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Detailed Description and Program Requirements (SMA)

The program entails both coursework requirements, to be fulfilled within the first two years of the program, and research requirements; i.e., a dissertation. Coursework requirements are susceptible to adjustments in the case students with extensive prior background; i.e., students with a previous Masters degree in disciplines related to our program.


General Requirements:

Administratively, students must file and keep up to date contact information (address, e-mail, telephone numbers) with the program's office in the Collegio Carlo Alberto (leanne.duggan [at], cc'ing the program coordinator (ghirardato [at] on all of these communications.

Twice yearly, all students past the first year must prepare reports of all activities and of research progress during the previous six months. They must send the reports, by March 31 and by September 30, to the coordinator and their supervisor(s). Supervisors will append their own assessment of progress and send the resulting document to the coordinator and to the student. The coordinator and the Collegio d'Indirizzo (program faculty) need this information in order to approve continued financial support and to decide whether to recommend that the student be admitted to the following year of the program.

Students must attend organizational meetings convened by the coordinator. The student's research should be discussed regularly with supervisor(s) and other faculty. Each non-first-year student should schedule appointments with the coordinator to discuss progress whenever appropriate, and at least once per semester. Students who have not requested and obtained permission to attend courses away from Torino must reside in the Torino metropolitan area. They are entitled to use the computer and office facilities of the School at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, as directed by the coordinator.

Students are encouraged to work as teaching and research assistants. All students' remunerated and gratis work, however, must be disclosed to the coordinator. The coordinator will discuss their compatibility with the doctoral program with the student and with Collegio d'Indirizzo, whose formal permission is necessary for some activities to be compatible with continued financial support.

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First-year Requirements:

First Term (January-June)
Required Courses:
Microeconomics 60 hours
Macroeconomics 60 hours
Econometrics 60 hours
Second Term (September-December)
Required Courses:
Real Analysis I: Topology 20 hours
Real Analysis II: Measure Theory 20 hours
Statistical Inference 20 hours
Decision Theory 20 hours

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Second-year Requirements:

First Term (January-March)
Required Courses:
Dynamic Optimization (*) 20 hours
Stochastic Processes 15 hours
Optional Courses: (at least 40 hours)
Game Theory 20 hours
Financial Economics 20 hours
Fixed Income (**) 30 hours
Numerical Methods (**) 30 hours
Directed Study 40 hours
Directed Study 20 hours
Second Term (April-June)
Optional Courses: (at least 30 hours)
Stochastic Calculus 15 hours
Topics in Economic Theory 15 hours
Experimental Economics 15 hours
Directed Study 30 hours
Directed Study 15 hours
Third Term (September-December)
Optional Courses: (at least one)
Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice (**) 30 hours
Mathematical Finance 15 hours
Topics in Insurance (**) 30 hours
Income Distribution (*) 20 hours
History of Economic Thought (***) 20 hours
Directed Study 15 hours

(*) Joint with Economics Program
(**) Joint with MF
(***) Joint with Creativity and Complexity Program

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Non-Course Requirements:

Students who conclude their first year will be admitted to the second year only if their performance in the first-year courses is deemed adequate by the Collegio d'Indirizzo (normally, a GPA of at least 24/30 will be required).

As indicated above, students in their second year are expected to begin filing their bi-yearly progress report, starting on March 31 of their second year. Normally, they are expected to start working on some research ideas by the third term of this year, preparing for the September 30 deadline for the submission of a thesis proposal (see below).

Starting from their second year, students are required to attend the Economic Theory seminars (typically held on Fridays) and the Lunch seminars (typically held on Mondays) organized by the Collegio Carlo Alberto, and encouraged to attend the Economics seminars (typically held on Wednesdays) whose object may be closer to their research interests.

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Third-year Requirements:

After completing the course requirements (in two years, or in one year if a Masters degree or equivalent qualifications were obtained before the first year) students in their third year are expected to focus on research, aiming to complete their dissertation and draft it professionally in English. They are expected to present their work to faculty members and fellow students at least once, a few months before submission.

Precisely, by September 30 prospective third-year students must file a brief (2-3 pages) dissertation proposal with an indication of the topic and of the intended theoretical approach. The proposal should have been discussed with the appropriate faculty, and each student will discuss supervision arrangements with the coordinator. A satisfactory proposal is a necessary condition for admission to the third year. For those students who are admitted, a thesis supervisor (and, in exceptional cases, a co-supervisor) will be appointed by the Collegio d'Indirizzo.

By the end of the first semester of this year, students must deliver a presentation of their dissertation research and attend their fellow students' presentation. Faculty members will attend and offer comments and suggestions. During the second semester of this year, students are expected to be working at the completion of their dissertation (see below).

Third-year students are also subject to all the non-course requirements stated above for second-year students.

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The Dissertation:

An acceptable dissertation consists of three essays, formatted as scientific papers, at least one of which should be of sufficient quality and originality for potential publication in a reputable refereed journal. It may also be organized in chapters and contain suitable material for a research monograph. In either case the dissertation should:
  1. Identify the relevant issues and survey existing knowledge.
  2. Highlight the student's own contribution.
  3. Clearly identify unresolved issues and directions for further research.
Any joint work must be clearly identified as such.

The doctoral dissertation (tesi di dottorato) must be completed and delivered to the supervisor and the program coordinator by September 30 of the student's third year in the program. The coordinator also receives a reasoned report and assessment by the student's supervisor.

It is possible to request a one-year extension. This is routinely granted, if the dissertation project is promising, to students who upon enrolment required two years of coursework, and is at the discretion of the Collegio d'Indirizzo otherwise. Should an acceptable thesis still not be completed by September 30 of the fourth year since admission, the student will not receive the doctoral degree. Fourth-year students are subject to the same requirements as third-year students.

The dissertation and the supervisor's report are submitted to Collegio d'Indirizzo. At a meeting convened on or before October 25, this organ decides whether to admit the student to a final examination by a Committee of one internal and two external professors, proposed by the Collegio and appointed by the Rector of the University. If admitted, a revised final draft of the dissertation, addressing points raised by the supervisor and the coordinator and by the Collegio d'Indirizzo, must be delivered to the Coordinator by November 15.

Copies of the final draft are sent to the Committee members, who discuss it with the candidate at a special session convened early in the following calendar year. If the thesis is approved by the Committee, the student is granted the Dottore di Ricerca degree from the University.

The final appropriately formatted dissertation will be posted on the program's web site in a non-modifiable page description format.

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Created: December 4, 2010   Last modified: December 6, 2010