Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Program Description

The PhD Program in Economics is a five-year, full-time, residential program taught in English. SSE does not offer distance learning, or allow for part-time studies.

In order to receive a PhD degree in Economics from SSE, you must earn 240 ECTS. These credits consist of a coursework component (105 ECTS) and a dissertation component (135 ECTS).

The core courses (60 ECTS) of the Stockholm Doctoral Course Program in Economics, Econometrics and Finance (SDPE) are compulsory and should be completed in your first year of study. In the second year you can choose from a large selection of elective courses (45 ECTS). In the beginning of your second year of study, you find a subject field for your dissertation and decide on a SSE faculty member for your supervisor; you will be conducting dissertation research in your final two to three years. The program ends with a thesis defense.


SDPE mandatory courses (60 ECTS): 

  • Mathematics I
  • Mathematics II
  • Mathematics III
  • Microeconomics I
  • Microeconomics II
  • Macroeconomics I
  • Macroeconomics II
  • Econometrics I
  • Econometrics II

Elective courses (45 ECTS)

Elective courses are given at SSE, Stockholm University and the Institute of International Economic Studies as part of the SDPE collaboration. Elective courses available at other universities can also be attended upon agreement between the doctoral student and the Program Director.

Elective courses provided by the Department of Economics at SSE:


Seminars constitute an important part of the PhD programs. These provide students with insights into current research and give students and faculty opportunities to present and discuss ongoing research.

From the second year students are to expected to regularly attend seminar series. In addition, there are reading groups and informal workshops organized in some subjects.


Teaching experience is an integral part of the PhD Program in Economics, and you are strongly encouraged to do some teaching from the second year. Successful completion of teaching entitles you to a fifth year in the program, which is otherwise 4 years long.

Many PhD students spend one or two semesters visiting other leading universities in the US and Europe. SSE is also a member of the European Network for Training in Economic Research (ENTER) together with other prominent economics departments in Europe.


During the beginning of the second year students should find a subject field for their thesis and decide on a thesis advisor. While the course program is joint with Stockholm University, the main advisor must be a faculty member at the SSE. It is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to, together with the student, arrange for external funding for year 3-5 (all PhD students are expected to be on external funding year 3-5). While most of the work on the thesis is expected to be carried out in year 3-5, it is important to start working on the thesis as soon as possible during the second year.

A thesis typically consists of several essays in one or several fields of economics. Essays may be single-authored or co-authored with fellow students or faculty. A benchmark is that the number of essays should be equivalent to three single-authored essays. The essays are expected to be well suited for publication in international scientific journals – the main channel for communication of research results. Thesis work in progress is presented and discussed at the informal lunch workshop.

The completed PhD thesis is made available to the interested public and is discussed in a public dissertation seminar. At this seminar, an invited outside discussant first presents the thesis work to the audience. The discussant then poses a few questions to the PhD candidate about the thesis and the audience is invited to pose questions as well. This is an old tradition in Swedish academic life. After the seminar, a committee consisting of at least three professors decides whether the thesis will pass.


You are provided with an office from start of the PhD program. With a location in central Stockholm many find SSE a great place to work and study!

PhD Programs

The combination of extraordinary talent, a creative environment, and real-life problems builds a solid foundation for advancement in business administration, economics and finance. The overall objective of the SSE PhD Programs is to produce cutting-edge researchers. If you contribute your talent, work hard and remain curious, our faculty will provide high-quality supervision and an exciting environment where real-life problems take center stage. We offer three PhD Programs:PhD Program in Business AdministrationThe PhD Program in Business Administration at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) prepares our graduates to be successful researchers or to advance in their chosen careers. The doctoral program…PhD Program in EconomicsThe PhD Program in Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) combines the advantages of a small department with close and informal connection to faculty, with the breadth of courses and…PhD Program in FinanceThe PhD Program in Finance (240 ECTS) follows the standard US format: rigorous coursework in the first two years, and independent work on research projects that will make up the doctoral dissertation…

PhD courses

The Stockholm School of Economics offers a range of PhD courses in business administration, economics and finance. Doctoral courses are generally open to PhD students from other countries and institutions, but some restrictions may apply.

Please see the individual course descriptions to learn more about each course. External candidates who wish to take part in any of the courses are requested to contact the Department offering the course. 

Courses – Fall semester

Courses – Spring semester

PhD in Business AdministrationPhD in EconomicsPhD in Finance

Application & Admission

The Department of Economics admits on average 7 PhD students every year. If you are admitted to a PhD Program, you will be offered a comprehensive course curriculum, supervision by an academic supervisor, and a shared office at the department of your specialization.


December 1 – application opens

February 1 – application deadline (your complete application should be submitted by this date)

March – notification regarding the results of the selection


1. Proven academic record
We require a university level degree and one year of Master level studies or the equivalent. You are welcome to apply if you are studying in the first year of a MSc program. We may also admit students who for instance have a Bachelor’s degree in economics and in addition have one to two years of coursework in mathematics and statistics at the advanced Bachelor level. We will also consider students with a very strong record from a four-year university program.

If you are a first-year Master student at SSE you can apply and be admitted to the SSE PhD Program in the second year of your MSc studies, through the MSc-PhD parallel enrollment scheme. When admitted to the doctoral program, you begin the following fall Semester in the PhD Program instead of continuing your second year studies within the MSc Program.

2. Economics courses
In order to be eligible for the PhD Program in Economics, you need to have at least three semesters of economics courses (90 ECTS) including a thesis worth at least 15 ECTS.

3. GRE test 
All applicants to the Economics Program (including SSE students) are required to take the general GRE test (Graduate Record Exam, institution code 7016). Your GRE test scores should be reported in your application and sent directly to us via your test center. These test results have a validity of maximum 5 years. There is no minimum score requirement for the test. Please, note that the GMAT test is not accepted as a substitute to the GRE test.

4. Proof of proficiency in English
Unless you are a native English speaker or have undertaken a university study program in English, you need to provide evidence of your English proficiency. We prefer that you take the TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language, code 8175 for all SSE programs), but the IELTS test may also be taken. Please report the score to us directly via your test center and upload a copy of it in the application portal. Language test results have a validity of maximum 4 years. There is no minimum score requirement for any of the tests. 

5. Motivation & supporting attachments

  • Resume / full CV
  • Photocopy of your valid passport (if from a country outside the EU/EFTA), or a photocopy of your valid ID card (if from the EU/EFTA)
  • Official Transcripts for College/University Degrees and Courses, and Degree Certificates: To be considered, all documents not in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English must be submitted together with a translation into one of these languages from the issuing institution or a professional translation service.  Those candidates who have not completed their university studies at the time of presenting the admission application must send their incomplete academic record. These candidates should obviously not present the attested copy of their university qualification until they have obtained it. Acceptable transcript formats include scanned copies of paper transcripts produced by the institution, electronic transcripts produced by the institution, and web-based academic records produced by the institution and containing the name of the institution.
  • One (1) copy of your most advanced thesis/essay within economics (in English)
  • A Statement of Purpose: a concise statement concerning your plans for PhD studies, your research interests and your career objectives. The statement should be written in English, and should not exceed 1,500 words.
  • Three contacts for recommendation: Your referees should be individuals who are best qualified to evaluate and comment on your potential for PhD study. They may be either academic or professional; however, it is our preference to have academic references representing your field of research interest though we understand that there are situations where this may not be possible. In such circumstances, we encourage you to seek out those persons who can comment on qualities that will be relevant to academic pursuits, particularly research.
    Please submit the e-mail addresses of your referees in the application platform. The system will automatically send a request to your referees to upload a letter of recommendation for you.

The applicant is responsible for the authenticity of the documentation submitted in support of his/her application. We reserve the right to rescind a letter of admission if is determined that the applicant has submitted falsified documents in support of his/her application. Application materials sent via e-mail will not be considered.


Step 1: Take the tests and meet the entry requirements
Check here which tests we accept and how to send the results to us. Please, note that test results need to be available by the application deadline.

Step 2: Get in touch with us if you have questions
The admissions team is available via email, phone, Skype, meetings on campus, fairs and info sessions. Check our calendar! 

Step 3: Fill in the online application and upload the documents
The application to SSE is only submitted via our website and is free of charge. If you want to apply for more than one program, you must submit an application for each of them. Make sure the list of your preferred programs is consequent in each application – we need to know which program you prefer if you apply for several of them. You can save your application anytime and come back to it when you have the required information. Submit your application only when you feel that you have provided all the required information (including the documents that must be uploaded), no changes can be made after you submitted your application. Make sure to make it before the deadline, late applications are not accepted. 

Step 4: Possible interview
Sometimes we need to get in touch with you if we have any questions about your application. We will then invite you to a short interview via phone or Skype and ask a couple of questions. Such an interview also offers, naturally, an occasion for you to ask questions about the program and how it could match your career goals.

Step 5: Acceptance or rejection
We do an overall assessment of all the complete applications that we receive. We look at your University degree, the courses you have taken and the grades, GRE scores, your English language skills, CV and motivation. Please note that even though you fulfil all the application requirements, it does not mean that you are automatically admitted to the PhD program, as the number of places is limited and the competition is therefore intense.

The results of the selection will be available in April and all the applicants will be notified via e-mail.

Due to the confidentiality of Admissions Committee deliberations, we regret that feedback on rejected applications is not given.

Next program startAugust 2022
Subsequent program startAugust 2023
Duration of the program5 years
 Tuition fee
Financial support:

All admitted PhD students receive a scholarship from the SSE, and are guaranteed funding throughout the PhD program, conditional upon satisfactory performance as determined by the faculty. The current scholarship amount is SEK 21 000 per month.
1,5 ECTS = 1 week of full-time studies
30 ECTS= 1 semester of full-time studies
60 ECTS= 1 year of full-time studies
90 ECTS= 1,5 years of full-time studies
To convert your study results to ECTS, you use the following formula above. Read more about ECTS here.


PhD in Economics – Placements

The department assists students to prepare and distribute job market materials to potential employers. We have an excellent record of placing students with research universities, research institutions, government agencies and the private sector.

PhD 2021
Gustav Karreskog, Post-doc, Uppsala University, Sweden
Isak Trygg Kupersmidt, Swedish Ministry of Finance, Sweden

PhD 2020
Clara Fernström, Stockholm University, Sweden

PhD 2019
Andreas Born, University of Muenich, Germany
Julian Boulanger, Deloitte, Belgium
Emma Heikensten, SEB, Sweden
Siri Isaksson, Norwegian School of Economics, Norway
Aljoscha Janssen, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Elin Molin, The Swedish Tax Agency, Sweden
Nadiia Lazhaevska, Karma, Sweden
Andrea Papetti, Bank of Italy, Italy
Elle Parslow, Kry, Sweden
Bengt Söderlund, Post-doc, University of Virginia, USA
Domenico Viganola, George Mason university, USA

PhD 2018
Adam Altmejd, Post-doc, Dept of Finance SSE and SOFI Stockholm University, Sweden
Evelina Bonnier, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden
Andrea Camilli, University of Bath, UK
Marta Giagheddu, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Thomas Seiler, UBS, Switzerland

PhD 2017
Jun Chen: Wuhan University, China
Eleonora Freddi: Tilburg University, Netherlands
Max Groneck: Groningen University, Netherlands
Arieda Muco: Central European University, Hungary

PhD 2016
Niklas Amberg, Swedish House of Finance (SHoF), Sweden
Luca Facchinello: School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Eskil Forsell: Spotify, Sweden
Erik Lundin, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Sweden

PhD 2015
Paola Di Casola: Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden
Spyridon Sichlimiris: National Institute of Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet), Sweden
Simon Wehrmüller: Swiss Financial Market Supervision Authority FINMA, Switzerland

PhD 2014  

Paul Elger: Ministry of Finance, Sweden
Karin Hederos Eriksson: SOFI, Stockholm University, Sweden
Ewa Lazarczyk: Reykjavik University, Iceland
Andualem Mengistu: Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Ethiopia
Anna Sandberg: IIES, Stockholm university, Sweden
Arna Vardardottir: Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Mustafa Yildirim: Izmir University of Economics, Turkey

PhD 2013
Amanda Jakobsson: School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Elena Mattana: CORE, Louvain, Belgium
Taneli Mäkinen: Bank of Italy, Italy
Björn Ohl: National Bank of Poland, Poland
Abel Schumann: OECD, Paris, France
Alberto Vesperoni: University of Siegen, Germany
Claudia Wolff: Medtronics, Lausanne, Switzerland

PhD 2012
Mark Bernard: Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Sara Formai: European Central Bank, Germany
Tobias Laun: Uppsala University, Sweden
Uuganbaatar Ninjbat: National University of Mongolia, Mongolia
André Romahn: IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain

PhD 2011
Margherita Bottero: Bank of Italy, Italy
Gökhan Buturak: Yaşar University, Izmir, Turkey
Damián Migueles Chazarreta: National Institute of Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet), Sweden
Ronny Freier: DIW Berlin, Germany
Karen Khachatryan: Durham University, UK
Eva Ranehill:  University of Zurich, Switzerland 
Ignat Stepanok: Kiel Institute of World Economy, Germany
Björn Wallace: University of Cambridge, UK

PhD 2010
Anders Engvall: The China Economics Research Center, Sweden
Henrik Lundvall: The Riksbank – Sweden’s central bank (Sveriges Riksbank), Sweden
Kristin Magnusson Bernard: International Monetary Fund (IMF), USA
Erik Mohlin: University College London, UK
Pernilla Sjöquist Rafiqui: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Sweden

PhD 2009

Johan Almenberg: Ministry of Finance, Sweden
Anna Dreber Almenberg: Institute for Financial Research (SIFR), Sweden
Sebastian Eriksson Giwa: Bridgewater Associates (Macro hedgefond), USA
Olga Lazareva: Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Ola Melander: International Monetary Fund (IMF), USA
Marcus Salomonsson: Private Business, Consultant, Sweden
Robertas Zubrickas: University of Zurich, Switzerland

PhD 2008
Ola Granström: Astra Zeneca, Sweden
Erik Höglin: National Institute of Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet), Sweden
Robert Östling: IIES, Stockholm University, Sweden