First-year students must attend up to 3 topic courses per location — Florence, Pisa, and Siena — and those seminars appearing in their course schedule. Topic courses are held by faculty of one of the three universities and last up to 4 effective hours, while seminars are usually held by academics from external universities. No exams are associated with either of the two events. They aim to fill gaps in the student’s background and help them identify their preferred research area.

While attending PhD seminars is mandatory, students can choose their preferred topics from a list offered by faculty members. They are kindly invited to express their preference for 3 topic courses per PhD location — Florence, Pisa, and Siena. At least one preference should be for a topic course of Economic History or History of Economic Thought. Only those topic courses with two or more expressions of interest will be activated. Although there is no final exam, attendance in the chosen topic courses is compulsory once they are activated.