In our four-year PhD program, students are required to take courses during the first and second year. The third and the fourth year are fully dedicated to research and to the development of the Ph.D. thesis.

Requirements for full-time PhD students


Students of the 36^ cycle are required to take courses for a total amount of 225 hours during the first year and 165 during the second year of the program. 

For the first year (academic year 2020/2021):


For the second year (academic year 2021/2022):

  • 90 hours of compulsory courses
  • 75 hours of elective courses


Students of the 35^ cycle, during their second year (academic year 2020/2021), are required to take courses for a total of 165 hours:


Upon agreement with the PhD Director, the students can also attend courses offered by the Master in Economics, the Master in Quantitative Finance, and the Master in Health Economics and Management, as well as from other PhD programs offered by the University of Bologna in adjacent fields (like Statistics, Mathematics, and Management).


To improve their research skills, students are encouraged to interact with their advisor and with other faculty members on a regular basis. In addition, the program offers several activities:

  • PhD Forums: one-day workshops in which PhD students present the advances of their research and discuss them with the faculty.
  • Internal and brown-bag seminars: students in their third and fourth year are invited to present their works within the series of internal seminars, where faculty members, graduate students and visiting scholars have the chance to illustrate their early-stage projects and most recent research outputs. Works-in-progress and research plans can also be presented within our more informal brown-bag seminar series.      
  • Reading Groups: topic-specific informal meetings which typically take place on a monthly basis. Currently we cover topics in Microeconomics (Experimental Economics, IO, Labor Economics, etc) and Macroeconomics (Political Economy, Comparative Development, Business Cycle, etc), but graduate students and faculty members are welcome to propose and organize reading groups on topics that are not covered yet.
  • Roundtables on specific issues of special interest for PhD students, such as the choice of a research topic, the improvement of presentation skills, the search for funding opportunities, etc.  
  • Mock Presentations (freely organized by the students to present their work in progress).
  • Mock Interviews (organized by the Placement Director for job market candidates).