PhD in International Economics

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Program Description

PhD in International Economics

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

The Institute’s PhD with a specialisation in International Economics offers advanced training focusing on trade and international monetary economics in addition to other key contemporary issues in the economics field. As part of the programme, students produce a thesis that represents a substantial contribution to the discipline which also serves to strengthen their ability to combine independent research with formal methodologies and the tools of modern economics for a future career in this area.

PhD with a specialisation in International Economics

The 4 years PhD program is centered around a research dissertation. This work represents a substantial contribution to economics and demonstrates your ability to combine independent research with the formal methodologies and tools of modern economics.

The PhD program trains you to undertake innovative research in economics at a top level. Research work is at a level that can lead to publication in top level scholarly journals in economics. Our graduates have secured positions in prominent policy institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the research departments of prominent central banks. While our training is focused on policy application, many graduates have secured positions in academia.

Program structure

The program consists of classes (in English), and the research dissertation.

-- Classes cover a sequence of two courses in the first two semesters, either in international macroeconomics, or international trade. In addition, students follow two classes in advanced econometrics in the second semester.

-- While there is no requirement to take elective classes, you have the option of following classes in economics or other departments of the Institute as an auditor, subject to approval by the professor.

-- The dissertation is the central element of the program. You will choose a professor to be your academic supervisor in the first year. You will submit and defend a dissertation proposal (“mémoire préliminaire de these”) by the end of the third semester. That proposal describes your research plan, and you will be expected to have clearly identified your research question, show a good grasp of the related literature, as well as have a clear plan for the methods and data you intend to use. The dissertation usually takes the form of three chapters written under the direction of your supervisor, each of which should be suitable as an independent paper. We allow for co-authorship of chapters, but expect you to demonstrate the ability to undertake research on your own. Students usually have one chapter ready by the beginning of their fourth year, which they use as their job market paper to secure employment.

The credit requirements are for 24 credits (ECTS) from the four core classes.

Target group

Admissions are decided on the basis of individual files. Most candidates hold a Masters degree in economics with high marks. We consider both candidates from our own MIS program in economics, as well as candidates from hihgly reputed outside universities.

Admission requirements

PhD in International Economics: Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) or a Master’s degree in economics or in a related discipline + have completed, to the extent possible, a DEA- or Masters level research dissertation (please include a copy with your application). Applicants to the PhD in Development Economics must have passed a GRE.

Language requirements

The Institute is a bilingual English-French institution; students are therefore required to demonstrate their knowledge of these languages by including the relevant certificates with their application forms.


* Level required: candidates are required to demonstrate excellent command of the language, both written and spoken, attested by a language certificate

* Candidates who are native English speakers and those who have completed secondary or post-secondary education in English, attested by a diploma, are exempt from this requirement.


* Level required: a passive knowledge of French can be acquired during the first study semester; knowledge of French will be tested at the start of the second semester (February or March).

* Candidates of French mother-tongue, candidates who have completed secondary or post-secondary education in French, attested by a diploma, or candidates who have obtained a French diploma equivalent to a DELF B2 are exempt from this requirement.

* Request for a waiver: candidates with no prior knowledge of French may request a waiver. Upon successful acceptance to the Institute they will be required to attend an intensive French course during the 3 weeks preceding the start of the autumn semester and for the duration of the first semester; upon completion of the French course they will be required to take a language test.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
4 years
Full time
1,500 CHF
Start date Sept. 2017
Switzerland Geneva
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 4 years
Price 1,500 CHF
per term;CHF 2,500 international student