Degree programme

In contrast to the PhD programmes of the University of Vienna, students of the Vienna Graduate School of Economics (VGSE) receive financial support and are usually offered a three-year predoc position at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics. The degree programme is therefore particularly well suited for people striving for a career in academia.

The VGSE offers a varied PhD programme in Economy, including special training courses, research seminars and intensive supervision by the professors.
PhD candidates graduate from the PhD programme after three years of study and are awarded the academic degree "Doctor of Philosophy", abbreviated as PhD.

The full-time programme is free of charge for students from EU or EEA countries. Third-country nationals may have to pay tuition fees. Further information about possible tuition fees is available on the Student Point website.

Fields of activity

Graduates of the VGSE have a top-notch education in the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics and have the opportunity to pursue a career in leading academic institutions (such as the ECB, IMF, World Bank or OECD).


As a general rule, the PhD programme of the VGSF can be divided into three parts:

  • Broadening knowledge in microeconomics and macroeconomics in selected field courses
  • Acquiring the essential research skills and reporting on this process in skill courses
  • Active and passive participation in research seminars (presentation of the own research project)



About one year of the PhD programme is allocated to course work and research training. During their first year of studies, candidates select five field courses on two different research areas based on their personal research interests.
Two years of the three-year programme are allocated to a candidate’s personal research and seminar attendance.

For an overview of all courses and the respective ECTS credits, please click here.

Doctoral thesis

Candidates can start working on the doctoral thesis after having presented the research topic and formulated their research proposal. The final doctoral thesis is presented in the research seminar.

Final examination

Following a positive assessment of all courses and examinations that have to be completed according to the curriculum as well as of the doctoral thesis, the PhD candidate has to give a public presentation at the Faculty (4 ECTS credits) and defend the doctoral thesis in front of an examination committee.

Applying for the final degree follows the same procedure as all PhD programmes at the University of Vienna. For further information about all the necessary forms and the application procedure, please click here.

Personal requirements

Prospective students who would like to study with the VGSE should have outstanding academic qualifications and a strong interest in microeconomics, macroeconomics and/or econometrics.


The admission procedure for the PhD programme in Economics at the VGSE comprises two steps:

  1. Submitting all the necessary application documents
  2. Personal interview

For further information, please refer to the website of the StudiesServiceCenter.

Financial support

The PhD programme in Finance is a full-time degree programme. It is very time-consuming and cannot be completed on a part-time basis. For this reason, the VGSF supports its students with about EUR 2,000 gross per month.
After deducting insurance contributions, fees, etc., the net amount totals EUR 1,450 per month (paid 14 times a year).

This serves as financial support that should cover at least part of the accommodation costs and allows students to complete a full-time degree programme.

Contact and help

If you have any questions regarding a PhD programme at the VGSE, please read the FAQs first or contact the VGSE office (

The following websites provide general information and advice about a PhD programme at the University of Vienna: