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Application & admission

The Department of Finance admits up to 5 PhD students every year. If you are admitted to a PhD program, you will be offered a comprehensive course curriculum, supervision by an academic supervisor, and a shared office at the department of your specialization.


December 1 – Application opens.

February 1 – Application deadline at 23:59 CET. Your complete application should be submitted by this date.

March – Notification regarding the results of the selection.


1. Proven academic record
We look for diverse backgrounds in Economics, Finance or other quantitative disciplines. A university level degree and one year of Master level studies or the equivalent is required. You are welcome to apply if you are studying in the first year of a MSc program. We may also admit students who for instance have a Bachelor’s degree in economics or finance and in addition have one to two years of coursework in mathematics and statistics at the advanced Bachelor level. We will also consider students with a very strong record from a four-year university program.

If you are a first-year Master student at SSE you can apply and be admitted to the SSE PhD program in the second year of your MSc studies, through the MSc-PhD parallel enrollment scheme. When admitted to the doctoral program, you begin the following fall semester in the PhD program instead of continuing your second year studies within the MSc program. 

2. Economics or finance courses 
In order to be eligible for the PhD program in Finance, you need to have at least three semesters of economics or finance courses (90 ECTS) including a thesis worth at least 15 ECTS. Exceptions can be made in cases of degrees in other quantitative disciplines.

3. GRE test
All applicants to the Finance program are required to take the general GRE test (Graduate Record Exam, institution code 7016). Your GRE test scores should be reported in your application and sent directly to us via your test center. While the GRE test is strictly preferred, we may consider outstanding candidates with a GMAT test. These test results have a validity of maximum 5 years. There is no minimum score requirement for any of the tests and the last possible date to take a test is February 1.

4. Proof of proficiency in English
Unless you are a native English speaker or have undertaken a university study program in English, you need to provide evidence of your English proficiency. We prefer that you take the TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language, code 8175 for all SSE programs), but the IELTS test may also be taken. Please report the score to us directly via your test center and upload a copy of it in the application portal. Language test results have a validity of maximum 4 years. There is no minimum score requirement for any of the tests.

5. Motivation & supporting attachments

  • Resume / full CV
  • Photocopy of your valid passport (if from a country outside the EU/EFTA), or a photocopy of your valid ID card (if from the EU/EFTA)
  • Official Transcripts for college / university degrees and courses, and degree certificates: to be considered, all documents not in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English must be submitted together with a translation into one of these languages from the issuing institution or a professional translation service. Those candidates who have not completed their university studies at the time of presenting the admission application must send their incomplete academic record. These candidates should obviously not present the attested copy of their university qualification until they have obtained it. Acceptable transcript formats include scanned copies of paper transcripts produced by the institution, electronic transcripts produced by the institution, and web-based academic records produced by the institution and containing the name of the institution.
  • One (1) copy of your most advanced essay within economics or finance
  • A statement of purpose: a statement concerning your plans for PhD studies, your research interests and your career objectives. The statement should be written in English, and should not exceed 1 500 words.
  • Three contacts for recommendation: Your referees should be individuals who are best qualified to evaluate and comment on your potential for PhD study. They may be either academic or professional; however, it is our preference to have academic references representing your field of research interest though we understand that there are situations where this may not be possible. In such circumstances, we encourage you to seek out those persons who can comment on qualities that will be relevant to academic pursuits, particularly research.
    Please submit the contact information of your referees in the application platform.The system will automatically send a request to your referees to answer a few questions about you.

The applicant is responsible for the authenticity of the documentation submitted in support of his/her application. We reserve the right to rescind a letter of admission if it is determined that the applicant has submitted falsified documents in support of his/her application. Application materials sent via e-mail will not be considered.


Step 1: Take the tests and meet the entry requirements
Check here which tests we accept and how to send the results to us. Please, note that test results need to be available by the application deadline.

Step 2: Get in touch with us if you have questions
The PhD admissions team is available via email, phone, Zoom, meetings on campus, fairs and info sessions. Check our calendar

Step 3: Fill in the online application and upload the documents
The application to SSE is only submitted via our own online application platform and is free of charge. If you want to apply for more than one program, you must submit an application for each of them. You can save your application anytime and come back to it when you have the required information. Submit your application only when you feel that you have provided all the required information (including the documents that must be uploaded), no changes can be made after you submitted your application. Make sure to apply before the deadline. Late applications are not accepted. 

Step 4: Possible interview
Sometimes, we reach out to applicants if we have any questions about the application. Should we have questions about your application, we will invite you to a short interview and ask a couple of questions. Such an interview also offers, naturally, an occasion for you to ask questions about the program and how it could match your career goals.

Step 5: Acceptance or rejection
We do an overall assessment of all the complete applications that we receive. We look at your university degree, the courses you have taken and the grades, GMAT/GRE scores, your English language skills, CV and motivation. Please note that even though you fulfil all the application requirements, it does not mean that you are automatically admitted to the PhD program, as the number of places is limited and the competition is therefore intense.

The results of the selection will be available in March and all the applicants will be notified via e-mail.

Due to the confidentiality of admissions committee deliberations, we regret that feedback on rejected applications is not given.