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The Graduate School of Economics, Finance, and Management (GSEFM) constitutes an alliance between Goethe University Frankfurt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Technische Universität Darmstadt. Building on the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional wealth of its founding universities, GSEFM is based in Goethe University's House of Finance in central Frankfurt. GSEFM students and faculty naturally benefit from a location in Continental Europe's primary center for financial markets and central banking.
GSEFM aims to realize the three universities' joint vision to establish a premier European center for quantitative and research-oriented graduate-level education in accounting, economics, finance, and marketing. It offers a rich palette of programs, all of them featuring the structure of premier anglo-saxon research-oriented graduate programs. As a distinguishing characteristic, the GSEFM degree programs enable their students to draw upon synergies between macroeconomics, microeconomics, asset pricing, corporate finance, development economics, international economics, econometrics, computational economics, accounting, management and marketing to work in interdisciplinary format on scientific foundations for economic policy.
Key mission of GSEFM is to train top-notch economists who are thoroughly prepared for a career in academia or can bring their research-based insights to bear at other institutions in the public or private sector.
Top Notch Degree Programs
Compelling for its in-depth coverage of issues in both financial and managerial accounting, the Ph.D. Program in Accounting offers a two-year cycle of doctoral-level courses developed specifically to transmit a rigorous methodological framework in the core areas of accounting as well as selected core areas of economics, in particular econometrics and microeconomics. Students in the Ph.D. Program in Accounting can select from a broad range of second-year field courses designed to expose their participants to the research frontier in their fields of specialization, including but not limited to Accounting. Graduates from the Ph.D. Program in Accounting can expect to find excellent professional opportunities in both academia and the financial industry.
Compelling for its strong empirical focus, the Ph.D. Program in Economics offers a two-year cycle of doctoral-level courses developed specifically to transmit a rigorous methodological framework in the three core areas of economics (microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics), and followed by courses designed to expose students to the research frontier in a variety of fields of specialization (macroeconomics, microeconomics, development and international economics, econometrics, finance, accounting, management and marketing). As the largest program within GSEFM, the overarching objective of the Ph.D. Program in Economics is to produce outstanding economists capable of taking leading positions in academia or serving as experts in international institutions, government, and the private sector.
Compelling for its in-depth coverage of issues in both asset pricing and corporate finance, the Ph.D. Program in Finance offers a two-year cycle of doctoral-level courses developed specifically to transmit a rigorous methodological framework in the core areas of finance as well as selected core areas of economics (econometrics and either microeconomics or macroeconomics). Students in the Ph.D. Program in Finance can select from a broad range of second-year field courses designed to expose the students to the research frontier in their fields of specialization, including but not limited to Finance. Graduates from the Ph.D. Program in Finance are expected to find excellent job opportunities in both academia and the financial industry.
Known for its in-depth coverage of marketing analytics, the Ph.D. Program in Marketing offers a two-year cycle of doctoral-level courses developed specifically to learn how to undertake empirical work with rich and mostly proprietary data sets to better understand consumers’ decision making and designing how to improve firms’ marketing decisions. Past doctoral students now have tenured appointments at prestigious universities such as London Business School, Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, which helps convey that graduates from the Ph.D. Program in Marketing have excellent job opportunities in academia, but also in industry.
The strongly research-oriented Master Programs in Quantitative Accounting, Quantitative Economics, Quantitative Finance and Quantitative Marketing, collectively called MSQ Programs, are unique in that their students participate in the same set of rigorous courses that are taken by the students in the corresponding Ph.D. programs at GSEFM. Having completed courses on modern research methodology during their first year of studies, MSQ Program students at the end of their first year of studies through qualifying examinations can become eligible to also enroll from the second year of studies onwards in the GSEFM Ph.D. program that corresponds to their area of concentration. Students who complete their studies at GSEFM with the M.Sc. degree can qualify for careers in international institutions, government or the private sector that involve challenging quantitative issues. This is facilitated by the fact that second-year courses discuss how to carry out frontier research and that part of the second-year studies also is to write a Master’s thesis that involves adducing valuable results on a substantive research question.
Best Practice of Graduate Education
After completing their coursework, students in the Ph.D. Programs at GSEFM are expected to carry out innovative research, gaining immensely from an environment which includes structured interaction with their peers as well as with faculty, includes participation in research networks either organized by or contributed to by GSEFM faculty members, includes conference presentations and discussions, as well as research stays with faculty elsewhere who are leaders in a student's area of research. Students benefit not only from GSEFM's location in Continental Europe's financial hub, but also from the faculty's linkages to policy-making institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank, giving them the chance to engage in frontier research on substantive issues.
GSEFM's faculty members have a wide range of teaching and research experience at various excellent universities and public institutions in Europe as well as the United States. They are involved in key international research networks, and have published in journals such as American Economic Review, Econometric Theory, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, and Review of Economics and Statistics.
The majority of the applicants to GSEFM's degree programs achieves scores in the highest percentiles of the quantitative part of the benchmark tests for graduate student admissions worldwide, the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). A number of incoming students have turned down offers of admission from prestigious research-oriented graduate programs worldwide. Currently there are approximately 250 students in the GSEFM degree programs, of whom approximately one third are female and more than half are international students, hailing from five continents and more than 40 countries, including Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Graduates of GSEFM are capable of taking on research positions at fine academic institutions, or – through their ability to grasp and manage complex economic and financial issues – of serving as experts in the private sector or in national and international government institutions. Placements include BI Norwegian Business School, Birmingham University, Cambridge University, Capital University of Economics and Business, Columbia University, CUNEF Madrid, IE Business School, IESE Business School, INSEAD, Jiao Tong University, KU Leuven, New York University, Oxford University, Shandong University, Shenzhen University, Stockholm School of Economics, Sun Yat-Sen University, Tilburg University, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, University College Dublin, University of Amsterdam, University of Copenhagen, University of Exeter, University of Luxembourg, University of Rotterdam, University of Zurich, Warwick Business School, Xiamen University, University of Cologne, University of Hamburg, Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Bank of Canada, Bank of Israel, Bank of Korea, Bank of Lithuania, Banque de France, European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Federal Reserve System, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Ifo Institute, DIW Institute, Allianz Investment Management, BlackRock, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Helaba, Metro and Shanghai Futures Exchange.
Strong Institutional Partners
The research center SAFE involves the work of more than 35 faculty members and of a sizable number of GSEFM students or alumni. The main fields of activity of SAFE include (i) interdisciplinary research (drawing on the fields of finance, microeconomics, macroeconomics, mathematics, marketing, law and sociology) on developing a sustainable architecture for finance, (ii) establishing a common European data footing for financial market research, and (iii) education and training of young researchers and professionals. The center is also engaged in providing policy advice based on scientific analysis.
Set up at Goethe University in 2005, the IMFS is a scientific center engaging in research at the intersection of monetary economics, public law and financial markets. It is home to the Macroeconomic Modelling Database and the CEPR networks on "Household Finance" and on "Macroeconomic Modelling and Model Comparison". Its research-based policy advice centers around issues in central banking, empirical macroeconomic modelling and financial market intermediation. As part of this, it also organizes the annual "The ECB and Its Watchers" conference. The center puts strong emphasis on the training of young economists, and many of its alumni now hold positions at international institutions and central banks.
The CFS is a research institute affiliated with Goethe University. Its sponsoring body, the Gesellschaft für Kapitalmarktforschung, counts amongst its members more than 90 banks, insurance companies, consulting firms and commercial enterprises. The CFS conducts research on the digitalization of the financial industry, sustainable/green finance as well as financial literacy. It also publishes the CFS financial market index.
EFL is a research institute affiliated to Goethe University. It is the result of a partnership between Goethe University and Technische Universität Darmstadt on the one hand as well as industry partners, including American Express, Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Leasing, DZ Bank, FactSet and Finanz Informatik, on the other hand. The mission of EFL is to contribute to the evolution of traditional industries towards "digitized and high-performance industries" on the basis of insights from data science.
FLEX is a research center that takes up a long tradition in research on experimental economics at Goethe University that dates back to the pioneering work of Nobel laureate Reinhard Selten. Researchers at FLEX study human behavior and decision making in social and economic contexts employing experimental methods. Current research conducted at FLEX covers different issues in behavioral economics, development economics, organizational economics and finance.
GRADE aims at improving the research environment for doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows in all faculties of Goethe University. GRADE considers that modern research involves numerous angles. From the compelling presentation of results and organizational tasks to the planning of strategic career moves, as well as international communication and cooperation, many different skills are required. The GRADE training program encompasses three major areas: (i) inter- and transdisciplinary skills and intercultural awareness, (ii) transferable skills (including management and career planning), and (iii) language skills.
All semester-long classes take place on Campus Westend of Goethe University Frankfurt with some blocked-format course offerings also taking place at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Goethe University's Campus Westend offers top-notch classroom facilities and office space, including the stimulating research environment in the House of Finance that is ideally suited to taking advantage of peer-group externalities. Beyond being ideally suited for academic interaction, Campus Westend offers an idyllic park-type setting and a rich set of important historic connotations, such as having hosted during their time in Frankfurt the offices of Dwight D. Eisenhower (later elected 34th President of the United States) and John J. McCloy (President of the World Bank before being appointed U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and overseeing the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany).
GSEFM's offices of Academic Records and Student Services strive to give students dedicated assistance so that students can focus on succeeding in their studies and academic pursuits. Ongoing student support includes assistance in the admissions process and in getting settled in Frankfurt, counseling, grade/transcript/degree certificate issuance and alumni relations.