Coursework Stage

Years 1 and 2 constitute the coursework stage. This is structured around coursework, participation in workshops, and the writing of a short thesis.

  • Structure

    Courses. The academic year is organized in trimester terms. The first term begins with two introductory courses in mathematics and statistics that are followed, in the fall and winter terms, by core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. In the spring term, and during the fall and winter terms of the second year, student take elective courses, acquiring frontier knowledge in their chosen fields of specialization. For details on 2017-2018 course offerings, you may visit here.

    Workshops. The coursework is complemented with a series of workshops that are designed to aid students learn how to read and discuss research-oriented and policy-oriented papers in applied economics while aquiring presentation skills.

    Master Thesis. During the spring term of the second year, students write a research paper (officially, the Master thesis) on their field of interest under the supervision of a faculty member. This paper constitutes the first step towards the PhD dissertation.

  • Research internships

    In the summer of the first year, students may enroll in CEMFI’s research internship program. This program covers a wide range of interests and fields in Economics.

  • Academic calendar 2018-2019

    Our official calendar for the academic year 2018-2019 is:

    Introductory Courses   Winter Term
    Lectures begin   10 September 2018   Lectures begin   8 January 2019
    Lectures end   21 September 2018   Lectures end   15 March 2019
    Exams   21 September 2018   Exams   20–29 March 2019
    Fall Term       Spring Term
    Lectures begin   24 September 2018   Lectures begin   1 April 2019
    Lectures end   30 November 2018   Lectures end   14 June 2019
    Exams   10–21 December 2018   Exams   18–28 June 2019

Research Stage

Subject to adequate performance in the first two years, students proceed to the research stage. Under the supervision of CEMFI faculty members, PhD students work on their dissertation, making innovative contributions to the field of economics. The research stage is designed to support the student in the transition to becoming an independent researcher. Students constitute an integral part of CEMFI’s research community and participate in all seminars, workshops, summer school courses, and conferences. The program also has activities that are specifically designed to develop research skills and create an environment conducive to finding research topics. These include a PhD workshop, reading groups and short courses.

  • PhD workshop, reading groups and short courses

    PhD workshop. Students present their work before faculty and fellow students. Students develop effective presentation skills while receiving feedback from the entire faculty. To see the schedule of last year’s PhD workshops, please visit here.

    Reading groups. Students present frontier papers in their field of interest as well as their own early work before faculty and fellows students. There are a total of five reading groups, in the areas of applied economics, banking and finance, econometrics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics.

    Short courses. These are short (tipically, one week) courses that are specifically designed for students in the research stage. These specialized courses are taught by leading international scholars in the field.

  • Financial support for conference participation

    CEMFI encourages PhD students to present their work at major international conferences as well as at specialized workshops with significant relevance to the student’s field of study. With this aim, CEMFI has a financial support program the covers the student’s registration, travel, and accommodation expenses.

  • Financial support for academic visits

    CEMFI encourages PhD students to be part of the international network of economists and interact with leading experts in their field. With this aim, CEMFI has a financial support program that covers the student’s expenses while visiting other institutions. Our PhD students have visited many renowned institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, London Business School, London School of Economics, University of Minnesota, MIT, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University College London, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Research funds

    There is an annual call for the María de Maeztu Exploration Grants program. This allows PhD students to apply for additional funding that will help launch their research projects. The typical activities covered by such grants are obtaining data sets, running lab or field experiments, and improving computational capabilities. Given the growing importance of applied research in economics, at CEMFI we regard providing students with sufficient resources to obtain and process data as a critical input for their success.

General Graduate Program information

  • Degrees

    Students who successfully complete the two stages of the program will be awarded the degrees:

    Master in Economics and Finance (after successfully completing the first two years)
    Awarded by Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP)
    Official degree
    120 ECTS

    PhD in Economics and Government (after successfully defending the PhD dissertation)
    Awarded by Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP)
    Official degree

  • Tuition fees 2018-2019

    Coursework stage (Master in Economics and Finance - years 1 and 2)*


    Tuition fees

    EUR 6,600/yr


    Administrative fees

    EUR 36.73 (yr 1)/EUR 7.13 (yr 2)


    Research stage (PhD in Economics and Finance - year 3, onwards)*


    Tuition fees

    EUR 2,910/yr


    Administrative fees

    EUR 215.57/yr

    *Subject to official approval.

  • Tuition waivers and scholarships

    We offer academic-merit based scholarships and tuition waivers to students of all nationalities. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria , Banco Sabadell , Banco Santander , CEMFI and the María de Maeztu Excellence Program sponsor scholarships for years 1 and 2. Scholarships for years 3 and above are sponsored by CEMFI, Obra Social La Caixa , Fundación Ramón Areces , Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports . To be considered for funding, please select the appropriate checkbox in the application form. Please note that this selection will not affect the chances of being admitted to the program.

    Applicants to the CEMFI Graduate Program may also consider applying for external funding. Institutions awarding scholarships to Spanish and European Union (EU) students, and in some cases to non¬EU students, include Banco de España , Fundación Rafael del Pino , the Government of the Basque Country , Spanish Ministry of Education and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs . For Latin American students enrolled in the coursework stage, the Fundación Carolina , in cooperation with BBVA, endows two scholarships that include a stipend of EUR 1,000 per month, for a total of 20 months, a yearly roundtrip economy-class ticket from the student's country of residence, medical insurance (excluding prescriptions), and the program’s tuition fees.

  • Recognitions, accreditation reports and brochures

    In April 2017, CEMFI was awarded the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Distinction for the years 2017-2020. This highly selective distinction is awarded by Spain’s National Research Agency to “fund and accredit public research centers and units in any scientific area that demonstrate international scientific impact and leadership and actively collaborate with their social and business environment.” The award will provide 2 million euros in funding in 2017-2020 plus an additional PhD scholarships to build on the research initiatives that have established CEMFI as a leading graduate school in the field of economics and, in particular, to expand and strengthen the PhD program.

    As part of our commitment to high-quality academic standards, CEMFI has an Internal Quality Guarantee System (IQGS) that continuously assesses the quality of our graduate program. Below you can access the 2015-2016 quality assessment report as well as other related documentation.




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