Master in Economics

ENSAE - Ecole polytechnique - HEC - ENS Cachan - Université Paris Sud

PhD in Economics at the University of Paris-Saclay

Ecole Polytechnique and ENSAE ParisTech run a common PhD program in Economics training highly qualified and motivated students to the tools and methods of economics and econometrics, both from a theoretical and empirical point of view. Our goal is to produce well-trained doctoral students who are able to pursue careers at a high level in academia, government agencies or in the private sector (e.g., consultancies). Students admitted to the program will pursue their research at CREST (joint-research centre of Ecole Polytechnique and ENSAE).

The full PhD track is a 5-year program that includes a 2-year Master (the Master in Economics of Université Paris-Saclay) and 3-year PhD program. Although the complete PhD track includes the Master in Economics, applications to the 3-year PhD program (in the first year, D1) are open to strong candidates who hold a 2-year Master’s degree in economics with a solid quantitative training (from a French or international institution).

How to apply

Candidates need to apply (1) to the Host institution (Ecole Polytechnique or ENSAE) and (2) to the University of Paris-Saclay. The two application processes are separate and both applications must be completed. Admission of candidates who are currently in their second year of master is conditional upon obtaining their degree.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members prior to applying in order to select potential advisors.

In addition, students without fellowship should apply for funding. Acceptance in the PhD program is conditional upon obtaining funding.

For candidates interested in joining the PhD program at CREST (Ecole Polytechnique or ENSAE), the application process for academic year 2016/17 will start during the first quarter of 2017. More details will follow shortly.

The PhD program at CREST (Ecole Polytechnique and ENSAE)

The 2-year Master in Economics includes core Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics courses during the first year (Semesters 1 and 2) and specialized courses as well a Master’s dissertation during the second year.

During the course of the 3-year PhD program, each student is required to successfully attend some specialized mini-PhD courses (usually taught at ENSAE by invited professors), to be active in at least a specialized reading group / workshop organized within the CREST research group to which the student will be associated, and to participate and present his/her work at CREST internal seminars.

At the end of the first year, each student presents a progress report to a departmental committee including his/her supervisor and two other faculty members. Members of this committee propose whether the student should be allowed or not to progress to the second year of the program.

By the end of the third year, students are expected to have written three research papers. The thesis is made of at least three chapters which can be three independent research papers. In some circumstances, students may be allowed more time to complete their dissertation. However, students will be granted extensions to a fifth year only in exceptional circumstances.

Funding opportunities

The acceptance in the Economics PhD program is conditional upon securing funding. There exist several funding opportunities for French and foreign students. More details will be posted as the application process for each type of grant opens for the next academic year:

- PhD grants from the University of Paris-Saclay to be hosted in one of the Paris-Saclay institution (mainly at Ecole Polytechnique for students willing to join our program) (see here).
- Interdisciplinary initiative IDI, PhD grant from IDEX Paris-Saclay (see here).
- PhD grants from ENSAE-CREST (see here).
- PhD grants from Labex ECODEC (see here).
- Students from the "Cycle Polytechnicien" at Polytechnique can apply for AMX (Allocation-Moniteur Polytechnique) grants (see here).
- Students from ENS Cachan can apply for AMN (Allocation-Moniteur Normalien) grants (see here). This year the process starts on January 5, 2016 and candidates should apply before March 8, 2015.
- CIFRE (see here) contract: this is a joint-contract where the candidate is funded through a private or public company. A successful applicant then spends part of his/her time (usually about two days a week) at the firm and part in the research centre.

Funding opportunities

For more information about this PhD program, you can contact:

- Prof. Alessandro Riboni (PhD coordinator, Department of Economics) at Ecole Polytechnique.
- Prof. Thibaud Vergé (PhD coordinator, economics) at ENSAE ParisTech.

Candidates interested by the HEC PhD program could go to the dedicated website at

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