Ph.D. Requirements

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Economics

48credits in Economics graduate courses

3credits ECON-E502

9credits in workshop courses

30credits in research hours (ECON-E809)

90credits toward the Ph.D. degree

9credits to fulfill tool skill requirements

99credits total

Core theory courses: 15 credits

ECON-E 520, ECON-E521, ECON-E522, ECON-E621, ECON-E 622 (or equivalent) and pass examinations in macroeconomic and microeconomic theory.

The macroeconomic and microeconomic core exams will ordinarily be taken at the end of the first year in residence. The exams are given in May with a retake in July or August. A maximum of two attempts will be permitted on each exam. Passing both exams is a prerequisite for continuation in the Ph.D. program. Unless there are extenuating circumstances and prior DGS approval, failure to sit for a core theory examination as scheduled will result in failure of the examination.

Statistics and Econometrics courses: 9 credits

ECON-E 571, ECON-E 572 and ECON-E 671 are required for all Ph.D. students.

Teaching course: 3 credits

ECON-E502: All first year Ph.D. students must take ECON-E 502 Teaching Undergraduate Economics prior to a TA or AI assignment and must complete the course with a grade of B- or better.

Field requirements: 18 credits

The Ph.D. candidate must successfully complete at least three fields: one primary field (6 credits) and two supporting (secondary) fields (6 credits each). However, students are allowed to pursue two fields as primary (6 credits each), in which case one supporting field (6 credits) will be required.

Workshop requirement: 9 credits

The Department offers a series of workshops each year. The current workshops are: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. Students are required to join a workshop of their choice after passing their core theory exams. They are expected to remain associated with a workshop as long as they are in residence. In their third-year students must formally enroll in a workshop course for 3 semesters.

Economics electives: 6 credits

At least two 3 credit hour graduate courses in Economics until the minimum of 48 credit hours in Economics courses is met. If additional credit hours are taken, the number of credit hours required in ECON-E809 will be reduced accordingly.

Research hours: 30 credits (varies)

The number of research hours required is dependent on individual course selection in consultation with the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The above coursework plus ECON-E809 credit hours will equal no more than 90 hours.

Tool skill requirements must be fulfilled in addition to the 90 credit hours required for the Ph.D. in Economics and do not count toward the 90 credit hours needed for the degree.

Tool skill requirements: 9 credit hours

Proficiency must be demonstrated in one tool skill, which may be either Econometrics/Applied Statistics, Mathematics, Operations and Decision Technologies or Computer Science. A student must choose one of these fields and obtain at least 9 credits in it. Courses used to fulfill a tool skill requirement do not carry graduate credit. Tool skill courses must be passed with a grade of B or better. All tool skill course selections must be approved in advance by the DGS.

Nomination to candidacy

A student 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 a student has 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.