All about the program

The aim of the course work at the MGSE is to provide doctoral students with the analytical tools necessary to carry out independent research projects.

Fast Facts

  • A standardized program guarantees an internationally recognized, high quality training. Individual emphasis can be achieved in field courses.
  • Clearly defined legal requirements and close mentoring and supervision.
  • The program is entirely in English.
  • No tuition fees charged.
  • The program duration is designed for four years.
  • Doctoral students receive staff contracts at the Department or at their respective research institute or receive a scholarship to cover living expenses.
  • MGSE is an equal opportunity institution with awareness for gender & diversity related topics. Find our code of conduct and related information.
  • MGSE members can enroll at LMU and then have student status and can benefit from appropriate discounts.
  • Application is possible only in the application period via the application tool. E-mail applications will not be considered.

Program structure

MGSE students get a thorough training in advanced methods in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. In their field courses they can choose a specific subfield such as public economics. Students are guided to the frontier of economic research and are exposed to state-of-the-art research questions.In addition, a number of complementary offerings in soft-skills courses support students as they move into scientific research and teaching and prepare them for challenging careers in academia or industry.

Course program:

  • Microeconomics (Consumer and Decision Theory & Game Theory and Information Economics);
  • Macroeconomics (Growth Theory & Business Cycles and Policy);
  • Econometrics (Regression Analysis & Identification);
  • Field Courses (at least two are mandatory);
  • Soft Skill Courses (Good Scientific Practice, Research Data Management, Gender & Diversity);
  • Series of short lectures by international renowned guests (see “CES Lectures”);
  • Optional offers of soft skill courses like Scientific Writing & Presentation, conference organization, etc. complete the program.

MGSE pays particular attention to the training of young scientists.

According to the international standards of high level training there are 3 compulsory soft skill courses:

  • Good Scientific Practice,
  • Research Data Management,
  • Gender & Diversity

provide the minimum necessary knowledge and skills that every doctoral student must have.

In addition, students can choose of a variety of elective soft skill courses, like “Scientific Writing & Presentation”, “Academic Conference Organization”, “Academic Teaching”, “Time Management”, “Voice Training”. Students here also benefit from the diverse offerings of the LMU Graduate Center.

Doctoral students at the MGSE have the remarkable opportunity to share their academic ideas from a very early stage onwards with colleagues and members of the faculty. In the weekly research seminars during the semester, they can expose their ideas regularly to a critical audience and benefit from stimulating discussion and feedback and meet international guests who also present in the seminars

All doctoral students have to write a Ph.D. thesis (doctoral dissertation), which usually consists of three research papers. In order to ensure a high qualitative standard, these papers have to be publishable in a recognized economic or field journal (A or B-journal).

  • Co-authorship is generally possible, as long as the Ph.D. candidate’s contribution is relevant and distinct. However, at least one paper should be single-authored. In the end, all papers are jointly published in a dissertation.
  • Under the umbrella of the MGSE over 200 dissertations have been completed. Many of them are available online.

Research visits

Students at the MGSE are expected and highly encouraged to spend one semester abroad at a renowned university or research institution. In this respect, visiting an international university in the second or third year of the program would be especially desirable.

  • Due to the department chairs' wide range of contacts, students can benefit from the excellent linkage to other universities or research institutions.
  • An additional possibility for students to spend a semester abroad is provided within the European Doctoral Group in Economics EDGE.

Legal Stipulations

In order to obtain a Doctorate Degree (Dr. oec. publ.) from the LMU’s Faculty of Economics, all doctoral candidates need to:

  • hand in a thesis (doctoral dissertation);
  • present at least once at a research seminar at the Department of Economics or at an international conference;
  • complete the curriculum;
  • Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics may be recognized from selected research master programs, in addition, students can test out of these mandatory courses by passing waiver exams;
  • Complete one elective (field) course out of the field course program offered at the MGSE;
  • participate in 11 CES Lecture Series (32 lectures);
  • In addition to these minimum requirements, students have additional course requirements according to individual agreement with their mentors and participate in several soft skill courses.

For more details on the requirements, please check the doctoral regulations (German only).

Application Fast Facts

  • only accepted through our online tool.The tool will be open for the application period of any given year, exact dates will be published at this website.
  • Application period for the academic year 2023/24: November 15 , 2023 to January 31, 2024.
  • Our program is extremely competitive. On average, 2-5% of applicants are admitted.
  • Answers to the most common questions are found in our FAQs. If you - after having read the provided information - have doubts as to whether you fulfill the requirements, please feel free to contact us.
  • Communication of application results: We communicate the final decisions by early March / mid-March. Applicants who present an offer by another recognized doctoral program may ask for earlier decision.

Application Guide

Prepare for your application by downloading our detailed guide (PDF, 170 KB), or see below for an abbreviated guide.

1. Letter of Motivation

In English language, one page only.
2. CV
In English language, two pages only.

3. Master's Degree and Transcript of Records
1. We require knowledge in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics at an advanced master's level. The standard entry requirement is a completed master's degree in economics. The degree should be passed with distinction (a minimum average grade of 2.5 in the German system).

2. Students who possess a master's degree in a field closely related to economics are also welcome to apply. This includes graduates holding a degree from fields such as statistics, mathematics, physics, or other fields with a solid education in quantitative methods.

3. If you have not yet finished your current degree, please attach a preliminary grade report. Please note, successful applicants will need to prove the completion of their master’s degree by end of September at the latest to be able to start their doctoral studies in October.
4. Bachelor's Degree and Transcript of Records
5. Certificate of Secondary Education (if available)
6. Proof of sufficient command of English
TOEFL or IELTS test, completing a master's degree at an English-speaking university or in an English-taught program, or being a native speaker.
7. GRE Test Results
We require all applicants to send their score report directly to the MGSE via the Educational Testing Service (ETS). around or above the 90th percentile.

Note: We will accept GRE Test At Home results as well for the 2023–24 applications.
8. Academic letters of recommendation
You will be required to provide contact details of two (2) academic referees who have agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you.
9. APS Certificate
Applicants from Chinese universities are strongly recommend to submit approval of their master's degree from the APS (Akademische Prüfstelle) in Beijing. For more information visit
10. General Information
All documents must either be in English or German (with the exception of the letter of motivation and CV, which must be in English). Documents in other languages will need to be submitted with a certified translation into either English or German. Fluency in German is not required for admission. Files must be less than 50 MB. Allowed file types: pdf jpg png jpeg; ideally, please upload a pdf file.