The University Graduate School requires doctoral students to complete 90 credit hours, roughly half of which are formal coursework. The Ph.D. in Economics also requires 9 credits to fulfill the tool skill requirement, for a total of 99 credits.
Use your Graduate Academic Bulletin
Students pursuing a graduate degree in Economics should use the University Graduate School Academic Bulletin.
Official requirements for our Ph.D. degree can be found by clicking on the Bulletin below:
- Transferring credits
If you have taken graduate work elsewhere you may, with the approval of the director of graduate studies, transfer all or part of that work and receive credit at Indiana University. Up to 30 hours may be transferred and counted toward the 90 hours required for the Ph.D. Keep in mind that graduate work done elsewhere is not automatically transferable.
- Core courses
You are required to take one semester of optimization theory, two semesters of microeconomic theory, two semesters of macroeconomic theory, three semesters of econometrics, one research skill, and courses in three fields, one primary and two supporting.
The first year of study includes the required classes in optimization theory (a 1-semester course) and 2-semester courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.
You are expected to complete your coursework and meet field requirements in 2-3 years of study. The remaining credit hours are earned through the dissertation work, which must be defended in an oral examination.
- Core exams
At the end of the first year, you are required to take two core exams, one in microeconomics and one in macroeconomics. You are allowed one retake for each of these exams. The retakes are held in late July or early August. Students who successfully pass the core exams are qualified to continue graduate study toward the doctoral degree.
- Field requirements
Your coursework includes 18 credits of field requirements, with work in at least three fields of economics.
- Teaching course
All first year Ph.D. students must take Teaching Undergraduate Economics (ECON-E 502), prior to a TA or AI assignment (3 credits).
- Grade point average
Throughout your studies, you must maintain a 3.0 (B) grade point average. You are expected to complete your coursework and meet field requirements in 2-3 years of study.
- Workshop participation
In addition to formal coursework, you are required to participate in a workshop. Current workshops are on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. After passing your core theory exams, you join a workshop of your choice, remaining associated with it for as long as you are in residence. In your third year, you must formally enroll in a workshop course for 3 semesters, earning 9 credits. Our department encourages graduate students to present papers at workshops and at scholarly meetings, and to publish their research.
- Third-year research paper
In the third year of study, our Ph.D. students are required to write a substantial research paper under the guidance of a preliminary advisory committee. The paper is expected to be of sufficient quality to be a basis of a dissertation chapter. The overall goal of the third-year paper requirement is to facilitate your transition from coursework to dissertation research.
- Research hours
The remaining credit hours are earned through the dissertation work, which must be defended in an oral examination. The Ph.D. requires around 30 credits in research hours (ECON-E809), determined in consultation with your advisor and the director of graduate studies.
- Tool skill requirements
You fulfill these with 9 additional credits, for a total of 99 credits for the Ph.D. Courses used to fulfill a tool skill requirement do not carry graduate credit.
Proficiency must be demonstrated in one tool skill, choosing among Econometrics/Applied Statistics, Mathematics, Operations and Decision Technologies, or Computer Science.
- Nomination to candidacy
You will be nominated to Ph.D. candidacy after fulfilling all the course work and field requirements for the degree. These include:
- 60 credits of graduate course work
- 57 credits in Economics, including three semesters (9 credits) of workshop courses,
- 9 credits to fulfill the tool skill requirement
- Successful completion of qualifying examinations in primary field(s) and successful completion of the supporting field(s)
- Passing the third-year paper requirement
The effective starting date of candidacy will be the date of passing the last primary field exam or the date of passing the third-year paper requirement, whichever is later. A course will not count toward degree requirements if it has been taken more than seven years prior to the date of candidacy. Nomination to candidacy signifies that you have completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation. A completed dissertation must be delivered to the Graduate School within seven years of the date of candidacy.
- Timeline to completion
The department encourages the completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. within five years. The exact amount of time depends, of course, on the student, the topic selected for the dissertation, the amount of data collection involved, and the many problems one can encounter while conducting original research.