My Impressions: Open Day at CERGE-EI

Every single person has certain plans regarding his/her future. In the yesterday’s article on my blog I wrote that I wouldn’t disclose my plans for the future, and here I am: the next article, this one, is dedicated entirely to my future plans.

Mostly I am doing it because I have promised to my friends to share my emotions and impressions after-party. To be more specific: the impressions from the Open Day at CERGE-EI, considered a top institution (ranked top 4% worldwide according to SSRN and top 6% according to RePeC) for the people who truly go deep and enthusiastically into the economics. OK, so I feel responsible for every single word I’m writing.

The Open Day was a chance for me not only to get some more information about specific details of the program, but I would rather say that it was a chance to rethink my decision regarding the application for a PhD at CERGE-EI. I rethought, and arrived to same conclusion. I’ll go for it.

The faculty representatives from CERGE-EI made for the beginning a presentation of the institution, from which I can conclude the following main points: CERGE-EI provides you with an American-style education program entirely in English which is an exceptionally good place to study, but it is not for everyone. And not just because the selection process is very tough, but also because people need time to realize that this is not for them, since CERGE knows very well what economics is and it wants you to take all from its knowledge. And not everyone can handle it. It would be enough to mention that the study room works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is always someone in there to study. Study hard. A funny thing is that 20% of the CERGE-EI graduates find their life-partners at CERGE-EI, because they don’t have time to go out of the university. That’s of course a joke, but the statistics remain true!

CERGE-EI has three graduate study programs:

1. Doctorate in Economics;

2. Joint Masters in Economics;

3. Masters in Applied Econometrics.

The second one is open only to the students currently enrolled in a study program at the Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University, who are willing to try studying at CERGE-EI without becoming officially a CERGE-EI student, but having the chance to fully transfer all the credits. The third one, the Masters in Applied Econometrics is a brand-new program, which this year had the first cohort of students. Unlike the other programs, you should pay for this one (8000 euros), but it lasts for only one year and it basically represent a “real-life” oriented program (working on real cases etc.). One can interpret it as an MBA program.

The program that I and most of my friends are interested in is Doctorate in Economics. What this program is promising is a rigorous 5 years of academic training, 2 years of which you are sleeping in the university (this is a metaphor), and the other 3 are dedicated to thesis writing. The first two years are tough enough to make many students quit the program, which in my opinion shows how serious and professional the approach to study is. Generally this study program is oriented to an academic career or a career in the international organizations, CBs, private sector, etc.

The last 3 years of the PhD program is dedicated to your research. Most of the students go for an exchange, and what is impressive about that is that CERGE-EI students have the chance to go for this exchange to practically any university they chose (and they prove that this university is relevant for their research) starting with Harvard, Princeton, University of Chicago, and finishing with London School of Economics.

After the completion of the PhD Program you get two degrees: a Czech degree and an American diploma, since the institution is officially registered in the United Stated.

To be honest I don’t really want to advertise this program because it is not rational to decrease in this way my own chances to be admitted, because I am sure that I want to go for it 🙂

Recommendations from the faculty members:

– Don’t go for it if you don’t like mathematics;

– Don’t go for it if you don’t like research;

– If you are not sure whether you want to go for it or not, just send the application and the commission will advise you what would be the best for you;

– Don’t apply if you don’t know what to write in your motivation letter (which should contain not only what will you gain from studying there, but also what the institution will have to gain);

– “If you didn’t hear about the “American Economic Review”, just don’t worry about that”, this is what Mr. Juraida said, CERGE-EI director, stating that the institution is open for the students with weak or no background in economics. This is why before the start of the study semester there is a preparatory semester in which both you and CERGE-EI can make the decision regarding you as a prospective student.

There would be many other things to be said, but as it usually happens you don’t really want to talk too much about your dreams because you’re afraid that they won’t become true. So, I’ll stop here and hope that the next article on CERGE-EI will be on my impressions about studying there. Fingers crossed to me, Ileana, Persida, Ali, Natalia and Mustofa! 🙂



  1. Persida · · Reply

    Very motivating:) CERGE- EI is a very prestigious institution and I am becoming more and more confident that getting a PhD there it’s well worth the effort…


    1. Natalia Bejan · · Reply

      This is what I really hope for! 🙂


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