Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Admission requirements and application

The Program

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  • My bachelor's degree is not in economics. Is it nevertheless possible to be accepted to the program and follow it successfully?

While most students do have a first degree in economics and/or business, we also encourage students from related disciplines to apply if they fulfill our admission requirements. You need to have taken at least 40 ECTS credit points (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) in economics and 15 ECTS credit points math/statistics/econometrics during your bachelor's degree to fulfill the prior coursework requirements for admission.

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  • I have majored in economics, but the program I have completed does not have a strong quantitative focus. Is it nevertheless possible to successfully follow the Master in Economics at Ruhr-University Bochum?

Yes, while the program aims at introducing students to advanced methods and concepts of economics, a strong quantitative background is not required. The three core modules during the first year will prepare you for more advanced courses, and we strongly recommend to follow them. But an interest in quantitative methods in general is required for our program.

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  • What are the prerequisites for admission?

You need a Bachelor’s degree in economics or a related discipline with at least six semesters of regular period of study (180 ECTS). In your bachelor's degree you must have gained a minimum of 40 credit points (ECTS work load) in economics and a minimum of 15 credit points (ECTS work load) in statistics/econometrics and mathematics. 

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  • How do I apply?

Please apply online via the university’s central application portal (see the “Application” menu item). The online application website is activated in May for the winter term and in November for the summer term. Applications before activation of the online application system cannot be accepted.

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  • How do I take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

Please find all information concerning the TOEFL on the official website http://www.ets.org/toefl. After you take the TOEFL test, your test scores are submitted to us directly within 4-5 weeks, if you use our designated institution code 3296 when taking the test (Institution Name: “Ruhr-Universität Bochum, MSc in Economics”).

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  • How good do my English skills have to be to enter the program?

The admission requirements set a minimum standard of English language skills according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level B2. Please read our Admission Requirements to find out which English proficiency proofs are accepted. Generally, you should enjoy reading English texts as most of the economics literature is in English. You will be able to further improve your skills throughout the program as you read, write and give presentations in English. 

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  • How can I prove my English language proficiency to be eligible for the MSc in Economics?

Please read our Admission Requirements for detailed information.

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  • When is the closing date for applications?

Whereas the closing date for the winter term is July 15th, the corresponding date for the summer term is January 15th. There is no option of late submission. Please read our Application page for detailed information.

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  • I am graduating just after the application deadline (July 15th/ January 15th). Can I still apply?

Yes, if you are a German, EU or international applicant from outside the EU with a German bachelor’s degree. German/ EU applicants, who have not received their bachelor’s degree certificate or who have not finished their studies by July 15th/ January 15th, may still apply and submit their application without their degree certificates by July 15th / January 15th. Eligibility for the program will be determined based on your most current transcript of records. At least 150 of 180 ECTS need to be successfully completed when you apply. Provided that your average grade meets the required grade ("Numerus Clausus") and that you fulfill the admission requirements, you will receive an admission letter conditional upon providing your bachelor’s degree certificate by RUB’s enrolment period (shortly before the start of a semester). In any case, you must have completed your studies and received your final degree/diploma by the time of enrolment, otherwise you must not enroll and your admission letter becomes void. International students (from outside the EU without a German bachelor’s degree) must supply all required documents by the application deadline (July 15th/ January 15th), in order to receive their admission notification and submit their visa application in a timely manner.

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  • I cannot submit the required application documents by the application deadline. Can I send my application documents later?

No, there is no possibility of late submission. If you miss more documents than your bachelor’s degree certificate or if you need credit points from your final semester to fulfill our admission requirements, you need to wait until the next application period. If you are a German, EU or international applicant from outside the EU with a German bachelor’s degree, final admission decisions are based on your preliminary transcript of records including your average grade. At least 150 of 180 ECTS need to be successfully completed when you apply. International students (from outside the EU without a German bachelor’s degree) must supply all required documents (including a bachelor’s degree certificate) by the application deadline (July 15th / January 15th), in order to receive their admission notification and submit their visa application in a timely manner.

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  • The average grade of my preliminary transcript of records has not fulfilled the required grade (‘Numerus Clausus’). Can I apply again with my (improved) final bachelor's degree?

No, it is not possible to apply again with your (improved) final bachelor's degree. Eligibility for the program will be based on the transcript of records (for international students: bachelor's degree certificate) which you have provided by application deadline. Please make sure that  your transcript shows an average grade of all obtained courses.

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  • Is it possible to apply for more than one Master at Ruhr-University Bochum?

 Yes, you may apply for several programs simultaneously (each program requires a separate application package). However, note that you may not be enrolled in more than one Master's program at the Faculty of Management and Economics, i.e. if you have received an admission letter for the MSc in Management and the MSc in Economics, you have to choose one program, you may not enroll in both. If you want to enroll in another Master's program outside of our faculty next to the MSc in Economics, please consult the other faculty's admission requirements first.

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  • Can I transfer credit from a previous Master’s or Bachelor’s Program? Can I transfer to the MSc in Economics from another university in a higher semester?

Generally, credits from Bachelor’s degrees cannot be transferred into a Master's program. Credits from previous Master's degrees cannot be transferred either because we cannot transfer credits from a already completed degree. 

However, you may transfer into our program from  another Master's program in economics or a related discipline from another university provided you fulfill our general admission requirements for first semester applicants. Please contact the program coordinator to learn about the possibilities of transferring into our program in a higher semester ("Wechsel im höheren Fachsemester"). 

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  • How do I fill out the online application form?

When applying online, you have to fill out an online application form. Although it is self-explanatory how to proceed, here are some hints for filling out the form: 

When being asked  for the degree you are applying to, please select the subject (economics) and qualification and then make sure to confirm your selection by clicking on the blue button "Add degree to application". 

When being asked for the years of study at a foreign university, you need to state the number of years in X,X format. For example, if you have completed a Bachelor program in four years outside of Germany, you have to type in 4,0.

For EU and German applicants: On the checklist ("Kontrollblatt") which is sent to you via email after applying online, it says July 15th as deadline for all documents to be submitted. Please kindly note that eligibility for the program will be determined based on your most current transcript of records. At least 150 of 180 ECTS need to be successfully completed when you apply. In any case, you must have completed your studies and received your final degree/diploma by the time of enrolment, otherwise you must not enroll and your admission letter becomes void.

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  • What is a 'certified copy' of a document and where can I get one?

A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been verified as being a true copy after the primary document has been sighted by an authorized person. All copies that you send with your application need to be certified copies. We accept certification by the following authorities:

  • Your university (registrar or student services) where you have obtained your degree can verify authenticity of copies for university documents (e.g. transcript, Bachelor certificate).
  • a Justice of the Peace
  • a Notary Public
  • a local court
  • an examining public authority (e.g. municipality).

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  • Why do I have to send a pre-paid and self-addressed envelope/an international reply coupon with my application documents?

It is not obligatory to include the envelope/coupon. You only have to include such an envelope/coupon if you want your application documents to be sent back to your home address after the application process is terminated. If international reply coupons are not available in your country you have to send your application package without a return envelope.

In case you do not provide the pre-paid return envelope your documents will be disposed after the application procedure is completed.

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  • When will I receive the admission notification?

For the MSc in Economics, we send out admission notifications to potential students by approximately mid-August for the winter term and by mid-February for the summer term. Please note that you receive your admission notification ('Zulassung' or 'Zulassungsbescheid') online! You can access your account and inform yourself about the status of your application here.

Please note that due to university regulations and the time needed to process all applications, it is not possible to receive your admission letter earlier, even if you are an international student and need to apply for a visa. We would like to ask you for patience, please refrain from asking for special treatment. 

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  •  What are the greatest strengths of the MSc in Economics?

The MSc in Economics is taught in English by highly reputable faculty members with strong teaching specializations, has an excellent student-teacher ratio, charges no tuition fees, and develops valuable skills that are highly sought after by employers. Ultimately, our students are equipped with the knowledge they need to build exciting, fulfilling careers. While studying, students benefit from a vibrant location, excellent facilities and a range of professional and leisure activities at Ruhr-University. Foreign students learn German during their stay in the country which is an additional asset. 

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  • Is the program practice-oriented?

We have designed the program to provide students with the practical and theoretical knowledge that is needed to take up interesting professions in the private sector and in public institutions. In general, the program offers applied economics and analyzes economic policy within different subject areas. The Master in Economics can also serve as a starting point for an academic career.

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  •  What exactly is a “module”?

A module is made up of either one course or several individual courses which cover similar or complementary topics and are coordinated within the curriculum. Each module is worth a certain number of credits. The number of credits reflects the amount of time you need to spend on completing the module (class times, preparing and revising materials, studying for the exam, completing all assessments, etc.). Each credit point is roughly equivalent to 30 hours of work.

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  • How many modules can I choose from?

There are approximately 15-20 different economics modules offered every semester. Classes are usually small (10-30 students). This excellent student-teacher ratio allows for optimal learning conditions and intensive mentoring. 

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  • Can I take courses elsewhere in the University?

Students have the opportunity to take up to 15 credit points in Management courses offered at the Faculty of Management and Economics. You can choose from a broad range of business and management courses. Upon request, you may also take credit points at other Ruhr-University divisions offering Master’s level courses that contain economics (at least partly). Furthermore, RUB is part of the university alliance in the Ruhr area and closely cooperates with the Technical University Dortmund and the University Duisburg-Essen. Students of all three institutions profit from a broad choice of different courses at all three universities. Course certificates are mutually approved without difficulty.

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  • Where can I find descriptions of the course offerings?

You can find information on the structure here. You can find an overview of all economics modules in the Student Handbook.

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  • Are there any language courses in German and/or English that I can follow?

Language courses are not part of the program. However, the Center for Foreign Langauges ("Zentrum für Fremdsprachenausbildung (ZFA)") at Ruhr-University offers courses to learn or improve German and English. There are intensive German language courses for international students before and during the semester (see here) . The ZFA also offers English and Business English courses for economics students which are free of charge and highly recommendable. However, participation is limited to ensure small course sizes.

Please also refer to the International Office for advice.

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  • Is there a timeline that I should follow while studying?

Including the time needed to complete the master’s thesis, it should take you two years (four semesters) to successfully complete the program. On average, you should strive to achieve 30 credit points per semester in the first three semesters to be able to fully concentrate on your master’s thesis in the fourth semester.

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  • Can I study part-time?

The Master in Economics is a full-time study program with a regular period of study of four semesters. However, you can postpone courses to the following semester if you do not succeed in completing all courses in the given semester.

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  • I am an international student. Where can I find information and help concerning my stay in Bochum?

The International Office at Ruhr-University Bochum (http://international.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/index.html.en) is an excellent contact point for all inquiries, special needs and interests of international students in Bochum. You will find information on your studies, living in Bochum, certain requirements like obtaining a Residence permit, extra-curricular activities and so on. We strongly advise all international students to get in touch with RUBiss (RUB International Student Services) already before the semester starts.

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  • Can I study a semester abroad?

In the program there is no compulsory semester of study abroad. However, master’s students have the possibility of spending a semester at one of our partner universities. Students studying abroad via an exchange program will be exempt from all tuition fees at the host institution. Please refer to the International Office where you will also find a list of all Ruhr-University Bochum’s partner universities: http://international.rub.de/ausland/studium/allekooperationen.html.en.

Furthermore, for those students starting in the summer term the Master’s Program offers the unique possibility of a double degree program in cooperation with the University of East Anglia. For further information, please have a look at http://economics.rub.de/fileadmin/MAKRO/pubs/2010-2020/UEA-Doppelmaster-2011.pdf (only in German) or contact the Chair of Macroeconomics, Prof. Roos.

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  • Are all courses taught in English?

All courses are taught in English. The only exception are some specialized courses and courses on German law which require you to read German law articles and are thus taught in German. 

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  • How long does it take to write the master’s thesis, and can I choose my own supervisor?

The thesis takes 14 to 20 weeks. A supervisor can be chosen among economics’ professors of the department who are currently teaching over the period you write your thesis. Please note that  the respective professor may impose his own requirements before agreeing to supervise your thesis, e.g. succesful completion of a seminar first. 

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  • What is the B.I.S.S.?

B.I.S.S. stands for Bochum International Summer School. The B.I.S.S. offers courses during the summer break, usually in August, that are taught by both professors from abroad and faculty members from Bochum. By enrolling in the B.I.S.S., students may obtain credits towards their Master’s degree.

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  • Is there any online learning support?

Yes, there are two e-learning platforms, Blackboard and Moodle. Both allow teachers to offer resources for students to access online, for example, literature, course material and videos. Furthermore, applications such as online tests, online chats and forums are available. Every Master module is supported by an online course to enhance teaching and learning efforts. You can access Blackboard an Moodle with your individual RUB Login-IDs.

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  • What is FlexNow?

FlexNow is the electronic examination management system at the Faculty of Management and Economics. Here you can register for examinations, review your achievements to date and print certificates for already completed module examinations. After enrolling in the program, you will gain access to the system with your student user data at http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/wiwi-pa/.

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  • Are internships available in the program and can they count towards the degree?

No, the program does not include a compulsory internship. However, we encourage our students to do internships during the semester break to gather practical experiences. There is an internship office at the faculty (http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/wiwi-praktamt/index.html, only in German) which provides you with information on internships and internship/job postings. 

You can also write your master’s thesis in cooperation with an institution or company outside of the university if you arrange for such cooperation yourself and the supervising professor agrees to the cooperative thesis.

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  • Are there any tuition fees for the program?

There are no tuition fees to study at Ruhr-University Bochum. However, there is an enrollment fee of approximately 300 Euros per semester. This compulsory payment also covers state-wide public transport in North Rhine-Westphalia and entitles students to reduced rates in museums, theaters and other institutions.

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  • Are there opportunities to work as a tutor or research assistant?

 It is possible for some students who are performing well to find work at one of the Chairs at the Faculty of Management and Economics or elsewhere at the university. Vacancies for student assistant jobs are posted by means of bulletin-board flyers on campus and online (Faculty’s and Chairs’ websites), and you need to apply directly to the contact person listed. 

You can also find general job postings on RUB's Jobbörse (only in German).

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  • Do you offer scholarships for the program?

No, the program is not able to provide any sort of scholarship. Comprehensive information on available funding and scholarships for international students studying in Germany is provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (http://www.daad.de/en/).

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  • I still have questions and need some help. Who can I contact?

Please send an email to the program coordinator (econmaster@rub.de), for all remaining questions. For questions not directly related to the Master in Economics, international students may also contact the International Office which offers advice and counseling for foreign students studying in Bochum. Please refer to http://international.rub.de/intoff/index.html.en.

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