Program in Economics

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:48 months
Deadline: Feb 1, 2022
StudyQA ranking:877

Photos of university / #stockholmschoolofeconomics


The SSE PhD Program in Economics (240 ECTS) is a North American-style program with around 35 doctoral students.

We like to think that the SSE Department of Economics combines the advantages of a small department, with close and informal connections to faculty, with the breadth of courses and seminars associated with a larger department.

A specially designed course program, the Stockholm Doctoral Course Program in Economics, Econometrics and Finance (SDPE), is organized by SSE jointly with Stockholm University for the PhD students in Economics and Finance. This joint undertaking has developed into one of the strongest doctoral course programs in Europe.

We offer program research areas in:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Applied Econometrics


The 240 ECTS credits of the Program are divided into a course component (105 ECTS), and a dissertation component (135 ECTS). The core courses (60 ECTS) of the Stockholm Doctoral Course Program in Economics, Econometrics and Finance (SDPE) are compulsory and should be completed in your first year of study. Mandatory courses cover mathematics, microeconomics, macro economics, mathematical statistics and econometrics.

In the second year you can choose from a large selection of elective courses (45 ECTS). In the beginning of your second year of study, you find a subject field for your dissertation and decide on an SSE faculty member for your supervisor; you will be conducting dissertation research in your final two to three years. Research from SSE PhD dissertations is frequently published in leading journals, with the Journal of Finance and the Quarterly Journal of Economics as recent examples.


First-year graduate courses

  • Mathematics I, Q1   
  • Microeconomics I, Q1
  • Microeconomics II, Q2 
  • Macroeconomics I, Q3 

Second-year graduate courses

  • Topics in Game Theory, Q1   
  • Political Economy and Public Choice, Q2 
  • ​Structural Dynamic Modeling: Discrete Choice, Q2
  • Time Series Econometrics, Q4
  • Industrial Organization, Q4


  • Seminars constitute an important part of the PhD programs. These provide students with insights into current research and give students and faculty opportunities to present and discuss ongoing research. From the second year students are to expected to regularly attend seminar series. In addition, there are reading groups and informal workshops organized in some subjects.

The PhD Thesis

  • During the beginning of the second year students should find a subject field for their thesis and decide on a thesis advisor. While the course program is joint with Stockholm University, the main advisor must be a faculty member at the SSE. It is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to, together with the student, arrange for external funding for years 3-5 (all PhD students are expected to be on external funding years 3-5). While most of the work on the thesis is expected to be carried out in years 3-5, it is important to start working on the thesis as soon as possible during the second year.
  • A thesis typically consists of several essays in one or several fields of economics. Essays may be single-authored or co-authored with fellow students or faculty. A benchmark is that the number of essays should be equivalent to three single-authored essays. The essays are expected to be well suited for publication in international scientific journals - the main channel for communication of research results. Thesis work in progress is presented and discussed at the informal lunch workshop.
  • The completed PhD thesis is made available to the interested public and is discussed in a public dissertation seminar. At this seminar, an invited outside discussant first presents the thesis work to the audience. The discussant then poses a few questions to the PhD candidate about the thesis and the audience is invited to pose questions as well. This is an old tradition in Swedish academic life. After the seminar, a committee consisting of at least three professors decides whether the thesis will pass.


  • Teaching experience is an integral part of the PhD Program in Economics, and you are strongly encouraged to do some teaching from the second year. Successful completion of teaching entitles you to a fifth year in the program. Many PhD students spend one or two semesters visiting other leading universities in the US and Europe. SSE is also a member of the European Network for Training in Economic Research (ENTER) together with other prominent economics departments in Europe.

Work environment

  • You are provided with an office from start of the PhD program. With a location in central Stockholm many find SSE a great place to work and study!



To be eligible for admission, we require the following:

  • A university level degree
  • At least three semesters of economics courses (90 ECTS) including a thesis worth at least 15 ECTS
  • One year of Master level studies, or the equivalent.
  • We are looking for academic excellence and for students who are well prepared for a PhD program in economics. Therefore, you are welcome to apply if you are studying in the first year of a Masters program. We may also admit students who for instance have a Bachelor's degree in economics but in addition have one to two years of coursework in mathematics and statistics at the advanced Bachelor level. We will also consider students with a very strong record from a four-year university program.
  • All applicants are required to take the general GRE test (Graduate Record Exam, institution code 7016, department code 1801), and the TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language, code 8175 for all SSE programs) if you are a non-native speaker of English. Report your GRE test scores directly to us via your test center.

Financial Support

All admitted PhD students receive a scholarship from the Stockholm School of Economics. Currently, this is a tax-exempted stipend of SEK 13,500 per month for the first year. Students are guaranteed funding throughout the PhD program, conditional upon their satisfactory performance.

Applying to the Program​

Applications will be handled electronically. The deadline is February 1 each year. Your application will not be considered until the following material has been received:
A complete set of application documents contains (to be uploaded electronically):  

  • Your Curriculum Vitae
  • University transcripts and certified copies of certificates from universities
  • A description of how exams are graded at your university
  • A Statement of Purpose: a concise statement concerning your plans for PhD studies and your career objectives. The statement should be written in English, and should not exceed 1,500 words
  • Your most advanced thesis within economics (in English).

Please arrange for at least two letters of recommendation in English, prior to the deadline. The electronic system sends an email message to every referee you give in your application, giving more information on how to upload the letter.  

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