Admission PhD Track 2020-21: MRes and PhD

The main admissions into the PhD in Economics, Finance and Management is by way of successfully completing the requirements in the Master in Economics and Finance, jointly offered with the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. A handful of external candidates, meaning that did not go through the Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance, are accepted directly to the MRes. Only in exceptional circumstances it is possible to directly access to the proper PhD stage

Prospective students are encouraged to ensure that all their academic papers and referrals are prepared before beginning the application process.

Additional information can be found in the MRes and PhD Application FAQ (PDF)

Access Requirements to the MRes

  • Possession of a bachelor's degree or equivalent, with at least 180 ECTS credits, in economics, finance, management, physics, mathematics, political sciences, or engineering (equivalent to 3 years of full time studies).
  • Possession of a master's degree or other postgraduate qualification with at least 60 ECTS credits in the fields of economics, finance, or business is highly recommended (equivalent to 1 year of ful time studies).
  • Please note that 300 ECTS are required to start the PhD. Thus, a previous MSc is required if you hold a 180 ECTS degree.
  • Knowledge of English.


Access Requirements to the PhD

Candidates must provide accreditation that they have obtained an undergraduate degree (Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent degree from an accredited institution of Higher Education).

Moreover, they must prove that they have obtained or are in position to obtain an accredited graduate/master's degree (equivalent to a Spanish Master Universitario/Oficial). This must be a clearly research oriented master in the fields of economics, finance, or management.

The PhD stage, the third stage of the PhD program in Economics, Finance and Management from the Department of Economics and Business at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, has no coursework. See the structure of the PhD program here.

To enter the UPF doctoral programme, it is necessary to have completed 300 ECTS credits, and at least 60 of those must correspond to an official graduate, research oriented master's programme (five years of full time studies, at least one of them at a master level).


Given that applicant fulfils the eligibility requirements, the recommended applicant’s profile to join the PhD Programme in Economics, Finance and Management is as follows:

Students for Economics and Finance will have received a thorough grounding in economics (macro-, micro-, and econometrics) and finance (if appropriate). He/she will be comfortable in dealing with mathematics in research papers, be knowledgeable with respect to general methodological issues, and also have good computer skills. Management students will have received a thorough grounding in management relevant disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, business economics, management) and have good quantitative and computer skills. In all cases, students should be entrepreneurial with respect to research. Command of written and spoken English is essential.


Mandatory documents for both MRes and PhD candidates

  • A copy of your final official undergraduate academic transcript, showing courses taken and grades obtained. If the diploma or transcript are not in Catalan, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish, you will need to provide a sworn translation into Catalan, English, or Spanish.
  • If you have finished graduate studies or are currently undergoing a master's degree when you submit your PhD Track application, a copy of the final or provisional graduate academic transcript, showing courses taken and grades obtained. If the transcript is not in Catalan, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish, you will need to provide a sworn translation into Catalan, English, or Spanish.
  • A candidate's motivation letter: Why a PhD? Why at the UPF?
  • Research Proposal: A short, concise statement of issues of interest, including importance, history, and the candidate's approach. This must be written in English.
  • Two academic reference letters: Letters must be directly uploaded by academic or professional referees. You will be asked to provide the institutional email address of each refeee, and they will receive an email with a link to submit their letter.
  • Proof of knowledge of the English language: This requirement can be waived if English is the candidate is a native speaker and/or if English was the language used in obtaining the undergraduate or master's degree.
  • Spanish DNI or foreign ID or Passport
  • CV
  • Application fees (2019-20): € 30.21


How to apply

The deadline to complete applications to the programme is December 31. Complete submissions will then be considered by an academic committee. The committee will take into account:

  • Academic performance (50%)
  • Strength of the research proposal (20%)
  • Reference letters (30%)

The admission period runs from October 21st to December 31st. (Note that this is the only application period to the PhD Track, and that it is shorter than the general UPF ones) Final decisions will be communicated via email by the end of January, and will include both admission to the PhD or the MRes and financial aid.

All MRes and PhD applications must be made through the online UPF plattform.


Be advised that the Admissions Commitee will not consider an application until all materials (reference letters included) have been received and the application fees have been paid.

No documents will be considered if received after the deadline (December 31). 

Please, do not upload writting samples, it is not possible to read them due to the high number of applications.