PhD Program in Economics

A PhD education in economics is a stepping stone both into a research career and into exciting and demanding expert positions in the private and public sector as well as at international institutions. The PhD program offers motivated students an excellent avenue to pursue their goal of acquiring a solid training in economics at the highest level. While PhD programs in economics are officially managed and run by the Helsinki GSE partnering universities, doctoral level courses are arranged within the Helsinki GSE teaching cooperation and Helsinki GSE integrates students to the academic community trough the research groups.

While the PhD program follows the best practices in PhD training in economics, there are a couple of things that set Helsinki GSE apart.

All-round first year courses

The first year courses in the PhD program are geared towards developing good all-round economists with a solid grasp of macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. We emphasize problem-solving skills, applicability of modeling skills, and ability to conduct empirical research over pure development of theoretical skills. We allow the students to reach the theory frontier in the area they specialize in through a variety of methods: second year courses, reading groups, and study groups.

Early research group integration

We integrate our students early on into research groups that take the responsibility of making sure that each student gets the training she needs.

PhD education at Helsinki GSE emphasizes collegiality, support, and encouragement in addition to learning. An important ingredient of the program is the research group structure, around which Helsinki GSE is organized.

Research groups are formed in key subfields of economics – econometrics, industrial organization, labour economics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, public economics etc. Their main responsibilities include student supervision, hosting student workshops and seminars, and integration of students into existing research projects. The research group structure guarantees students with a comprehensive, supportive, and state-of-the-art learning environment. All faculty members of Helsinki GSE participate in research group activities.

The structure of the four-year program follows that of leading economics PhD programs. The first year of core-courses (micro- and macroeconomics, econometrics) provide a solid foundation for the students’ own research. The second and third years consist of original research and courses in subfields of interest in economics. The fourth year consists of original research.

Helsinki GSE is developing ways to allow students to engage with third parties during their studies through collaborative internships. The purpose of these internships is to allow students to look for new research ideas, to engage with economists working in different organizations, and to allow both students and prospective employers of PhD economists to learn to know each other.

An important aspect of PhD training in Helsinki GSE is to enhance the job market success of the students. One task of research groups is to collectively participate in this effort. Fresh PhD’s have been recently placed well in the international academic job market with positions at leading European institutions.

A PhD candidate should choose one of the partnering universities as her target university and apply for a PhD student in economics at one of these institutions. As the application procedures vary from one institution to another, the candidate is advised to consult the details from the application offices of each institution. More information regarding the application process can be accessed through the links below:

While the objective of Helsinki GSE is to provide financial support to each accepted PhD student, terms and practices of this support may vary from one institution to another. Upon completion of the Helsinki PhD Program in economics, students receive their degrees from the institution at which they are enrolled.

The language of the Master’s program is English. We encourage both international and Finnish students to apply.

Helsinki GSE PhD Student Association carries out advocacy work, maintains and develops the sense of community of doctoral researchers belonging to Helsinki GSE, and acts as an expert on issues related to doctoral researchers. The chairperson of the board for the academic year 2024-2025 is Outi Jurvanen. Please contact Outi at if you have questions, concerns, or ideas for activities. Become a member by using this form and subscribe to the mailing list by filling out the form here.