PhD program in Economics

The PhD program in Economics at Stockholm University is a US-style program with a total enrollment of around 70 graduate students. The program is fully international in its orientation and the vast majority of students go on the international economics job market during their last year. The track record in this regard is excellent. The program is broadly considered to be one of the very best in Europe.

Life as a PhD student at Stockholm University:


The program combines first-year core courses in mathematics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics with second-year courses covering a broad range of specializations. In addition to full sequences in development, labor, macroeconomics, and political economics, there are courses in finance, behavioral economics, trade, industrial organization, etc., along with various methods-oriented courses. There are also field-specific second-year courses where students formulate and carry out entirely new research projects; historically these projects have turned into many dissertation chapters as well as top-tier publications.

Graduate Studies in Economics at Stockholm University is organized by the Department of Economics (DE) in cooperation with the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) and the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). The Director of Graduate Studies is Ann-Sofie Kolm. Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics collaborate by offering common courses for doctoral students in economics and finance.



How to apply

Reflections on the program, life at SU, and life in Stockholm (117 Kb)


All courses are given in English. During the first year core courses in mathematics, microeconomics, econometrics, and macroeconomics are taken (in total 60 out of 105 course points). The remaining 45 course points are taken during the second and third years, while thesis work is also begun. The second-year courses are often organised in sequences containing 2-3 courses. Courses in macro, labor, political, development, econometrics, industrial organization, and finance are given on a frequent basis. Individual courses in public economics, international economics, and economics of trade etc. are organised on a yearly basis.

Course program PhD studies


The work on the thesis starts during the second year. Usually, students write a thesis consisting of a number of separate articles. These articles do not necessarily have to be in the same field. The qualitative requirement is that each article should be publishable (but not necessarily published) in a refereed international journal.

The match between a graduate student and an advising team typically occurs sometime during the second or third year of study; the sooner students start considering possible advisors, the better.


Meet Thore Petersen, sharing his experience as a first-year student:



Meet Patrizia Massner, a third-year student:



Meet Ulrika Arhsjö, at her final year of our program:




When the thesis is written it is publicly discussed and defended. The discussant must be an expert in the relevant field. The thesis defense is given a pass or fail grade. The decision of this grade is made by a committee consisting of three members. The discussant as well as the composition of the committee follows the guidelines of Stockholm University. The main supervisor propose the discussant and the committee and the decision is made by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University.


The official channel of communication between the graduate students and the department as well as other bodies of relevance.

Information and contact


Our graduates successfully go on to top job placements, both internationally and in Sweden.

Job placements PhD program


The joint undertaking by SU and SSE in offering common courses is called the Stockholm Doctoral Course Program in Economics, Econometrics and Finance (SDPE). This means that students at Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics have access to the same course program. Uppsala University is also part of the broader PhD course program.

The PhD program is also a part of ENTER


Recently, in a joint venture between the Department of Economics (DE), the Institute for International Economic Studies, and Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University received a grant from the Sveriges Riksbank Tercentenary Foundation. The broad purpose of this collaboration is to further develop our PhD program within the areas of monetary policy and financial stability. Specifically, as there are new funds available for this purpose, we hope to attract more PhD applicants with these interests. A new center is therefore in the process of being launched – the Center for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, based at DE – that will be coordinating the efforts. Applicants interested in a money-finance specialization need to be admitted to the general program in open competition with all other applicants. For details, please follow the link below.

A new PhD specialization (200 Kb)



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