What Our Alumni Say

Maria Stanisheva (MA '03)

Film director, producer and founder of ANIMADOCS

"The MA program was unique as it was specifically designed for the change that was happening in Central and Eastern Europe at that point in time and it gave me an incredible insight into critical thinking and contemporary political thought."

Ioana Petre (MA 2009-2011, PhD 2011-2016)

Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation

Ivan Vukovic (PhD 2009-2014)

Mayor of Podgorica, Montenegro 

Chirayu Thakkar (MA 2018-2019)

Manager to a Member of Parliament in India

Akop Gabrielyan (MA 2012-2014)

Executive Assistant to Founder & CEO at Teach For Armenia Foundation "Today I visited CEU, where a Master's degree was received some years ago. Referring to the years of my study here, I always remember these years with satisfaction and the feeling of pride, as I didn't betrayed my views, remained loyal to the idea of academic impartiality..."

Hani Sulastri Hamid & Marko Kukec (MA 2012-2013)

Hani is Planning, Learning and Accountability Coordinator at Rikolto Indonesia & Marko is Post-doctoral researcher at Helmut Schmidt Universität, Hamburg "When we first met as colleagues at the Department of Political Science, we could not have imagined how profoundly the year spent at the CEU will shape our professional and private lives."

Bruno Castanho Silva (PhD 2012-2017)

Post-doctoral researcher, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne "Pursuing a PhD in political science at CEU was one of the best decisions I took in my academic career. The department is incredibly diverse in both methodological and substantive interests, with world class scholars."

Gergo Zavecz (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2011-2017)

Junior Research Fellow, Central Bank of Hungary "My time at CEU was remarkable in so many aspects: I was a CEU student when I did my first empirical research, when I first received a research grant, when I first published in a journal, when I was first asked to write a book chapter..."

Imre Szabo (MA 2009-2010, PhD 2011-2016)

Post-doctoral fellow at University College Dublin "The single best decision in my professional life was when I applied to CEU’s Political Science MA program in 2009. I had an experience at CEU that shaped who I am in fundamental ways. I have learnt how to process complex information about the functioning of political systems and societies."

Bogdana Buzarnescu (MA 2009-2010)

Principal Assistant - Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe "CEU, and in particular, it’s political science department, has been an enriching and truly formative period for me. Firstly, it has been a year of intensely demanding yet intellectually stimulating studies."

Constantin Manuel Bosancianu (MA 2008-2009, PhD 2011-2017)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, “Institutions and Political Inequality”, Political Economy of Development research area, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany. "I have pursued both my MA and my PhD degrees at CEU, and I consider it to have been an excellent choice. The programs have allowed me to gain the skills that are indispensable on an increasingly competitive European academic job market."

Maria Fedorova (MA 2013-2014)

Data Analyst at International Organization for Migration "Few years in my life so far were as intense, challenging, and rewarding as the year I spent at CEU. The academic excellence combined with a great variety of classes was truly impressive. The knowledge I got proved to be useful years later and helped me substantially in my work."

Sharon S. Belli (MA 2014-2016)

PhD Researcher, Political Science Dpt., University of Antwerp, Belgium "CEU made me fully understand my potential. Each student is treated individually and professors make sure that everyone develops a critical mind along with valuable skills. I would never have gone on with the research if it were not for the mentors, professors and colleagues who challenged me."

Ivan Nikolovski (MA 2015-2017)

Junior researcher at the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ – Skopje and President of JEF Macedonia – Macedonian national section of the Young European Federalists movement "The primary reason for choosing the 2-year master program in Political Science at CEU was to upgrade my knowledge of the state-of-the-art and gain the necessary research skills. But CEU offered me more than that."

Martin Molder (PhD 2012-2017)

Researcher, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu "I will always look back at CEU with fondness and gratitude. By now I have been working and studying at different universities for around 15 years. From all that, my time at the Department of Political Science at CEU clearly stands out."

Zainiddin Karaev (PhD 2001-2004)

Trust Funds management - Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Group, The World Bank "For me, experience at CEU and Budapest has been transformative in every way. CEU offered enabling learning environment, backed by a strong group of professors, who were friendly yet demanding."

Maximilian Spinner (2007, PhD)

Foreign Policy Department of the Federal Chancellery, Berlin “For me CEU was a very intense and enriching experience, both academically and personally. Academically in terms of a demanding but intellectually very rewarding environment, personally through the great variety of students’ nationalities, academic and professional backgrounds.”

Armin Haeberle (MA 2004-2005)

Head of Corporate Development Frankfurt Business Media - Part of the F.A.Z. Publishing Group, Frankfurt, Germany "CEU was a great experience for me. While the academic level was really demanding, the atmosphere was always friendly and the support and interaction with the professors and university staff a real pleasure. I wouldn’t have thought that a Master’s Degree can be so intense and intellectually stimulating and so much fun at the same time."

Juliane Sophie Stein (MA 2012-2014)

Researcher, Institute for Political Science - Centre for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Science "One of my major motivations for choosing CEU's Department of Political Science was the attractive combination of excellence in teaching and research on the one hand, and the good range of scholarships on the other. "

Olga Victorovna Smirnova (MA 2001-2002)

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University "My life can be divided into before and after CEU. This was a truly transformative year for me as a student of Political Science. Coming from one of the far most regions of Russia, I have experienced new cultures, met new life-long friends..."

Anna and Dave McKeever (MA 2011-2012)

Anna is Research Associate at Ulster University, while Dave is Part-Time Lecturer at Ulster University "We studied together on the Political Science MA program and married two years after meeting for the first time. CEU education, the outstanding staff, the resources at the department, and the intense workload (there is no point in pretending otherwise) change people."

Benedek Kurdi (MA 2012-2013)

Doctoral Candidate, Social Psychology, Harvard University "The curriculum of the Political Science MA program at CEU offers a reasonably broad and, at the same time, in-depth introduction to the social sciences. The Department of Political Science is very special in the sense that whereas each professor has their own preferred methods..."

Aliya Abbasi (MA 2012-2013)

PhD candidate, University of Queensland "Every day spent at CEU was full of learning, challenges, opportunities, motivation and a sense of achievement. I came to the Political Science Department with a particular aim to study research methodology but my whole conception about knowledge has changed."

Batlang Seabo (MA 2012-2013)

Lecturer in Political Science, University of Botswana "Studying at CEU, in the Political Science department, is indeed a rare privilege that will potentially open up opportunities for me in the future, particularly for my career in research. It is a life-changing experience, an investment in my future."

Andrej Nosko (IRES MA 2005-2006, PhD 2013)

Director for Europe at PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law "To succeed in the current world, you need transferable skills, which will enable you to succeed in many walks of life. CEU provided me with intellectually stimulating environment to acquire them and head start my career."

Stela Garaz (MA 2004-2005, PhD 2005-2012)

Consortium Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at Habitat for Humanity EMEA "CEU contributed greatly to my professional growth due to its committed faculty, access to a great variety of resources, and high quality of teaching. But most of all I have benefited of the enriching multi-cultural environment of the university with its unique body of students..."

Daniel Horn (MA 2003-2004, PhD 2004-2010)

Senior Fellow, Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences "CEU is a true academic and intellectual community. Meeting people from all around the world and contrasting approaches from all around the scientific spectrum helped me to develop personally..."

Grigorii Golosov (MA 1993-1994)

Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg "I spent the 1993-1994 academic year at CEU Pol Sci Department, then newly formed. Academically, the time spent was more than worth it. The variety of different subjects within political science that the relatively small academic staff was able to offer was simply astounding."

Annamaria Orban (PhD 1999-2003)

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Communication, Budapest University of Technology and Economics "The CEU PhD program helped a mother of two kids near 40 to speed up her academic carrier… "

Evgeni Evgeniev (MA 2000-2001, PhD 2001-2007)

First Secretary at Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the European Union “CEU is a meeting place for people of different cultures, knowledge and experience. "

Mano Toth (MA 2010-2011)

PhD, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge "My time at CEU was very rewarding. Engaging in thought-provoking debates expanded my vision and allowed me to go beyond the rather top-down learning experience of my undergraduate years"

Jennifer Yip (MA 2010-2011)

Supervisor, Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP), Refugee Services of Texas "CEU has allowed me develop my capacity in many ways. The activities organized on and off campus made me more socially active and the courses more academically-driven. "

Miles Maftean (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2012)

Lecturer, Eotvos Lorand University "My experience at CEU led me to develop a whole different idea of what learning actually is - it isn't simply obtaining and retaining truth and justifying this truth, but understanding what truth means to all different groups of people around the world"

Winne Ko (MA 2010-2011)

Project and Policy Officer at International Diabetes Federation Europe "CEU is truly global and the 10 month experience not only filled up my intellectual capacity, but also changed my way of thinking about the wider world"

Yuliana Palagnyuk (MA 2003-2004)

Head of the Jean Monnet Department, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Policy and Management, Institute of Public Administration, Black Sea Petro Mohyla State University in consortium with “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” "CEU was a wonderful experience as it helped me to grow both professionally and personally. "

Endre Danyi (MA 2002-2003)

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main "The Central European University is all about transformation and movement. It is about the fascination with the ways in which societies, places and practices transform – sometimes slowly, sometimes overnight."

Emilia Lubenova (MA 2007-2008)

Business Development Expert at New - I JSC, Bulgaria "CEU and my Budapest experience are very precious to me, I will always keep them in my heart. You helped me to be what I am now - I feel young and successful and it is sure that you contributed a lot to this feeling of mine"

Sule Chousein (MA 2006-2007)

PhD Candidate, Atatürk Institute on Modern Turkish Studies, Bogazici University "I regard my one year MA experience at the CEU as the best experience of my life. CEU is indeed a unique home which blends academic excellence with her truly dedicated, friendly and professional academic staff with equally exceptional students from all over the world."

Mariana Sireteanu Gustavsson (MA 2000-2001)

Postdoc in Political Science, Linköping University, Sweden "Looking back I can describe CEU as a great meeting place for people, for different cultures, knowledge and experience"

Hairong Lai (PhD 2003-2008)

Executive Director, China Center for Overseas Social and Philosophical Theories "Central European University opened up a new world of research in political science to me."

Peter Stamatov (MA 1995-96)

Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy and Distinguished Researcher and Santander Endowed Chair at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute for the Social Sciences (Madrid) "I remember the year I spent at CEU as an exciting time of exposure to ideas and people new to me"

Peter Vagi (MA 2002-2003)

Senior Adviser, Policy Making, Strategy and Reform at OECD - OCDE / SIGMA, Paris, France "Studying at Central European University was one of the greatest journeys of my life. Being a Hungarian myself, it was also a great experience to explore my home city, Budapest together with foreigners from all over the World"

Programs, Specializations and Eligibility

- Can I apply for a Bachelor’s program in Political Science?

CEU is a graduate institution and does not offer Bachelor’s programs. If you complete your BA studies, you will be eligible for the Master's program at CEU and we would be delighted to receive your application.

- Should I apply for the One-year MA program in Political Science or the Two-year MA program in Political Science?

If you have completed four years of undergraduate university you should apply for the one-year MA program. Applicants with a three-year Bachelor's degree will be considered for two-year Master's programs. If you already completed a 3-year BA and another 1-year MA or two 3-year BA degrees (and not two specializations within 3 years of your BA) you should also apply to the one-year MA program. Exception to these rules will be granted only to exceptional cases.

- Do I have to have Political Science background in order to be eligible?

You do not neccessarily have to have political science background. Applicants are eligible coming from various fields.

- I am attending a 4-year BA program but I wish to graduate in three years. Can I apply for the One-year MA program in Political Science?

Yes, but your admission will be conditional on your successful graduation.

- What are the areas of specialization at the Political Science Department?

We offer certificates of specialization, you can find out more about the certificates at the following link: http://politicalscience.ceu.edu/certificates.

Admission deadlines

- What is the final deadline for submitting an application to the Master’s programs?


- Can I submit a delayed application?

Applicants can submit late applications only in very exceptional cases. CEU does not usually accept late applications, so please contact us via email if you are facing this problem. Even if your late application is not accepted, you will be more than welcome to apply to our programs in the next application season.

Application fee, financial aid packages and funding from external resources

- Do I have to pay the application fee?

The payment of the application fee is mandatory for all applicants and cannot be waived under any circumstances.The fee should be paid by bank card via the CEU online application form's. An application will not be processed until payment has been received and processed. For the details of payment method please check https://www.ceu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/checklist#step-7
Please check that your card is one of those accepted; your balance and limit are properly set, and note that you have to finish the transaction in 5 minutes.

- What kind of financial aid packages are available?

Please check the website: http://www.ceu.edu/financialaid.

- I want to apply for external funding but I need to submit a preliminary acceptance letter. Can I obtain it from CEU?

Yes, CEU can provide support and the documentation for these scholarship applications, provided the applicant prepares a competitive admissions package and submits this in time for the department to be able to review it. Candidates opting for preliminary acceptance are requested to notify the department about their intention in advance and submit their online application form to CEU as soon as possible. External funding may provide additional resources for eligible candidates to cover the expenses of their studies, therefore we encourage you to seek out these opportunities. Please check: https://www.ceu.edu/admissions/funding-fees/finaid-applicants/external-s... 

- Is there any opportunity for the students to get part time employment at the university to be able to cover the remaining costs of their studies?

There are only limited part time job opportunities at CEU, and these are very competitive. Usually these are ad-hoc positions, and as such students should not plan to rely on these. We rather recommend seeking out external-to-CEU scholarship opportunities that might be available in your home country. MA students can work only with the permission of the Head of Department and only in case the workload is not in conflict with their academic requirements. The legally determined working hours for students are less than 20 hours per week. You can always inquire at the Career Office (http://alumnicareer.ceu.edu/) regarding open positions.

General CEU admission requirements: Academic records and Recommendation letters

- What kind of academic records shall I submit with my application?

When you submit your academic records, you must upload a scanned version of your original full Bachelor's and Master’s transcript (if applicable), as well as an official English version/translation of your full Bachelor's and Master’s transcript (if applicable) including an explanation of the grading system. An official English translation bears the stamp and signature of a sworn translator or an authorized official of the institution that has issued the original. It should contain the stamp and signature on each page or over a folded and fastened corner of the document, and include a statement of authenticity in English. You also have to provide the originals (not electronic copies) if your application is accepted.

- I am in the final year of a Bachelor's/Master’s program, and I do not have a diploma/final transcript to upload yet. What shall I do?

Applicants in the process of completing a degree program must submit an interim transcript and, in place of the diploma, a certificate of enrollment confirming their student status and, if possible, stating their expected date of graduation. Please note that in order to be able to enroll at CEU, you must graduate before the academic year at CEU begins.

- I have completed my Bachelor's/Master’s studies but I have not received my diploma yet. What shall I do?

Applicants having completed their degree program and having yet to receive their diploma must submit a certificate of graduation issued by their home university.

- Who can write my letters of recommendation?

You must have two confidential letters of recommendation assessing your ability to conduct graduate-level work, and potential for a successful academic or professional career. The letters of recommendation must be written by faculty members or job supervisors – i.e. people most familiar with your academic and/or professional abilities and character – in English. Please note that these recommendation letters should be submitted directly to the online application system. CEU does not accept letters of recommendation whose contents are known by the candidates concerned.

Language requirements

- What are the language requirements at CEU?

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting standardized English language test scores, e.g., the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other substitute tests. You can find the minimum test scores required for the admission to Master's programs here: https://www.ceu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/checklist#step-5

- I have completed my studies in English, what should I do to obtain a waiver of the English proficiency requirement?

Applicants should submit a certificate from the institution where they completed, or are completing their BA or MA diploma, stating that the program was completed exclusively in English. Please note that if you only studied specific subjects in English you might be required to provide official language scores. For details, please check: http://www.ceu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/checklist (Point 6). Please note that it is at the discretion of the department to accept these certificates.

- I took a TOEFL exam but my score is not sufficient for acceptance. What shall I do?

Applicants can be admitted to CEU only if they meet the language requirements. If you do not have sufficient English results but you only lack a few points, your application might be still accepted – pending permission from the Provost Office. If you do not meet English requirements, your application cannot be considered.

- I am a native English speaker. Do I need to submit English scores?

Applicants whose first language is English are normally exempted from this requirement. You must make this request on the application form.

- I took a language exam but I have not received the official certificate about my scores yet. What shall I submit?

If you have not yet received the hard copy of the certificate about your result, but you are able to check it online, then you can attach a printscreen of your results to your online application form until you receive the official document. 

You can also request that a copy of your results are sent to the CEU Admissions Office (CEU’s institution code is 0069).

Departmental related admissions criteria

- What kind of department-related admission criteria are there?

You can find a short summary of the department-related admission criteria on this link. Supplementing the general admission documents, all applicants must submit the following:

· a 100-word statement of purpose describing the reason(s) why you are applying to the program;
· a short (approximately 500 words) exposition of an issue or problem in political science in which you are interested; and
· samples of previous writings and/or a list of scholarly publications and relevant research experience (as applicable).  All submitted writing should be in English, no other language will be considered.

- Are there any guidelines regarding the length and content of the writing sample?

You are free to submit any paper, but its length should not exceed 10-15 pages (please do not submit theses). You are also welcome to submit more than one sample but you should not submit more than 30 pages of text (approx. 10,000 words) overall. Please make sure that when you upload documents to the online application system, these attachments do not exceed 2 megabytes.

- Does the word limit specified in the written sections of the submission refer to minimum or maximum number of words?

The number of words specified is a maximum limit, i.e. a target length, allowing for the possibility of 5-10% more or less where the applicant feels it is absolutely necessary. Substantially longer submissions might not be taken into consideration.

- Is there an entrance exam?

Candidates who passed the first (pre-selection) stage of the admissions process to the Political Science MA programs are required to participate in an entrance interview via phone which usually takes up to 30 minutes. This interview includes an oral discussion and a test type questionnaire too. You do not have to study for any of these, our target is to grasp your general knowledge. Selected candidates will be informed about the details of any possible examination on time.