Program Structure

Important: students that began their studies before winter term 2014/15 have a slightly different course schedule and will have to stick to the original study plan that is presented in their guidelines. If there are changes, we will notify all current students in the program.

The Master’s Program in Money and Finance is designed as a four-semester program, with the fourth semester being devoted to research and writing of a master’s thesis. It has six major components:

  • Fundamental Courses (five courses)
  • Money or Finance Electives (at least four courses)
  • Supplementary Courses (two courses)
  • Seminars (at least two seminars in addition to the compulsory thesis seminar)
  • Master’s Thesis
  • Thesis Seminar



Fundamental Courses are intended to provide the basic tools for the subsequent courses and the thesis work. As such, they are required for all students. Three courses provide the necessary background in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. Two courses are devoted to Asset Pricing and to Corporate Finance. Short descriptions of the content of the fundamental courses are provided here.

Money or Finance Electives are chosen from two lists of available courses, one coded Money and one coded Finance. These courses are intended to provide advanced and specialized knowledge in areas that should be chosen by the student with a view to future career plans. Results from recent, cutting-edge research in these areas are distilled in order to extract lessons relevant for banking and financial practice, as well as for policy design. Students are required to have completed at least two courses from each list by the end of the program. The lists of Money or Finance courses are provided here, together with short course descriptions. The lists are indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

Supplementary Courses are intended to provide a close look at how academic principles are applied to policy and industry work. They are typically taught by central bankers and practitioners in the banking and financial sector. While core and elective courses draw on the research expertise of the Goethe University, topical courses take advantage of our location by drawing on our extensive links to financial institutions in Frankfurt. Students are required to take two supplementary courses. The list of supplementary courses is again indicative. It is expected that the list will be revised more frequently than the list of electives, in our effort to focus on current issues and state-of-the-art practices.

Seminars encourage students to read, think, and work extensively on a topic of interest to them and afterwards present their work together with all other students. A seminar provides a natural setup for learning how to make effective presentations of specialized topics, as well as how to benefit from the knowledge of others. Seminars are sometimes held outside the university, in locations that are conducive to a productive but informal interaction between students and faculty members (e.g., in university-owned facilities in Rieszlern Resort, Austria). Each student takes at least one seminar from each track. Indicative lists of available seminars are provided here, together with short descriptions.

Master’s Thesis research is conducted during the last semester of the program, under the supervision of a chair contributing to the MMF Program. Mutual consent of the student and of the chair’s professor is required for supervision. The thesis is a substantive piece of work that demonstrates in-depth familiarity with a particular topic in monetary economics, finance, or their interaction, as well as ability for some original work. A typical thesis will provide an original, critical synthesis of existing research, as well as evidence of some new research undertaken by the student using relevant theoretical or empirical methods. The thesis should meet high academic standards and signals the student’s potential for independent work on challenging issues to future employers.

The Thesis Seminar provides an opportunity for final-semester students to work on their thesis and present their research to faculty and to their student colleagues and to get useful feedback and guidance on completing an interesting and relevant piece of work. Each student is required to take part in the research seminar. This seminar will typically be offered as a "block seminar", during a 1-4 day period.

Course Duration

Course attendance is mandatory, and there is no distance-learning option (except for the provisions regarding master’s thesis research). Part-time studies are no longer available.

The normal duration of the program is four semesters. Students are not required to stay in Frankfurt during the fourth semester, provided that they have met all other requirements and they are working on their thesis. They are required to attend the research seminar, which will usually be offered as a block seminar over approximately 4 days.

If a student fails a fundamental course, the student has to retake the corresponding exam. Failure to pass all fundamental courses as planned in the schedules (i.e. after two semesters) results in automatic expulsion from the program. Failure to pass an elective, a supplementary course or a seminar, requires the student to substitute it with another course from the relevant category or to retake the specific course when it is offered again. In making this choice, students are encouraged to consult with the instructors in order to make sure that the course they intend to repeat or use as replacement is offered in the relevant semester.

The maximum duration of study is eight semesters. Failure to obtain a passing grade in any of the five fundamental courses after two semesters or to meet the complete requirements of the program by the end of the eight semester results in expulsion from the program.

A leave of absence interrupts the normal schedule, but is given only in exceptional circumstances (typically for well-documented medical reasons).

Course Schedule

The study plan of a MMF student beginning in the winter term is summarized in the following table (total of 120 credit points). Likely changes that will be effective for the next intake of students are already incorporated here. Important: students that began their studies before the winter term 2014/15 have a slightly different course schedule, and will have to stick to the original study plan that is stipulated in their guidelines and study regulations, unless they successfully request to switch to the new study regulations.

Electives in the second and third term can be chosen from the complete list of 6 CP Modules from Money or Finance, as well as from all seminars of both areas.

Study plan: