Who can apply for graduate studies?

In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must either have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Economics stipulates that applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. The applicant must have at least 90 ECTS credits (three semesters of full-time study) in economics, or equivalent knowledge.
  2. The applicant must have written a thesis in economics amounting to at least 15 ECTS credits. If the thesis is not written in English, please also submit a short summary in English in addition to the thesis.
  3. The applicant must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. The certificate must not be older than three years.
  4. Applicants who do not have Swedish or English as their native language must show proficiency in English in order to be considered for admission. We recommend such applicants to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

More information about TOEFL: "The TOEFL Study Guide". The guide provides learners with information on how to integrate reading, listening, speaking and writing skills in order to construct effective answers that demonstrate university-level English proficiency.

ETS codes (GRE):
Institution code = 0008
Department code = 1801

Although not required a good background in mathematics or/and statistics is often helpful for successful completion of a PhD in economics.


How to apply for graduate studies

All applications must be uploaded through the link above (in English or in Swedish). No application by e-mail will be considered.

Decisions about admissions are made in March/April and applicants are notified in April. We admit about 5-10 students each year. The program starts once a year at the end of August or in the beginning of September.

A complete application includes:

  1. Cover letter. A concise statement concerning your plans for PhD studies, your career objectives, and what makes you suitable for graduate studies.
  2. Curriculum vitae. Degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses.
  3. Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (maximum 6 files).
  4. The BA or master's thesis and/or other research papers (no more than 6 files).
  5. A completed application form for Stockholm University donation scholarship (link will be updated in October).
  6. A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test, not older than three years.

Referees (maximum 2 persons):

  1. Letter of recommendation from teachers or other people capable of judging the professional and academic promise of the applicant. It is suggested that the advisor for the undergraduate thesis writes one of these letters. Evaluators should send their letters and their recommendation forms directly to admissionphd@ne.su.se (please write Ref. No. (to be updated) and the name of the applicant as subject), or by regular mail to: Graduate admissions Office, Department of Economics, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Evaluation Form (link will be updated in October).


Acceptance to graduate studies

Although a fil kand (BA) with a major in economics makes an applicant qualified it is our experience that the student then must have exceptionally good marks, in particular for the thesis work, to become accepted. Most accepted applicants have a master's degree with at least honours for the senior or/and master's thesis. Out of about 100 applications each year we accept only 5-10 students.

We aim to increase the share of women in our programme and for that reason particularly want to encourage female candidates to apply.


How to finance graduate studies

  • There are no tuition fees.
  • Stockholm University provides four years of full-time financing.
  • The financing we provide may be a combination of tax-free scholarships, taxable scholarships and time limited university employment. We also actively help students to get external scholarships and research grants.
  • The entrance salary is around 20.000 SEK per month net of tax and then follows the wage ladder set by negotiations between the employer and the union.



  • Our program is organised for students to take the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (fil dr), which takes four years of full time studies.
  • We also offer a licentiate degree (fil lic), which is a lower post-graduate degree well beyond a master's degree, which takes approximately two years including thesis work.
  • Note that there is no separate fil lic program and that we do not accept students to take the fil lic degree only. Instead the fil lic is a step towards the PhD. It is also used by students who after some time decide to finish their studies without a PhD.