Admissions FAQ

Who can Apply?
How to Apply?
After you Apply
Financial Aid
Information for Accepted Students

Who can Apply?

Does CEU offer any undergraduate programs?
We offer only master's and doctoral programs.

I'm in the final year of my undergraduate program and will earn my bachelor's degree next summer. Can I apply for your next fall's intake?
You do not need to pay the general deposit now. If you do NOT wish to accept the self-funded offer but you would like to apply for financial aid, you should click on "Respond to offer", then go to the question "What would you like to do?" and choose "Apply for Financial Aid" from the dropdown menu. If you receive a financial aid offer that you wish to accept, you will need to pay the general deposit then (according to the new admissions offer document)..

Can I apply for a one-year master's program with a three-year bachelor's degree?
Yes, but only if there is no two-year program offered in the same field. If the departmental selection committee wants to offer you admission, it will request permission from the Provost.

Can I apply for a master's program at CEU with a different background?
Yes. Our two-year master's programs are designed for those with either a three-year bachelor's degree and/or those with an alternative background.

Can I apply for a two-year master's at CEU if I have a four-year bachelor's degree?
You certainly can if you have a background in another field. You may also do it if your undergraduate degree is in the same or a similar subject as your proposed CEU master's degree, but note that the department may choose to overrule your choice and offer you admission for the one-year program instead.

How are your programs organized? What is the duration of my program of study?

  • One-year master's degree programs at CEU typically run for 10 months, admitting students who have a four-year bachelor's degree. Most programs include an orientation session, two 12-week semesters, and a two-month spring session during which students prepare their thesis or research assignment.
  • Two-year master's degree programs at CEU, typically admitting students who have a three-year bachelor's degree, usually run for 20 months, interrupted by a summer break which does not require presence on campus. The semester structure is similar to that of one-year programs.
  • CEU doctoral programs, typically for students with a master's degree in a related field, normally take between three and six years to complete. First year: students must complete the taught course credits specified by their department. Upon the successful completion of a comprehensive examination and a dissertation proposal (or an extensive research paper), students are approved for full doctoral candidacy. Year two and beyond: the period of doctoral candidacy, in which the student pursues research toward the dissertation. For further information, see the CEU Doctoral Regulations.

See also: CEU Academic Calendar

Do CEU programs offer a fall and spring intake?
No.  Except for a limited number of programs at the Department of Economics and Business, all CEU master's and doctoral programs start in the fall semester.

What funding opportunities are available?
CEU awards an extensive range of financial packages to support its students. Please review them here.

Are there admission quotas for certain countries or regions?
No. CEU admits students based on a combination of academic merit, professional experience, and demonstrated preparation for their intended degree programs.

Do I need to find a supervisor before I apply for one of your doctoral programs?
No. The department will do it for you if you are offered admission.

I have a bachelor's degree, can I start a PhD program at CEU straightaway?
No, unless you are applying for the PhD in Cognitive Science or the PhD in Mathematics and its Applications programs. In order to be eligible for admission into a CEU doctoral program, you will have to earn a master's degree first, whether at CEU or another university.

I would like to earn a PhD at CEU while completing one at my home university at the same time. Is this possible?
No. Students enrolled in doctoral programs at CEU may not be enrolled at other universities.

I've already earned a master's degree at CEU. Can I apply for another one?
You certainly can, but please note that if you received any sort of financial aid from CEU when you did your first master's degree at CEU, you will not be eligible for any sort of CEU financial aid for a second master's program.

Are your programs available on a part-time basis?
CEU offers full-time programs with only few exceptions: some programs of the Department of Economics and Business, as well as our doctoral programs, which are also offered on a modular basis to candidates from a select group of countries.

Can I study at CEU on a distance-learning basis?
Sorry, this is currently not possible.

I have started a master's/PhD program at another institution but I've decided to quit it and continue my studies at CEU. Is it possible to transfer to CEU?
No. To study at CEU, you'll have to start the program from the beginning; some of your credits earned at the other university, however, may be accepted at the discretion of the program in question.

How to apply?


I can't seem to find the link to the online application form - where is it?
The link to the Online Application Form is available here, and also in the first section of the Application Checklist.

How many programs can I apply to?
You can apply to up to 5 programs.

My transcript (CV, statement of purpose, research proposal, etc.) consists of more than one page. How can I upload documents of multiple pages?
You can easily upload a document of up to 100 pages (as long as it does not exceed 2 MB in size) if you include all pages of the document in one single file. Most scanners allow creation of a single file containing multiple pages, or you can use a pdf merger program.

Some of the files I want to upload exceed 2 MB. What can I do?
You will need to reduce their size. To do it, please print out the pages that you want to upload. Then, scan the printed out pages into a pdf file format, and upload this new document onto the appropriate page in your online application. When scanning the document, please make sure to scan in a low (but still readable) resolution, and in black and white, to ensure that the document is under the 2MB file upload limit.

I submitted an application last year, and a planning to apply again. Can you use my last year's materials or do I have to resubmit my application?
It is not possible to reinstate an application submitted in a previous year, so you will need to submit a new online application complete with all required materials even if you are applying to the same program. (You may of course want to consider revising or updating your statement of purpose, research proposal, or CV at your discretion.)

Can I add new documents to my submitted application, or replace some of the submitted documents with updated ones?
No, you can’t edit your application after you have submitted it, nor can you send in  updated materials. Therefore, please submit your application only once you have made sure it is as complete and up-to-date as possible.  

I am applying to a CEU degree program and have already submitted an electronic application form. Should I additionally post the required documents or is the online application enough?
An online application is enough. We will need hard copies of some of your documents (see also: Academic Records) if you are admitted and decide to enroll.

Can I get an early decision so that I can apply for an external scholarship?
Yes, you can. In order to do so, please submit an application and email us to request an early decision. Please note 1) the application must be complete with all required documents and recommendations and 2) the decision, if positive, will mean acceptance on a self-funded basis only.

I am not an EU/EEA citizen and will need a visa to Hungary. However, I do not currently have a passport. Can I apply all the same?
Yes, you can apply - just leave your passport information blank in your application. You will, however, need a valid passport to apply for a visa if you are admitted.


I applied to CEU via the online application form last year. Can I use last year's login and password to start a new application?
Yes. You may start a new application using your existing account. If you have forgotten your password, click on the Forgotten Password button.

Do I need to create a new user account for each new application?
No. Please log in with the email address/password you used for the first application whenever starting a new application. The system will take you to the User Action Screen where you can choose whether to

-       edit or cancel the application you started earlier:


-       start a new application:

How can I log back in to an application I already started?
The link to log back in to started applications can be found in the automated email you receive when starting an application (if you don't seem to have received it, check in your spam folder - it may have landed in there). It is also available here. You can also start a new application using this link.

I have submitted my application. How can I be sure that you have received it?
If you have completed all mandatory fields of the applications form (including mandatory document uploads), and successfully paid the one-time application fee, the SITS system will send an email notification to acknowledge the receipt of the application. This email will also provide login details to the Applicant Portal.
For subsequent applications, submitting the application will be sufficient, the system will not ask you to pay the application fee once more. You will receive an automated message acknowledging receipt of your application only for the first application submitted. 

I have submitted my application. How can I be sure that I have sent all required documents?
The online application automatically checks a certain number of required questions and document uploads. Please note however that not all fields are mandatory, and the program you apply to might require fields to be filled in/items to be uploaded that are not marked as mandatory. Please first check the specific program requirements of the program in question, then thoroughly check all sections of the application before submitting, and also check the list of document uploads that are summarized on the last (submission) page of the application form. Please also note that references can be uploaded by the referees only AFTER you have submitted. The application will only be considered complete once the application fee payment was received.

I have started an application to a CEU degree program, but I have changed my mind and decided not to submit it after all. Can I delete it somehow?
Cancel the application for the program you no longer wish to apply for on the User Actions screen.

If you want to delete several applications you need to do so for each of them on the User Actions screen.

I am experiencing technical problems when trying to create a user account or when completing the online application/references. What should I do?
If you have any technical issues or concerns using the online application form, please contact  the CEU IT Help Desk.


I cannot find my school's name in the list of institutions in the Qualifications section. What should I do?
The list contains about 17,000 entries, so it is very unlikely that your school is not included in it. Select the country first, then look for your school within that group. Select "Other" and enter your school manually only after you have made ABSOLUTELY SURE that the list does not contain your school. Then type your school's name in the space provided.

In the Qualifications section, I would like to list a Study Abroad (non-degree, unfinished degree, etc.) program I have attended, but I cannot because no such entry is found in the degree list. What can I do?
In the Qualifications section, we need you to list your bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees completed (or to be completed in this academic year) that render you eligible for the chosen program. Any other program such as Study Abroad programs, non-degree programs, and unfinished degree programs should be listed in your CV.

The Qualifications section asks me to upload a GRE or GMAT score. Is this mandatory?
No. The GRE/GMAT field is optional. Please note, however, that a limited number of programs do require a GRE or GMAT score - please refer to the website of the program in question for details. If you possess a GRE or GMAT score you may opt to upload it even if it is not a requirement of the chosen program.

I would like to upload several additional documents but there is only 1 upload field (Other Supporting Documents). What should I do?
If you wish to upload several documents please merge these into one pdf file, and make sure the file does not exceed 2 MB.


I am in the final year of a bachelor's (master's) program, so I do not have a diploma to upload yet. What shall I do?
In place of the diploma, upload a certificate of enrollment stating, if possible, your expected date of graduation (see also item 3 of the Application Checklist). Please note that in order to be able to enroll at CEU, you must graduate before the academic year at CEU begins.

I am in the final year of a bachelor's (master's) program, so I do not have a final transcript to upload yet. What shall I do?
Upload an official current transcript. If you are accepted, we will need an official hard copy of the final transcript.

I graduated last year but my university hasn't yet issued my official diploma. Does CEU accept a certificate of graduation that certifies that I have completed my bachelor studies?
Yes, a certificate of graduation is acceptable for application purposes if the diploma is not available yet.

I have earned a master's at CEU and am now applying for a doctoral program. Am I required to upload official copies of my academic records?
If you are applying to the same department's doctoral program you have graduated from, an unofficial transcript of your CEU grades (go to to order one) will suffice. If it is some other department you are applying to, make sure to also submit your bachelor's records the same way you did when applying to CEU for the first time.

My university does not issue official transcripts to its students, but sends them directly to graduate institutions. How can I meet the requirement of submitting a scan of my official academic records with my online application?
Get a student copy to upload with your application.

Should the academic records I upload be apostilled?
No, that's not necessary.


Where should I upload my English test score report?
There is an upload field for English Language Qualifications in the Qualifications section of the online application form.

I have obtained a BA/MA from a program taught exclusively in English. My transcript/diploma does not state the program was taught entirely in English. Do I still qualify for exemption?
Yes. However in this case please upload an additional document issued by the university confirming that the language of instruction of the entire BA/MA program was English (either merge it with your transcript or diploma, or upload it in the Additional Supporting Documents field).

Can I submit my English test score (GRE, GMAT score) after the application deadline?
Applications need to be submitted complete with the required language or other program-specific test scores as applicable. English or other test scores submitted after the deadline may be considered by the program in question on a case by case basis.

I have taken a program-specific test/done an interview with the selection committee of the program I applied for. When and how will I find out about my score/the interview outcome?
Program-specific test results and interviews are for internal use only and not made known to the applicants. Only the final admissions decision will be displayed on the Applicant Portal.


I hit the "Submit" button on my Application Form. How will my referees know they need to complete a reference?

Once you hit "Submit" and your application fee payment is recorded, the referee will receive an automated email with a link to the reference form. The email states that the link expires after 21 days. Please make sure to remind your referee about the deadline.
For subsequent applications the automated email to referees gets sent once you hit the "Submit" button.

I am applying for the February 1 deadline. Do my references have to be submitted by the same date if I submit my application on February 1?
Referees have 21 days to send in their letters no matter when the application is submitted. Therefore, if you submit your application on February 1st, your references will have 3 weeks to submit. Please note, however, that programs may start the evaluation process in the meantime, so it is advisable to remind referees to submit their references as soon as possible after February 1. 

Can recommendations be sent by postal mail?

Can recommendations be submitted by electronic mail (email) or fax?

One of my recommenders has not received the automated email with the link to the reference form. Can you resend it to him?
This is a fairly common problem, which is most typically caused by the recommender's spam filter settings. Kindly ask the person to check their spam folder. If the email did not go through, you can resend the referee via the Applicant Portal, so the person will get another automated message and will have 3 more weeks to complete the reference.

My referees have no access to the internet. Can I submit their recommendations for them?
You cannot submit recommendations that were written in support of your application, as we require confidential letters of recommendation the contents of which must not be known to you. Please make sure to register referees who do have internet access.

I am applying to more than one program at CEU.  Do I need separate references for each application?
Yes, each submitted application needs to be complemented by 2 (or in some cases: 3) reference letters.  

Can recommendations be transferred onto another application?
Recommendations cannot be transferred from one application to another. A recommendation must be completed for each program you apply to.

One of my referees prefers to write the reference in a language other than English. Can they do that?


A friend/relative of mine will pay the application fee on my behalf. How can they do it?
If another person pays the application fee on your behalf using their own credit card, they can use the CEU payment gateway (secure payment method). They will have to enter your (i.e. the applicant's) details first, then proceed to pay using their credit card details.
Please make sure to hit the "submit" button on your application, only then can we record the third party payment, and receive your application.

I have very limited financial resources. Can I get an application fee waiver in consideration of my circumstances?
Sorry, the application fee cannot be waived. If you cannot pay it, we suggest you ask somebody to help you out and pay it for you via the CEU payment gateway.

I am applying for five programs altogether. Does that mean I have to pay five times EUR 30?
No. Every applicant must pay the application fee only ONCE in the same admissions cycle. After you have paid it for your first application, our application system will record the payment for all further applications in the same admissions cycle.

I have been trying to pay the application fee through the payment gateway within the online application form but I don't seem to manage. Can you help?
In order to use our payment portal successfully, please try/make sure to
-  use a supported browser;
- check that your card is one of those accepted;
- check the balance on your account;
- check your limit for online payments (maybe the purchase limit was lower than the sum of all purchases on that particular date);
- finish the transaction within 5 minutes.

Can I pay the application fee by wire transfer?
Unfortunately, this is not possible.

Can I pay the application fee by Western Union or MoneyGram?
Unfortunately, neither is possible.

After you apply

Can I add new documents to my submitted application, or replace some of the submitted documents with updated ones?
No. In case a candidate is required to submit additional/missing documents in order to comply with formal application requirements, CEU Admissions Office notifies them via the Applicant Portal.

How long after the closing date will a decision be made?
Please check the relevant admissions timeline.

I have just received an email saying there’s an update to my application on the Applicant Portal. I’ve logged in but can’t find the update- can you help?
The update is normally a decision- please check the "Decision" field for the relevant application.

How will I find out whether my application was successful?
The admissions decision will be posted in the Applicant Portal.

I see that my application has been rejected. Can I know the reasons?
If your application has met all general and program-specific entry requirements, then it has been rejected for academic reasons by the departmental selection committee, based on a thorough review of your academic and professional credentials. These include the quality of your program-specific submissions (essay, statement of purpose, research proposal, etc.), past academic performance, strength of recommendations, general compatibility with the department and program, English language proficiency, and for some programs, the admission interview and/or any test results you have submitted or achieved during the admission process. We review a large number of applications each year, which makes for an extremely competitive selection process. This means that from all the qualified candidates that apply, only a few can be accepted. 
Please note that CEU does not provide information on the reasons why an application has been rejected; if, however, you choose to apply again next year, you will be competing against a different applicant pool, and may receive a different decision.

Once accepted, can I request deferral to postpone the start of my studies?
Deferrals are not a standard option for admitted students at CEU. Individual units may sometimes grant deferrals in exceptional cases.

Is there a waiting list?
Yes. Due to limited space availability and competition, some candidates are placed on the waiting list. The waiting list status appears on the Applicant Portal
The waiting list status is no guarantee for eventual acceptance, and it depends on the given circumstances whether a person actually advances from the list.

Can I know my position on the waiting list and my chances of acceptance?
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, we cannot provide information on your waiting list position or your chances of acceptance.

How long will I remain on the waiting list?
Waitlisted applicants who need a visa to study in Hungary may advance from the waiting list no later than June 30. After that, their waiting list status expires.
Waitlisted candidates who do not need a visa may be offered admission as late as a few days prior to the beginning of the academic year. Once the academic year starts, the waiting list status expires for them as well.

Can I get an early decision so that I can apply for an external scholarship?
Yes, you can. In order to do so, please submit a application and email us to request an early decision. Please note 1) the application must be complete with all required documents and recommendations and 2) the decision, if positive, will mean acceptance on a self-financing basis only.

Financial Aid

General Questions

Is CEU financial aid available for any candidate from any country?
For programs where merit and need-based financial aid is available, all candidates are considered for it irrespective of their citizenship.

Do all CEU master's and doctoral programs offer financial aid?
Financial aid is available for most CEU master's programs. Make sure to check the information on the relevant departmental website before applying.  
Doctoral candidates applying by the relevant application deadline are automatically considered for the CEU Doctoral Scholarship.

I want to be considered for financial aid and will submit my application by the relevant deadline. Is that it, or is there an additional form to complete in order to apply for financial aid at CEU?
There is a dedicated financial aid application form for master’s students which is made available to successful candidates when they receive their acceptance notification. Applicants to doctoral programs need not submit a financial aid application because they are automatically considered for the doctoral scholarship in case they submit their application by the relevant deadline.
Please note that not all master’s programs at CEU offer financial aid. 

I would like to be considered for CEU financial aid and will therefore submit my application by the relevant deadline. Am I also to write to the Financial Aid Office?
No, submitting the online application form by the relevant deadline is sufficient.

I have received my financial aid offer but I’m afraid I can’t accept it as I don’t have enough funds of my own. What can I do?
In that case, what you may want to do is decline this offer and select “financial” as your reason for doing so. Please note, that in this case your study slot will be offered to another person and will be no longer available to you. At the same time, you will be placed on a waiting list for a new financial aid offer. However, there's no guarantee that you will advance form the waiting list.

I would like to apply for an external scholarship listed on the CEU Admissions website. How should I go about it?
Please refer to the guidelines provided on the website of the specific scholarship fund. The general CEU application forms are not linked to any of the external scholarship agencies.

Financial Aid Application Form

Your website says that the financial aid application form consists of a brief questionnaire and a personal statement. What type of questions should I be prepared to answer?
The questionnaire will provide an opportunity for you to share some basic information, including employment history, previous education, as well as available private financial resources and/or external funding, which can help to determine the most appropriate financial aid for you.

Do I need to provide official financial statements with my financial aid application (bank statement, tax papers, income certification, etc.)?
No such documents are required. Please note however that the Financial Aid Committee reserves the right to request such documents as appropriate on a case by case basis.

I have applied for an external scholarship (state scholarship, private foundation, etc.), but will not know the result at the time of applying for CEU financial aid. What should I do?
Please indicate what scholarship you applied for in the relevant section of the Financial Aid Application Form, and provide the expected date of the result.

The form asks me to write a personal statement (max. 500 characters). What am I supposed to write about?
The personal statement is OPTIONAL, so you need not write anything if you do not wish to do so. It is intended for those candidates who wish to provide further details about their circumstances, financial need and reasons for filling in the financial aid request form.

If I apply for financial aid, what is the role of my academic ranking and my financial aid application in the final offer?
For candidates requesting financial aid, acceptance offers are made based on assessment done by both the academic selection committee within the given academic program and the Financial Aid Committee.

Do all CEU academic programs offer financial aid? Can I fill in a financial aid application form for any academic program at CEU?
If you are a doctoral candidate applying by the relevant application deadline, you are automatically considered for the CEU Doctoral Scholarship and will not be required to apply for financial aid. If you are applying to Master's programs, with the exception of two self-funded programs and part-time study tracks, you will be able to apply for CEU financial aid by filling in the financial aid application form.

If I apply for more than one master's program, do I need to fill in separate financial aid applications for each program I apply to?
No, you may complete only one Financial Aid Application Form irrespective of the number of master's programs you applied for.
However, you need to indicate that you wish to apply for financial aid on the Applicant Portal for each program you were accepted to separately by choosing the corresponding item from the dropdown menu:

Information for Accepted Students


I applied for the financial aid deadline and was accepted for MA studies, but the offer displayed on the Applicant Portal says I need to pay tuition fees and living costs myself. Why?
The default offer for all accepted MA candidates is a fully self-funded one. It is displayed on the Applicant Portal so you know what the terms and conditions of studying would be if you were not to apply for CEU financial aid (e.g. in case you have sufficient funds, or have received a state scholarship or any other external funding). If you are happy to accept this offer, you may do so; if you wish to apply for financial aid, you can do so as well. In either case, hit the "Respond to offer" button.

I have applied for MA studies, and received notification that I am accepted. How and where can I apply for financial aid?
Log in to your Applicant Portal, go to the Actions section, then click on "Respond to offer". You will then be taken to a screen where you can choose to accept a self-funded place, decline it, or apply for financial aid within seven days of receiving notification of the admission offer.

I was accepted to a PhD program. Do I need to request financial aid?
No. Candidates to PhD programs will receive their financial aid offer upon acceptance to the program. Please log in to your Applicant Portal, then click on "View offer":

I was accepted to an MA program and do not intend to apply for financial aid. What should I do?
Please thoroughly read the entire offer letter displayed on the Applicant Portal, then click on "Respond to offer" in the Actions section, and choose the adequate response. You will then be taken to the online payment page to pay your general deposit.

I’ve been accepted to a CEU program and have an upcoming deadline by which I have to respond to the offer. However, I’m still waiting for a decision on my other CEU application(s). Will I lose the first offer if I wait for the other decision(s)?
No, don’t worry. If you have applied for more than one CEU program, you can make up your mind once you have received all program decisions.



I was accepted to an MA program and received a self-funded offer. It mentions a deposit payment. I want to apply for financial aid, so I am not sure if I need to pay the deposit
You do not need to pay the general deposit now. If you do NOT wish to accept the self-funded offer but you would like to apply for financial aid, you should click on "Respond to offer", then go to the question "What would you like to do?" and choose "Apply for Financial Aid" from the dropdown menu. If you receive a financial aid offer that you wish to accept, you will need to pay the general deposit then (according to the new admissions offer document).

Can I confirm my place of study and pay the deposit later?
No. The deposit payment needs to be received to confirm your place of study. If your deposit is not received by the deadline indicated in the relevant admission offer document, your study offer will be revoked.

What is the enrollment fee?
Please refer to the relevant section on our website

Do I need to pay my deposit, enrollment fee and tuition fee all at once?
For citizens from the EU/EEA region, the CEU payment schedule for enrollment and tuition fees applies.
For candidates who need to apply for a study visa, enrollment and tuition fees need to be paid prior to their visa application. Please carefully read the relevant guidelines in the Information for Accepted Students section (step 2).