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Graduate instruction in the Department of Economics is designed to lead to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in economics. The general purpose of the graduate program is to provide thorough training in both the techniques and the applications of economic analysis. 


First-year students are required to take ECO 501 and 502 (microeconomics), ECO 503 and 504 (macroeconomics) and ECO 517 and 518 (econometrics). The students must pass all six courses with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 or above, and a grade of C minus or better in each course. There is also a mandatory course in research ethics to be completed in the spring of the first year. Students are expected to take at least six advanced courses during their second year and pass these with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 or above. Up to two of the six courses can be taken outside the department at the discretion of the director of graduate studies (DGS). Additionally, Directed Research (ECO 506), where a student carries out research under the supervision of a faculty member and presents results, may count toward the six-course requirement. Students may take courses in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and other departments. In addition, students are encouraged to do independent work and to participate in several workshops sponsored by the department.

General Exam:

At the end of the second year, students are required to take examinations in two fields that are usually chosen from among the following: (1) advanced macroeconomic theory, (2) advanced microeconomic theory, (3) econometrics, (4) economic development, (5) financial economics, (6) health economics, (7) industrial organization, (8) international money and finance, (9) international trade, (10) labor economics, (11) political economy, and (12) public finance. Each field examination will be associated with a number (in most cases two) of courses. Students are advised to consult with appropriate faculty members on the extent and the coverage of the fields. To complete the general exam requirement, a student must pass two field examinations with a B minus or better.  

Qualifying for the M.A.:

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully passes the six first-year courses with an average of 2.5 or better, and two field examinations OR six courses beyond the first-year core. It may also be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that these requirements have been met.


As a normal part of graduate training, students are required to serve as assistants in instruction (AIs) during their third, fourth and fifth years, teaching class sections or grading papers for either graduate or undergraduate courses. Experience gained in being an AI is very valuable for those seeking academic jobs. AIs are remunerated by the University.

Post-Generals Requirement(s):

Choice of Adviser Requirement

Students are required to choose an adviser before the end of their fifth semester of study in the program. The adviser must agree to supervise the student’s research for (at least) the remainder of that year. Though this initial adviser does not necessarily become the chair of the student's dissertation committee, students are required to have an adviser who agrees to chair the committee by the beginning of the seventh semester of study. This latter deadline is an outer limit, not a recommendation. Ideally students should find a dissertation committee chair during the third year.

Research Paper and Seminar Requirements

In the third year, students are required to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. They must complete this paper with a grade of B or better by the end of their third year in order to continue in the program.

All students are encouraged to attend weekly seminars in their area of interest. Students who have passed their generals are expected to regularly attend one weekly seminar and present their job market paper in a relevant seminar when it is ready.

Dissertation and FPO:

After passing the required courses, field exams, and third-year paper, students may progress to writing the dissertation. They will work with an adviser (often the third-year paper adviser) and at least two other faculty readers to compose a dissertation on an original topic. When it comes time to schedule a defense, the complete dissertation should be presented to the principal thesis advisers at least two months before the proposed defense. The date and time for the final public oral examination, and all paperwork, should be submitted to the graduate administrator with adequate time to prepare for the Graduate School deadline (two weeks before the defense date).

  • Statement of Academic Purpose
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Transcripts
  • Fall Semester Grades
  • Prerequisite Tests
  • English Language Tests
  • GRE :General test

Additional Departmental Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of multivariate calculus and matrix algebra. Applicants must complete the ECO course list in the application.
  • Application Fee: $90

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS band: 7 TOEFL iBT® test: 100

For Ph.D. candidates, tuition and fees during a student’s regular period of enrollment are provided in full from a student’s graduate student financial support, in the form of tuition support from fellowships, assistantships, or external sources.

The annual stipend amount provided to Ph.D. candidates during their regular enrollment is intended to support a single graduate student based on estimated costs. Master’s students or students with spouses and/or dependents may require additional resources to support their living expenses 



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