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Program details

The PhD program prepares students for a career in research and higher education

PhD - story - I. Gilboa
I believe that rigorous training in the fundamental disciplines, lays the foundations for a high-quality PhD thesis and for a successful research career in the highly competitive academic environment of our times. 

Itzhak Gilboa

Professor of Economics and Decision Sciences


The HEC PhD program is a full-time program that prepares students for a career in research and academia. This requires in-depth knowledge of a particular field of management research, solid training in research methods, as well as hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing data, writing and presenting papers, academic networking and publishing research.


HEC Paris PhD Curriculum

A two phase curriculum

The HEC Paris PhD Program is an integrated PhD Program structured in two phases:

  • Research Master Phase
  • Doctoral Studies Phase.

The first two years of the PhD program are aimed at providing students with a strong basis to conduct research at the highest level.

Four pillars: 

  • Foundations in Management and Research Methods
  • Specialization in a Management Discipline 
  • Research Seminars, Tutorial, Summer Paper, Research Thesis 
  • Professional Development 

Foundation Courses
address the fundamental principles of management research, while Specialization Courses offer state-of-the-art insight in a particular discipline. Methods Courses help students to develop the skills needed to produce research publishable in top academic journals. Under the guidance of their advisor, students build theory and design empirical studies culminating in a Summer Paper (end of Year 1) and Research Thesis (end of Year 2).

Professional Development Courses
prepare students for an academic career by offering training in academic writing publishing in top academic journals, pedagogy, and career management. Note that students have the option to take French language courses throughout the PhD Program.

End of second year
Students who validate all requirements of the Research Master phase obtain a Research Master Degree (Master en Sciences du Management) accredited by the French Ministry of Education  under European Standards equivalent to a total of 120 ECTS. Students are admitted to the Dissertation Phase. 

Non-exhaustive course portfolio


Foundations of Management
  • Microeconomics
  • Organizational Theory
  • Fundamentals of Individual Behavior in Organizations
  • The Economics of Organization
Foundations of Research
  • Applied Econometrics STATA
  • Introduction to Econometrics
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction into the Philosophy of Science
  • Statistical Programming with R


The course list above is neither exhaustive nor binding. We regularly update our course offer to adapt to the current research issues. 

  • Experimental Design
  • Identification Design and Causal Inference Methods
  • Institutional Analysis: Individuals, Organizations & their Institutional Environments
  • Modeling Bounded Rationality  
  • Modeling Choice, Count, and Duration
  • Network Analysis 
  • The Psychology of Risk
  • Statistical Analysis using Bayesian approaches
  • Qualitative Methods: Hands-on workshop
  • Qualitative Methods: Disciplinary overview


The course list above is neither exhaustive nor binding. We regularly update our course offer to adapt to the current research issues. 

PhD students take courses within their specialization but they may also join courses from other specializations or partner universities to broaden their knowledge. 

 Accounting and Management Control

  • Debt Contracting, Banking, Disclosure and Information Intermediaries
  • Disclosure and Financial Reporting
  • Empirical Research in Management Accounting
  • Theory in Financial Accounting
  • Theory in Management Control
  • Topics in Empirical Financial Accounting

Economics and Decision Sciences

  • Advanced Decision Sciences 
  • Advanced Microeconomics: Game Theory and Applications
  • Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory, Experiments & Applications 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Information Design, Persuasion and Strategic Communication
  • Information and Expectations in Macroeconomics 


  • Asset Pricing 
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation 
  • Corporate Finance Theory
  • Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains 
  • Empirical Corporate Finance
  • Fintech and Decentralized Finance
  • Imperical Corporate Finance
  • Market Microstructure

Information Systems and Operations Management 

  • Dynamic Programming
  • Foundations of Operations Management
  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Selected Topics in Management of Information Systems 
  • Theory Building in Information Systems

 Management and Human Resources

  • Beyond Rationality: Alternatives and Complements to Rational Choice
  • Change Management: Between Theories and Practices
  • Diversity Management in Organizations 
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Team Research in OB/HR
  • The Social Evaluation of Organizations
  • Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives in the study of CEO's


  • Consumer Behavior 
  • Frontiers in Marketing Research
  • Marketing Science
  • Marketing Strategy Research

Strategy and Business Policy

  • Category Research in Strategy
  • Competitive Strategy and Firm Heterogeneity
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Foundations of Strategy
  • Innovation Strategy
  • Sociological and Organizational Perspectives on Entrepreneurship
  • Non-Market Strategy
  • Value-based Strategy and Formal Modeling


The course list above is neither exhaustive nor binding. We regularly update our course offer to adapt to the current research issues. 


  • Academic Writing Workshop
  • Library Literacy
  • Pedagogy
  • Publishing Workshop
  • Research Ethics and Academic Integrity
  • Reverse Engineering an Academic Career 

The course list above is neither exhaustive nor binding. We regularly update our course offer to adapt to the current research issues. 

During the doctoral studies phase, students work on their research paper-based dissertation and may take additional courses. They are encouraged to present their research projects at national and international academic conferences. Most students spend time as a visiting student at a top university or business school abroad to build an academic network, work with co-authors, and receive feedback on their research. 

After successfully defending their thesis, students are awarded the HEC Paris PhD Degree, which is a national recognized diploma (Doctorat ès-sciences de Gestion) affiliated to the IPP Doctoral School.

The HEC Paris PhD Program offers generous support to students to present their research output at academic conferences. Conference funding includes transportation, food and lodging, visa costs, and conference fees. On average, our students participate in two academic conferences annually.

HEC Paris Faculty have a strong network of co-authors who work at top business schools and leading research universities around the world. They call on this network to help PhD students receive invitations for research visits ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year. These visits present a great opportunity for students to get feedback on their dissertation papers, collaborate with renowned faculty, grow their academic network, and prepare the job market. The HEC Paris PhD Program supports students financially by offering an additional cost of living scholarship, return ticket and visa fees.

Institutions visited in recent years

Boston University, Questrom School of Business, USA
Columbia University, Graduate School of Business, USA
Cornell SC College of Business, USA
Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, USA
GeorgiaTech Scheller College of Business, USA
Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, USA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, USA
New York University, Stern School of Business, USA
Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, USA
Stanford University,Department of Psychology, USA
Texas A&M University, Mays Business School, USA
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, USA
University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business, USA
University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, USA
University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, USA
University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, USA
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
Yale School of Management, USA

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Canada
HEC Montréal, Canada
University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business, Canada
York University, Schulich School of Business, Canada

Bayes Business School, City University of London, UK
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
London School of Economics, UK
London Business School, UK
Luiss University, Italy
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK
Swedish House of Finance, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
University of Bath, UK
University of Lausanne -UNIL, Switzerland
University of St Gallen, Switzerland

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong

Korea Univesity, South Korea

Royal Melbourne University of Technology (RMIT) Melbourne, Australia

Southern University of Science and Technology, China

Technion Institute of Technology, Israel