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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin -

Student Advisory Service | Studienfachberatung

  • Recognition of examination achievements abroad | Anerkennung von im Ausland erbrachten Leistungen


Please proceed in two steps.| Bitte beachten Sie, dass es sich um ein zweistufiges Verfahren handelt.


Step 1| Schritt 1:

Please inform yourself about the formal criteria for recognition at the examination office. Additionally you can find information under Examination Office information resources. | Bitte klären Sie im Prüfungsbüro die Anerkennungsmöglichkeiten aus formaler Sicht. Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter Prüfungsbüro Informationen der Prüfungsausschüsse.

Step 2| Schritt 2:

Please fill in the form for recognition of examination achievements and hand it in at the secretary's office together with the syllabi of the courses to be recognized.|Bitte tragen Sie den ausgewählten Anerkennungswunsch in das Anerkennungsformular ein und geben diesen zusammen mit den Syllabi der anzuerkennenden Veranstaltungen zur inhaltlichen Prüfung im Sekretariat meines Lehrstuhls ab.



  • FQA concering studies at the Ph.D.level


This little text addresses some frequently asked questions regarding studies at the Ph.D.level. My answers to those questions are admittedly my subjective views, but they originate in more than five years of experience with giving advice on this (and getting feedback from students).


  • How do I know that studying at the Ph.D.-level is the right decision?

That's an important question. Studying at the Ph.D.-level is a big investment. Counting everything it can easily take 5 years to complete a Ph.D. In my opinion, this investment makes only sense to the extent that you wish to qualify for a job that requires a Ph.D. degree. What are those jobs? Well, academic jobs for sure. But also jobs at policy institutions such as central banks, the World Bank or the IMF, just to name a few. Otherwise, if you don't need a Ph.D. for your desired first job after leaving the university, I would recommend to go for a Master's degree rather than a Ph.D.


  • When should I start applying for Ph.D. programs?

That depends a bit on your background. If you study economics at HU then I typically recommend to apply at end of your Bachelor studies. This might sound surprising. In fact, many students are under the impression that the Master comes after the Bachelor and that the Ph.D. comes after the Master. But this is not how this typically works, and the reason has to do with the structure of international Ph.D.-programs. Out of the 5 years, the first 2 years consist of specialized courses. That means: If you do 2 years of Master after the Bachelor and start a Ph.D. program after that, you will end up doing 4(!) years of coursework before you start writing your thesis. This is not only a long time of coursework, it is also inefficient: There is a lot of overlap between Master's level and Ph.D.-level courses. To understand this, it is useful to think of a metaphor. When you were in school they told you in the first years history starting before the Romans and ending today. In the final school years they started again before the Romans and ended today with the difference that you used different methods and studied different sources. It's the same in Economics. Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. basically tell you the same story, but at each level with a different set of tools (which is more and more abstract and research-oriented). So listening to the same story three times before starting your own dissertation is a bit too much, I think. Better choose before completing the Bachelor between two things: a "bread and butter"-degree (i.e., a Master), or a degree that you need for a research-oriented job, i.e., the Ph.D.

As I said, however, the best answer to this question depends a bit on your background. If you consider a Ph.D. in Economics after completing a Bachelor's degree in, say, Maths or Physics, then I would rather recommend to take the Master in Economics first (in order to get used to economics before starting the Ph.D.)

It might also be advisable for some students (say students who are unsure about whether they should go for the Ph.D. after completing a Bachelor in Economics) to start with a regular Master (after the Bachelor's degree in Economics) and to take Ph.D. level courses starting in the second Master year. This could also make sense for students with a Bachelor's degree in Maths or Physics.


  • When are the application deadlines for a Ph.D.?

If you are thinking about doing a Ph.D. you should consider that the deadlines are usually earlier in the academic year than those for a Master and that these deadlines vary greatly among countries. Especially if you are interested in applying to universities in the USA the application deadline is usually mid December for the fall semester of the next year (e.g., NYU's deadline for the 2017 fall admission was on December 18th 2016). However, the application deadline for the BDPEMS is usually at the end of March.

  • How do I know that a Ph.D. is not too difficult for me?

HU is a research-oriented university. If you like abstract thinking and if your results at HU are good (or very good) at the Bachelor's level then you should be confident that you can do it. Nevertheless, keep in mind that writing a Ph.D.-thesis is very challenging (and at times exhausting). That means that you should not expect this to be easy, even if you are obtaining very good grades in the HU Bachelor in Economics.


  • Where should I apply?

Apart from the top places in the US, there are also very nice Ph.D.-programs in Europe, such as EUI (Florence), LSE (London), TSE (Toulouse) and UPF (Barcelona). So think big, adopt a wide perspective, of course. And also give a good consideration to BDPEMS (Berlin). It is safe to say that we are offering one of the best Ph.D. programs in Germany. This is clearly reflected in this year's success on the international job market with placements of finishing BDPEMS students at ECB, IMF, Bank of Canada, among others.