In addition to the regular classes held in Siena, in the first year, from the second term onwards, the students are required to attend up to 3 topic courses per PhD location (Florence, Pisa, Siena) and the occasional seminars for PhD students appearing in the course schedule.
Topic courses are held by faculty of one of the three universities and last up to 4 effective hours, while PhD seminars are usually held by academics from external universities. In both cases there is no exam. The objective of these courses and seminars is either to fill gaps in the students’ background or to help PhD students identify their preferred area of research.
Attendance to all PhD seminars is compulsory. Students will instead be allowed to choose their preferred topics out of a list offered by faculty members. In particular, students will need to express their preference for 3 topic courses per PhD location (Florence, Pisa, Siena). At least one preference should be for a topic course of Economic History or History of Economic Thought. Only those topic courses with enough preferences (usually two, but it may depend on the lecturer) will be activated. Although there is no final exam, attendance to the chosen topic courses is compulsory once they are activated.