Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences?
The CGS is the integrated PhD program of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne with a strong focus on interdisciplinary methods and empirical research.


Who can apply for the CGS?
All students with a Masters degree, a German diploma/or equivalent.


What is the required academic background?
We are looking for students from the fields of Economics, Finance, Management, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Econometrics/Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Energy Economics/Policy and related fields.


Do I have to finish my degree before applying for CGS?
No. If you are in the process of writing your thesis and will graduate before the actual start of the new academic year (October), you may apply for CGS with your degree yet unfinished.


How does the application process work?
Each year in December the online platform is open for your application. Application time usually lasts from December to March 31st of the following year. CGS will accept online application only


Do you accept paper/uninvited applications?


When does the program start?
Each year in October.


Does a stay abroad replace a TOEFL-test?
If you can provide proof of having studied or worked abroad (i.e. in an English-speaking country) for at least 6 months, there is no need to provide TOEFL-test results.


What is the amount of the stipend offered?
If you are accepted, you will receive a monthly stipend (tax-free) of EUR 1.200 (1.300 for married students) for three years.


Is part-time study possible?


What about my dissertation?
Your dissertation may be a monograph or a cumulative dissertation, i.e. three papers with an added introduction and a conclusion.


Does my dissertation have to be written in English?
Our preference is clearly English. You may, however, write it in German.


What is the degree offered by CGS?
Dr. rer. pol.


Do I have to spend time abroad?
We strongly suggest a few months study/research abroad. CGS will help you in arranging/financing your individual plans.


Do you accept visiting PhD students?
In general, yes. Please contact the Center for International Relations at  zib(at)