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PhD program

Stefan Wagner

Associate Professor of Strategy and
Director of PhD Studies, ESMT Berlin


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ESMT Berlin is offering PhD education in a stimulating academic environment based on a structured curriculum.
Key Facts
36 months with individual start date

Structured curriculum, individual study plan, and close supervision by a mentor from ESMT faculty

Awarded degree: Dr.rer.pol. or PhD

Program structure

The curriculum of the ESMT PhD studies contains a set of structural courses typically (not necessarily) offered by Berlin School of Economics (BSE) and soft skills courses, conferences, and summer school. The detail of the structure for PhD studies at ESMT is seen below:

Diagram of ESMT's PhD program structure.

An individual study plan, which determines the selection of courses to be taken, must be agreed upon in writing with the mentor first supervisor within two months after enrollment in the PhD Program and approved by the PhD Council.

The content of the required coursework should guarantee that ESMT PhD candidates obtain the necessary training to conduct research independently and at the highest levels. This typically requires the mastering of a broad set of research methods commonly applied in the area of management.

The formal requirements of the ESMT PhD curriculum are defined in the PhD Rules approved by the PhD Council.


ESMT offers a rolling admission, which allows candidates to have an individual start of their PhD studies. Admission to the program requires that the candidate identifies a potential first supervisor amongst the professors of ESMT.

PhD positions will be offered alongside with a part-time Research Assistant employment. Please refer to the ‘jobs’ section of this website for current vacancies.

Decisions on admission to the program are made by the PhD Council of ESMT. Admission to the PhD program typically requires completion of a master’s degree with an above‐average grade, preferably in management, business administration, public administration, statistics, or a related subject. Applicants with very good grades for their bachelor’s degree can be permitted to the PhD studies in exceptional cases. If the highest degree of the applicant is a bachelor’s degree, the candidate has to enroll in a master’s program in order to be awarded a master’s or a similar degree while completing the PhD studies.

Applications for the BSE program must be made directly via the Online Portal.

PhD Office

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ESMT’s PhD program addresses outstanding candidates with a strong desire to conduct their own research projects. Participation is free of charge.

PhD positions will be offered alongside a part-time Research Assistant employment. Please refer to the ‘jobs’ section of this website for current vacancies.

For candidates enrolled in the BSE program, ESMT may offer full financial support through stipends and travel allowances. The monthly stipend is €1,200-1,400 and is granted by the PhD Council.

Furthermore, ESMT offers support to cover the costs related to research, including conferences and overseas visits.

Berlin School of Economics

ESMT Berlin is a founding member of the Berlin-wide structured doctoral program Berlin School of Economics (BSE) and offers doctorate-level education and PhD supervision for BSE students. In addition to providing all management science courses, ESMT collaborates with the BSE in the admission of PhD students to the program. ESMT faculty members are part of the BSE Admissions Committee, which admits PhD students into the program based on their written applications to the graduate program.

Successful completion of BSE coursework also counts towards ESMT PhD requirements. Applications for the BSE program must be made directly via the Online Portal.

Meet our:

PhD students & graduates

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