Ph.D. in Economics


The Ph.D. in economics of UCLouvain prepares candidate for research and teaching positions in academia and private or public organizations across the world. The Ph.d.D program is built as a three-year training program (180 ECTS).

The school offers doctoral students a broad choice of advanced courses in various fields of economics.

The objective is twofold: confronting students with the latest developments in their own field of research and exposing them to recent developments in at least one other field of research.
The choice of courses is enlarged thanks to a collaboration with the University of Brussels (ULB), the University of Namur (UNamur) and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
Beyond courses, that collaboration also opens the possibility of joint supervisions of thesis and the organisation of a yearly meeting of doctoral students from the three institutions.

The Economics School of Louvain also co-organizes the European Doctoral Program. The EDP is a network of top economics departments in Europe offering an outstanding breath of courses and research topics,
within different research traditions, opening to a great variety of views unified by deep and rigorous thinking, with an emphasis on creativity and intellectual excellence, through high quality supervision and exchanges and mobility between member institutions leading to a large academic and professional alumni network.

The admission to the doctoral school constitutes the FIRST MANDATORY STEP in the doctoral process.

The admission application is to be sent to the Doctoral Bureau in Economics through its administrator in electronic format (PDF, in a single file)

Admission application
The following elements must be contained in the electronic admission file :

  • Identity, full name (scanned copies of identity card and/or passport) 
  • Contact information (address, telephone and email) 
  • CV and copies of obtained university degrees 
  • Proof of completion of Master’s degree in economics 120 ECTS with honors or equivalent, terminating undergraduate and graduate university studies of at least 300 ECTS.
  • A student with a Master’s degree 120 ECTS obtained with honors or equivalent in a different field may be granted access after validating up to 60 ECTS of graduate coursework in management or equivalent. 
  • Documentation showing proficiency in English
  • Letter of support from a faculty member to act as supervisor.
  • Research proposal 
  • Proposal for supervisory panel
  • Proposal for a research training programme

The confirmation procedure is a mandatory INTERMEDIATE STEP in the doctoral process with the purpose to assure adequate progress towards the thesis defense in order to meet the statutory objectives in terms of time and quality.
The confirmation serves several objectives:

  1. the confirmation is the critical stage where the candidate has to convince his/her supervisory panel about the prospects of terminating the thesis as initiated. In passing the confirmation, candidate gets an endorsement from the supervisory panel to continue the research along the undertaken direction until the private defense (at least one year later).  
  2. the confirmation is the occasion for the supervisory panel to more precisely fix objectives and limitations for the candidate and the project, given the intermediate results from the 1-2 years of research. These guidelines are important to focus the final work at fruitful areas for scientific contributions, opportunities for publication and/or data availability.
  3. the progress and status at the confirmation allows the supervisory panel to identify and isolate potential barriers for the candidate in the realization of the project. These barriers could be both linked to material resources (access to financial resources, tools and proprietary data) and human resources (personal capacity of the candidate to master parts of the methodology, supervisory capacity, international connections, etc). The guidelines from the confirmation should address any potential barriers identified as to ensure that the objectives can be achieved in due time with highest quality.  

When the supervisory panel considers that the candidate’s work and doctoral research training have been satisfactorily completed, it proposes a composition of a doctoral jury.
Usually, the private defense can be fixed earliest one year after the passed confirmation.

Research in economics at UCLouvain covers the following fields:

  • general equilibrium and games,
  • industrial organisation, economic geography and international trade,
  • growth and fluctuations,
  • public policy: health, education, environment and natural resources,
  • financial institutions and markets,
  • labour markets, social policy and social economics,
  • economic history and history of economic thought,
  • ethics and social choice,
  • econometric methods.

The programme leads to a degree of "Docteur en sciences économiques et de gestion" id est "Doctor in Economics and Management"

Participating Entities

CORE : Center for operations research and econometrics.
IRES :   Institut de recherches économiques et sociales
ETES : Chaire Hoover d'éthique économique et sociale.

Doctoral Commission

Président : Per Joakim AGRELL
Secrétaire académique : François MANIQUET
Autre(s) membre(s) académique(s) : Nathalie DELOBBE
Membre(s) scientifique(s) : Mehdi MADANI

Mrs Isabelle Portzenheim
Collège Léon Dupriez
Place Montesquieu 3, bte L2.06.01
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Tel: +32-10-47.39.54
Fax: +32-10-47.32.90Q