Coursework: Students earn 72 graduate credits for the Ph.D. degree, at least 48 of which must be earned in formal coursework. The remainder of these credits may be earned through dissertation research, workshop courses and/or additional coursework. Students may transfer a limited number of graduate credits earned at other institutions with the approval of the Graduate College and the student’s dissertation committee.
Well-qualified students may enter the Ph.D. program directly from a bachelor’s degree program, but most students enter with a Masters degree or after completing one year in our M.S. program before beginning the Ph.D. core theory sequence. The first-year core Ph.D. coursework prepares students to pass qualifying exams in macroeconomics and microeconomics.
Qualifying Exams: Each student is given two opportunities to pass the exams during the summer following their first year. Students who have not passed exams in both macroeconomics and microeconomics by the second attempt may transfer to the M.S. program.
Third Year Paper: In the third year of the program, students develop and complete a formal research paper. This paper, directed by the major professor and evaluated by a faculty committee, is expected to be the basis for the dissertation research.
Dissertation: The dissertation is completed under the supervision of a major professor. Guidance on the dissertation is also provided by a Program of Study Committee composed of at least four additional faculty members. A dissertation proposal is presented in a Preliminary Oral Exam, usually taken early in the fourth year. An oral defense-of-the-dissertation Final Exam is the last requirement prior to graduation.