Admission to the Ph.D. programme in Economics and Econometrics (PEcon)

The Ph.D. programme in Economics and Econometrics (Graduate Programme in Economics and Finance) is organised by the School of Economics and Political Science. The programme language is English.


You can apply for Ph.D. studies in Economics and Econometrics if you hold a completed equivalent Master's degree in Economics, Finance or Quantitative Methods from a recognised university, or in in another subject area related to the HSG’s School of Economics and Political Sciences. A minimum average grade of 5.00 (not rounded) is required. This is equivalent to a minimum average grade of 2.00 (not rounded) in Germany and Austria. For more information about how we calculate grades, please consult our grade conversion table.

Depending on your previous university degree, additional programme-specific requirements  may be imposed upon admission.

Admission to our doctoral programmes is not possible with a degree from a University of Applied Sciences or a degree from a tertiary education institution equivalent to a University of Applied Sciences. Admission to our doctoral programmes is not possible with a degree from a tertiary education institution without the right to award doctorates.
Admission is also not possible based on an MBA degree.

Your degree programme will be recognised if among other the following criteria are fulfilled:

  • Your degree was awarded by a university, which is recognised in the country where you attended the course.
  • You have completed all course work at a recognised or accredited university.
  • You have completed at least half of the course work onsite at the university awarding the degree.
  • You fulfil the minimum requirements for unconditional admission to Ph.D. studies at your home university.

More information on the recognition of universities and university degrees.

We would be happy to give you non-binding pre-clarification whether your previous education entitles you to apply for a Ph.D. programme. So that we can do this, please send scanned copies of all your grade transcripts and certificates together with a short CV by email to

When you apply, you must prove that your proficiency in the English language, used as the language of instruction, is at level C1 (CEFR). The University of St.Gallen accepts the following as supporting documents for admission to this Ph.D. programme:

  • English as native tongue (= language of instruction at primary and secondary school)
  • Recognised Bachelor's or Master's degree completed in its entirety in English
  • Linguistic proficiency in English at level C1 (CEFR) gained at the University of St.Gallen
  • recognised language diploma at level C1 (CEFR), such as the IELTS Academic Score 7.0, Cambridge Advanced Certificate
  • TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) with at least 100 points. You need to state the University of St. Gallen's institution code when taking the test: 7202.

An application can only be made with the following minimum score: GMAT 680 points (total score), GRE revised 160 points (quantitative reasoning).

Test results may not be older than 5 years and must be provided to us directly by GMAC or ETS before the closing date for applications. It is important to state the Institution Code of the University of St. Gallen. Should you have failed to do so, then instruct GMAC or ETS to provide us with your test results in a timely manner. (institution code GMAT 5RK-QG-07, GRE 7202)

The Programme Committee may exempt applicants from having to present a GRE or GMAT result.

The Decision of the Programme Committee

After your application, the preliminary review takes place with reference to formal criteria. Admission to the Ph.D. programme is awarded by the Programme Committee on the basis of a positive evaluation.


The degree programme can start either in the spring or the autumn semester. The application is made online. The application fee is CHF 250.

Autumn semester application period: 1 February - 30 April (*- 15 August)
Spring semester application period: 1 September – 30 November (* - 15 January)
*A longer registration period for assistants and applicants with an HSG Master's degree.

To the Online-Application

If you have already finished a degree programme at HSG and if you have been exmatriculated for maximum two semesters, please apply using the 
Rematriculation form

Please have the following information and documents ready to upload:

  • Digital passport photo
  • Signed Enrolment Agreement
  • Passport or ID card and, if applicable, a Swiss (permanent) residence permit
  • Curriculum vitae in English – style template
  • Evidence of linguistic proficiency in English
  • Study qualification test (Graduate Record Examinations: a min. of 160 in quantitative reasoning or Graduate Management Admissions Test: a min. total score of 680 points)
  • Recommendation by a professor for your suitability for Ph.D. studies: The explicit recommendation of a Master's programme lecturer for the Ph.D. In addition, recommendation letters have to be sent directly to 
  • Draft of research project with a letter of motivation and desired PEcon specialisation area (Economics or Econometrics)
  • Degree certificates from each university attended (including exchange programmes and "transcripts of records" from unfinished programmes of study). In the case of joint degrees, transcripts from each university attended, including explanatory notes on the programme of study, must be submitted. A degree certificate must show definitive final grades including a complete overview of performance (academic transcript). In the event that the actual degree certificate is still unavailable when submitting your final grade certificates, the wording of the final grade certificates must unequivocally demonstrate the objective fact of your graduation together with the academic degree (e.g. degree awarded, graduated, degree granted).
  • Documents to support the fact that admission to Ph.D. studies at your home university would be possible.
  • Proof of entry level requirements
  • Crediting request for the compulsory Master courses in PEcon

If any of the documents are not issued in German, French, Italian or English, you must also submit a certified translation of the document in German or English. Please observe our guidelines regarding "documents to be submitted" and "translations" in the Directive on the Implementing provisions of the admission regulations.

Only one file can be uploaded per bullet point. You can use online tools such as to create PDF files or to combine several pages into one PDF file. Make sure the files you send to us are legible so that we can process your application without delay.

Swiss citizens need their Swiss social insurance number (AHV number) for the application. If you do not know your insurance number, please order a duplicate of your insurance certificate from the Swiss Central Compensation Office in good time.


Related Links

Legal Basis


Questions about application / degree course:
Ph.D Office
+41 71 224 22 20

Questions about admission regulations / preliminary review:
University of St.Gallen
+41 71 224 39 31
Tue.-Thu. 10:00 am - 11:30 am