Admissions FAQ

Ready to start your application? Browse through the application checklist and start filling in the online application form here.

General Questions
How to Apply?
Financial Aid
After you Apply
Information for Accepted Students
Privacy & Data Protection

General Questions

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 certainly can apply and be accepted without having earned your bachelor's degree; you will, however, only be able to enroll if you have successfully graduated by the time the term begins at CEU.

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?
Some, but not all, of our two-year master's programs are designed for both those with a three-year bachelor's degree and those with a different background - please check the entry requirements of the program(s) you are interested in at the departmental website before you apply.

Can I apply for a two-year master's at CEU if I have a four-year bachelor's degree?
You can apply for some programs 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 a spring intake?
No.  Currently, 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 program. 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 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 further CEU financial aid, including a partial tuition waiver, for a second master's program.

Are your programs available on a part-time basis?
CEU offers full-time programs with only a few exceptions at the Department of Economics and Business.

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 is available in the Application Checklist.

How many applications can I submit?
You can submit up to 5 applications, however some schools and departments restrict the number of applications that may be submitted to their programs. Please carefully read the relevant guidelines on the relevant departmental pages.

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 am 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 or extra materials unless we request you to do so. If this happens, you'll have to submit those materials through the Applicant Portal

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 Austria. However, I do not currently have a passport. Can I apply all the same?
Yes, you can. 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 can 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?
Go here to log back in.

I have submitted my application. How can I be sure that you have received it?
We have received it if you can no longer edit it and - if it is your first application in this cycle - you have paid the application fee. Please also check your Applicant Portal – if you login and see your address displayed and the application listed, you can be sure we have received it

I'm about to send in my application. How can I be sure that I have attached 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 your application. 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). 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 some programs of the Departments of Economics and Business do require a GRE or GMAT score - please refer to the website of the program in question for details. 

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 them into one pdf file, making 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 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.


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 are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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. It will pop up once you answer the first question (Do you qualify for exemption...?) with No.

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).

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.


One of my recommenders has not received the automated email with the link to the reference form. Can you resend it to him?
Please ask your referee to check their spam folder. If the email is not there, please remove and re-register the referee on the Applicant Portal. If they do not receive the email with the link even after multiple resends, an alternative email address should be used. 

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. Please make sure to remind your referees that they have one week to submit a reference on your behalf.

For subsequent applications the automated email to referees gets sent once you hit the "Submit" button.

When do my references have to be submitted by?
They should be received latest a week after you have submitted your application. This applies even if you submit your application on the due date itself: e.g. if you submit your application on February 1st, your references must be sent in by February 8th.

Can recommendations be sent by postal mail?

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

My referees have no access to the internet. Can I submit their recommendations for them?
No, because we need confidential recommendations whose contents 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?
No. We can only consider references in English only. 


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.

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. Once this is done, please have the payment confirmation of your application fee emailed to us at

I have been trying to pay the application fee through 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);
- have a secure authentication method (PSD2) enabled on your card, and
- finish the transaction within 5 minutes.

If you still have problems, please consult your bank for assistance.

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.

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.

Financial Aid

Can anyone from any country apply for CEU financial aid?
For those programs where financial aid is available, yes.

Do all CEU master's and doctoral programs offer financial aid?
Financial aid is available for most, but not all, 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 am applying for a master's program and will be submitting my application before the funding deadline of February 1st. Would applying early increase my chances of receiving a scholarship?
No. All those applying by the funding deadline will have equal chances of being awarded CEU financial aid, including a Master's Scholarship. To improve your odds of securing both admission and financial aid, aim to submit a well-prepared, competitive application. 

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?
The online application form has a Funding section where candidates need to indicate  whether they wish to request financial aid, and may additionally answer some questions about their financial situation. There is no separate financial aid application.
Please note that not all master’s programs at CEU offer financial aid. 
Applicants to doctoral programs need not apply for financial aid because they are automatically considered for the doctoral scholarship in case they submit their application by the relevant deadline.

I have no financial resources of my own, so I need a full scholarship to fund my studies at CEU. If I complete the questionnaire in the Funding section, will I receive one?
Not automatically. You might if your academic merit ranking, demonstrated financial need, and the available funding render you eligible. Please note that it is unfortunately not possible for us to give each applicant who expresses financial need the amount of aid they want.

You say you award financial aid based on academic merit and financial need combined. Which of the two is more important: merit or need?
At CEU, we distribute financial aid based primarily on academic merit. In addition, in order to help those students from less privileged backgrounds attend the university, we try to accommodate the financial need of each applicant requesting aid and adjust their merit-based awards as much as - and wherever - possible or necessary.

What if I request financial aid in the Funding section but don’t answer the additional questions? Will I still be considered for financial aid?
Yes, except that in that case, you will be considered based on your academic merit and the amount of funding available only.

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

If I apply for more than one master's program, do I need to fill out the Funding section for each program I apply to?
No. The information you have entered in the Funding section of your first application will appear in any further applications.

I would like to be considered for CEU financial aid and will therefore submit my application by the relevant deadline. Should I also write to the Financial Aid Office?
No, it's not necessary.

I’ve been offered a place but I’m afraid I can’t accept it as the financial aid offered is less than I expected and 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 the waiting list for a new offer. However, there's no guarantee that you will advance form the waiting list.

Can I apply for (additional) CEU financial aid after I have accepted an offer of admission?
No. The financial terms and conditions stipulated in your Study Agreement/acceptance offer will hold throughout your studies at CEU. 

The form asks me to write a personal statement. What am I supposed to write about?
The personal statement is optional (as is the whole funding questionnaire), so you need not write anything if you do not want to do so. It is intended for those candidates who wish to provide further details about their financial circumstances.

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.

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 Funding section, and provide the expected date of the result.

After You Apply

Can I add new documents to my submitted application, or replace some of the submitted documents with updated ones?
No. If we need any further materials from you, we'll enable you to submit them on 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. You will also be notified by email of the result. 

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 assessment 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?
Deferring enrollment is not a standard option for admitted students at CEU. Individual units may sometimes grant deferral in exceptional cases.

Is there a waiting list?
Yes. Due to limited space availability and competition, some candidates are placed on the waiting list, which is shown on their Applicant Portal
Having been waitlisted is no guarantee for eventual acceptance.

Can I know my position on the waiting list and my chances of acceptance?
Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, we can't provide you with that information.

How long will I remain on the waiting list?
Waitlisted applicants who need a visa to study in Austria may advance from the waiting list no later than May 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 award you a self-financing place until the decisions about CEU financial aid are announced in April (which may or may not alter the financial terms of your intial offer).

Can I work while studying at CEU?
Full-time students may work up to 20 hours a week subject to departmental permission and, unless they are permanent residents or citizens of an EEA country, the acquisition of a work permit. Please note that even if both are granted, we cannot guarantee students employment because CEU does not currently offer a work-study scheme. Please consider this before accepting an offer of acceptance.

Information for Accepted Students


I’ve been offered a place but I’m afraid I can’t accept it as the financial aid offered is less than I expected and 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 the waiting list for a new offer. However, there's no guarantee that you will advance form the waiting list.

Can I apply for/receive (additional) CEU financial aid after I have accepted an offer of admission?
No. The financial terms and conditions stipulated in your Study Agreement/acceptance offer will hold throughout your studies at CEU. 

Can I work while studying at CEU?
Full-time students may work up to 20 hours a week subject to departmental permission and, unless they are permanent residents or citizens of an EEA country, the acquisition of a work permit. Please note that even if both are granted, we cannot guarantee students employment because CEU does not currently offer a work-study scheme. Please consider this before accepting an offer of acceptance.


I have applied and received notification that I am accepted. Where can I read the details of my Acceptance Offer?

Log in to your Applicant Portal, go to the section of the relevant application, then click on "View Offer":

I have applied and received notification that I am accepted. How can i accept/decline the offer?

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 the offer or decline it.

I have received an acceptance offer. What is my deadline to respond to it?
You are supposed to respond to the offer (AND pay the registration fee via your Applicant Portal, if you accept the offer) by the “registration fee payment deadline” indicated in your acceptance document.  

I have received an offer of admission, which I’m supposed to respond to within ten days. I have, however, yet to hear back regarding some other applications I have submitted to CEU. What am I to do now?
If you have applied to multiple programs at CEU, you may disregard the deadline in the first offer and hold off responding to it until you have learnt all decisions and, if you have received more than one, considered all offers (in other words, the deadline in the offer received last will apply to each.) If you wish to wait for another decision, however, please do let the Admissions Office and the department(s) concerned know that so we can adjust our timeline - thank you.

I have received an offer of admission I'm supposed to respond to by the deadline indicated in the offer. What happens if I fail to respond by then?
Unless you have indicated to us that you are waiting to hear back about another application to CEU OR have been granted extra time by the department to consider the offer, the offer will be considered as declined by you. 




Can I confirm my place of study and pay the registration fee later?

No. The registration fee payment needs to be received to confirm your place of study. If your registration fee 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 registration fee, enrollment fee and tuition fee all at once?
For all students enrolling at the Vienna campus, the CEU payment schedule for enrollment and tuition fees applies.
For candidates from outside of the EU/EEA accepted for programs held in Budapest, the 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). Students who are residing in or citizens of EU/EEA countries should refer to the CEU payment schedule.

What is the ÖH fee and do I have to pay it?
Every student enrolled at CEU Vienna must pay this fee. Please click here for details.

Privacy & Data Protection

Central European University places great emphasis on the protection of your personal information and compliance with the applicable data privacy requirements, including specifically the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

With regard to data collection for admissions purposes, please read the Privacy Notice for our Vienna campus, and the Privacy Notice for our Budapest campus respectively.