Master's Degree in Economics and Finance: PhD Track Program

Program Director


Davide Debortoli

PhD, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


The PhD track of the Master's Degree in Economics and Finance is the first year of the PhD program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Launched in 1993 and currently organized jointly by the UPF Department of Economics and Business and BSE, the UPF PhD Program attracts students of exceptional talent and provides a strong foundation, a stimulating environment, and worldwide placement in the most prestigious institutions, research centers, and universities. 

The PhD Track Program is Year 1 of the UPF PhD. Upon completion of the PhD Track Program, graduates are awarded the BSE Master's Degree in Economics and Finance and proceed to Year 2 of the PhD (detailed in the schedule below).

Study with accomplished research faculty

Courses in the PhD Track Program are designed and taught by BSE Affiliated Professors at the UPF Department of Economics and Business and the Center for Research on International Economics (CREI), two of Europe's top research groups.

Among them are recipients of ERC Grants and other competitive international funding, authors of publications in top journals, and fellows of the Econometric Society and NBER, to name just a few of their accomplishments. They will be your teachers, your mentors, your thesis supervisors, and down the road, your colleagues.

Additional entry requirements for this program

Because this is a PhD-track program, applicants must: 

  • Submit a GRE score to be considered for admission.
    (GRE is not required to apply to other BSE Master's programs.)
  • Complete 4 years of university study before starting this program.

Program schedule: 

UPF PhD program structure

  • Year 1: Compulsory core courses in Econometrics, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (BSE PhD Track Program)
  • Year 2: Coursework that prepares students to conduct research (UPF Master of Research - MRes)
  • Years 3-5: Research and PhD dissertation
    This stage typically lasts 4 years, but shorter and longer intervals are not uncommon.

Year 1: BSE PhD Track Program (Master's Degree in Economics and Finance)


The course offer displayed is for next year's edition. Course offer is subject to change.

Course list for current students


Master project

The master project is a required component of all BSE Master's programs. Working individually or in groups, students use the tools and knowledge they've acquired during the entire year to explore a topic of their choice. A professor supervises throughout the project.

Examples of master projects from previous cohorts:

Class of 2023
Class of 2022

After successful completion of Year 1, students are awarded the Master's Degree in Economics and Finance by BSE and Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Year 2: UPF Master of Research in Economics, Finance and Management (MRes)


A variety of specialized elective courses taught by faculty of the UPF Department of Economics and Business and CREI will present students with cutting-edge research, help them find topics for their own research, and put them in contact with potential thesis directors.

Visit the UPF Department of Economics and Business to see a list of MRes courses

The department's broad workshops and seminar series complement the coursework with exposure to the latest research presented by renowned speakers from the best institutions around the world.

Upon successful completion of Year 2, students are awarded the Master of Research in Economics, Finance and Management (MRes) by Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Years 3-5: UPF PhD in Economics, Finance, and Management


Students conduct research under the guidance of the faculty of the UPF Department of Economics and Business and CREI. This stage typically lasts four years, but shorter and longer intervals are not uncommon.

After successful defense of the thesis, students are awarded the PhD in Economics, Finance and Management by Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Degrees awarded

Both the BSE Master's Degree and the UPF Master of Research have been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities within the framework of the Bologna Process (in Spanish, “Master Universitario o Master Oficial”).

The UPF PhD has been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities (in Spanish, “Programa Oficial de Doctorado”).

Quality indicators for the BSE Master's Degree

UPF PhD Faculty

The teaching faculty for Year 1 are listed below. A full list of UPF Department of Economics and Business faculty members for all 5 years of the PhD program is available on the department website.

View a list of faculty for all 5 years of the PhD



PhD Track Student Profile 2023-24

21 students from 10 countries (90% international)

Most represented countries this year: 

  • Italy (9)
  • Brazil (3)
  • China (3)
  • Spain and India (2 students each)

Most common undergraduate backgrounds:

  • Economics and Finance


Build your career and your network

In addition to a track record of strong placements, both the BSE Master's program and the UPF PhD program offer access to a close-knit community of colleagues, mentors, and friends for life.

UPF PhD placement examples

Past graduates of the UPF PhD program have obtained tenure-track positions in:

United States
Chicago, Duke, NYU, Stanford, UC San Diego

Bocconi, Bonn, Carlos III, Cemfi, ESADE, IESE, IIES-Stockholm University, LSE, Mannheim, Nova de Lisboa, Oxford, Tilburg, UCL, Warwick, Zurich

Latin America
ESPOL, ITAM, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad de Los Andes

Singapore Management University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Zhejiang University

Other students have continued their research with post-doctoral positions at the most prestigious universities, such as Harvard, Oxford or Princeton.

Some UPF PhD graduates choose employment with organizations and companies such as:

Central Banks
Banca d’Italia, Bank of England, Federal Reserve Board, Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bundesbank, European Central Bank, etc.

International Organizations
International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank

Economic Consulting Firms
NERA, Deloitte, JP Morgan

See all UPF PhD placements by year (UPF website)