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Students are encouraged to pursue a personalized curriculum, by choosing courses from a wide list of options under the close supervision of distinguished academic members who are at the cutting edge of world research in their fields. The learning opportunities involve General CoursesTopic Courses, Advanced Topic Courses as well as a wide range of courses on Tools and Methods that involve front lectures on theory and labs sessions on the use of software packages. The program also offers courses on how to organize research, give presentations in front of specialized audiences and write scientific articles.

Requirements for full-time PhD students

Students are required to take courses for a total of 210 hours in the first year and 150 in the second year of the program. By default, courses should be selected within those listed above.

For the first year, the following courses are compulsory:
- Microeconomics 2 (30 h)
- Macroeconomics 1 (30 h)
- Macroeconomics 2 (30 h)
- Econometrics 1 (30 h)

Students of the first year can choose the remaining 90 hours among other courses listed above (please postpone to the second year all "tools and methods" courses). In order to consider the exam passed, students have to get a minimum score of 27/30.

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

Notes on Courses:

  • The “General Courses” and the “Topic Courses” involve 30 hours of front lectures and formal exams and can be taken by both Master and PhD students.
  • The “Tools and Methods” and the “Advanced Topics” generally involve 15/20 hours of lectures and may involve both formal exams and the development of research projects or presentations. These courses are offered only to PhD students (and visiting students).


To learn how to do research, apart from frequent interactions with the thesis supervisor and other faculty members, the program offers several activities:

  • PhD Forums. One day workshops where PhD students present the advances of their research.
  • Internal Seminars and PhD Forums. There is seminar series reserved for the presentation of the faculty and visiting scholars. The first slot of each month is reserved for the presentations of PhD students. In all year of courses, each student also presents in the PhD forum (a one day workshop with presentations by the students of each year).
  • Reading Groups: Weekly informal meetings all year long. In Microeconomics (Experimental Economics, IO, Labor Economics, etc) and Macroeconomics (Political Economy, Comparative Development, Business Cycle, etc). Weekly informal meetings all year long.
  • Short course on Giving Presentations, Writing Papers and Referee Reports
  • Mock Presentations (freely organized by the students to present their work in progress)
  • Mock Interviews (organized by the Placement Director for job market candidates)