PhD in Economics

Admission Requirements

The department only accepts applicants who wish to be candidates for the PhD. Applicants who are interested in a stand-alone MA program are encouraged to apply to the MA in Applied Economics program. Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field Applicants must have a BA or BS to matriculate, but an undergraduate degree in economics is not required. Prior academic work should include three semesters of calculus, as well as linear algebra, statistics, intermediate microeconomic theory, and intermediate macroeconomic theory.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three letters are required.
  • Personal Statement and Resume/CV A personal statement and a Resume/CV are required.
  • Writing Sample A writing sample is required.
  • Deadlines Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Department of Economics website.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

In addition to Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Required Courses
Microeconomic Theory I a
Microeconomic Theory II a
Macroeconomic Theory I a
Macroeconomic Theory II a
Econometrics I
Econometrics II
a

Students must complete ECON 509 ECON 510, ECON 511, and ECON 512 with a GPA of at least 3.00/4.00 in these four courses. Credit will be given for, at most, one grade of C in any of these courses.

  • Comprehensive Examinations None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Coursework-Only Options Thesis or coursework only. No other options are available.
    • Thesis: No more than 8 hours of ECON 598 can be applied to the degree.
    • Coursework Only: Students who do not write a thesis must enroll in two elective courses in economics, one of which must be at the 500 level.

Doctor of Philosophy 

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 104 from the baccalaureate, 72 from the master’s.
  • Coursework
Required Courses
Microeconomic Theory I
Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory I
Macroeconomic Theory II
Econometrics I
Econometrics II
Microeconometrics
Select one of the following two areas of study:
Applied Microeconomics Area
Labor Economics I
Public Economics I
Two topics courses selected from the following:
Development Economics
Labor Economics II
Economics of Education
Health Economics I
Alternative topics courses may be selected in consultation with the department.
International Macroeconomics Area
International Monetary Policy
Time Series Econometrics
Two topics courses selected from the following:
Development Economics
Labor Economics I
Labor Economics II
Economics of Education
Health Economics I
Public Economics I
Alternative topics courses may be selected in consulation with the department.
Electives
One additional graduate-level course in economics
Two other graduate-level courses related to the student's area of study in either economics or another discipline
  • Examinations
    • Departmental Qualifying Examinations: Students must take written qualifying examinations in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics within two years after entering the program. Students who receive a failing grade on any qualifying exam on two occasions or who have not passed the microeconomics and macroeconomics examinations by the end of their second year of study and the econometrics examination by the end of their third year of study will not be allowed to continue in the PhD program.
    • Preliminary Examinations: Students must take a written preliminary exam based on their chosen area of study (Applied Microeconomics or International Macroeconomics). The preliminary examination contains a variety of questions that cover the topic courses in their area of study. Students who receive a failing grade on the preliminary exam on two occasions will not be allowed to continue in the program.
  • Third-Year Paper The Third-Year Paper is an original piece of research that conforms to the style and length of articles published in professional journals. The Third-Year Paper will be supervised and graded by two faculty members, one of whom must be a member of the Department of Economics. Students must complete their Third-Year Paper requirement by end of the third year (typically August) to continue in the program.
  • Dissertation Required.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: