The Department of Economics offers a Ph.D. degree in Economics. In addition, matriculated students are able to earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in economics, although the Department does not admit students to the University specifically for this purpose. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree related to economics as their primary graduate program are encouraged to apply to the Department’s stand-alone Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MSQE) program. The Ph.D. program in Economics prepares students for research and teaching careers, as well as careers in the public or private sectors that require knowledge and understanding of the most advanced economic theory and methods. Ph.D. students specialize through courses in particular fields of study within economics, such as labor economics, macroeconomics, industrial organization, environmental economics, and applied empirical microeconomics (consisting of courses across development, health and labor economics). The M.A. program provides training in economic theory and methods, combined with elective courses that apply the core training in a variety of contexts. It is designed for students pursuing advanced degrees in other programs at the University who want to combine their other studies with a masters-level understanding of economics, or for Ph.D. students in economics who wish to earn a master’s degree as part of their graduate studies or in lieu of completing the Ph.D.

Master of Arts

The M.A. program is a non-thesis degree. It requires satisfactory completion of at least 30 credits maintaining at least a “B” average. Of these 30 credits, 15 must come from required M.A. core courses and 15 or more are from elective credits approved by the student’s major advisor. The required core courses for the M.A. degree are: ECON 5201, 5202, 5301, 5311, and 5312. Students can also meet core M.A. requirements by taking comparable higher level courses.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program is designed to be completed in four to five years, with the first three years focused on coursework and the final one to two years on research and completion of the dissertation. Due to course sequencing, students are normally only admitted for the Fall semester. The requirements for the Ph.D. in Economics are as follows:

Required Ph.D. Core Courses: ECON 6201, 6202, 6211, 6212, 6301, 6310, 6311 and 6312. In addition, Ph.D. students must satisfactorily complete at least five field courses, including at least one sequence in a designated Ph.D. field in the Economics Department: labor economics, macroeconomics and money, industrial organization, environmental and natural resource economics, and applied empirical microeconomics (consisting of courses across development, health and labor economics). At least four of the five field courses must be 6000-level. All field courses must be taught (i.e., not independent studies), and other than courses in designated fields in the economics department (listed in this paragraph), only one can be from another department. Students must earn an average grade of at least “B” in these five field courses.

Seminar/Presentation Requirement. Students in years two through five must satisfactorily complete a section of ECON 6494 each semester, including the seminar’s presentation requirement(s). This requirement can be waived during some semesters, if a waiver is deemed to be in the student’s academic interest.

Preliminary Examinations: Ph.D. students are required to sit for the Preliminary Examinations in both microeconomics and macroeconomics following their first year in the Ph.D. program and pass both parts of the examination within two attempts.

Third Year Research Paper: Students must complete a paper that meets the requirements of the Third Year Research Paper before the end of their third year in the Ph.D. program.

Dissertation Proposal: Each student must successfully defend a dissertation proposal, normally by the end of the fourth year in the program.

Foreign Language/Related Area: The Economics Ph.D. program does not have a foreign language or related area requirement.

The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.