Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt Graduate School of Business

Information for Students


Our two-year program consists of first-year courses which provide the students with a solid methodological foundation in econometrics and micro-economics as well as with scientific writing skills. 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

(Detailed program outlines are also available.)

In each year the expected course load is 30 ECTS. In addition to the regular course load, students are expected to write a first-year and second-year term paper, and 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.

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.



Applicants are expected to hold a Master or Diplom in business administration, economics or related areas. Outstanding candidates with only a Bachelor degree will also be considered. The application deadline for the doctoral program starting in October is March 31. To supply, students should submit the following documents:

  • A current CV
  • Certified grades and copies of all relevant academic qualifications and degrees (for non-German or non-English language materials an official translation may be required)
  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • A two page research proposal, outlining the research interests of the applicant and a potential research project
  • GRE or GMAT test scores (only for students who are unable to travel to Berlin for a personal interview)
  • Proof of English language skills (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) for non-native English speakers

To apply, please send your application material to:


Funding for Ph.D. Students

There are no tuition fees at the moment but students must secure sufficient funding to cover their living expenses. A rough estimate for monthly living costs in Berlin is around 800 € per month. Thanks to corporate sponsors, the Humboldt Graduate School of Business is able to offer a limited number of scholarships to students based on merit. In cooperation with the School of Business and Economics and the Collaborative Research Center 649 “Economic Risk”, a limited number of research assistant positions may also be available.