Doing a PhD at AMSE

The duration of a PhD at AMSE is three to four years, during which PhD students devote their time to research in a friendly environment with highly qualified faculty. They are offered an office in the same building as the faculty, together with around 50 other fellow PhD students, guaranteeing frequent interactions. Interactions are further encouraged by attendance to seminars and frequent meetings with the high-level speakers invited at AMSE. First and second year students attend specialized courses that they follow in order to improve both their technical skills and their professional skills.
How to apply?

Funding and teaching

Acceptance in the AMSE PhD program is associated with full-time funding for the first three years of the program, in the form of research scholarships, which cover all living expenses and include social security. Teaching assistantship at the Licence level is encouraged and can constistute a salary top-up. In the fourth year of the program, most AMSE PhD students obtain a one-year research and teaching assistantship (ATER), which provide them with funding to complete their PhD work.


PhD candidates work under the (co-)supervision of one or two AMSE faculty members. At the end of the first year of the PhD, the PhD student and the supervisor(s) set up a thesis committee which consists of two other researchers, one from AMSE and one external to AMSE. The committee provides additional feedback on the thesis, in particular during the second-year defense, in which it evaluates the progress made in the first two years of the PhD and gives advices for the second part of the PhD.


In the first two years of the PhD, students attend research-oriented, specialized courses. In small classes, they interact with their fellow students and with recognized faculty teaching courses in various fields of economics as well as more general research training (presentation and writing skills, programming)


Each year, every AMSE PhD student presents at the PhD brownbag seminar series, in a collegial atmosphere and in front of other PhD students and AMSE faculty members. Our students also attend our main AMSE seminar series and meet with the invited speakers, and have the opportunity to participate to our numerous field-specific seminars.

Visiting research stay

AMSE PhD students spend at least two months in a world-class foreign university to meet with foreign faculty and students, create network and generate potential collaborations. To find a hosting university, they benefit from AMSE faculty members’ networks, and from AMSE specific exchange programs. AMSE is a member of the European Doctoral Group in Economics (EDGE), a joint initiative of six leading economic departments in Europe (AMSE, Cambridge, Bocconi, Copenhagen, Dublin and LMU Munich), which promotes the exchange of doctoral students in order to better enable them to conduct economic research at the highest international level and to get a broader perspective on economic policy issues. Several other universities have specific visiting partnerships with AMSE.

Job market training

In their last year of PhD, when looking for an academic or non-academic position, our students benefit from the advice of our placement officers and from training designed to prepare them to the international job market.

Pre-defense and final defense

The pre-defense is generally organized around four months before the final defense. The jury is the same at the final defense’s jury, and the entire PhD dissertation is defended behind closed doors. The student can then bring the necessary changes to the thesis before the final, public defense takes place at the end of the fourth year.


PhD candidates enrolled in the AMSE PhD in Economics must comply with the charte du doctorat d'Aix-Marseille Université and with the AMSE PhD charter.


Director: Marc Sangnier
E-mail: marc.sangnier[at]

Deputy Director: Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa
E-mail: cecilia.garcia-penalosa[at]
Secretary: Bernadette Vouriot
E-mail: bernadette.vouriot[at]
Phone: +33 (0)4 13 55 25 83