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Program structure

The PhD program in Finance is a five-year, full-time, residential program taught in English. SSE does not offer distance learning, or allow for part-time studies.

In order to receive a PhD degree in Finance from SSE, you must earn 240 ECTS. These credits consist of a coursework component (105 ECTS) and a dissertation component (135 ECTS).

In the first year, the coursework component consists of seven courses (45 ECTS) integrated in the SDPE program, and two additional finance course (15 ECTS). In the second year, the coursework consists of three finance courses (22.5 ECTS), as well as elective courses (22.5 ECTS), where you can take more finance courses, including shorter mini courses on specialized areas in finance, or topic courses in economics. In year 3-5, you will be working on your thesis which is equivalent to 135 ECTS. The program ends with a thesis defense. 


Seminars constitute an important part of the PhD program. The seminars provide students with insights into current research and give students and faculty opportunities to present and discuss ongoing research.

From the second year students are obliged to regularly participate in the Friday seminars and the Thursday workshops. In addition, there are further seminars/workshops at SSE that may be of interest, notably the Economics Lunch Seminar, the Economics Seminar, or the SITE Brown Bag Seminar.


Teaching experience and seminars are integral parts of the PhD program in Finance.

From the second year you are strongly encouraged to do some teaching in addition to research assistance and to participate in finance seminars and workshops. Successful completion of teaching entitles you to a fifth year in the program, which is otherwise 4 years.

Also in your second year, you need to find a research subject and a suitable supervisor for your dissertation.


During the second year the student should find a subject field for the thesis and seek out a thesis advisor. While most of the work on the thesis is expected to be carried out in year 3-5, it is important to start working on the thesis as soon as possible during the second year.

A thesis typically consists of several essays in one or several fields of financial economics. Essays may be single-authored or co-authored with fellow students or faculty. A benchmark is that the number of essays should be equivalent to three single-authored essays. The essays are expected to be well suited for publication in international scientific journals - the main channel for communicating research results. 

Research and conference travels are encouraged, and travel stipends for mini courses and PhD workshops are often available through the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF).

Thesis work in progress is presented and discussed at the PhD seminar, which usually takes place on Wednesdays. The completed PhD thesis is made available to the interested public, and the student defends her/his thesis in an oral examination with an external discussant appointed by the faculty. After the seminar, the thesis committee consisting of three professors decides whether the thesis passes.


You are provided with an office at the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF) from start of the PhD program. With a location in central Stockholm many find SSE a great place to work and study!