Naples Ph.D. in Economics

The Ph.D. in Economics is a 4-year program offered by the Department of Economics and Statistics (DISES) of the University of Naples Federico II that aims to produce high quality researchers with strong analytical skills and international exposure.


Admission requirements. Applicants are required to have completed a M.Sc. in Economics and/or Finance with a strong quantitative orientation, preferably entirely English-taught (or to compete it before the inception of Ph.D. courses). Candidates holding a M.Sc. in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering may also apply.

Program structure. The first 2 years are devoted to course work, and the last 2 to dissertation work. Second-year Ph.D. students have to choose at least one reading group per semester: satisfying the requirements of each reading group is a necessary condition for admission to the next year of the program. The program is structured as follows:

Year-1 is devoted to developing a strong foundation in quantitative methods and in economics, via advanced courses in mathematics, statistics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The course schedule from October to April is divided in 5 terms of 5 weeks each, followed by exams. Courses are followed by exams, and satisfactory performance in exams is a pre-requisite for admission to the subsequent year. In June, students will produce a term paper and attend the courses of the Naples Summer School.

Year 2 offers four reading groups, two per semester, to enable students build up their research skills, identify their field(s) of interest and their potential advisors. Students will enrol in at least one reading group per semester: successful participation in these reading group is a requirement for admission to year 3 of the program. In each reading group, students will prepare research proposals that will be the basis of a first paper of the Ph.D. thesis. 

Year 3 comprises at least a semester of study in a non-Italian host university. Host universities include Indiana, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Montreal, Stanford and Yale in America, Essex and UCL in Great Britain, and Amsterdam, Bielefeld, EHESS, Essex, Nova, Leuven, Mannheim, Paris 1, and UPF in Europe. The allocation of students across these universities will depend on their performance in the first 2 years of the program and on their research interests, as well as on approval by the host university. 

Year 3 and 4 are devoted to thesis writing under the supervision of faculty members, possibly in collaboration with an external advisor. By the beginning of year 3, each student will submit a “thesis proposal”, which should include a first complete draft of a research paper. 

Doctoral students are expected to participate to all the weekly seminars organised by the Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), which is located within DISES and collaborates closely with it. 

In years 3 and 4, besides doctoral work, students will provide part-time assistance in research projects and/or teaching activities. This is meant to be an integral part of their training, as it will help them hone their teaching and research skills.