Program Structure


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The program features 25 courses that correspond to 50 credits (with each credit corresponding to 18 hours).  This group of courses includes not only those on fundamentals and specialization in research lines, but also applied research courses at the centers and the preparation of papers for their dissertation. Students who pass the comprehensive examination for this research line receive 5 credits, which is the same number of credits they receive if they pass the dissertation qualification examination.  The final dissertation involves a total of 20 credits. Therefore, to graduate from the program and receive a diploma, students must obtain 80 credits.

Also to graduate, students must pass, at the end of the second year, a comprehensive exam  specific to their research line; pass the dissertation qualification exam; and successfully defend their dissertation before a panel formed by five members, at least two of whom are external members.

The program’s structure involves three quarters per year, with three courses per quarter. The structure of the courses is detailed below (each course corresponds to two credits).

Foundation Courses – Download


The program begins with a general development cycle that includes pre-preparation in mathematics and statistics and a sequence of courses in microeconomics, econometrics, macroeconomics, asset pricing, theory of the firm and institutional analysis. This set of courses, which is common to all of the research lines, provides students with a rigorous theoretical and quantitative foundation to be applied to subsequent courses.

Preparatory Course in Mathematics and Statistics

Series of mandatory courses:

  • Quarter 1: Microeconomics I; Econometrics I; Institutional Environment
  • Quarter 2: Microeconomics II; Econometrics II; Asset Pricing
  • Quarter 3: Theory of the Firm; Econometrics III; Macroeconomics



In the second year, the program begins to specialize in accordance with each research line. Each line has a set of two mandatory courses and four elective courses, as well as three courses in which students work on research projects related to the centers (Applied Projects I, II and III, one in each quarter). Students must prioritize elective courses in their research line, but also can take courses in other lines as their elective courses.

NOTE: The mandatory courses in each line are listed as “elective,” since in the case of a student in the Finance line, for example, a certain course in Strategy or Applied Microeconomics is not mandatory.

Strategy Line:

  • Quarter 1: Advanced Topics in Industrial Organization (shared course with the Applied Microeconomics Line); Elective Course; Applied Project I
  • Quarter 2: Strategic Management I; Applied Project II; Elective Course
  • Quarter 3: Applied Project III; Elective Course; Elective Course


Applied Microeconomics Line:

  • Quarter 1: Advanced Topics in Industrial Organization (shared course with the Strategy Line); Applied Project I; Elective Course
  • Quarter 2: Policy Assessment; Applied Project II; Elective Course
  • Quarter 3: Applied Project III; Elective Course; Elective Course


Finance Line:

In the field of Finance, three courses will be regularly offered (Corporate Finance, Empirical Finance and Monetary Policy).  Depending on their research emphasis, students may choose two of these courses as mandatory. For example, a student can take Empirical Finance and Monetary Policy as mandatory courses and then choose four other courses as electives.

  • Quarter 1: Corporate Finance*; Applied Project I; Elective Course
  • Quarter 2: Empirical Finance*; Applied Project II; Elective Course
  • Quarter 3: Monetary Policy*; Applied Project III; Elective Course


* If a student takes the three courses listed, one of them counts as an elective course.



Students approved in the comprehensive exam  at the end of their second year will continue on to the third year, which will involve a series of courses on preparing research papers and more elective courses.  Since the dissertation should be based on the format of “three papers” linked to the central topic (common in international schools), students are expect to start work on a different paper in each quarter. In the third year, students are also encouraged to study abroad under the supervision of a renowned international professor, besides the local advisor at Insper.

  • Quarter 1: Elective Course; Academic Paper Project I
  • Quarter 2: Elective Course; Academic Paper Project II
  • Quarter 3: Elective Course; Academic Paper Project III



Preparation ofdissertation.

Qualification examination for approval of dissertation project.

Defense of dissertation.



There are four general groups of elective courses:


1st group of elective courses

Consists of course offered by line of research in the form of seminars to discuss the papers. The courses listed below will be offered during the second and third years, and only one course may be offered in one of these years.

Elective courses in the Strategy line: Strategic Management II; Marketing Theory; International Management; Analysis of Social Networks.

Elective courses in the Applied Microeconomics line: Development Microeconomics; Labor Economics; International Trade; Public Sector Economics.

Elective courses in the Finance line: Advanced Corporate Finance; Advanced Topics in Finance I; Advanced Macroeconomics I; Advanced Macroeconomics II; Advanced Bayesian Econometrics: Macroeconomics and Finance.


To ensure flexibility in the event that other topics not initially planned come to be offered, including those given by collaborative and visiting professors, elective “Topics” courses will also be registered, such as Topics in Strategy I, II, III and IV; Topics in Applied Microeconomics I, II, III and IV; and so on.


2nd group of elective courses

The second group of elective course involves “Guided Studies.” This is a course with the same total class time, but that involves the individual project of a certain professor with a certain student on a highly specialized topic. For example, a student in the Strategy line can take Guided Studies with a specialized professor in a certain technique for modeling phenomena of organizational decision-making.


3rd group of elective courses

The third group involves elective courses administered at others schools in Brazil or abroad. If the content of these courses does not perfectly meet the requirements of the group of courses of the program, the credits related to these courses may be incorporated as a “Topics” course.


4th group of elective courses

Specifically, the Applied Project courses involve the student working on a certain project already existing at the center related to his or her research line. For example, a student in Applied Microeconomics can work on a project already existing at the Center for Public Policy in the area of education or safety. The objective is precisely to leave the student more familiarized with projects linked to their research line and to involve them more intensely in the collection of data and analyses.

Meanwhile, the Paper Project courses involve interaction between the student and their adviser professor to help get them started on their research paper each quarter. Since the dissertation must be prepared in the form of three papers with the potential for international publication, these course enable students to already make progress on the concept and research methodology for each paper, thereby contributing to the preparation and conclusion of their dissertation. This advance involvement by students on the centers’ projects in the Applied Project courses can already result in ideas and even data that can be used in the Paper Project courses.



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