Economic Theory


The Graduate Program in the area of Economic Theory aims at providing a sound training in economic theory and quantitative methods, enabling students to pursue distinguished theoretical and applied researches.

The Program relies on highly qualified faculty members, with research interests in a wide range of areas and with publications featuring in first–rate specialized journals. Among the areas of research, one should mention: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Regional and Urban Economics, Industrial Organization, Game Theory, Economic History, International Economics, History of Economic Thought, Labor Economics, Health Economics, Economic Development, Environment Economics, Agricultural Economics, Finance and Sociology.

Course Structure

Master´s students shall complete the course within two years and four months.  Doctoral students with Master´s degree should complete the course within four years at most; for doctoral students without master´s degree, the maximum duration for completion of the course  is five years. The chart below shows the required credits and deadlines for the qualifying examination and dissertation or thesis submission:

 Credits in DisciplinesThesis/Dissertation
Master´s degree6464
Doctoral degree68120
Doctoral degree without Master´s degree92120
 Qualifying examinationThesis/Dissertation Submission 
Master´s degree12 months28 months

Doctoral degree

11 months48 months
Doctoral degree without Master´s degree28 months60 months

Obs.: each discipline corresponds to eight credits

Compulsory Disciplines for the Master´s Degree

Mathematical Economics (summer course)
Econometrics I
Macroeconomics I
Microeconomics I
Macroeconomics II or Microeconomics II

A course in Statistics is also offered during summer, and is compulsory for students entering the Master´s course. The score obtained in this course is counted in when assigning a grade in  Mathematical  Economics.   

Compulsory disciplines for the doctoral degree

Doctoral students with Master´s degree should attend the following compulsory disciplines:

  • Macroeconomics I;
  • Microeconomics I;
  • Econometrics I;
  • Macroeconomics II;
  • Microeconomics II;
  • One discipline of the graduate studies sequence of Econometrics:  Econometrics II or Econometrics III;
  • Teaching Trainee

Doctoral students without master´s degree should attend the disciplines above, besides those compulsory ones of the master´s course.

Elective Disciplines

Besides the compulsory disciplines, students of the master´s course should conclude other three elective disciplines, two of them at least pertaining to field of specialization. Doctoral students with master´s degree should attend two elective disciplines, two of them at least pertaining to a field of specialization, while doctoral students without master´s degree should attend four elective disciplines, two of them at least in each of the two fields of specialization.   

Information about the elective disciplines regularly offered by the Economics program may be found here

Students interested in composing a field of specialization with disciplines which are not listed as pertaining to the same should send to the Coordination Committee of the Economics Graduate Program an explanation based on their projects, along with a detailed opinion of their advisor.

Students may also attend elective disciplines in other units from USP and one third of their minimum number of required credits in other institutions which hold graduate studies. The program also has a collaboration agreement with  EESP/FGV-SP, which entitles our students to attend disciplines in that institution.

Special Credits

Academic publications authored by the students may also be worth credits (four credits per publication), provided that they are developed along the course. The academic merit of the publication shall be judged by the program´s coordination committee. The student may also request that the teaching traineeship held within the Teaching Improvement Program (PAE/TIP) be worth credits.