Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Admission Criteria

Admission Criteria

The Graduate Schools of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Università di Milano-Bicocca invite Pre-applications to their joint PhD Program in Economics/in Economics and Finance. The length of the PhD Program is three years, starting in early November 2016. The precise starting date of the Program will partly depend on the decisions of the Ministry for the University, and will be announced in due course.

We offer at least ten fellowships (for a period of three years) to the highest ranked applicants. Six fellowships pay a grant of a minimum of € 16.200 (gross income) per year, while the other fellowships shall amount to a minimum of € 13.600 (gross). The monthly allowance can be increased up to 50% for our PhD students visiting one of partner institutions abroad. The number of scholarships may increase if sponsorships on specific research projects become available. There will also be allowances for short-period mobility (from the second year).

Candidates are invited to state their research main interest (i.e. “Economics” or “Economics and Finance”). The preference expressed at this early stage is not binding.

This program draws on the experience not only of the "Graduate Program in Public Economics" but also of the Ph.D. in Economics (DEP) http://scuoledidottorato.unicatt.it/economia-management-phd-in-economics-introduction , and of the Ph.D. in "Financial markets and institutions" (MEIF) http://scuoledidottorato.unicatt.it/economia-management-mercati-ed-intermediari-finanziari-meif-presentazione .

Information concerning the program can be found at http://scuoledidottorato.unicatt.it/defap

Selection procedure

There is a two stages selection procedure.

Stage 1 (Pre-Application stage). Candidates can apply to Stage 1 by filling in the Pre-Application form (click here to download Pre-Application and form). A completely filled-in Pre-Application form must be sent with the documents listed below by e-mail to


Candidates will be evaluated according to their academic qualifications. Notice that applicants are supposed to have a solid background in Economics.

Stage 1 applicants will be informed as to whether they are encouraged to pursue with the second stage. In this case, no further documents under the heading “Qualifications and Documents” (see below) in the Call for Applications need to be sent at the second stage.

No application fee is due at this stage.

The deadline for pre-applications is April 30th .

The evaluation of each applicant  will be available by May 27th ; each candidate will be immediately informed by e-mail.

Stage 2. The official Call for Applications (Bando di Concorso) is expected to be published in the Italian Official Journal (Gazzetta Ufficiale) in July/August 2016 and also posted on the University’s and on the PhD Program’s websites.                                                                                                                                   

Candidates who have been encouraged to pursue with the application at Stage 1, will be invited (by e-mail) to submit a new and official application form. No further documents under the heading “Qualifications and Documents” in the Call for Applications need to be sent at that stage.

Candidates will be required to pay a € 100 fee. Details of payment will be available in the official Call for Applications.

All applicants will be informed by e-mail about the final list of admitted candidates.

Pre-application requirements

Pre-Applications will be accepted from applicants of all ages and nationalities who hold:

  • an Italian degree (Diploma di laurea quadriennale, laurea specialistica, laurea magistrale) or a an Italian degree obtained according to the regulations existent before the implementation of the Ministerial Decree of 3 November, 1999, n. 509 and its subsequent amendments and supplements;
  • a foreign academic qualification already recognized as equivalent by academic authorities, or recognised in accordance with inter-university agreements of co-operation and mobility;
  • a foreign academic qualification that has not yet been recognized equivalent to an Italian degree, provided the candidate includes the documents necessary to reach a decision regarding equivalence, for purposes of admission to the PhD programme only.

Pre-Applications may also be submitted by candidates of all nationalities who have not yet graduated but who expect to receive their degree by the 31st  of October. In this case, the admission to the program is conditional on the candidate submitting a valid certification of the obtained degree. Should this not occur, her/his application will be automatically discarded.

Qualifications and Documents

The following documents must be included when submitting the complete pre-application form (attached at the end of this document) to the PhD Program in Stage 1:

  • a CV/résumé;
  • for graduates, a certificate of an acceptable Italian or foreign degree, plus a transcript including the final overall grade granted as well as the complete list of courses attended and grades received;
  • if qualification is pending, a certificate of enrolment to one of the acceptable Italian degree programs or to a foreign academic program, plus a transcript including courses attended and grades received;
  • certification of further qualifications, such as a Master degree and any other post-graduate course, with transcripts of courses attended and grades received;
  • two confidential letters of recommendation, to be sent directly by the recommenders to the following e-mail address: dottorato.economia@unicatt.it
  • any publication the candidate wishes to submit to the selection committee;
  • a research statement (max. 15.000 characters) in which the candidate outlines her/his professional goals and research interests, and provides any other useful information.

Documents that can increase the likelihood of a successful application, but are not compulsory

  • GMAT or GRE;
  • one of the following language certifications (obtained not before the 1st of January 2010): FCE; CAE; CPE; BEC; BRITISH CHAMBER of COMMERCE; TRINITY COLLEGE; TOEFL; IELTS.

Each applicant must communicate her/his skype contact and phone number for allowing the selection committee to contact her/him for a telephone interview, if deemed necessary.

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore does not take any responsibility in the case of mailing delays or of documents losses due to incorrect or incomplete handling by candidates.

Information concerning: Composition of the Selection Committee, Selection procedure, Scholarships, Rights and Duties of Doctoral Students, Awarding of degrees, Acts and documents written in a foreign language, and other relevant issues are contained in the official call, which will be published in the Italian Official Journal (Gazzetta Ufficiale) and uploaded to the Ph.D. website in due time.

For further information on the Pre-Application and Application procedures, please do not hesitate to contact


The Call for Pre-Applications is available here.