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The Department of Economics, Business and Statistics offers a research-oriented Phd programme whose aim is to endow students with relevant skills and knowledge both in theoretical and empirical aspects of Economics and Statistics. We put great effort to produce top-quality researchers, who will gain international experience working within the research units of our department.

Students are trained for positions in academia and research centers as well as for executive positions in government, research organizations, and business enterprises. Students will be encouraged to participate in the life of the department, to present their research work in junior seminars and international conferences and to attend summer schools. Each student will be assisted by a faculty advisor who will share the state of the art insights to bring students to the research frontiers, provide them with quantitative and analytical tools to analyze relevant scientific questions, and supervise student’s engagement in full-time research towards the completion of his/her doctoral dissertation.

Program requirements


PhD students will be admitted to discuss their thesis upon completion of 180 ECTS (60 ECTS per year). At the beginning of each year, students must present a plan of courses and activities they will undertake. The study plan, which must be discussed and approved by the faculty advisor, will be submitted to the faculty members. The activities undertaken by the student  and the relative ECTS are reported in Table A.
The 180 ECTS are subdivided according to the following criteria/ranges:

  • from 24 to 36 ECTS, courses whose completion is assessed with a formal exam;

  • from 6 to 14 ECTS, seminars and workshops whose completion is not assessed with a formal exam;

  • from 0 to 15 ECTS, teaching activities, such as seminars and teaching assistantships
    The teaching activities cannot exceed 40 hours per year;

  • from 115 to 150 ECTS, research activities aimed at the completion of the final dissertation. 

The eligibility of the courses and seminars undertaken by the student must be assessed by the faculty advisor, and they can be broadly classified as follows:

  • a) courses offered in the Master courses of  the University of Palermo;

  • b) courses organized by the PhD in Economics and Statistics;

  • c) courses organized annually by the University of Palermo and aimed to PhD students to improve their competences in managing research projects, obtaining financial support from research institutions, copyright and licensing;

  • d) courses organized by national and international institutions, summer schools, conferences and workshops;

  • e) courses aimed at providing a foreign language (usually English) command/ certification;

  • f) courses aimed at providing software usage certification /command (Matlab, R, Eviews, SAS, etc).

 The conversion to ECTS of the courses is based on the number of hours (Table A).


Master courses – item a) 8 hours 1
PhD courses – item b), c) and d) 4 hours 1
Foreign language courses – item e) 8 hours 1
Software usage course – item f) 8 hours 1
Seminars + Short essay -  Up to 1
Summer schools

1 day

Seminars given by the PhD student 2 hours 1