Program-Specific Requirements

IMPORTANT: Please note that from September 2020, all our programs for incoming and continuing students will take place at our Vienna campus.

Application deadline is February 28, 2020. Please note that this is later than the general CEU application deadline. Anyone applying to our PhD program before or on Feb 28 (until 23:59 CET) will be automatically considered for a scholarship. (In some of our earlier communications, including our promotional poster, the date is January 30 - please disregard this.)

Apart from general CEU admission requirements, we expect applications from candidates with a Master’s degree in one of a broad range of related disciplines (including physics, mathematics, computer science, sociology, political science and economics), who have an interest in network science and/or its applications.

The PhD program is open for students with a wide variety of backgrounds. Presently we have students with MA/MSc in math, physics, sociology, psychology, architecture, economics and political science. The Program is strongly interdisciplinary with a special emphasis on quantitative methods and data-oriented research. Those who have weaker math backgrounds will have to participate in a pre-session course and will need some additional effort.

We do NOT request a GRE test.

In addition to the items of the CEU checklist, a STATEMENT OF PURPOSE (previously “motivation letter”) is an important part of the application.

The Statement of Purpose should make clear:

  • why you are interested in studying network science at CEU;
  • your knowledge of network science literature;
  • your openness towards and possible experience with mathematical methods and programming;
  • what is the special field of research you are particularly interested in and what kind of plans you have in that direction;
  • what kind of studies and activities you have carried out that are related to your plans.

The Statement of Purpose should not be longer than 1500 words (excluding list of references).

How to Apply:

Special PhD Fellowship 2020/21: Economic Networks – Network Economics

The economy consists of networks of interactions: supplier-customer relationships, contracts, ownerships. Network science is par excellence interdisciplinary, and it provides tools and insights for economist to solve problems in economics and finance. At the same time, economics raises interesting questions for network scientists to consider. 

CEU has recognized the importance of the interplay between economics and network science and established two PhD fellowships to promote the study of economic networks. One of the students will participate in the Economics PhD Program and will take extra courses in network science, while the other one will be student of the PhD Program in Network Science and will get additional training in economics.             

The PhD candidates will do research on the multilayer network structure of economic-financial transactions. In the first layer, banks and other financial institutions interact with each other through loans, debt and ownership in a sophisticated manner producing a complex network of interdependence. In the second layer, companies interact in supplier-customer relationships. In the third layer, consumers are linked through personal interactions and social media, spreading information and rumors. All these layers are linked: banks and firms through loans provided to firms, consumers buy the products of certain firms and take loans from banks. Recent experience has shown that this complex system is vulnerable: some local disturbance can spread through the whole system. It is of major interest to study how the different layers and interactions affect the stability of the whole. How do we map such a multilayer network in the first place? How do we model propagation? Which local disturbances spread, and which do not? How can these insights guide the regulation of banks, industry and social media? These are fundamental questions of general interest. 

You can join this scheme by applying either to the PhD Program in Economics or to the PhD Program in Network Science or to both. If you apply, do not forget to indicate that you are interested in the “Economic Networks – Network Economics” scheme. The general information about how to apply to CEU programs can be found on the website

Application deadline to the PhD Program in Network Science is February 28, 2020.