Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft

Doctoral Program in Economics

You are an open-minded, curious senior student who wants to go the extra mile for academic research? You are interested in doing a PhD in Economics at a research-oriented university? You would like to become part of a research-active team with an exciting and innovative research agenda? Then you should consider joining the Doctoral Program in Economics (DPE).

The DPE offers a strictly research-oriented education with a coursework component and a structured supervision process. </span>The coursework component will teach you skills that will enable you to comprehend the most recent research in the areas of your interest. There is a commitment of a well-developed supervision process, supporting the development of your own research agenda and helping you to become an independent thinker in your field. It is part of our mission to make you visible as an independent researcher at the end of your studies, enabling you to apply successfully for academic positions all over the world. To help you get there, the DPE expects you to present your work once every academic year in a research seminar and to actively participate in at least one international conference during your doctoral studies.


Interested? Here is what you need: For a start the DPE relies on a well-defined level of competence in core fields of modern economics. This core requirement is defined by the courses “Advanced Macroeconomics”, “Advanced Microeconomics” and “Advanced Time Series Analysis” or “Advanced Microeconometrics”, as taught in the Tübingen M.Sc. Programs in Economics and constitute entry requirements for the DPE.

However, the DPE is also open to applicants with backgrounds in other fields than economics. In these cases you may be asked to take the above-mentioned courses (or a subset of them) in your first year here to ensure your sound knowledge of these core fields of economics.


The coursework component of the DPE requires each student to take field courses worth 27 ECTS. The selection of these courses is part of the supervision agreement, so you are not left alone when you will decide on your course selection. Here are a few examples of the classes that are/ have been offered:

  • Economics of Globalization I: International Trade
  • International Factor Movements
  • Topics in International Trade
  • Empirical Studies on Migration, Trade and Growth in the Long Run
  • Advanced Perspectives in the Analytics and Policy Design of International Migration
  • Economics of Taxation
  • Current Topics in International Business Taxation
  • Topics in Fiscal Federalism and Fiscal Competition
  • Economic Growth
  • Multivariate Methods

Details and course descriptions can be found in the module handbook (see download section). Please note that this program may change from year to year, also in response to the qualification objectives of our program.

If you have successfully completed a Master program and have taken classes on PhD level during your studies, you may transfer credits to the DPE. However, this transfer is restricted to 18 ECTS.

Application and Admission

Admission to the DPE is coordinated with the admission process as a doctoral student. It is mandatory that you are accepted by two supervisors before you can be admitted to the program. As for potential supervisors, please see the group of economists here and the group of econometricians here. Once you have been accepted by two supervisors, please use the this application form. Please be sure to attach all documents required (and mentioned in the form). The program coordinator will then check your eligibility for the program. If you are eligible, you will be able to join the program in the next semester.

In your application, please attach the most recent transcript with a statement indicating whether you think that you meet the prerequisites and/or whether you have already done PhD level coursework. As mentioned above, the prerequisites are classes in Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics and Econometrics, each with 9 ECTS or equivalent (e.g., workload of 90 contact hours and 180 hours of independent study). If you do not meet these requirements but are accepted into the program, you will have to do these classes as part of your supervision agreement.

Please note that “Advanced Macroeconomics”, “Advanced Microeconomics” and “Advanced Time Series Analysis” (as one optional Econometrics class) are offered only in the winter semester; “Advanced Microeconometrics" (as the other optional Econometrics class) is offered only in the summer semester. Please refer to the Module Handbook for Master Students for details.

Application Deadlines

Applications that reach us after these dates can only be considered for entry in the following academic period.


If you are enrolled in a Master program at the University of Tübingen, you may want to consider the PhD track. This track also allows you to start the supervision process in the second year of the program. After one year in the program, you may contact a potential supervisor and ask for supervision. This supervision will be based on an arrangement that specifies your (preliminary) research interest and should make acceptance as a doctoral student easier once you have completed your degree (although it does in no way can guarantee that you will be accepted as a doctoral student). The main purpose is to offer academic guidance already at an early stage.


Note carefully that the DPE itself does not offer any funding, albeit there are plenty of opportunities to work as a research and/or teaching assistant. Furthermore, we are more than happy to give you advice on funding options. At the same time, the DPE does not charge any tuition fees.

I hope that you will consider joining our program. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us under dpespam prevention@wiwi.uni-tuebingen.de.

Frank Stähler
Professor of Economic

Coordinator of the DPE