Ernst-Abbe-Platz at night

M.Sc. Economics

Description of the study program M.Sc. Economics
Ernst-Abbe-Platz at night
Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

Basic Information

  • Duration and degree

    The duration of the programme is 2 years (4 semesters). To complete the programne, 120 credit points (ECTS) are necessary. The awarded degree is Master of Science in Economics.

    The intake is always in the winter term (starting in October).

  • Short description

    The Master of Science in Economics teaches students the skills needed to thoroughly analyse economic issues and problems, understand and apply the relevant academic theory, and use the correct formal and empirical methods. This in turn will allow them to find creative approaches to problem solving and predict the political and social consequences of economic activity. Graduates will typically work in leading positions ibn banks, firms, research institutes, syndicates, public administration, or start an academic career.

    • The programme comprises a basic area (48 credits) which provides a sound education in many relevant fields of economics as well as training in soft skills.
    • In the specialisation area (48 credits) students acquire deeper knowledge in a particular field according to their interests.
    • In the master's thesis (24 credits) students demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge and skills to an economic research question within the field of their specialisation.
  • Teaching language

    The teaching language is English (except for very few elective courses in German).

    Only the specialisation area "Regional Dynamics" requires German proficiency (DSH-2). So it is possible to complete this program without German. But we recommend to learn German which is partially credited for the curriculum.

  • Application requirements

    We expect a sound pre-education in economics, mathematics, and statistics. We expect in particular a basic knowlege of microeconomics (e.g. Varian's textbook on Microeconomics or comparable), macroeconomics (e.g. Blanchard's textbook on Macroeconomics or comparable), basic algebra (including vectors and matrices), calculus (derivatives, integrals) and statistics (estimation, hypothesis tests). Furthermore, we expect some knowledge in further fields of economics (e.g. international trade, public finance, economic policy, industrial economics etc.). Please note that we are restrictive in counting courses as "economics" courses. Courses related to business administration, accounting, management, business finance etc. do not count, also courses with a more descriptive content, such as regional specifities of a certain econonmy, do not count. The education should also have a certain broadness, too strong  specialisation is unwarranted. In general, we apply the criteria in a strict manner because of the very high number of applicants.

    In case that you hold already a master degree, we will usually acknowledge only the education from your Bachelor program. Relevant courses from your master program might eventually be credited for our program. But this requires that they are part of your pre-education to get the admission.

    We highly recommend to take this self-testpdf, 210 kb · de which should help you  to find out whether your pre-knowledge and skills are a good match for our study programme.

    We cannot directly measure the quality of your education. Having several courses e.g. in microeconomics does not necessarily mean that the education in microeconomics is sound. If possible, please submit official syllabi of the courses which are relevant for admission.

    Before you apply you should be sure that this programme fits your interests and is suitable for your future plans. Make also sure that your financial situation allows for a study of two years. Recall that the faculty does not provide grants.

    The application platform Master Service Center may also ask for a motivation letter. Keep it short! Some hints you find herepdf, 17 kb · de.

    Application requirements:

    • University degree with a duration of at least 3 years and at least 180 ECTS.
    • Final grade has to be 2,5 or better (German grading system). Applicants with a Bachelor degree must be within the 65% of the best in their year.
    • Required pre-education (minimum): 6 ECTS in mathematics, 6 ECTS in statistics, 30 ECTS in economics. However, also the quality, level, and broadness of the pre-education is taken into consideration, not only the number of credits.
    • Language proficiency: English B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), certified by IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 90 (IBT). For exceptions see FAQExternal link. German proficiency is not required but recommended.
  • Application procedure

    For a detailed description of the application procedure see the official page of the Master Service Centre. You have to apply by using the online application platformdon't send your application via e-mail or on a postal way.

    The online application platform opens from April 1st, the deadline for application is July, 15th! The deadline is strict. The program starts in the winter semester only!


    • Read thispdf, 21 kb · de first before you start the online application process.
    • Be sure that you want to apply for a research-oriented program in economics. The programme is not about Business Administration, Managament, Finance, or Accounting.
    • Don't translate your grades into our grading system by yourself. Don't translate your credits into our ECTS by yourself. This is done by our Master Service Centre or the admission commission. We also do not accept if foreign authorities try to prescribe us how to translate local credits into ECTS.
    • At the end of the online application procedure you have to send the printed version of the generated formular ("Antrag auf Zulassung zu Masterstudium") with your signature to the Master Service Centre, and not to the program coordinator!
    • After the Master Service Centre has checked your documents and translated the grades, the admission commission will have access to your application database entry. The commission will start evaluating your documents as soon as possible (not waiting until the end of application period) and inform the Master Service Centre about their decision. Admission/rejection letters are then sent by the Master Service Centre. Please note that more than 90% of the applicants are in need of visa and therefore need an early decision. We do our best already. We kindly ask you to refrain from requests regarding the status of your application.
    • If you got an admission letter, The International Office of the FSU (not the faculty) is in charge for the enrolment process of international students.

Structure of the Curriculum

  • Basic area

    Compulsory courses (18 ECTS - old / 30 ECTS - new)

    Elective courses I (at least 24 ECTS - old / 12 ECTS -new)

    • Advanced Microeconomics (for students enrolled before winter 2023/2024)
    • Advanced Macroeconomics (for students enrolled before winter 2023/2024)
    • Public Finance
    • Public Choice
    • Money and Financial Markets
    • Regional Development

    Elective courses II (at most 6 ECTS)

    • Supply Chain Management
    • Marketing Mix Policies
    • Finanzmanagement, Intermediation und Kapitalmarkttheorie
    • Organisationsstrukturen
    • Steuern und Unternehmensbewertung
    • Konzernrechnungslegung
    • Theorien der Firma und strategisches Management
    • Decision Making
    • Interdisciplinary Foundationspdf, 15 kb · de

    Note that the basic area is different in case of choosing the specialisation area "Regional Dynamics". Detailed information you find herepdf, 56 kb · de.

  • Specialisation areas

    Detailed information about the structure of these specialisation areas you find herepdf, 56 kb · de.

    • Innovation and Change:
      Students of this specialisation area gain deeper knowledge on issues about technological progress and change. The fields of economics of innovation and entrepreneurship play a central role in this specialisation. Key questions related to the measurement and evaluation of economic change and progress are considered. The field has a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, industrial dynamics and socio-economic networks. A variety of interesting courses from the broad field of economic change is taught. The spectrum of the courses reaches from introductory courses of microeconomic theory of innovative behaviour and market dynamics, and advanced topics of the economics of structural change and entrepreneurship, right up to use of quantitative economic methods.

    • World Economy:
      In this specialisation area students can acquire knowledge of international economic relationships, focusing on theoretical and political aspects. Specific questions about the specialisation and trade pattern between different countries are key to several courses. Course topics range from pure theory of trade, development theory and policy, but also monetary issues of international economic relationships. On the political side,issues about competition or fiscal policy are looked at from an international perspective. A reading course is offered, allowing students to discuss scientific texts. In addition to this quantitative economics are taught to assess important issues in the other courses.

    • Economics and Strategy:
      The specialisation "Economics and Strategy" is aimed at students with a quantitative background. The specialisation is academic, not vocational with an emphasis on understanding and analysing its subject. It does not require prior knowledge of economics, but it assumes a keen interest in and an openness to economic reasoning. Courses cover a range of different disciplines. They aim at understanding the structures and strategies of economic actors and how these actors provide and respond to incentives. Core courses put a particular emphasis on quantitative and analytical methods and their relevance for economic issues. Dedicated modules focusing on behaviour, complexity, innovation and strategic interaction address the most pressing issues in modern economics. Related research areas include corporate governance, market design, network economics, game theoretic approaches to strategy, executive compensation, organisational structure, negotiation, and system dynamics.

    • Public Economics:
      This specialisation area concentrates on the economic analysis of the role of the state and its public sectors in a wider sense. Central questions about the functioning of the state as an economic actor are addressed. Topics regarding the revenue and expenditure side of government budgets, monetary and fiscal policy as well as the assessment of state interventions into the market outcome in closed and open economies play a crucial role in this area. Beyond that, important areas of public policy such as innovation and trade policy as well as education and migration policy are studied and students gain an insight into quantitative

    • Quantitative Macroeconomics:
      This specialization focuses on equipping students with quantitative skills to help them succeed in careers as economists working in central banks, financial institutions, international organizations, government departments, academia, and many more. The specialization covers various macroeconomic topics, including business cycles, economic growth, monetary economics, trade, and others. All courses have a quantitative focus and provide the relevant skills to use appropriate, up-to-date methods for solving policy-relevant economic problems. While some courses contain sections or exercise sessions dealing with quantitative methods, others focus entirely on learning empirical or computational methods that are then hands-on applied to macroeconomic research questions in computer exercises. Through this, students can carry out their own quantitative research., e.g., in the context of their Master's thesis.

    • Regional Dynamics:
      This specialisation area provides an interdisciplinary approach to a better understanding of regional dynamics. The perspectives both of economics and regional science (geography) are part of the program. This allows a more comprehensive approach to topics like migration, innovation and, more generally, economic and social change, which very often have an important regional dimension. Furthermore, also topics of special relevance for the local region are addressed. A special feature of this area is that it can be studied with an economics and a geographic background. German and English language skills are required.

    • General Economics:
      This "specialisation" area can be chosen if you don't want to specialise too much. It covers a broad range of courses from various fields.
  • Master's thesis

    The master's thesis (24 ECTS) takes 4 months (plus preparation time). The topic of the thesis has to be related to your specialisation area. You should demonstrate that you are able to apply your knowledge and skills to an economic research question. You have the opportunity to suggest your own topics, and you have to look for a supervisor for it.

  • Double Degree options

    Within this master program we are currently offering two double degree master programmes in the field of economics in coorperation with Italian universities:

    • Università degli dell' Insubria (Varese)
    • Università di Trento

    Further information can be obtained here de.

  • DigiLab option
    • Students should be introduced to teaching content closely related to digitization to a greater extent. For working in a digitized job world, an improved and intensive training in method-based and application-oriented software courses is essential.
    • After the successful completion of necessary courses, a supplementary certificate is issued to students. Those existing and new courses are closely related to digitization. The supplementary certificate certifies an up-to-date and attractive additional qualification that may serve as a unique selling point for graduates from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.
    • Further information can be found here.
  • Schedule and important information to download

Program Coordinator

PD Dr. Markus Pasche