Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt Graduate School of Business

Structure of the program

Our two-year program consists of first-year courses which provide the students with a solid methodological foundation in econometrics and microeconomics as well as with scientific writing skills. For offering the courses in mircoreconmics and econometrics, we cooperate with the Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics & Management Science (BDPEMS). In the second year, students have the option to choose one of the three fields of specialization:


  • Accounting: Accounting research is an applied economic discipline, investigating the impact of accounting information on firms and markets. This program has an emphasis on financial accounting and empirical archival research, but other areas (managerial, tax and auditing) and other methodologies (analytical, behavioral) are also covered (curriculum overview as PDF).
  • Finance: Finance research aims at understanding the financial decisions of individuals and firms, how financial markets work, and how asset prices are determined. This specialization consists of courses in corporate finance and asset pricing (curriculum overview as PDF).
  • Management: Research in Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship generally investigates behavior of consumers, managers, and entrepreneurs. Using quantitative methods and investigating concepts from economics, economic psychology, and consumer behavior, it aims at understanding and improving the decision making of firms under competition, based on a better understanding of the relevant decision makers (curriculum overview as PDF).


In each year the expected course load is 30 ECTS. In addition to the regular course load (84 ECTS in total), students are expected to write a second-year term paper (30 ECTS). Elective studies (36 ECTS) enable students to enroll in additional classes and/or to participate in teaching tutorials to improve their classroom skills. At the end of the first and second year, the individual progress of the student is evaluated. Insufficient progress might lead to the exclusion from the doctoral program. After the second year, students have two years to complete their doctoral theses (90 ECTS).


The courses offered by the Humboldt Graduate School of Business vary by layout and design, but all are given in English. Lectures are held by internal as well as by selected external faculty members who are active researchers and leading experts in their respective fields. The lectures are accompanied by research seminars, which help students familiarize themselves with the current frontiers in research. Student seminars are used to actively engage in and to discuss students’ own research projects. Close to thesis finalization and shortly before entering the academic job market, job market seminars are organized in order to help students polish their job market skills and to discuss their application strategies with experienced external senior faculty members who are familiar with the international academic job market.


Students, who successfully complete the required courses of the twoyear program, will receive a certificate of doctoral education indicating their grades and course program. In addition, students who are concurrently enrolled in a Master program of the School of Business and Economics can have their doctoral program courses count towards earning their respective Master degree.