The PhD in Economics is offered to superior applicants who hold a master’s degree in economics and seek careers in academic departments that focus on public policy and applied microeconomics, in nonacademic research organizations, in business and financial institutions, and in agencies of federal, state and local governments. The program is structured to develop the theoretical, quantitative, and statistical skills that are required to perform and interpret economic analyses on a wide range of policy-oriented issues. Our doctoral program is specifically designed to train students in the fields of labor, health, and public economics (including the economics of education, science and technology policy, urban economics, and resource and environmental economics).
The degree requires 48-60 semester hours.
For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.
Admission to the PhD program requires a completed master’s degree in economics with two courses in microeconomic theory, one course in empirical microeconomics, two courses in econometrics, one course in data methods, one course in macroeconomics, and one course in applied policy methods. Students who enter the program with a master’s degree in economics may be required to take additional courses (up to a program total of 60 semester hours) if their prior degree does not fully cover these course requirements. Students interested in earning a PhD in economics who do not have a master’s degree in economics or who have a master’s degree in economics that deviates significantly from these course requirements should apply to the combined MA/PhD in Economics.
Degree Program Requirements
Required: 48-60 credit hours
|Economic Theory and Econometric Theory||12-15|
|Microeconomics II (or equivalent, if not on master's transcript)|
|Advanced Mathematical Economics|
|Advanced Microeconomic Theory|
|Advanced Econometric Theory|
|Advanced Econometric Theory II|
|Applied Research Methods||0-9|
|Empirical Microeconomics (or equivalent, if not on master's transcript)|
|Data Methods in Economics (or equivalent, if not on master's transcript)|
|Applied Policy Methods (or equivalent, if not on master's transcript)|
|Empirical Field Courses||12|
|Select at least 12 hours of the following: *|
|Public Policies Toward Innovation and Sustainability|
|Topics in Economics|
|Independent Field Course|
|Supervised Independent Field Research||12|
|Seminar in Empirical Economics|
|Seminar in Economic Research|
Which may be repeated for credit.
In addition to course requirements, students must pass two PhD comprehensive examinations (one in economic theory and one in econometrics). Students who do not pass either or both examination(s) make retake the examinations(s) one time.
Before registering for dissertation credit (ECO 799 Dissertation), PhD students must pass a written and oral preliminary examination administered by their dissertation committee before being admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The preliminary examination is coordinated by the student’s dissertation committee chair and administered after the student has completed the required independent field research courses. After being admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the candidate must prepare and present a dissertation that reflects an independent investigation of an economic topic that is acceptable in form and content to the student’s advisory/dissertation committee and The Graduate School.