Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Economics, Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to the Ph.D. in economics are as follows:

  1. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale) or equivalent in prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  2. Excellent scores on the aptitude parts (verbal and quantitative) of the GRE graduate school admission test.
  3. A bachelor’s degree in economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering or fields with a similar level of technical background is required. Applicants with degrees in fields other than economics must have taken at least 12 credit hours of economics courses, including two intermediate theory courses, one in microeconomics and one in macroeconomics.
  4. Mathematical proficiency equivalent to courses in multivariate calculus (i.e., three terms of university-level calculus), probability and statistics (two terms), and linear algebra.
  5. TOEFL English language proficiency test scores, if required. TOEFL scores are required of all international students who are not native English speakers and who do not hold an undergraduate degree from an English language institution located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in economics requires a minimum of 48 credit hours.

Comprehensive Examinations

Every student must pass written comprehensive (qualifying) examinations in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. Only students who maintain a GPA of 3.000 in the first-year required courses  are allowed to take the comprehensive exam. Students will normally take these exams following the end of the second term in the program and will have two opportunities to pass the exams.

Field Courses and Elective Courses (24 Credit Hours)

Eight courses from any of the following fields below. Each course must be completed with a grade of at least a B-.

Third-Year Requirement

By the end of their third year, all students must submit a completed Faculty Adviser Form to the director of doctoral studies. By the end of their third year, all students must also complete an original research paper and present it to the faculty for approval. Students are formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. program after this third-year paper requirement is satisfied.


Completion of the Ph.D. program requires successful completion of a dissertation. The dissertation represents a substantial product of original research which, in the view of the student’s dissertation committee, makes a significant contribution to the relevant field. The student must pass qualifying examinations, the third-year paper requirement, and complete the field requirements before beginning work on the dissertation. Students should form a dissertation committee during their third year and submit the form with the committee structure by the end of that year. After the dissertation is completed, the student must defend the dissertation at a final oral examination.

Course and Credit Hour Requirements and Time Limitations

Every Ph.D. student must earn a minimum of 48 credit hours in an approved program of study. Any course taken as an elective must be at the 5000 level and above and must be approved by the director of doctoral studies. Up to 24 credit hours of graduate coursework may be transferred from another institution upon approval by the department and the graduate dean. If a student wishes to request transfer credit, this request should be made prior to the beginning of their first year in the program. The field requirements must be completed within four years from the date the student enters the graduate program. The dissertation must be completed within five years of entering candidacy.

Good Standing

Students pursuing a Ph.D. degree are required to maintain good standing by being enrolled in at least one credit course per term. ECO 8100 , which carries one credit hour, may be used for this purpose at the thesis stage. In some cases, ECO 8000  may be used for this purpose if approved by the chair. To remain in good standing, graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000. If in any term the student falls below this GPA, the student will be placed on probation for one term. Students will also be evaluated by their adviser or the director of doctoral studies on their academic progress, research performance, and professional behavior. Failure to achieve satisfactory performance in any of these categories for two semesters can lead to a student being dismissed from the program.

Total: 48 Credit Hours