Doctor of Philosophy in Economics
The Ph.D. program in economics provides a solid foundation in modern economic analysis, develops expertise in two fields in economics, provides milestones and incentives for dissertation research, and supports graduate student professional development and placement. The department has a long-standing tradition of producing Ph.D. economists with strong foundational skills and expertise. Please visit the department website for additional information.
Admission to Graduate Studies
An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
The economics department seeks well-trained economists with strong quantitative skills for its Ph.D. program. In particular, applicants should have taken the equivalent of a minimum of three courses in calculus and a course in linear algebra (twelve to fifteen semester hours). A course in real analysis is not required, but exposure to logical mathematical derivation is very useful.
The department strives to provide a comprehensive financial aid package to strong applicants. This typically includes a paid graduate teaching assistant (GTA) position for up to five years. A GTA position also includes a full tuition waiver and other benefits such as subsidized health insurance. Outstanding applicants may receive a fellowship that reduces or eliminates teaching commitment for one or two semesters and may include funding for summer research. The department also strives to provide some financial support for students to present research at academic conferences every year.
Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements. Please note that the requirements for admission are different from those for a teaching/research assistant.
The deadline for an applicant to be considered for admission and financial aid is January 5. Applicants should submit a graduate application online.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
In addition to meeting general requirements, the Ph.D. candidate in economics must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of course work in economics and at least 1 credit hour of ECON 999 Doctoral Dissertation
- All Ph.D. candidates must complete these core courses in economic theory and quantitative methods
Course List Code Title Hours ECON 800 Optimization Techniques I 3 ECON 801 Microeconomics I 3 ECON 802 Microeconomics II 3 ECON 810 Macroeconomics I 3 ECON 811 Macroeconomics II 3 ECON 817 Econometrics I 3 ECON 818 Econometrics II 3 ECON 816 Probability and Statistics 3
Each Ph.D. student is required to pass written qualifying examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics after completion of the core courses in these areas. A student who does not pass a qualifying examination may be permitted one retake, ordinarily within a few weeks of the first attempt.
In order to demonstrate competency in econometrics, each Ph.D. student must complete ECON 817 and ECON 818, with a combined grade point average of 3.0. A student who does not achieve the 3.0 combined grade point average is required to pass, without retake, a written comprehensive examination in econometrics.
Fields of Specialization and Electives
Each student must demonstrate competence in at least 2 fields of specialization in economics by completing 2 courses in each of their chosen fields. In addition, each student takes 3 elective courses in economics. Fields of specialization and elective courses are selected in consultation with the advisor.
Beginning in Year 3, each student is required to enroll in ECON 910 and attend the weekly department seminars for 5 continuous semesters or until graduation (whichever is earlier).
Each student is required to complete a second-year paper by the end of the fourth semester (second year) of study.
Each student is required to complete a third-year paper by the end of the sixth semester (third year) of study.
Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship
Every doctoral student is required to have training in research skills and responsible scholarship pertinent to economics research. Enrollment in one semester of ECON 910 and successfully completing the third year paper requirement satisfies these requirements.
Comprehensive Oral Examination
Each student is required to pass the comprehensive oral examination by the end of the eighth semester (fourth year) of study. It is strongly recommended that a student pass this exam by the end of the seventh semester.
Following the comprehensive oral examinations, the candidate must organize and write a dissertation on his or her chosen topic under the supervision of a dissertation committee.
Final Oral Examination
The candidate must defend the dissertation successfully in a final oral examination.