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General guidelines

Doctoral School's general rules: Detailed information regarding PhD programs at Tor Vergata University of Rome is available on the Doctoral School's website. In particular, the specific regulations governing all PhD programs at Tor Vergata University of Rome can be accessed here.

Academic year: According to the Doctoral School, the official academic year starts on November 1 and ends on October 31. However, the PhD program in Economics and Finance starts at the beginning of September with review courses, followed by core courses. Each academic year is divided into a Fall Term and a Spring Term. The academic calendar is available here.

Every academic year

1. Contact information: Students must fill and keep up-to-date contact information (address, e-mail, telephone numbers) with the program’s office.

2. Annual reports: At the end of each academic year, starting from the second year, enrolled students are required to prepare annual reports detailing all activities and research progress accomplished in the preceding twelve months. These reports must be submitted to the Advisors by mid-September. Advisors will then provide their assessment of the student’s performance and forward the compiled document to the Director by mid-October. This information, including participation in departmental seminars and conferences, is used by the Director and the Faculty to determine the continuation of financial support and to consider the student's admission to the following year of the program.

3. Regular meetings: Students are obligated to attend organizational meetings arranged by the Director. Monthly discussions about the student’s research with Advisor(s) and other Faculty members are expected. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments with the Director to discuss progress whenever necessary.

4. Participation in activities: Students must reside within the Rome metropolitan area, unless authorized by the Faculty to attend courses or to work on research projects outside of Tor Vergata University of Rome. They are granted access to the computers and office facilities of the doctoral program at Tor Vergata University of Rome. Students are expected to actively participate in the program’s activities, including weekly seminars and annual conferences organized by the PhD program and by the Department of Economics and Finance. Regular academic activities are detailed here.

5. Teaching assistantships: From the second year onwards, students are encouraged to engage in teaching assistant roles. However, all such commitments, even if voluntary, must be disclosed to the Director in advance and approved by the Advisor and the Faculty. The Faculty will assess the compatibility of these activities with the doctoral program. Furthermore, according to the Doctoral School's rules, there is a cap on monetary compensation that must be adhered to in order to continue receiving financial support. Here are the rules for teaching assistant to act as exam committee members of undergraduate and graduate courses.

6. Research abroad: As part of their research activity, from the second year onwards, and more appropriately in the third year, students are strongly encouraged to spend a period of research abroad, taking advantage of the relationships that the program Faculty maintains with leading research universities worldwide.

7. At risk students: Students who fail to meet progress expectations are identified as at-risk either by the Director or by the Advisor(s). Upon identification, an ad hoc At-Risk Student Committee will be appointed by the Faculty. This Committee will then arrange a meeting with the student to address their at-risk status and devise a progress plan. The duration of the at-risk period will be determined by the Committee, taking into account the necessary tasks for satisfactory progress. Failure to comply with requests regarding progress may result in exclusion from the program.

First academic year

8. First-year courses: Students must participate in first-year courses. These courses are outlined on this page. Upon request, students holding postgraduate qualifications equivalent to doctoral courses may receive exemptions. It is expected that students pass exams scheduled for both the Fall and Spring terms. In the event of failure, a retake exam is scheduled for September. Failure to complete first-year courses may result in exclusion from the doctoral program.

9. Second-year plan of study: Doctoral students are required to submit a plan of study for their second year by mid-March. Details regarding credits, or hours, requirements and available elective courses and reading groups can be found on this page.

10. Choice of Advisors: By the conclusion of the first year, students must select an Advisor and, in exceptional cases, a co-Advisor. The appointment of external Advisors or co-Advisors is warranted only when a specific research expertise is unavailable within the Faculty. The Faculty will confirm the Advisor and co-Advisor(s). Any subsequent changes must be discussed with the Director and approved by the Faculty.

Second academic year

11. Second-year courses:  Students typically engage in second-year courses as outlined in their approved plan of study.

12. Research project: By mid-June of the second year, students are required to submit to the Director a concise research project detailing the topic and intended theoretical, or empirical, approach. This project should have been discussed with the Advisor and the relevant Faculty members.

13. Annual PhD Forum: Upon completion of the second year, students will present their research project to the Faculty during the annual PhD Forum. Faculty members will attend the presentation and provide feedback and suggestions. A satisfactory presentation demonstrating suitable research is a necessary condition for admission to the third year.

Third and fourth academic year

14. Dissertation phase: The third and the fourth year are entirely devoted to drafting the PhD dissertation. Students are expected to actively participate in the accademic life of the Deparment of Economics and Finance, and are encouraged to spend a period of study abroad of at least three months.

15. Annual PhD Forum: At the end of the third year, students will deliver a presentation on their research progress to the Faculty in the annual PhD Forum. Faculty members will attend and offer comments and suggestions. A satisfactory presentation of suitable research is a necessary condition for admission to the fourth year.

16. PhD candidate profile: At the end of the fourth year, along with the thesis submission, students are required to compile a PhD candidate profile, a comprehensive document encompassing all activities undertaken over the four-year period, which will be forwarded to external reviewers. The deadline for submission of this material is scheduled for the end of October. Upon a justified request endorsed by the Advisor, students may be granted an extension of up to twelve months without the scholarship.


17. Dissertation submission: The doctoral thesis must be completed and submitted to both the Advisor and the Director by the end of October in the student’s fourth year. In addition, the Advisor will provide a detailed report and evaluation supporting the student’s work, which will be distributed to the Final Examination Committee. Here is the administrative procedure for submission of the final dissertation.

18. External Reviewers: The dissertation, along with the Advisor’s report and the PhD candidate profile, is forwarded to the Faculty, and two external Reviewers. Based on the Reviewers evaluations, the Faculty deliberates on whether to permit the student to undergo a final examination. Upon the Reviewers' recommendation, the candidate might be granted a six-month extension. The Final Examination Committee will consist of one internal and (at least) two external Examiners, proposed by the Faculty and appointed by the University Rector.

19. Final Examination Committee: Copies of the revised draft are provided to the Final Examination Committee members, who engage in discussions with the candidate during a special session convened early in the subsequent calendar year. In any case, the thesis defense is due within six months from the end of the PhD path, unless an additional six-month extension has been granted. Upon approval of the thesis by the Committee, the student is conferred with the Doctorate Degree from the University during the annual ceremony, usually scheduled in the following Fall.


20. Dissertation format: A satisfactory dissertation comprises three essays structured as scientific papers, with at least one essay demonstrating the requisite quality and originality for potential publication in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. Alternatively, the dissertation may be structured into chapters and encompass suitable material for a research monograph.

21. Dissertation standards: In either format, the dissertation should: (i) Identify the relevant issues and review existing literature; (ii) Highlight the student’s theoretical or empirical contribution. (iii) Explicitly delineate unresolved matters and suggest avenues for future research.

22. Collaborations: Any collaborative work must be distinctly acknowledged as such. Furthermore, at least one paper within the thesis must be authored solely by the student or by a group of coauthors different from those of the other papers.