Program structure

The programme consists of two broad stages, and typically takes between 4 and 5 years to complete. In accordance with the program regulations, 5 years is the maximum contractual length.

First & Second year
Microeconomics. Topics include: consumer choice, demand models, markets, asset pricing, externalities, public goods, principal-agent theory, redistribution, incentives and social choice, different levels of game theory, etc.
Macroeconomics. Topics include: business cycles, consumption, investment, neoclassical growth, monopolistic competition, overlapping generations models, fiscal policy under commitment etc.
Econometrics. Topics include: probability, methods of hypothesis testing, uses of classical regression, linear difference equations, vector auto regressions, qualitative choice models, estimation techniques, etc.

Each student needs to qualify for, enroll in, and graduate from the full sequence (i.e. Macro, Micro, and Econometrics) of courses offered by the Swiss Program for Beginning Doctoral Students in Economics at the Study Center Gerzensee. Leading academics teach the courses in English, and cover the above areas.

The Study Center Gerzensee conducts its own admission procedure for which students will need to provide high GRE scores (admission only if GRE Quantitative score above 160 and test taken not more than 5 years prior to admission).

After completing the Swiss Program for Beginning Doctoral Students in Economics, PhD students may also take additional internal and external PhD-level courses..

PhD students in Health Economics take the additional International Doctoral Course in Health Economics and Policy. This offers a highly specialized study of health economics and policy within the respected framework of the Swiss School of Public Health + (SSPH+).

A more detailed overview of the above courses can be found via their respective links above. It should be noted that these subjects make use of advanced mathematical and statistical techniques. For this reason, the Study Center Gerzensee also offers a two-day review course on mathematical methods

Third and Fourth year
Following the successful completion of stage one, the candidate takes Research Frontier Courses (6 ECTS), and embarks upon individual research for their thesis, under the supervision of one or more DE professors.
In general, a completed thesis usually...
- consists of three articles and a summary report, written in English,
- is the product of collaborative research between the author and professors and/or fellow PhD candidates (and consisting of at least one single-authored paper) or,
- is entirely single-authored by the candidate (if not collaborative)

It is also compulsory for students in the second stage to attend the department’s advanced seminars in Economics and participate actively in the macro and micro workshops.

Further details, including the evaluation process, can be found in the program regulations.

Learn more here.

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