Dec 04, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, PhD

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The Ph.D. program is designed to enable the graduate to contribute to economic research and policy making. The program is aimed at preparing students for careers in academia, government, and the private sector. To attain these objectives, the program is structured to provide the student with the appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities, including: 

 1. An understanding of economic theory;  

 2. Skill in the use of quantitative techniques, specifically mathematics and statistics;  

 3. An extensive exposure to the research, institutions, and issues in several fields; 

 4. Experience in the development of research projects throughout their entire program; 

 5. Research and writing skills that will lead to the publication of original research; and  

 6. Competence in communicating economic knowledge to broad and diverse audiences. 

More information about the PhD in Economics is available at 


Admission Requirements  

Applications are submitted online through the Graduate School, and must include: 

1. A resume  

2. A one-to-two page personal essay about why you want to attend graduate school in economics  

3. Two or three confidential letters of recommendation  

4. Unofficial copies of your GRE scores, transcript, and TOEFL score (if required). 


Degree Requirements  

1. Economic Theory. The student must demonstrate competence in economic theory as demonstrated by passing a departmental written examination in economic theory. This examination will be given twice a year, at the beginnings of the spring semester and the eight-week summer session. Students failing the examination will be given a second attempt; those failing on the second attempt will not be allowed to continue in the program. Minimum preparation for the written examination in economic theory can be achieved by taking the following core courses:


2. Statistics/Econometrics. The student must demonstrate competence in the area of statistics and econometrics. This competence may be demonstrated by satisfactory performance in the following courses:


3. Elective Areas. All Ph.D. students must choose two fields of study approved by the student’s Advisory Committee. The two fields may be chosen from the following: Environmental/Health Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Labor Economics,Macroeconomics, Public Economics. Minimum course preparation for each field shall consist of at least two courses as determined by the student’s Advisory Committee. In addition to the two chosen fields, the student is encouraged to take elective courses in other areas of economics,such as econometrics or economic theory, or in other disciplines such as Agricultural Economics, Finance, Marketing, Management, Mathematics, or Public Administration.

4. Supporting Work. At least nine hours of supporting course work must be selected. These courses must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee. This supporting work will allow the student to pursue more intensive study of one or both of the two chosen fields, or to pursue courses in other fields of economics. The supporting work cannot consist of 400 or 500level courses, ECO 610   or ECO 611  , ECO 652  , or any of the core courses in economic theory (ECO 601  , ECO 602  , ECO 701  , ECO 702  , ECO 704  , ECO 705 ) or econometrics (ECO 603 , ECO 703 , ECO 706 ). Supporting work can also be courses from other disciplines including Agricultural Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, or Public Policy with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

5. Grades. Minimum average of grade B in all courses attempted for graduate credit after being admitted to the Graduate School. Students obtaining six quality points below a B average will automatically be dropped by the department.


6. Qualifying Examinations

a. Written Examination: The written examination must be taken in one of the student’s two elective fields as part of the requirements for candidacy for the The choice of the field in which the student takes the exam should reflect the intended field in which the student is to write his or her dissertation. This examination is given twice absession. Fields may elect to require a paper in addition to an exam; this will be communicated to the students at the beginning of the academic year. The written examination is prepared and graded by specialists in the respective fields. In the event that the student fails the examination, the student’s Advisory Committee determines the conditions which must be met before another examination is given. The minimum time between examinations is four months. Two failures to pass the written examination constitute failure of the qualifying examination.

b. Oral Examination: After passing the written qualifying examination, the Director of Graduate Studies
will, on the advice of the Advisory Committee, schedule through the Graduate School an oral examination which will be administered by the Advisory Committee. The examination will ordinarily consist of the presentation and defense of a dissertation proposal.

7. The Ph.D. Dissertation. The dissertation will be based on original research on a significant topic. The dissertation will be defended in an oral examination.

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