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Home >>Graduate Programs >>PhD in Economics
PhD in Economics

This program offers advanced study in applied economics with a focus on the areas of health, education, labor, urban and international economics. It prepares students for careers at college and university teaching, and research and consulting positions in government, non-profit agencies and business.

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The Ph.D. degree requires at least 104 hours beyond the bachelor's degree and 72 hours beyond the master's degree.

Course Requirements
1. Economics Core - 28 hours
The economics core consists of two courses each in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory and three courses in econometrics (Econ 501, 502, 511, 512, 534, 535 and 539).

2. Areas of Concentration - 16 hours
A student must select two areas of concentration within economics and take at least two courses in each area of concentration.

3. Electives- 12 hours
Students must take at least one additional 500-level course in economics and two graduate courses related to their field of study in either economics or in a business or social science discipline out side of economics.

1. Departmental Qualifying Examinations
Students must take written qualifying examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics within two years after admission to the program. Students who receive a failing grade on either qualifying exam on three occasions or who have not passed both examinations by the end of their second year of study will not be allowed to continue in the PhD program. Each examination is 4 hours and is offered twice a year. Students are expected to take their qualifying examinations at the beginning of their second year.

2. Preliminary Examination
Students must also take written preliminary exams in two of the four areas of study (Public and Health Economics, Labor and Education Economics, International Economics, Advanced Econometrics and Forecasting). Students who receive a failing grade on either preliminary exam on two occasions will not be allowed to continue in the program. The examination must have a written component and may also have an oral component. The preliminary examination is normally taken upon completion of coursework.

Third Year Paper
Following successful completion of both qualifying examinations students must write a paper that explores a specific area of research in-depth. An Economics Department faculty member must evaluate the paper, and students that fail to complete this paper to the satisfaction of a faculty member within two years of the completion of qualifying examinations will not be allowed to continue in the program.

A dissertation which represents an original contribution to economics must be defended before a faculty committee. A minimum of 24 semester hours is required to prepare a dissertation. The Dissertation may address theoretical or applied problems. It is expected that no later than the end of the semester following passage of preliminary examination a written statement of the dissertation plans will be submitted to the dissertation committee. This prospectus should contain an analysis of the relevant literature, the theoretical issues to be pursued, the data to be used and methods of analysis, and a statement of the anticipated significance of the research project. the prospectus must be defended before the committee. Until this prospectus has been approved, the student will not be authorized to proceed with dissertation research. The final version of the dissertation will incorporate any changes recommended by the committee.

(updated 02/13/2013)

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