Central European University

Vienna, Austria
Website: www.ceu.edu Founded: 1991 year Type of University:Private StudyQA ranking: 2352 pts. No. Students: 1320 No. Staff: 357 Languages: German Phone: +3613283401
Central European University (Vienna, Austria)
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About Central European University

Based in Vienna, Central European University (CEU) brings together students and faculty from over 100 countries in a community that encourages debate and the open exchange of ideas. The university is accredited in the United States, Austria and Hungary, and offers 48 English-language graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, as well as 2 interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in the social sciences and humanities. Ranking among the top 100 universities worldwide in the QS World University Rankings in a variety of subjects, CEU is known for excellence in teaching and research — with purpose.

Established in 1991, CEU’s mission is to prepare future leaders to build and support open and democratic societies that respect human rights and the rule of law. Distinctive for the integrated approach it brings to teaching, research and public service, CEU emphasizes interdisciplinary coursework and collaborative research to create new knowledge and tackle complex societal problems.

With over 1,300 students and 350 faculty members from more than 130 countries, CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism, human rights, and the rule of law. It also brings multifaceted perspective to all aspects of community life.

  • Department of Cognitive Science

    Who we are

    We explore the social and biological aspects of human cognition and behavior: how learning, processing and sharing information takes place and how the interplay between the human mind and sociocultural practices affects people’s actions. Students, together with faculty, carry out interdisciplinary research right from the start, drawing on psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, mathematical modeling, linguistics and the social sciences. Our department runs several research projects funded by the EuropeanvResearch Council in state-of-the-art research facilities with technology for infant studies, eye and motion tracking, music, EEG and NIRS. Our vibrant, multicultural community also hosts weekly colloquium talks as well as regular conferences and workshops to exchange ideas and network with fellow researchers.

    What we offer

    PhD in Cognitive Science / This research-intensive, multidisciplinary program provides specialized knowledge in the fields of social cognition, cognitive development as well as formal and biological models of perception and learning. You will receive regular supervision and practical research training in our labs, from experimental design to data analysis. You will also have the opportunity to join research groups and work closely together with faculty members.

  • Department of Economics and Business

    Who we are

    Our programs have been developed to prepare talented students – from fresh graduates to working senior executives – to thrive in today’s realities and prepare for tomorrow’s leadership roles. Our international faculty specialize in economics, statistics, finance and business and provide an ideal learning environment for future researchers, analysts, managers, decision-makers and entrepreneurs. We are also home to the award-winning CEU InnovationsLab startup incubator. In addition to coursework at the Vienna campus, students may also take advantage of academic activities and resources available on CEU’s Budapest campus.

    What we offer

    • MA in Economics / 2 years
    • MA in Economic Policy in Global Markets / 2 years
    • MS in Business Analytics / 1 year, full-time / part-time
    • MS in Finance / 1 year, full-time / part-time
    • MS in Technology Management and Innovation / 1 year, part-time
    • PhD in Economics
    • PhD in Business Administration

  • Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy

    Who we are

    We draw students with a shared passion for building environmentally sustainable and just societies from the most diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. Bridging the gap between science and policy, our research-driven programs give you strong academic foundations and real-life training necessary for understanding and solving complex environmental problems. You will tap into a network of professors, practitioners and students on campus and beyond, as well as invaluable research, field trip and internship opportunities.

    What we offer

    • MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy (MESP) / 1 year
    • MS in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM) / 2 years 
    • PhD in Environmental Sciences and Policy 

  • Department of Gender Studies

    Who we are

    Bringing together a multitude of perspectives, we encourage students to rethink and deepen their understanding of the world through a critical examination of gender in culture and society across geographic and historical contexts. Our curriculum bridges the humanities and social sciences and nurtures debate and interdisciplinary scholarship on gender and sexuality. We actively cooperate with other leading institutions in the field and are part of two international consortia, which offer various study abroad opportunities to our students. We actively cooperate with other leading institutions in the field and are part of two international consortia, which offer various study abroad opportunities to our students.

    What we offer

    • MA in Gender Studies / 1 year
    • MA in Critical Gender Studies / 2 years
    • MA in Women's and Gender Studies (GEMMA - Erasmus Mundus) / 2 years
    • MA in European Women’s and Gender History (MATILDA) / 2 years
    • PhD in Comparative Gender Studies 

  • Department of History

    Who we are

    Breaking down disciplinary and geographical borders, our programs offer broad-based training in the history of Eastern, Central and Western Europe; the Eastern Mediterranean; the Middle East; and Central Asia. Guided by an international faculty from 16 countries, you will take a closer look at the Habsburg, Romanov and Ottoman Empires and their legacies, as well as the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century through the lens of religious, cultural, intellectual and social history. You will also benefit from our innovative approach to researching, understanding and teaching comparative and transnational history. In addition to coursework at the Vienna campus, you may also take advantage of academic activities and resources available on CEU’s Budapest campus.

    What we offer

    • MA in Comparative History / 1 year
    • MA in Comparative History: From 1500 to Present Time / 2 years
    • MA in European Women’s and Gender History (MATILDA) / 2 years
    • PhD in Comparative History 

  • Department of International Relations

    Who we are

    We combine international relations research with regional expertise in the European Union and the wider European neighborhood. Our primary focuses are the evolving role of the EU, Russia, China and the U.S. in international affairs; the rise of new powers; and the role of non-state actors in world politics and the global economy. We will help you master the analytical skills needed to cut through the complex web of global politics and the practical skills required by the job market.

    What we offer

    • MA in International Relations / 1 year
    • MA in International Relations / 2 years
    • PhD in Political Science / International Relations Track

  • Department of Legal Studies

    Who we are

    We bring together students and professors from around the world to explore complex constitutional, business, legal and human rights problems in their broader context, across continents and disciplines. We have more than 20 visiting professors from top universities as well as from the legal and the human rights professions. Accredited in the U.S., our advanced degree programs offer hands-on experience inside and outside the classroom, including clinical courses, study trips, moot courts and internship opportunities.

    What we offer

    • LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law / 1 year
    • LLM in Human Rights / 1 year
    • MA in Human Rights / 1 year
    • LLM in International Business Law / 1 year
    • Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

  • Department of Medieval Studies

    Who we are

    We offer an intensive, cross-disciplinary course of study on all aspects of history and culture between 300 and 1600 CE. Renowned faculty help you uncover and understand the past of Central and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine, Slavic, Jewish, Arab and Ottoman worlds, in a global context. Our strong relationship with local universities and cultural institutions, on-site learning and field trip opportunities, internship program, source language courses and exhaustive library on all things medieval make us an ideal incubator for future scholars and professionals in and outside of academia. In addition to coursework at the Vienna campus, students may also take advantage of academic activities and resources available on CEU’s Budapest campus.

    What we offer

    • MA in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies / 1 year
    • MA in Comparative History: Late Antique, Medieval and Renaissance Studies / 2 years
    • MA in Cultural Heritage Studies: Academic Research, Policy, Management / 2 years 
    • PhD in Late Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Studies 

  • Department of Network and Data Science

    Who we are

    As the world’s first department dedicated to the study of today’s ever-growing networks, we strive to train skillful scientists who understand the structure and functions of large-scale social, economic and political systems. We are a group of sociologists, physicists and data scientists who combine data science tools with a network science approach to offer new and exciting ways to tackle complex problems impenetrable to linear-proportional thinking. We translate ideas into research projects, which are often funded through major grants from EU and U.S. agencies.

    What we offer

    PhD in Network Science / This pioneering, research-driven program will introduce you to network theory, methods and data so you can make sense of complex phenomena using simple principles of making network links. We offer advanced training in theoretical and computational methods, challenging coursework on the basic concepts and theories of large-scale networks, and hands-on experience in taming massive datasets.

  • Department of Philosophy

    Who we are

    Combining historical and analytic approaches, we cover many central areas of philosophy, and we engage in a dialogue between contemporary philosophy and its history. Our curriculum moves beyond disciplinary boundaries, with courses offered together with CEU’s Departments of Cognitive Science, Medieval Studies and Political Science. You will have plenty of opportunities to start building a global philosophical network — from attending the department’s weekly colloquia with renowned guest lecturers to taking part in international conferences, workshops and summer schools on and off campus.

    What we offer

    • MA in Philosophy / 1 year
    • MA in Philosophy / 2 years
    • PhD in Philosophy

  • Department of Political Science

    Who we are

    We bring together talented people from across the globe and help them become successful professionals who shape social, political and academic life wherever they go. Consistently ranked among the 100 best politics programs in the world, our department offers thorough, small-class trainings in qualitative and quantitative research methods, data analysis techniques and other substantive areas.

    What we offer

    • MA in Political Science / 1 year
    • MA in Political Science / 2 years
    • PhD in Political Science / Comparative Politics Track, Political Economy Track, Political Theory Track

  • Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

    Who we are

    Marrying two disciplines, we embrace a diversity of perspectives and foster a critical understanding of the social world in the face of change and crisis. Bringing together students and professors from across the world, we offer a global curriculum paired with rigorous training in diverse social science methodologies, including ethnography, interviews, discourse analysis, survey research, network analysis as well as quantitative and historical methods. Students gain hands-on experience in and outside of the classroom through an extensive research period with opportunities to go into the field, the annual graduate conference and multimedia projects.

    What we offer

    • MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology / 1 year
    • MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology with optional specialization in Global and Urban Studies / 2 years
    • PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology

  • Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy, and International Relations

    Who we are

    We are a close-knit, dynamic academic community that is home to about 50 permanent faculty members and over 100 doctoral students from all over the world. Committed to teaching and research across disciplinary and organizational boundaries, our school brings together the expertise of CEU’s Departments of Political Science and International Relations, and the School of Public Policy. We are also part of the European Graduate Network, a vibrant platform for sharing research among eight world-leading institutions.

    What we offer

    PhD in Political Science / This is one of the largest, most international and most competitive doctoral programs in Europe, providing aspiring scholars with the theoretical and methodological skills needed to challenge and shape what we know about politics, public policy and governance. We offer five specializations based on a system of tracks, which you can complement with a minor by doing additional coursework in a subfield.  As a doctoral student, you will be exposed to a great variety of perspectives and approaches. Aside from your permanent supervisor, you will also work with a supervisory panel and may join student-faculty research groups or research centers. There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to network with top scholars, spend a semester abroad, gain teaching experience at a partner university and take part in conferences, summer schools and workshops on and off campus.

    What tracks you can choose from

    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Political Economy
    • Political Theory
    • Public Policy

  • Nationalism Studies Program

    Who we are

    Founded by Ernest Gellner, this is one of the few programs in the world solely dedicated to the study of nationalism, including migration, ethnic conflict, prejudice, self-determination, populism, minority protection and language and citizenship rights. By fostering critical and cross-discipline approaches, our international faculty bring together a wide spectrum of expertise, such as political science, history, sociology, international relations, anthropology, social theory and legal studies. You will receive advanced methodological training in applied social sciences and benefit from research opportunities, conferences and lectures, as well as field trips and study visits.

    What we offer

    • MA in Nationalism Studies / 1 year
    • MA in Nationalism Studies / 2 years
    • PhD in Political Science — Nationalism Studies Minor 

  • School of Public Policy

    Who we are

    We are a global institution dedicated to preparing the changemakers of the future to take on public policy challenges at the local, national and international levels. Blending rigorous academic and practice-oriented training, our multi-disciplinary curriculum will help you develop the skills needed to make a lasting difference. Areas of study include qualitative and quantitative methods, economics, rule of law and public policy analysis, as well as leadership and negotiation skills. Our diverse student body and our faculty of top researchers, policymakers and practitioners enrich the study experience with a multitude of perspectives.

    What we offer

    • MA in Public Policy (MAPP) / 1 year
    • Master of Public Administration (MPA) / 2 years
    • MA in International Public Affairs / 2 years
    • Erasmus Mundus Masters Program in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP) / 2 years
    • PhD in Political Science / Public Policy Track

History of Central European University

CEU was founded by American-Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic and other visionary intellectuals from the region in 1991, at a time when revolutionary changes were throwing off the rigid orthodoxies imposed on Central and Eastern Europe. The founding vision was to create a university dedicated to examining the contemporary challenges of "open societies" and democratization. The initial aim was to create a Western-modeled yet distinctly Central European institution that would foster inter-regional cooperation and educate a new corps of regional leaders to help usher in democratic transitions across the region. It was originally located in Prague, but because of "political and financial conflict between its founder and Czech government" represented by Vaclav Klaus it moved to campus in Budapest.

In its second decade, CEU broadened its focus from regional to global, with a special emphasis on democracy promotion and human rights around the world. It has since developed a distinct academic approach, combining regional studies with an international perspective, emphasizing comparative and interdisciplinary research in order to generate new scholarship and policy initiatives, and to promote good governance and the rule of law.

In 2019, CEU opened its brand-new campus in Vienna, the world’s most livable city. Starting from 2020, the university will offer the U.S. and Austrian accredited degree programs at its Vienna campus. In addition to coursework at the Vienna campus, students may also take advantage of academic activities and resources available on our Budapest campus as well as program-specific exchange opportunities around the world.

Renowned as one of Europe’s leading graduate schools, CEU will be launching two interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in the social sciences and humanities at its Vienna campus in 2020.


Central European University (CEU) is accredited in the U.S., Austria and Hungary.


CEU consistently ranks among the top 100 universities worldwide in the QS World University Rankings in a variety of subjects. In 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject, CEU ranks 41st in Politics and International Studies, and 44th in Philosophy, and Social Policy and Administration. The university’s History program ranks in the top 100, Sociology in the top 150 worldwide, while its offerings in Economics and Econometrics in the top 200, together with its Law program.

Additionally, CEU’s MS in Business Analytics debuts in the top 50 and MS in Finance in the top 100 in the QS Business Masters Rankings 2019. In both rankings, CEU excelled in diversity, thought leadership and value for money in particular.

Student Life @CEU

Creating a collaborative working and learning environment is at the core of CEU’s vision. Following a multimillion-euro campus refurbishment project, each classroom is equipped with smartboards as well as microphones and cameras that enable video conferencing with just a few taps. A 200-seat auditorium and a tiered classroom have been created for high-profile lectures and large events.

Outside classroom hours, you will have access to learning and social spaces, including a library, computer and PhD labs, lounges and a cafe. The library offers a wide range of services to support learning and research, from electronic and print resources to computer workstations and bookable collaboration rooms. By September 2020, the library will house state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, including media production and audio labs.

Clubs and Activities

CEU actively encourages and supports students’ interests and activities. In previous years, there have been a huge number of activities from theater and opera visits, to dance classes and ice-skating parties. At the start of each academic year, CEU surveys student interests, and organizes different events and programs accordingly during the year.

Many clubs are formed, from chess and basketball to film and literature. The CEU Debate Society, one of the more prominent student activities, regularly participates in, hosts, and co-organizes international debate competitions.

Clubs & Student Groups:

  • CEU Board Games Club
  • The CEU Stand
  • CEU Women's Soccer Club
  • CEU Debate Club
  • CEU International Negotiation club
  • CEU Mapping Club
  • CEU Trading Club
  • Forum Doctorandum (PhD Social Club)
  • Green Action Club
  • Hiking Club
  • POLEMO Research Group
  • Table Tennis Club

Student Union

CEU students participate actively in matters of governance and management. To ensure adequate student representation the student body elects a Student Union Assembly (SUA) every academic year.

Find out more about how to make the most of your time at: www.ceu.edu/studentlife.

Services of CEU

CEU is a student-oriented university with a wide range of service units that provide personal attention and support, including the Student Center, the Center for Academic Writing and the Computer and Statistics Center. We also offer access to medical services and psychological counseling.

Student Center

The Student Center is firmly committed to create welcoming and courteous atmosphere to assist all students on matters related to Health Insurance and Legal Residence Status. The Center provides effective service to all incoming and continuing students, and advises students on various student life related matters.

Career Services Office

We help our graduates transform their CEU experience into meaningful professional engagement. The CEU Career Services Office offers guidance and support to students and alumni as they pursue personal visions for impact and success.

Alumni Relations Office

CEU’s alumni community consists of some 16,000 graduates living and working in over 130 countries. Our Alumni Relations Office organizes activities and provides services to help our graduates connect with each other and remain engaged in the university community.

Center for Academic Writing

The Center for Academic Writing provides support to help you meet the writing standards expected of you in your department and to acquire the skills you need to become proficient independent writer in English.

Computer and Statistics Center

The Center offers free computer courses (MS Office applications, statistics, presentation software, web page creation, etc.) during the academic year and assists in thesis formatting and submission.

Student Leadership and Engagement

The Community Engagement Office supports CEU’s diverse student body by providing opportunities for leadership development, community involvement, and a variety of student life activities. You may decide to start a club, join a sports team or get involved in local community service projects.

CEU's Student Leadership and Service Office plans and hosts exciting events for students throughout the academic year:

  • Welcome Week
  • Ability Awareness Day
  • DeStress Season
  • Intercultural Festival
  • Ice Skating Party
  • Common Ground Concert
  • Open MIC festival
  • NGO Fair
  • Vagina Monologues
  • CEU Festival
  • Researcher’s Night
  • Spring Ball
  • CEU Picnic
  • Graduation events
  • Concerts, exhibitions and film screenings

Psychological Counseling

CEU offers confidential student psychological counseling services, providing professional help and support for your personal concerns. Our professional counselors provide individual counseling.


  • 50 English-language degree programs
  • Students and faculty from 100+ countries
  • 16,000+ alumni across 6 continents
  • Accredited in the U.S., Austria and Hungary
  • 8:1 student/faculty ratio
  • Based in Vienna, the heart of Europe
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