The boundaries between academic fields have blurred to such an extend that many studies today are interdisciplinary in nature.

My PhD is in the social sciences. It was located in the Faculty of Arts at the university. It is a blend of sociology, organisational economics, public policy and a bit of psychology.

I am wondering if a term like "social economics" is appropriate to describe my study. (It is neither "social" nor "economic" in the 'pure' sense.)

My university will just award me with a PhD but I want my CV to be more descriptive.

How does the academic community view these types of descriptions?

  • 1
    What does your PhD advisor say? Did you check The CV of other people who work in the same subject? Did you search the term "social economic" in google? In a similar situation if I couldn't find any thing, I would invent a phrase (of course, with some explanations).
    – user4511
    Jan 14, 2013 at 22:32
  • My PhD advisor is unsure! Jan 14, 2013 at 22:38
  • What does the front page of your PhD thesis say?
    – JeffE
    Jan 15, 2013 at 1:00
  • A dissertation submitted by ... for the award of Doctor of Philosophy Jan 15, 2013 at 1:11
  • So you must be a philosopher, right? Jan 15, 2013 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


I have been in similar experiences with some friends, and I'm willing to share:

Here in Japan the programs usually have the weirdest possible names, even in the University of Tokyo they have the "PhD on Creative Informatics" (What's that supposed to mean?), when is nothing but a good ol' PhD on Computer Science. Or the "PhD on Frontier Sciences".

I asked my adviser and he told me that those names are usually for the sake of attracting more students. But he also told me something I've been seeing in the Industry looking for a job (Academic/Industry): No one really cares that much about the title in your PhD, but rather on your specialization topic. Usually questions will be directed towards: "What did you do on your PhD" rather than "What's the name of your PhD"

I advise you to create a brand around this concept of "Social Economics", if you know different people doing that, try to be in contact with them (Twitter/Mail/Conference) so you'll get recognized in the field later and when you get interviewed you don't have to explain it all over again.

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