PhD in Economics: A Complete Guide

3 minute read
PhD in Economics

Martin Luther, a noted German professor of Theology, nailed 95 theses on a church door in Wittenberg contesting against the practices of the Roman Catholics in 1517. In the early 16th century, a thesis was a critical medium of putting one’s arguments forward. But today, it has become an essential element of academic research dissertations. A PhD is considered as one of the significant and toughest degrees in the world and a valuable asset of an academician. It helps in the publication of papers, grant awarding and other kinds of recognition in your desired field. Pursuing a PhD in Economics, you are provided with an enhanced opportunity to delve deeper into the realm of Economics and explore the diverse fields of research and academic opportunities through this degree. You can also discover work opportunities in policy-making and social impact.

In this blog, we will take you through the key features of a PhD in Economics, top colleges offering this degree along with the eligibility details.

Is a PhD in Economics Worth It?

A PhD in Economics comprises of courses in Econometrics and Economic Theory which is beneficial for those striving for prospects in the social and academic sector. This degree will equip with extensive knowledge with several economic theories and tools that are necessary for assisting governments, individuals and corporations in handling their financial data and making smart decisions based on this data. You will also develop a deeper understanding of the different economic systems utilised around the world. A PhD Economics constitutes of subjects such as: 

  • Economic Theory 
  • Applied Microeconomics 
  • Game Theory 
  • Applied Microeconomics 
  • Energy Economics 
  • Theoretical Economics 
  • Labour Economics

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Eligibility Requirements for PhD in Economics

To pursue a PhD in Economics, you are required to fulfil certain eligibility criteria for admissions. While these requirements vary from university to university, here are the common eligibility criteria for this course:

  •  A master’s degree or the international equivalent degree is always considered as one of the major requirements for admission in PhD Programs. However, in some rare cases, students can move to a PhD degree right after their bachelor’s degree.  
  • In some universities, prior work experience, projects, theses and dissertations might be considered as well. 
  • Your academic performance in school and colleges will also be taken into account.


The duration of a PhD may vary from university to university around the globe and also depends on the level of your entry in the chosen institute. However, commonly a PhD in Economics takes around 4 to 5 years for full-time students depending on their point of entry in the institute. However, this will depend on the choice of subjects and the student’s performance as well. 

Is a PhD in Economics after MBA a Good Option?

The thrill of conducting further independent scholarly research and gaining in-depth knowledge of a specialised area is one of the major reasons why PhD in Economics is a good option after MBA. This knowledge is usually provided superficially during MBA while a PhD offers the opportunity to gain further expertise. That’s why a PhD is best for those who want to go further into research as compared to pursuing a professional degree like an MBA.

Top Colleges Offering PhD in Economics

While there are numerous colleges around the world that offer a PhD in Economics, we have listed the major universities that have been ranked at the top in the QS World University Rankings for Economics. These universities provide an excellent course structure for Economic Studies along with proficient research opportunities.  

  • Stanford University, USA 
  • University of Oxford, USA
  • Yale University, USA 
  • University of Cambridge, USA  
  • Princeton University, USA 
  • Harvard University, USA  
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • University of Chicago, USA
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA 

We hope that through this blog you have gained a better clarity about PhD in Economics. If you are unsure about the right university to pursue this degree from, Leverage Edu‘s AI tool can assist you in browsing through different universities across the globe and shortlisting an ideal university that fits your preferences and interests in the field of Economics.

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