Ph.D. Programme

Length: 2+3 years
Approach: Academic research
Cost: With Fellowship/Grant

The UC3M PhD program in Economics is structured into two parts. The first one consists of the Master’s of Economic Analysis, lasting two years. The second one corresponds to doctoral studies with a duration of three years. Transition from the Master’s to a PhD program depends on high academic performance in terms established by the PhD Administrative Board.

The Master’s in Economic Analysis is research oriented and is taught entirely in English. It is structured into a series of compulsory courses in econometrics, microeconomics and macroeconomics during the first three semesters. In the last semester, students choose three optative courses in accordance with their field of research to develop their Master's Thesis.

To access the UC3M Doctoral Program in Economics, Master’s students must pass three exams ('Qualifying exams') that evaluate knowledge acquired in the areas of microeconomics, econometrics and macroeconomics.

The Department of Economics offers fellowships to those students who carry out teaching tasks as teaching assistants.

Throughout the PhD period, students are dedicated full-time to the completion of their doctoral thesis under the supervision of their thesis advisor. Their training is completed by attending weekly seminars of guest professors to the Department of Economics. The Ph.D. program organizes summer courses on current issues, taught by leading professors in their fields of research who teach at the most prestigious worldwide universities. Likewise, the doctoral program organizes weekly seminars (Reading Workshop) in which students and professors discuss research work in all fields of economics (micro, macro, applied economics, and econometrics). Students also give presentations of their research papers in internal seminars (Ph.D. Student Workshop) for both, fellow students and faculty. In this way they receive feedback to help improve their work while improving their oral communication skills. To facilitate international placement of our Ph.D. candidates, our students are encouraged to present their research work in meetings organized with other doctoral programs belonging to the ENTER network (ENTER Jamboree Meetings) as well as in international conferences. It is also common for our students to carry out research stays at universities in the United States and Europe.

The doctoral thesis will be the compilation of articles that can be published in quality scientific journals. Students in their last year of the Ph.D. program participate in the job market event for doctoral degree holders in economics in which universities, central banks and international public and private institutions participate. See the results of its job placement here.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Ph.D. in Economics is considered one of the best programs in Europe and is ranked 32nd worldwide. In addition, it is a member of the ENTER network (European Network for Training in Economic Research add link here), a cooperative alliance of eight leading European Economics Departments with international doctorate programs: Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, ​​Free University Brussels, University of Mannheim, Stockholm School of Economics- University of Stockholm, University of Tilburg, University of Toulouse, University College of London, and Carlos III University of Madrid. For further information:


The admissions are managed by the postgraduate Admission Office of the University. Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee of the Economics Department. These are highly selective. Each year the program receives around 300 access requests for a total of 20 places. The majority of students receive study grants.

Application periods:

  1. When is the admission period to apply for a Master’s?
    There are two admission periods. From November to February and from March to June. You can find more information here.
  2. What requirements do I have to meet to enroll in a Master's degree?
    To apply for a Master’s, you must hold a university degree. Priority will be given to degrees related to the Master’s to which you are making application.
  3. What differences exist between the Master's in Economics, the Master’s in Economic Analysis and the Master’s in Industrial Economics?
    The Master’s in Economic Analysis is geared towards students with outstanding academic records who are interested in research. The Master’s in Economics is aimed at those students who want a deeper knowledge into the economy and quantitative methods to then either gain access to the job market or to another Master’s in research oriented towards a PhD. The Master’s in Industrial Economics and Markets targets those students interested in specializing in industrial economy, business economics and quantitative methods.
  4. I have a Master's Degree in Economics. Can I access the PhD program without completing the Master of Economic Analysis?
    Our PhD program includes the two years of Master’s in Economic Analysis. Our students must pass three exams in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Econometrics which cover the first year of Master’s in Economic Analysis, in order to be admitted into the PhD program.
  5. I am a student from outside the European Union, what steps must I take to apply for a Master's degree?
    All documents must be legalized and translated if you are admitted to a Master’s. We will need a certified and official copy of your university degree with your qualifications. You will need to include an official translation of both of them.
    We will require a letter from your university certifying that your studies enable you to pursue a Master’s degree.
  6. How can I enroll in online courses?
    Through the UC3M website or through the platforms enabled for this purpose.
  7. What is a specialist diploma?
    The Specialist in Regulated Markets is designed for those who work in regulated sectors, as well as students who intend to specialize in this field.
  8. Who has to send the candidates' letters of reference to the doctorate?
    Letters of reference must be sent by the referees to, using the electronic format that can be downloaded in the “Admission” section. Letters sent directly by candidates will NOT be accepted.
    Referees will get a confirmation email within approximately one week after receiving their letters of recommendation. They can thus inform you of whether their letter of presentation arrived safely. Unless otherwise specified, no other document should be sent by email. Applicants must upload their documents onto the Application Platform.
  9. What documents do I have to translate and legalize?
    Legalized documents are only required after formal acceptance and you are required to register. Requirements depend on the country where you studied your undergraduate degree.
    If a student has a European Bachelor’s degree, or belongs to the EHEA, there are two possible options:
    Certified copy of your Bachelor’s degree and transcripts together with a certified OFFICIAL translation of both documents into Spanish.
    SET (suplemento europeo al título) or Diploma Supplement. Students may provide a copy of the Diploma and a copy of the Diploma Supplement (both copies must be certified at the Registrar’s office here on the UC3M Campus or at any Spanish Embassy). If the Diploma Supplement is provided, you do not need to legalize it or translate it. THIS IS THE EASIEST OPTION FOR STUDENTS.
    Students from outside the European Union have to provide:
    All the documents legalized and translated upon admission to the Master’s.
    Certified copy of your Bachelor’s degree and transcripts together with a certified OFFICIAL translation of both documents into Spanish. Letter from your previous university certifying that you would be eligible in that university for graduate study.
    Further information about legalizations and official translations
  10. Financing and Aid
    In order to apply for financial aid, just select the corresponding option within the application form. No other document concerning financial aid will be requested during these first steps. If you are accepted, you will be contacted for further documentation.
  11. Are GRE and TOEFL equivalent?
    Absolutely NOT. Although both exams are taken in English, TOEFL measures only English language skills, whereas GRE also includes quantitative reasoning.
  12. Is the GRE mandatory to apply for the Master’s in Economic Analysis?
    The GRE is not mandatory, but strongly recommended. As part of the evaluation process for the applications, a GRE score provides additional information about the quantitative skills of the applicants.
  13. Who does not need to present their TOEFL score?
    Students who have taken their Bachelor’s degree and/or their Master’s Program in English or anyone who can provide any other OFFICIAL proof of their knowledge of English.
  14. When will I receive news of my admission to the PhD program?
    All applicants will receive an informative email a month after the last deadline. Successful applicants usually receive offers within 20 days after their corresponding deadline. Unsuccessful applicants in the first round will be considered automatically for the next round.
  15. Why are there two deadlines for the PhD. application process? We make admission offers within the 25 days after each of the corresponding deadlines. Students who do not receive an offer and whose application is not explicitly rejected are automatically considered in the next application deadline. Students are strongly encouraged to apply early as we do not commit to keeping available places in later deadlines.
  16. Will I receive a doctoral fellowship[U1] if I am accepted? We usually admit students with financial aid in the form of a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend of 900€ gross. Renovation of financial aid is subject to satisfactory academic progress.
  17. When taking the TOEFL and GRE, what is the UC3M code? When you take the TOEFL and GRE exam you may specify the university where you want your results to be sent. For that purpose, you have to include both the University code (4197, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) and the Department code (84, Economics). In case the results are delayed through the postal system, we strongly advise you to also upload a scanned copy of them onto the online application
  18. Can I carry out professional internships? Yes. The schedules for the Master’s in Economics and Master’s in Industrial Economics Master (afternoons) allow you to attend courses and work or intern in a company. The department continually receives offers from important companies requesting trainees.
  19. Where can I get further information about the Master’s programs?

more than 200 applications in 2017


international students


publications per year in leading journals


can finance their studies with grants