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Central European University (CEU)

Central European University (CEU)

Central European University (CEU)


Founded in 1991, Central European University(CEU) is based on the premise that human fallibility can be counterbalanced by the critical discussion of ideas and that this critical spirit can be sustained best in societies where citizens have the freedom to scrutinize competing theories and openly evaluate and change government policies. 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.

CEU is known for excellence in teaching and research - with purpose. At the core of its mission lies a set of principles: the pursuit of truth wherever it leads, respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples, and commitment to resolve differences through debate, not denial.

Our Mission

Central European University is an institution of advanced research and teaching, dedicated to socially and morally responsible intellectual inquiry. Having launched a new undergraduate offer in 2020, CEU’s distinctive educational program builds on the research tradition of the great American universities; on the most valuable Central European intellectual traditions; on the international diversity of its faculty and students; on its commitment to social service; and on its history of academic and policy achievements in transforming the closed communist inheritance.

CEU is committed to promoting the values of open society and self-reflective critical thinking. It aims at excellence in the mastery of established knowledge, courage to pursue the creation of new knowledge in the humanities, the social sciences, law and management, and engagement in promoting applications for each, in particular through their policy implications. CEU is a new model for international education, a center for the study of contemporary economic, social, and political challenges, and a source of support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity.

How CEU Works

Central European University ("CEU" or the "University") was founded in 1991 to support the democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In 2020, CEU launched a new undergraduate offer. The University is deeply international: it is home to students from more than 100 countries and faculty from over 50.

The mission of the University, conducted through its 13 academic departments and its world-leading research centers, is to promote open societies and democracy, through advanced research, and research-based teaching, primarily in the social sciences and humanities. The language of instruction is English.


United States Accreditation

CEU holds an absolute charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, for and on behalf of the New York State Education Department. In the United States, CEU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE, address: 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States, phone: (1 215) 662 5606). The CEU Status of Accreditation is available from the MSCHE website.

In Austria, CEU is authorized to operate all of its US degree programs by the decision of the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria) under para 27 sections 1-4 of Austria’s law on quality assurance in higher education.

Austrian Accreditation

Austria Accreditation SealIn Austria, CEU's Austrian entity Central European University Private University (CEU PU) is recognized as a private higher education institution under §§ 24 and 25 HS-QSG and § 1 Private University Act (PUG) in conjunction with § 14 Private University Act (PrivHG). CEU PU is accredited by the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria

Campus Features

Vienna Campus

CEU's Vienna campus is well-connected to public transportation and is located in Favoriten the Austrian capital's multicultural 10th district and one of the city's most diverse locales. It is easily accessible from across the city and beyond, with tram stops and railway and underground stations nearby.

Creating a collaborative working and learning environment is at the core of CEU's vision.

Campus Accessibility

CEU is committed to creating spaces that are user-friendly for all community members and visitors, including people with vision and hearing impairments or mobility aids. On both the Budapest and Vienna campuses several accessibility features and tools are available.

How to Get Here via Public Transportation

From the railway station (Hauptbahnhof Wien): U1 (subway) to Reumannplatz (direction Oberlaa, 2 stops), then Tram 6 to Schrankenberggasse (direction Kaiserebersdorf/Zinnergasse, 2 stops)


The Vienna campus offers a parking space for short-term and long-term parking for CEU employees.

Budapest Site

Nador utca 15 is the main entrance to the University and is home to the CEU Auditorium, the CEU Library, research centers, classrooms, study spaces, and central administration offices. The award-winning Nadors 13 and 15 opened in fall 2016.

Front Desk

The Front Desk is located in the entrance hall.

Facilities and Services

CEU offers a range of services across its facilities located in Vienna and Budapest. More information is available by visiting one of our pages dedicated to the service or facility in question.

The Facilities Office aims to work together to ensure that a comfortable working and studying environment is maintained in all University buildings. Please check this site for more details (CEU authentication is required)

  • Facilities and Services
  • Library Policies and Membership Information
  • IT Services
  • Food Services
  • Delivery & Post Services
  • Medical Services
  • Raoul Wallenberg Guesthouse
  • CEU Residence and Conference Center
  • Sustainable CEU


    Undergraduate Programs

    To apply to CEU’s bachelor's programs, you’ll need to gather documents such as transcripts, your CV, and proof of English proficiency, obtain a recommendation letter, write a motivation letter and an essay, and fill out the application form online, where you’ll also upload everything and pay the application fee. Here you can find a list of what you’ll need for your application. To apply to the Culture, Politics, and Society bachelor’s degree program, you’ll need to write an essay about what you see as the most important challenge we are facing today.

    The topic can be of a social, political, cultural, economic, or environmental nature - or a combination. How do you imagine a degree in Culture, Politics, and Society will help make sense of this challenge, and of trying to tackle it? We’re looking for your opinion, your analysis, and your passion. You can find more information here. Once you’ve submitted your application, CEU faculty and admissions staff review it alongside all the others. Finalists are invited for interviews with a panel of professors, then decisions are made, and successful applicants are notified.

    Eligibility Requirements for Master's Programs

    Applicants must have a first degree (bachelor's or equivalent undergraduate degree) from a recognized university or institution of higher education or provide documentation indicating that they will earn such a first degree before enrollment in a CEU master's program. Applicants applying for two-year master’s programs must have collected a minimum of 180 ECTS credits* (or equivalent) during their undergraduate studies, while applicants for one-year master’s programs, a minimum of 240 ECTS credits* (or equivalent).

    (In exceptional cases, applicants with a three-year bachelor’s degree [180 ECTS credits or equivalent] may be allowed admission into one-year master’s programs. The applicants should be aware that they may not be able to pursue a doctoral degree in the European Higher Education Area if they have accumulated less than 300 ECTS credits (or equivalent) in their prior university studies. Applicants wishing to pursue an academic career in the countries that have adopted the ECTS framework should choose their master’s program accordingly [two-year master’s in case they collected 180 ECTS (or equivalent) and one-year master’s in case they have 240 ECTS credits (or equivalent)]. For the list of conditions under which exemptions may be granted, please refer to the program’s website.)

    Students enrolled in a master's program at CEU must not be simultaneously enrolled in another higher education institution unless they provide official documentation about having obtained a leave of absence from the other institution for the entire duration of their studies at CEU. Admitted students are required, if applicable, to indicate enrollment at another institution in the matriculation form at the beginning of their studies at CEU.

    *One ECTS credit is worth 0,5 US credits.

    Eligibility Requirements for Doctoral Programs

    Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and 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 enrollment in a CEU doctoral course of study. Those students holding a five-year master’s degree are not required to have a bachelor’s.

    In exceptional cases, the Department of Cognitive Science will also consider candidates who only hold a bachelor's degree, provided it is in a discipline closely associated with cognitive science.

    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

    The language of instruction for all master's, doctoral, and non-degree programs offered by Central European University is English. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting standardized English language test scores. Candidates whose first language is English are normally exempt from this requirement.

    Visa Requirements

    Visa and Residence Information for the CEU Vienna Campus (Austria)

    Visa and residence permit applications can only be processed by the Austrian immigration authorities. You can find your nearest Austrian representation office here. The office for immigration in Vienna is the MA 35. CEU PU is not allowed to apply for a visa or residence permit on behalf of students, nor are we legally entitled to make inquiries with relevant authorities on the student's behalf. Please follow the steps on this page for application instructions and recommendations.

    First-time applicants

    Step 1: Find out what kind of document you need before entering Austria

    Non-EU (European Union) and Non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals (third-country nationals): find out if you need a visa to enter Austria. Please check this OeAD list to see if you have the right to a 90-day visa-free stay. If you need a visa to enter Austria, please submit your student residence permit application in your home country as soon as you receive your confirmation of acceptance for visa purposes (see Step 2 below).

    Students who can enter 90-day visa-free or hold a residence permit from another Schengen country may apply in Austria.

    Attention: Applying to Austria does not allow you to overstay the 90-day visa-free time. For that reason, we strongly recommend you only apply in Austria if you have prepared all your documents before entering Austria and have requested an appointment with the immigration authority. If you exceed your visa-free stay before your residence permit has been approved, you will need to leave the Schengen area until you receive your student residence permit.
    EU or EEA citizens: You do not need a visa, nor a residence permit to reside in Austria, however, you must apply for a Confirmation of Registration (Anmeldebescheinigung) within four months of your arrival in Austria. You can find further information on the government website.

    Step 2: Get an appointment

    Please get an appointment at your local Austrian embassy or consulate, or the MA 35 office in Vienna. The appointment at the embassy should be scheduled as soon as you have accepted your CEU offer of acceptance. You need to apply in person*. If you are applying at the MA 35, please note that you can get an appointment eight weeks in advance. We recommend you get an appointment at the MA35 for the middle of September.
    *Please note: you may need to visit the embassy multiple times before your application is approved.

    Step 3: Prepare all required documents for the application, listed here. Please make sure that your police clearance certificate needs to be legalized and translated by a certified court translator. A Confirmation of Acceptance document will be made available on your applicant portal once you have officially accepted an offer of admission.

    Step 4: Wait for approval from the MA35. You will receive an E-Mail once the decision has been made.

    Step 5*: Apply for a visa D to enter Austria.

    Step 6*: Travel to Austria and apply for an appointment at MA35.

    Step 7: Prepare the documents to pick up your residence permit.

    Step 8: Pick up the residence permit and bring all required documents to your appointment.

    *in case you need a visa to enter Austria.

    Want to find out what kind of residence permit or visa you need?

    Follow the flowchart below to see if you need a residence permit or a visa. The flowchart will also show you when and how you should apply for a residence permit.

    Scholarships and Funding

    We offer one of the most generous and accessible scholarship schemes, available to candidates from any country, ranging from tuition awards to stipends.

    To Bachelor's Candidates, we offer financial support opportunities,


    CEU enjoys the support of generous donors, including our alumni, who support talented students with scholarships and awards. Here you’ll find information about these opportunities and how to apply.

    • Partial Tuition Award
    • Presidential Scholar Award
    • External financial support and scholarship opportunities

    Partial Tuition Award

    A small number of Partial Tuition Awards are available for outstanding applicants to the BA/BSc in Data Science and Society, BA in Culture, Politics and Society, and BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics programs.


    This is a merit-based award, which may fund up to 50% of the tuition fee (up to €3,500 per academic year).


    Applicants who want to be considered for this award must apply by February 1, 2024.

    Presidential Scholar Award

    Two outstanding candidates will receive a Presidential Scholar Award with a total value of €5,000 each. The Presidential Scholars Fund was established by CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar to support students who demonstrate exceptional academic credentials and leadership promise.


    The Award covers part of the tuition fee throughout the four years of BA studies as follows:

    • Year 1: €500
    • Year 2: €1,000
    • Year 3: €1,500
    • Year 4: €2,000


    All applications submitted by February 1, 2024, will be automatically considered for this award. There is no need to submit a separate application or indicate your interest in this award in the CEU Application Form ('Funding' section).

    External Financial Support Opportunities

    You can find information about some of the opportunities from governments and other funders here. Please note that this list is by no means comprehensive. Be sure to check the eligibility requirements before applying.


    To master’s candidates, we award financial aid based on academic merit. You can apply for financial support for master’s studies in the Funding section of the Online Application Form.

    Are you applying for one of our PhD programs? We will automatically consider you for the CEU Doctoral Scholarship.

    Doctoral Scholarship.

    CEU has an international reputation for high-quality postgraduate education delivered in a research-led environment. In pursuit of our mission, we strive to attract the very best graduates worldwide for our doctoral program. Candidates who apply by the financial aid deadline are automatically considered for the CEU Doctoral Scholarship, covering the full cost of tuition, complete with a monthly stipend to assist with housing and living costs.

    Doctoral Stipend - 1,680 EUR/gross/month (=1,350 EUR/net/month for students who have no other taxable income)*

    *PhD stipends are taxable in Austria. PhD students are considered new self-employed individuals in Austria, and they have to file their own taxes and register at the national SVS insurance provider.

    Alumni Statistics


    • CEU Ranked 182 in Round University Ranking
    • CEU Ranks 40th in Politics and International Studies; Awarded QS Rankings in Six Subjects
    • CEU Programs Rank Among World's Best 100 in Latest QS Listing
    • Latest QS Subject Ranking Lists three CEU Programs among the World's Best 200
    • CEU Demonstrates Excellence in 2023 QS World University Rankings
    • CEU Moves up the 2021 QS World University Rankings

    Student Testimonials


    • Vienna

      Quellenstraße, 51, 1100, Vienna