Department of Economics and Business


Jose Apesteguia, PhD Programme Coordinator


The PhD program in Economics, Finance and Management of the Department of Economics and Business at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is one of the leading PhD programs in Europe. Launched in 1993, our program attracts international students of exceptional talent, provides a strong academic foundation, a stimulating research environment, and placement in top-notch institutions worldwide.

Admission to the program is highly selective. We accept a small fraction of the applications for a class of about 30 students. Students receive training in state of the art research in economic theory and in empirical and quantitative analysis, in a vibrant research environment, covering a wide variety of areas of research.



The PhD program is structured as follows.

In year 1 students take compulsory core courses in Econometrics, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.

Year 2 involves coursework that prepares students to conduct research. It offers a variety of elective specialized courses taught by the leading faculty of the Department of Economics and Business and CREi. The courses introduces students to cutting-edge research in their fields of choice, helping them find topics for their own research, and putting them in contact with potential thesis directors. The department's workshops and seminars complement the coursework with exposure to the latest research presented by renowned speakers from the best institutions around the world.

In years 3-5 students engage in their own research, under the guidance of the faculty members of the Department of Economics and Business and CREi. This stage typically takes four years to complete, but shorter and longer intervals are not uncommon. During their fifth year students are expected to go on the academic job market.



The first deadline is on January 15th and decisions can be expected to be communicated by late March. Applications meeting this deadline are strongly encouraged. Applications after January 15th will be considered, until the program reaches capacity.

Interested students should apply to the Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance: PhD Track, jointly offered with the Barcelona GSE. Applicants should have completed four years or more of university training (which may already include a Master’s Degree) when joining the program. Additional application requirements include: GRE test scores, a statement of purpose, a minimum of two letters of reference, English language test scores (if applicable), and a CV. To learn how to apply and all the necessary requirements, please visit this link.

For students who may not have a sufficiently strong background to be admitted into the PhD program, we recommend the Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance: Economics Program and the Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance: Finance Program, jointly offered with the Barcelona GSE. The best students of these masters have a high chance to be accepted in the PhD at UPF (i.e., starting in year 1 of the PhD program).

A handful of external candidates, who do not go through Year 1 (Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance: PhD Track), may be accepted directly to Year 2. This entry gateway is exceptional, and primarily open to students aiming to specialize in management studies. Economics and finance students are all expected to enter into the PhD program from Year 1, completing the Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance: PhD Track.


Program Details

Year 1. In early September, before the start of the term, the Math and Stat&Prob brush-up courses involve a combination of theory and practice sessions to prepare students for the core courses. Then, the main academic year is structured in three terms, and in each one of the terms students will take one course in Econometrics, one in Microeconomics and one in Macroeconomics. After the successful completion of the first year, students are awarded a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance by Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE.

Year 2. This second year of coursework prepares students for the conduct of research.

It is structured in:

(i) A Research Seminar that focuses on key dimensions of research methodology for the social sciences as well as exposure to the research of various faculty members, who present their own research.

(ii) A number of elective courses, that allow to gain an in-depth knowledge of several areas of study, depending on the research interests of the students.

(iii) The preparation of a Master’s Thesis. The thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to understand relevant research and the ability to write a paper that complies with academic standards. For this, the student will count with the advice of two faculty members.

Students completing successfully the second year of the program are awarded a Master of Research in Economics, Finance and Management by Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Subsequent years. These involve the proper research years, that will ultimately lead to the degree of PhD in Economics, Finance and Management, awarded by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. At the end of year 3, and under the guidance of at least one member of the Department of Economics and Business, students must defend a Doctoral Thesis Proposal. In these years, students are supposed to attend to at least a seminar series, present in the internal seminars, and, in general, participate actively in the academic life of the Department.

Fees and funding. Tuition fees for Year 1 are €16,500. A selected group of students will be offered partial or full tuition waivers, and scholarships to (partially) cover living expenses. Years 2 and above are fully funded (covering tuition and living expenses) for most of the students, by a combination of scholarships, teaching assistantships (TA) or research assistantships (RA). The PhD program provides additional funding for attending selected conferences and summer schools, and to cover research costs such as the conduction of experiments or accessing to certain datasets.

Placement. The PhD program offers a strong placement preparation. Our past graduates have obtained tenure track positions in the United States (Chicago, Duke, NYU, Stanford, UC San Diego), Europe (Bocconi, Bonn, Carlos III, Cemfi, ESADE, IESE, IIES-Stockholm University, LSE, Mannheim, Nova de Lisboa, Oxford, Tilburg, UCL, Warwick, Zurich), Latin America (ESPOL, ITAM, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad de Los Andes), and Asia (Singapore Management University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Zhejiang University). Other students have continued their research with post-doctoral positions at the most prestigious universities, such as Harvard, Oxford or Princeton. Others have joined central banks (Banca d’Italia, Bank of England, Federal Reserve Board, Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bundesbank, European Central Bank, etc.), international institutions (like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank), or economic consulting firms such as NERA, Deloitte or JP Morgan.


PhD Program Director: Jose Apesteguia 

Admissions Director: Jordi Galí

Placement Director: Libertad González


Contact: [email protected]