Top PhD Programs in Economics

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Top PhD Programs in Economics

If you're looking to choose an economics PhD program, it's important to consider options that match your research interests and personal style. We list a selection of the best PhD programs in economics that are offered by European universities, to help you find the right postgraduate program for you.

Check out our selection below:

Ruhr Graduate School in Economics

Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ), Essen, Germany

Programs available:

Fully Funded PhD program in Economics

RGS Econ offers a structured doctoral program in Economics, building on the combined expertise in theoretical, empirical, and applied research of four university economics departments in the Ruhr Valley area of Germany – (Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg) – and one of Germany’s leading economic research institutes (RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research). Advanced coursework, a cooperative learning environment, and an extensive research network and infrastructure are geared to support our students in conducting first-rate research and our graduates in obtaining excellent positions in academia, public institutions, and in the private sector.

RGS Econ charges no tuition fees. Accepted students are offered financing for a minimum of three years, which may be in the form of a scholarship or in the form of research and teaching assistant positions.

Application deadline: 24 March 2023

University of Surrey

University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Programs available:

Doctoral programme in Economics (MRes+PhD)

The University of Surrey’s MRes Economics programme is designed to prepare you for a research career in academia or in international organisations around the world. The course provides the standard entry route to the PhD Economics programme, or you can graduate with a stand-alone MRes degree after one year.

The MRes provides cutting-edge training in micro, macro, econometrics and research methods and is, on successful completion, followed by the PhD programme lasting three to four years with generous studentships available.

You’ll learn from academics at the frontier of their research fields, developing specialist skills and techniques with the benefit of small cohorts and high-quality interaction with our lecturers. Generous studentships are offered for the duration of the MRes/PhD course for those with strong research potential.

Apply by 31st January 2023 to be considered for the first allocation round.

Application deadline: 1 June 2023

Collegio Carlo Alberto

Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, Italy

Programs available:

PhD in Economics (Four-Year) - University of Torino

The Vilfredo Pareto Doctorate in Economics allows students to structure their coursework and write their doctoral dissertation in a number of different areas of economics. After a common set of core courses that take place in the first term of the program (including review courses in mathematics and statistics and advanced courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics), students can further prepare for their dissertation work by choosing from a list of elective courses.

All activities take place at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in downtown Torino. Students can benefit from a vibrant and international academic environment and participate in all scientific events. On top of the yearly scholarship (17,500 Euros per year, for four years), they receive yearly research funds and have the possibility to spend part of their third or fourth year abroad as visiting students. There is also the possibility to sign cotutelle agreements with other academic institutions so to obtain a double doctoral degree. 

Application deadline: TBC

University of Rome Tor Vergata

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome Italy

Programs available:


The Ph.D. program in Economics and Finance is a 4-year full-time program aiming at providing an advanced specialization in Economics, Finance and Econometrics to highly qualified and motivated students, whose goal is a successful career in academia or in institutions that require advanced financial, economic and statistical skills.

During the first-year students acquire a broad set of theoretical and methodological skills required in both economics and finance (mathematics and statistics, econometrics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, finance).

After choosing their field of specialization students to dedicate the second, third, and fourth year to research, and are expected to attend seminars held by internationally renowned internal and external faculty, as well as to present the progress of their research.

Positions come with a full grant, the gross amounts is €20.037,45 per year.

Application deadline: 28 February 2023

University of Bologna

Department of Economics - University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Programs available:

4-year PhD in Economics (7 scholarships)

The program aims at training a selected group of outstanding students for a career as economists in academic institutions or in research units of governments, international organizations, corporations and financial institutions. The program offers 4-year scholarships for full-time students. Six PhD positions with scholarships are for research projects in any field of Economics. One PhD position with scholarship is for a research topic related to the Economic Analysis of the Law, within the European Doctorate in Law and Economics.

During their doctoral studies, students will have close supervision from the faculty. Faculty members are at the cutting edge of world research in their fields and are highly approachable.  In addition to a number of mandatory courses, students are encouraged to pursue a personalized curriculum by choosing courses within a wide list of options. The program actively assists the PhD candidates who participate in the academic and non-academic job market.

Application deadline: 22 February 2023

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain

Programs available:

PhD in Entrepreneurship and Management

Are you interested in entrepreneurship and management research? Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona's PhD Program is dedicated to promoting competitive, international-level research that makes a significant contribution to science and generates new and useful knowledge. This Program has been offered since 1978 as the doctoral program of the Department of Business Economics at the UAB. Over the last forty-five years, students have come from different countries all around the world.

Application deadline: 31 March 2023

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