Doctoral programme in Economics

PhD Positions

The PhD programme in Economics at USI Lugano is designed for students interested in pursuing advanced study and conducting original research in Economics.

The application deadline for the PhD program is typically January 15 and special announcements will be posted on IONOMICS and related platforms around November. Please check these websites regularly. (From time to time, special doctoral job openings will also be posted on these websites as they become available.)


Programme Description

The PhD Programme in Economics consists of two stages, i) course work with a combined credit value of 30 ECTS and ii) the completion of a dissertation.

Year 1 is devoted to developing a strong foundation in the basic tools of economics, including full-year courses in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics (core courses). Successful candidates are required to apply to the Swiss Program for Beginning Doctoral Students in Economics at the Study Center Gerzensee of the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Candidates must submit their application, including GRE test scores, around March or April. In the 1st year, successful candidates will devote most of their work time to this programme and the remaining time to teaching and research activities at the Institute of Economics (IdEP). (The PhD Programme Director and the Graduate Studies Committee may approve different study plans submitted by PhD candidates or their main advisor.)

Year 2 is devoted to field courses (deepening courses) to bring successful candidates to the research frontier of their field(s) of interest. Students are free to choose these courses offered either at USI or at other academic institutions after coordinating with the PhD Programme Director. During this time, students are strongly encouraged to start developing their dissertation topic. Starting from year 2, in addition to the course work, successful candidates will provide part-time assistance in the Institute’s research projects and/or teaching activities.

Years 3 to 5 are devoted to completing the dissertation, which consists of at least three original research papers. Successful candidates will present their research progress regularly to their supervisor(s) and in informal seminars to the rest of the faculty and doctoral students, who will provide constructive feedback that will improve the research.
Courses and research are in English. The completion of the PhD Programme requires a final defense of the PhD thesis.

The typical student receives funding for five years (currently around 50'000 Swiss Francs per year), but students who graduate in four years are not unusual. Students aiming for an academic career might consider adding a sixth year to prepare for the academic job market. Opportunities for funding a sixth year will be discussed with the thesis supervisor(s) and the PhD Programme Director. 


For further information please contact us at [email protected]