Structure of the program

The Ph.D. Program in Applied Economics is divided into two phases. During the first phase students take courses with a work load of 30 credit points. In the second phase students finish their course work, pursue their own research and present their work internationally and within the faculty.

First phase

During the first phase, students complete most of their course work and draft an extended research proposal for their dissertation project.

In the first term (fall) all students take the following compulsory courses (3 credit points each):

·         Advanced Mathematics 
          (Univ.-Doz. Dr. Th. Zehrt)

·         Advanced Research Methods 
          (Prof. Jeffrey Grogger, Ph.D., Prof. Dr. C.  Wunsch)

In order to acquire the remaining 24 credit points students can follow one of two possible tracks:

(1)   In the first track, students choose from a list of courses offered by the University of Basel. They may also attend courses offered by other universities. For accreditation of this course, doctoral students have to submit an application to the program director before the course starts. The following advanced field courses are currently offered by the University of Basel (3 credit points each):

Microeconometrics II (Schmidheiny, fall term)
Time Series Analysis II (Kleiber, fall term)
Advanced Public Economics: Behavioral Models (Nikolai/Hintermann, fall term)
Advanced Environmental Economics II (Krysiak, fall term)

Microeconometrics I (Kleiber, spring term)
Advanced Computational Economics (Maringer, spring term)
Contract Theory (Nöldeke, spring term)
Economics of Financial Accounting (Schiller, spring term)
Monetary Theory (Berentsen, spring term)
Experimental Macroeconomics (Camera, spring term)
The Economics of Unemployment (Wunsch, spring term)
Advanced International Trade (Weder, spring term)
Empirical Evaluation of Economic Models (Wunsch, spring term)

(2)   The second track is based on the “Swiss Program for Beginning Doctoral Students in Economics” offered by the Study Center Gerzensee. Students have to apply for this program directly at the Study Center Gerzensee, which will make an independent decision on admission. Before applying, students also have to consult the director of the Ph.D. program in Basel. For more information on the Gerzensee program visit the program’s website.

During the first two terms students also complete an extended research proposal in close exchange with the faculty. The proposal serves as a first roadmap for their research. Students present this proposal to the program committee at the end of the first year.

After the first year the program committee evaluates the performance of each doctoral student based on their course work as well as the research proposal presented at the end of the second term. In case of successful completion, doctoral students become employed as research assistants at a certain research group of the faculty.

Second phase

During the third term students complete their course work and start their own research. They also select their first and second advisor for their doctoral dissertation.

Beginning with the fourth term students are expected to concentrate fully on their own research. Supplementary courses may be attended if useful. Students are also expected to present their research proposal internally and externally during the second and third year.

Doctoral students are expected to write at least three publishable scientific papers and to defend their dissertation at the end of the third or fourth year. The final grade of the doctoral thesis consists of the average of:

a) The two reports with a grade for the doctoral thesis from the advisors.

b) The thesis defense.