Admissions FAQ

Below you can find frequently asked questions concerning admission to the Doctoral Program in Political Science. For questions relating to the general admission process, please visit the General Admissions FAQ on CEU's central admission website

Research areas

Who can supervise my topic?

In order to learn about the expertise of the faculty, please visit the faculty profiles on the website of the Doctoral School. You do not need to choose a supervisor now. The School matches supervisees and supervisors only at the end of their first academic year. But familiarity with the work of professors will help you both during the admission process and thereafter.

Which track does my topic fit into?

You can read more about tracks and how to choose the best for your research topic on this page.

Scholarship/Financial Aid

How many people can be accepted to the program / track / year?

The Political Science PhD program offers approximately 15 full CEU Doctoral Scholarships per year. Additional thematic scholarships may be available, you can learn more on this page.

What does the Full Doctoral Scholarship cover?

The CEU Doctoral Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, and provides 48 months stipend, to assist with housing and living costs. Students need to budget additionally for travel, recreation, and incidentals, which can vary with the individual.

Read more about the estimated costs of living and accommodation in Vienna here.

Doctoral students are expected to secure their own accommodation.

Can I keep my job during my studies?

Students who wish to work part-time (maximum 20 hours per week) can ask permission for this from the Doctoral School Director. While receiving the doctoral stipend, Doctoral Students should seek the permission of the School Director in case of taking up other paid employment. CEU may request full or partial tuition payment and will expect the student to cover his/her living costs.

I want to apply for a doctoral program at CEU and I would like to apply for financial aid as well; however, I cannot fill out the financial aid section during the online application process. Can I just leave this out of the online application process or do I perhaps need to fill out this part somewhere else?

Candidates who apply by the financial aid deadline are automatically considered for the CEU Doctoral Scholarship, you do not need to apply for it. 

Is it just the enrollment fee that would need to be paid?

All enrolled students must pay the enrollment fee, which in the case of a first year student is 250 EUR per academic year, and the Austrian Student Union fee, as well as a one-time registration fee.


When is the application deadline?

You can find the application deadlines for the current application period on CEU's central admissions website.

What does the deadline mean?

  • You have submitted online all application materials. Materials sent by postal mail, electronic mail or fax are not considered.
  • You have sent your application only once and you have made sure it is 100% complete. You cannot edit an application after it has been submitted, and we do not accept materials sent in alternative ways.
  • The one-time application fee has been paid. It is non-refundable and cannot be waived, but it can be paid by a third party.

CEU does not return application documents, or copies thereof under any circumstances.

Research proposal

Is there a template for the research proposal? Should the 1500 word limit include the references?

There is no template, since the various topics require different treatment. The admission committees appreciate if the proposals show a good knowledge of the state of the art, address academically and socially relevant questions and target areas covered by the School faculty. Methodological awareness and reflection on the feasibility of the project are also appreciated.

We recommend that you respect the word limit, but minor deviation will not count against you.

For a word of advice on proposals and how to submit a successful application read former Director of the Doctoral School Achim Kemmerling's blog post here.

Educational background

What sort of academic background is required?

Applicants are expected to hold an internationally recognized Master’s or equivalent degree in Political Science, International Relations, Public Policy, or a similar politics- and/or policy related program that provides a relevant academic background for the track to which the candidate applies. A comparable degree in other Social Sciences, Humanities, or other disciplines will also be considered in case of an excellent academic record.

To whom could I personally write in the coming days to see whether my proposal could work for the CEU before I apply?

All submitted applications are thoroughly reviewed by panels composed of various faculty members. It is thus not possible to give a preliminary assessment. But you are welcome to contact professors whose profile is close to your research project in order to find out whether CEU is the best place for you.

Academic Records

I am in the final year of a Master’s program, so I do not have a diploma to upload yet. What shall I do?

In place of the diploma, upload a certificate of enrollment stating your expected date of graduation. Please note that in order to be able to enroll at CEU, you must graduate before mid-August of the year you are to begin your studies.

I am in the final year of a Master’s program, so I do not have a final transcript to upload yet. What shall I do?

Upload an interim transcript. If and when you enroll, we'll need an official one on paper anyway.

I have earned a Master’s at CEU and am now applying for a doctoral program. Am I required to upload official copies of academic records?

If you are applying to the same department's doctoral program you have graduated from, upload a plain printout of your CEU grades only (write to to get one). If it is some other department you are applying to, also submit your Bachelor's records the same way you did when applying to CEU for the first time.

I would like to earn a PhD at CEU while completing one at my home university at the same time. Is this possible?

No. Students enrolled in doctoral programs at CEU may not be enrolled at other universities.