CentER is a world-class research institute that draws on the academic expertise of some of the most outstanding minds in the field of economics and business.

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CentER offers two five-year programs in Business and Economics. These five-year programs consist of a two-year Research Master’s program, followed by a three-year PhD program. After finishing your studies, you will be well prepared for an academic position at any top university in the world.

Program Overview

The Research Master program is a two-year study program. The first semester consists of compulsory courses, while the second semester has both compulsory and elective courses. The third semester consists of electives, which will enable you to grasp the theories on which modern research is based. This program structure allows you to specialize as time passes.

The fourth semester is completely dedicated to writing a Research Master’s thesis. This phase must be seen as a gradual adjustment to the three-year PhD period that follows after the Research Master’s program. In this final semester, you will need to find a suitable supervisor. By writing the thesis, you can experience what it is like to undertake a research project. In short, this is a try-out period for both you and your supervisor to find out if you are willing to cooperate for another three years.

Eight directions

CentER has eight research groups, being:

Each of these research groups has a stake in the Research Master's program. Moreover, each research group organizes research seminars on a weekly basis and invites well-known researchers from all over the world. In this way, you will come into contact with renowned scientists from both Tilburg University and abroad.

Research Master's program


The Research Master's in Business and the Research Master's in Economics are part of the CentER Graduate School. Both programs are designed to prepare you for our PhD programs. You combine coursework with a Master’s thesis. Students follow specially designed, high-level courses, often in small classes. The program has an international setting, since students and teachers come from around the world. The study load is 120 ECTS, which is equivalent to 3,000 to 3,600 hours of study over a two-year period.

Research Master's in Business

The Research Master in Business consists of six tracks, each track has its own, specific course program:

Research Master's in Economics

The Research Master’s program in Economics consists of one program with specializations in econometrics, macroeconomics and microeconomics:

Continuing with a PhD program

After finishing one of our Research Master’s programs, you are prepared to apply for our PhD programs. Please check our PhD pages for more information.



At CentER Graduate School you can either pursue a PhD in Business or a PhD in Economics. The PhD programs in business and economics take three years in which you work on a PhD dissertation. In principle, PhD students do not follow any courses but fully focus on conducting research

Status of PhD students in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, PhD students are employees and therefore receive a salary. These wages start at approximately €2,100 gross per month and increase annually to result in a final salary of approximately €2,700 gross per month. All university salaries are based on collective agreements between Tilburg University and the labor unions representing university employees. Moreover, PhD students in the Netherlands have a shared office space, teach classes, and attend seminars

PhD in Business

The PhD program in Business consists of seven tracks:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Research
  • Organization & Strategy
  • Tax Economics

PhD in Economics

The PhD program in Economics consists of three tracks:

  • Econometrics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

Career perspectives

After finishing your PhD, we will assist you in searching for an academic position at one of the top universities in the world. You can also start working at, for example, research institutes, banks, or consultancy firms

PhD Program for Professionals

CentER also offers a PhD Program for Professionals. This is a part-time program for professionals who have at least three years of work experience after having obtained a Master's degree in Economics or Business.