Admissions Requirements

General Requirements

The admissions requirements below are part of CEU’s general policies. Individual departments may establish additional criteria for admission as deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, specifying appropriate academic backgrounds and requiring higher minimum language test scores.

Eligibility requirements for Master's programs

Applicants must have a first degree from a recognized university or institution of higher education, or provide documentation indicating that they will earn such a first degree before enrolment in a CEU Master's program.

For its one-year US accredited Master's programs, CEU normally accepts students who have completed four years of undergraduate university study. Applicants with a three-year Bachelor's degree will be considered for two-year Master's programs (both for those accredited in the US and in Hungary).

Admission into the US accredited one-year programs with a three-year Bachelor's degree is possible, with the Provost's approval, in particular cases as decided by the department in question.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral programs

Applicants must have a Master's degree (or equivalent) in a related field from a recognized university or institution of higher education, or provide documentation indicating that they will earn such a degree before enrolment in a CEU doctoral course of study.

Students enrolled in a doctoral program at CEU must not be simultaneously enrolled in other institutions of higher education, and are required, at the beginning of their studies at CEU, to sign a declaration to this effect.

Language Requirements

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 listed below.

Applicants whose first language is English are normally exempt from this requirement. Applicants meeting the following requirements may also be exempted:

  1. current or former CEU students applying to CEU's doctoral programs;
  2. applicants who have earned a Bachelor's or a Master's degree taught exclusively in English.

To be exempted from the English language proficiency requirement, applicants must make a request on the application form. Decisions regarding exemptions are at the discretion of the department admissions committee and will be communicated to applicants after the first stage of the selection process online.

Students taking TOEFL should upload a scan of their score report into their online application and, if admitted, request a hard copy of their results to be sent to the CEU Admissions Office (CEU's institution code is 0069.) Other substitute tests of the English language are as follows:

Minimum test scores required by Master's programs

Test Type Minimum score required
TOEFL (Internet-based; taken on/after February 1, 2013) 88
TOEFL (Paper-based; taken on/after February 1, 2013) 570
CEU-administered TOEFL (Paper-based; taken in/after 2013) 570
International English Language Test (IELTS; taken on/after  February 1, 2013) 6.5
Pearson Test of English (Academic) (taken on/after taken on/after February 1, 2010) 59
Cambridge Proficiency Examination (taken on/after February 1, 2010) C
Cambridge Advanced English Test  (taken on/after February 1, 2010) B

Minimum test scores required by doctoral programs

Test Type Minimum Score Required
TOEFL (Internet-based; taken on/after February 1, 2013) 100
TOEFL (Paper-based; taken on/after February 1, 2013) 600
CEU-administered TOEFL (Paper-based; taken in/after 2013) 600
International English Language Test (IELTS; taken on/after February 1, 2013) 7
Pearson Test of English (Academic) (taken on/after February 1, 2010) 76
Cambridge Proficiency Examination (taken on/after February 1, 2010) C
Cambridge Advanced English Test (taken on/after February 1, 2010) A

English-language and other admissions tests administered by CEU

In several locations, CEU organizes and sponsors an institutional paper-based TOEFL and, for selected programs, department-specific subject tests on February 28, 2015. Candidates who apply by February 1, 2015 may take the CEU examinations to be held at the locations listed here if they select the appropriate option and a test location in their online applications. (NOTE: CEU does not issue letters of invitation to test takers.)

Additional Requirements

Departments may establish additional requirements for admission as deemed necessary. Please see the relevant department for details.

Individual Interviews

Some CEU departments may interview their candidates as part of the selection process. Individual interviews commence shortly after the first review of the application files, and continue until the relevant notification date. Each department will contact its applicants to make the necessary arrangements. In the case of Skype or telephone interviews, arrangements may be made to invite candidates to a location where their identity can be verified.

Test of Writing Ability

To help make the best possible decision about your application, some departments, such as the Department of Political Science, require a sample of academic writing completed under exam conditions. This requirement is called the Test of Writing Ability (TWA), and it is taken on the same day as the institutional (paper-based) TOEFL test administered in those countries where the institutional TOEFL is used (Central Europe and the former Soviet Union). If you are submitting scores for standard English tests accepted by CEU (or have been granted exemption from standardized English testing), you do not need to complete the TWA as these tests already contain a sample of your writing.

The Test of Writing Ability requires you to write a short essay in response to a given question, asking you to assess the impact of one phenomenon on another (for example, the impact of globalization on education). The essay should be written in a formal academic essay style, and will be evaluated on the basis of your language and writing skills. The TWA is a timed essay; you will have 45 minutes to plan, draft and finish the essay, without using any dictionaries or language books.