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Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

International Economic Policy

Quick Overview
  • Degree programme: MSc International Economic Policy
  • Duration: 4 Semesters (120 ECTS)
  • Language of instruction: English, some electives taught in German
  • Start of Study: Winter and Summer semester
  • Application deadline: Winter term: July 15th, Summer term: January 15th, for Double Degree Programme with Ghent: May 15th
  • Application: online application
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor degree with proven competences in economics, business management, mathematics and statistics. Proof of English skills at least B2 level of the CEFR (this is equivalent to German Gymnasium Grundkurs level).
  • Semester dues: 123,80 Euro per semester (50 Euro for Student Services and 73,80 Euro for the student public transportation ticket)
  • Language requirements international students: Proof of German skills at basic (A2) level is required. For more information please contact the International Office.
Aims and Scope

The Master of Science in International Economic Policy is an internationally oriented programme which aims at preparing students for applying rigorous theoretical and empirical economic analysis to a wide range of issues relevant for business and public policy. Students successfully completing this programme will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in International Economic Policy, which serves as a stepping stone for a professional career in the private or public sector or an academic career.

After completing advanced-level courses in the core areas of economics (microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics), students can self-select into elective courses in major economic policy areas (e.g., public finance, labour economics, monetary economics, international economics, competition policy), in theoretical fields (e.g., behavioural economics, game theory, contract theory), in research methods (e.g., microeconometrics, computational economics, experimental economics), or in economic journalism. The program will be finished with a policy- or research-oriented seminar which prepares for the Master thesis.

In the spirit of its international orientation, the program can be completely studied in English. Students are encouraged to spend an exchange semester at one of the partner universities abroad and courses taken there are accredited.

Furthermore, the program offers the opportunity to pursue a dual degree which integrates two semesters at the faculty of economics and business administration at the University of Ghent, Belgium (https://www.ugent.be/eb/en). Students successfully completing this dual degree programme will receive the Master’s degree in International Economic Policy from the University of Würzburg and the Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ghent.

Prospective students are expected to display a strong interest in acquiring the academic skills necessary to address economic policy questions and to pursue scientific work. In this regard, a solid knowledge in mathematics and statistics is an essential prerequisite.

Programme Structure

The MSc International Economic Policy is a two-year programme over the course of which students accumulate 120 ECTS credits. The programme can be started in October (winter term) or in April (summer term). The application deadline is July 15th and January 15th, respectively.

Each course in the programme accounts for 5 ECTS credits and is typically taught four hours per week, with approximately half of the time devoted to the discussion of exercises and problem sets. A complete course list can be found here. As depicted in Figure 1 below, students have to select four courses from the Core area (i.e. 20 ECTS credits), eight courses from the Core Elective area (i.e. 40 ECTS credits) and four courses from the Elective area (i.e. 20 ECTS credits). In contrast to the narrowly defined Core area and Core Elective area, the Elective area includes a broad range of courses in economics and business, as well as courses taken at partner universities and specific project seminars.  While some of the Core Elective and Elective courses are taught in German, the programme requirements can be entirely met with courses taught in English. The programme is completed with a policy-oriented or research-oriented seminar (10 ECTS credits) and the Master’s thesis (30 ECTS credits).

The programme offers its students a high degree of flexibility regarding the individual arrangement of the study plan. In general, students are advised to spread their workload evenly over the course of the programme. As depicted in Figure 1, this can be achieved by

  • choosing courses from the Core area in the first and second semester,
  • choosing courses from the Core Elective area in the first, second and third semester,
  • choosing courses from the Elective area in the second and third semester,
  • taking the seminar in the third semester,
  • writing the Master thesis in the fourth semester.  

Following this study plan, students are gradually guided towards writing their Master’s thesis, beginning with the basic building blocks of the Core area and ending with the discussion of more specific and up-to date policy or research questions in the seminar of their own choice. The Master’s thesis, as the final requirement to be completed prior to graduation, will be written under close supervision by one of the economics researchers in the selected field.

Exchange Semester and Dual Degree Programme

The international orientation of the programme is strengthened by the fact that we encourage (but not require) every student to spend one semester (typically the third) at a partner university. A list of our partner universities can be found here. The courses taken abroad may be imputed in the Elective area or may be credited as equivalent courses in the Core Elective area.

The Dual Degree Programme in cooperation with the University of Ghent offers another option for international experience. This programme provides a fully integrated course structure over 4 semesters where students finally receive two Master Degrees, one from the University of Würzburg and one from the University of Ghent. It is designed for students who start in the summer term in Würzburg. Students have to register for this programme at the beginning of their studies since they will be enrolled at both universities during all four semesters. Students in this programme will typically take six courses from the Core elective area during the summer term in Würzburg. Then they switch for one year to Ghent where they take all their courses from the Core area, choose a major either in Financial Institutions and Markets or in Economic Policy and write a seminar paper. More information on the course programme offered in Ghent can be found here. Courses taken in Ghent will be either matched with courses from the Core Elective area or imputed in the Elective area. After their return to Würzburg the programme will be completed with the Master thesis.


In the bi-annual IEP-Lecture series our students will have the opportunity to discuss economic topics with prominent policymakers. The first speaker in this new series was Sigmar Gabriel, former vice-chancellor and Federal Minister for economics and foreign affairs. He will be followed by Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, former Minister in the Chancellor’s Office, former acting Federal Minister of Finance and former Minister for the environment. 

Career Perspectives

Graduates from the programme International Economic Policy have excellent job prospects in a wide range of careers in various fields. Depending on their study focus, they may work in private businesses, international organizations or public institutions where experts are needed with a broad international economics background. Economists work in

  • managerial positions in large private companies and multinational corporations as well as in consulting,
  • international organizations as analysts or researchers at the IMF, central banks as well as various UN and EU organisations,
  • national ministries, governmental agencies and public organisations such as trade unions, employers’ confederations or industry associations,
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which focus on consumer, environmental or development issues,

Economists with a strong theoretical or methodological orientation and interest may continue academic work in universities or research institutes.

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