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2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  May 29, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Economics, Ph.D.

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The doctoral program in economics provides thorough training in economic theory supplemented by knowledge of quantitative tools and understanding of modern economic institutions and policy problems. This program prepares candidates to pursue successfully careers as economists in academia, research, government, and business.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to approach economics-related issues theoretically. Students should demonstrate a mastery of the relevant literature and have an appreciation for the usefulness and limitations of a given theory.   
  • Students will be able to analyze data. Students should have the ability to construct, estimate, and interpret economic models.   
  • Students will be able to undertake original research on economic issues. This should include the abilities to critically review previous research, to develop approaches to answering relevant questions, and to appropriately draw inferences from the outcomes of these research activities. The stress is on the ability to use data appropriately to answer research questions empirically. 
  • Students will be able to clearly and effectively communicate the results of their research in written and oral form.    
  • Students will develop the skills required to teach college-level classes in the area of economics.   


All applicants must complete a Moore School of Business application and submit the following supporting documentation: official transcripts of their complete academic record, two letters of reference, and scores.. Prerequisite courses that must be taken prior to enrollment are intermediate micro- and macroeconomics, statistics (ECON 692  or equivalent), and calculus (MATH 141-142 or equivalent). International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the director of the Ph.D. program in the Moore School of Business for further details.

Owing to the lock-step nature of the program, admission is for the fall semester only, and all students are required to take at least nine semester hours of course work during the fall and spring semesters.

Degree Requirements (60 Post Baccalaureate Hours)

The Ph.D. in economics normally requires a minimum of four years of full-time work (a minimum of 60 graduate hours beyond the baccalaureate degree or 30 graduate hours beyond the master’s degree with at least a B average, including 12 hours of dissertation credit).

A planned course of study shall be organized at the beginning of the student’s period of residence. This plan shall be formulated by the student in conference with a three-person advisory committee designated by the graduate director. Changes and departures from this plan will be subject to the approval of the student’s advisory committee, the graduate director, and the dean of The Graduate School.

Requirements for the Ph.D. include the following:

2. Second-year field courses (18 Hours)

There will be six field courses offered in the second year. All students will be required to take these six courses. The course offerings will be jointly determined by student interest and faculty expertise.

Up to two courses may be taken outside the department with the approval of the student’s advisory committee and the graduate director.

3. Third-year courses

In the third year, the studenet must take the Third-Year Seminar, which consists of a 2-credit Fall course and a 1-credit Spring course. This course is designed to enable the student to conduct a research program in Economics.

4. Examinations

Admission to Candidacy

Students must successfully complete a written admission-to-candidacy examination following the first year in the program. This examination will cover all economic theory courses required during the first year in the program and will be constructed and evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members appointed by the department chair.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must write and present a research paper demonstrating knowledge of their chosen fields of study. This paper will count as the comprehensive examination. Students will be supervised by two faculty members who have entered into an agreement with thestudent, as approved by the department chair. The student will present the initial version of the paper in a seminar to the faculty. This presentation will count as the oral portion of the comprehensive examination. The presentation will be evaluated by a committee of at least four faculty members approved by the department chair, two of whom are the third year paper supervisors. After passing the oral examination, the student will submit the revised written paper to their two third year paper supervisors. This will count as the written portion of the comprehensive exam.

4. Language Requirements

The candidate must demonstrate competency in a computer programming language or statistics as demonstrated by appropriate course work or examination by the student’s Ph.D. advisory committee.

5. Dissertation

Each candidate must present a dissertation that gives evidence of original and significant research. The dissertation must be completed no later than five years after successfully completing the oral comprehensive examination. The candidate must defend the dissertation before a committee consisting of not fewer than four members. A minimum of twelve hours of dissertation preparation credit are required.

6. Teaching and Research

Prior to receiving a Ph.D. degree, the student is required to teach and participate in research under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Economics.

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