and Interview Process

Helge Braun, PhD
Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ)
Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
45128 Essen

Tel.: +49 (0)201 8149 512
Fax: +49 (0)201 8149 200