Graduate School of Decision Sciences


The Graduate School of Decision Sciences is a new institution at the University of Konstanz and is funded by the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments to promote science and research at German universities. It addresses excellently qualified graduates in the subjects of Politics, Psychology, Economics, Computer Science, Sociology and Statistics from around the world. About 20 applicants per year will be accepted for the doctoral programme, and some will be funded by grants. The central research area at the Graduate School is decision-making processes as a cornerstone in the social sciences. Appreciating how decisions are made at the individual level and knowing how they influence collective processes is a key to understanding human behaviour and the ensuing results within society. However, each of the social science disciplines has its own perspective of human decision-making behaviour, and these perspectives are often based on their own, sometimes contradictory assumptions: for instance, political scientists and economists work mainly on the assumption that humans act rationally with the aim of maximising profits and benefits; but sociologists and psychologists question precisely this rationality, and in their models they emphasise the influence of social norms or subconscious determinants on human behaviour.The Graduate School of Decision Sciences was conceived with the aim of bundling the perspectives of the individual social science disciplines and creating a concentrated interface in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of human decision-making behaviour along with the economic and political consequences. This means that the founding concept behind the Graduate School is interdisciplinary by nature. From a content point of view, the Graduate School concentrates on the four closely networked main research areas: Behavioural Decision Making, Intertemporal Choice and Markets, Political Decisions and Institutions and Information Processing and Statistical Analysis.The Graduate School of Decision Sciences will offer doctoral students an ideal learning and research context with a broad spectrum of courses and seminars as well as an open and communicative academic environment – this is the productive setting in which the young researchers can investigate questions surrounding decision-making processes and their application to important social-scientific issues. The establishment of the new Graduate School will be flanked by expanded master programmes in the participating disciplines, thus easing a smooth transition to the doctoral programme.

  • Department of Economics
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Exzellenzinitiative third-party funds research funding program 838/12
Further information
Period: 01.11.2012 – 31.10.2017