Academic Calendar

Preparatory Semester (April June)

Preparatory semester

A selected group of PhD applicants is invited by the Admission Committee to attend online preparatory courses that provide intensive training in intermediate Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Mathematics.

The courses consist of lectures and exercise sessions and involve weekly homework, midterm and final exams. All Preparatory semester students attend the same courses; there are no electives. A full-time commitment for all courses and exercise sessions is required.

Applicants who have been offered direct admission may attend the Preparatory Semester as their option, but their performance in these classes will not affect their eligibility for the program.

Core Study (First and Second Year)

core study 1First Year of the PhD in Economics

The first year is divided into three semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Continuous study involvement is required from students including regular class attendance, homework, midterm exams, and final exams at the end of each semester. The program cannot be studied online.

First-year students follow a common curriculum designed to provide strong theoretical and empirical foundations in economic theory and its applications. All students take compulsory core courses including Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics and Econometrics, and Academic Writing. There are no electives in the first year. Such a curriculum is standard for the US-type PhD study in Economics.

In addition to their study, students attend CERGE-EI Research Seminar Series and from the Spring Semester onwards they also fulfil assistantship duties (research, teaching, or administrative).

At the end of the first year, all students must pass Core General Exams in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Statistics/Econometrics.

core study 2Second Year of the PhD in Economics

The second year provides students with opportunities to investigate more specific fields of interest. Several two-semester sequences of field courses (Fall and Spring) are offered each year. Students must enroll in at least three field courses each semester, in addition to compulsory courses run by the Academic Skills Center: Academic Writing and Combined Skills.

Depending on students´ interest and faculty availability, courses in the following fields may be offered: Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Microeconomics, Game Theory, Advanced Econometrics, Empirical Methods, Time Series Econometrics, Industrial Organization, Labor Economics, Financial Markets, Experimental Economics, Energy Economics, Political Economy, Public Finance, Quantitative Economic History, and Development Economics.

In addition to their study, students attend CERGE-EI Research Seminar Series, fulfil their assistantship duties, and are expected to begin formulating their dissertation research proposals with the help of the research methodology seminar.

At the end of the second year, students must take at least two Field General Exams from specific sub-fields of economics of their choice. Passing two Field General Exams with a grade not lower than C- is required to continue in the PhD program.

Research phase (Dissertation Research and Defense)

research phaseIn the Fall Semester of the third year, students are required to submit a written Dissertation Proposal, which is then presented to and evaluated by a faculty committee during the Dissertation Proposal Workshop week. While preparing the proposal, each student also chooses a Dissertation Chair (a faculty member that fits their research orientation). Following a successful proposal defense, students select at least two additional members for his or her Dissertation Committee. Under the guidance of this committee, the student works on his or her dissertation.

In the fourth year, students present their dissertation research-in-progress at the Dissertation Workshop and work further toward Dissertation Defense. The student’s Dissertation Committee recommends when the completed dissertation is ready for defense. The study is concluded by the public defense of the doctoral dissertation.

Throughout their specialized study, students continue working as Research assistants, typically as Junior Researchers. Under close faculty supervision, they acquire practical research experience and develop their professional skills. In cooperation with faculty members and researchers, students have opportunities to participate in international research grants and projects and to publish in leading international journals and in the CERGE-EI Working Papers series. 

Working as a Teaching assistant at CERGE-EI to gain practical teaching skills is one of the requirements of the PhD in Economics program. Moreover, our students have opportunities to teach abroad under the Teaching Fellowship program.

A unique feature of the PhD in Economics program is its support for mobility (research stays), which allows many students to conduct part of their dissertation research working with experts in their fields at leading universities in Western Europe and North America, such as Princeton University, New York University, MIT, UC Berkeley and many more.