Frequently Asked Questions


How often do you accept students into the GSEFM degree programs?

Every year, we can accept students for the Wintersemester only

When do I have to apply and what is the application process?

Every year, we have three stages in which prospective students can apply. The first stage ends on January 31, the second stage ends on March 31, and the third stage ends on May 31.

Can I apply without having finished my current degree?

Yes, but you are expected to complete your prior studies before the start of studies at GSEFM, and in the case of a Bachelor degree program must prove so latest within the first six months of study.

Do I have to pay an application fee?

No. GSEFM does not charge an application fee.

Are studies at GSEFM free of charge?

Yes, at present there is no tuition fee for students enrolled at GSEFM. However, there is a university-mandated registration fee of approximately 377 Euro per semester. Payment of this fee inter alia entitles students to unlimited use of public transportation services in the Frankfurt-Mainz-Darmstadt region (and beyond) for the entire semester, and to visit public museums in Frankfurt free of further charge.

What is the difference between the MSQ and the Ph.D. Programs?

The MSQ Program leads to the degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.), whereas the Ph.D. Programs lead to the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (Ph.D.). The courses offered as part of the MSQ Program are the same as those offered for the first two years of the Ph.D. programs. This allows students to work towards a Ph.D. degree in a program structured following international "best practice", and earn a Master’s (M.Sc.) degree along the way.

Can I pursue a Ph.D. degree if I am initially enrolled only as an MSQ student?

Yes. MSQ Program students at the end of their first year of studies through qualifying examinations can become eligible to also enroll from the second year of studies onwards in the Ph.D. program that corresponds to their area of concentration.

Can I pursue both an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. degree?

Yes. Students who in the first year of studies enroll in the Ph.D. Program are also automatically enrolled in the MSQ Program. One of the reasons for this arrangement is that it allows to earn a Master’s (M.Sc.) degree along the way towards the Ph.D. degree.

Can I enroll in one of the Ph.D. Program without also enrolling in the MSQ Program?

No. In the first year all students enrolled in one of the Ph.D. Programs are also automatically enrolled in the MSQ Program. Beyond ensuring that it is possible to earn a Master’s (M.Sc.) degree along the way towards the Ph.D. degree, this is also due to university-level administrative reasons. From the second year onwards, students enrolled in one of the Ph.D. Programs may de-register from the MSQ Program, though it is not at all recommended to do so (in part as it irrevocably ends the option to earn a Master’s degree at GSEFM).

Do I  need to have a Master’s degree to apply for the Ph.D. programs at GSEFM?

No. You can directly apply for the GSEFM Ph.D. programs as a graduate of a Bachelor’s program. Independently of whether or not you started as a Ph.D. Program student, it is necessary to pass qualifying examinations at the end of the first year of studies to continue in the Ph.D. program for the second and higher years of studies.

Can I pursue a Ph.D. degree at the GSEFM if my background is engineering or mathematics?

Yes. If you have substantive research interest in the areas of accounting, economics, finance or marketing, we strongly encourage you to pursue a Ph.D. at GSEFM. 

Can I receive financial aid during my first two years of studies?

Thanks to the generous support by various institutions, GSEFM can grant financial aid for a limited number of incoming Ph.D. students. All Ph.D. program applicants are eligible to be considered for financial aid in the form of a stipend/scholarship for the first year of studies. These stipends/scholarships are granted on a competitive basis. 

Second- (and higher-) year Ph.D. students who have completed the first year of students with strong success are in demand to be hired as teaching and/or research assistants for GSEFM faculty members. 

How welcome are international students?

International students are highly welcome. Embracing diversity is one of the core values of GSEFM. Indeed, currently more than half of the GSEFM students are international students for whom German is not a native language. These students hail from five continents and more than 40 countries.

How important is it to speak German?

All courses at GSEFM are taught in English and all faculty members are happy to converse with students in English, also as it is the language of choice for research in economics and business. There is thus no need to speak German as part of taking courses or carrying out research at GSEFM. Some of the teaching assistant positions might require knowledge of German, though. Although Frankfurt is certainly one of the most international cities in Germany, living in any foreign country is a lot easier for those who can use the local language. Thus, Ph.D. students at GSEFM are advised to build up/improve upon their German language skills during their studies. Goethe University offers a wide range of courses that can help  to achieve this.