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Specialisation: Applied Economics

Director: Hafedh Bouakez


FAQ | Program structure | Funding | PhD students | Placements of PhD students


The PhD specialisation in Economics at HEC Montreal provides the rigorous training necessary in order to prepare students to perform cutting-edge research and analysis in universities, government agencies, or private sector firms. We are searching for talented students with strong quantitative backgrounds interested in a stimulating environment within a vibrant academic community. The Economics specialisation is offered in French and in English. Students in the programme can benefit from the collaboration between the Economics Departments at the University of Montreal, McGill, Concordia, and HEC Montreal which permits the joint offering of courses in several areas of specialization for PhD students who have completed their core courses (see 

The programme is designed to provide students with an understanding of the research methods and the tools of modern economics, along with the ability to apply these tools to answer pressing questions in a variety of areas of specialization such as labour economics, health economics, political economy, open-economy macroeconomics, monetary policy, industrial organization, environmental economics, and econometrics.

In the first two semesters students are required to take eight courses including two courses in each of Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics, and at least one course in Econometrics. In the summer following their first year students must also pass comprehensive examinations in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. Later students must submit themselves to an oral comprehensive examination in their chosen field of study. In the second year students take advanced courses selected from a wide range of options drawn from the sources listed above. Having completed their coursework, students then concentrate on their research, participate in research seminars, and write an original thesis.

Our graduates have gone on to teach in universities, and to work both for government agencies and in industry.


Explore the Ph.D. in Administration



  Program structure



First year

Fall term Winter term Summer
1 Elective
Comprehensive exams

Second year

Fall term Winter term  
3 Electives3 Electives 





We offer funding packages of up to $95000 over the course of the programme. of this, up to $30000 comes directly from the PhD program (link to progamme funding). The remainder will come from the Department of Applied Economics in the form of compensation for supervised research work and for instruction in HEC's programmes. In the first year, total funding including the amount coming from the program will be $20000. In subsequent years if good standing is maintained, total funding will range from $15000 to $20000 per year depending on performance.

Funding from the Department of Applied Economics requires the student to perform some light teaching and research assistant duties in the first two years, and to participate in both the instruction and research program of the Department starting in the third year. Maintaining good standing for the funding coming from the Department requires students to perform satisfactorily in the PhD program, according to the standards set by the PhD Program Director.




Frequently Asked Questions about the Program

Q: How does your program differ from a traditional arts and science
economics program?

A: The content is the same. You'll take core courses in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Econometrics during the first year. The second year courses for the Ph.D. program are jointly taught across HEC Montreal and the Economic departments of McGill University, Universite de Montreal and Concordia University. So you’ll have access to the same set of courses as your colleagues enrolled in other academic institutions. (link to Joint Ph.D. Course Offerings.)

Q: Then why should I apply to HEC Montréal?

A: Like other business schools, we have better resources and give more personal attention to our students than most arts and science programs. Several students in the past have co-authored papers with their supervisors, and taken advantage of excellent access to data and faculty members in other departments of HEC Montreal. HEC Montreal offers some unique advantages: a full-fledged Economics department with about 30 faculty members, joint coursework within the PhD programs of four Montreal universities, the possibility of interaction and supervision by a large number of faculty members across all the Economics departments in the city, and of bilingual education in French and English.

Q: How many students do you have?

A: We enroll one to four students every year. Having a selective admission process allows us to give personalized attention to each student. Class sizes are usually between 5 and 15 students.

Q: What kinds of jobs do your students get?

A: They get the same jobs, on the whole, as students in other economics programs. (link to our placement page)

Q: Do I need to major in economics as a undergrad?

A: No, it's key to have strong quantitative training – admitted students often have a background in engineering or mathematics.

Q: What fields can I study?

A:You can study most fields of economics. HEC Montreal has a comparative advantage in macroeconomics (including applications to >> finance) and applied microeconomics (including industrial organization, health and labor economics). HEC Montréal has unusual depth in both.  (link to our faculty page)

Q: How do I apply?

A: Through the HEC Montréal PhD office (link to the programme Ph.D. page)

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