The course of study described in this section requires the completion of 72 or 78 credit hours depending on the course of study. This includes 18 hours of workshops, 12 hours of internship, or an additional field consisting of two courses, and 12 hours of doctoral dissertation.
Each student is required to take a core of nine courses: four theory courses and five courses in quantitative economics. Seven of these nine courses are taken during the student's first year:
Prior to the start of the fall semester of the second year, students are administered qualifying examinations in Microeconomics Theory and Macroeconomics. Students are given two opportunities to pass each examination. The second attempt is given during January of the second year in the program.
To specialize in a particular area, students take a sequence of two courses. Students are required to pass a field qualifying examination in each specialization as well as one in Econometrics. Students are given two opportunities to pass each examination. Thus, students' curricula in their second year is composed of four field courses plus:
Third- and fourth-year candidates devote their time to their internship, workshops, and the dissertation. An additional field may be taken in place of the internship; there is no qualifying examination over the additional field. The six workshops are designed to provide the bridge between economic theory and applied economic analysis. The dissertation is the culminating experience for each student. Dissertations are based on economic theory, employ modern econometric methodology, and focus on solving real-world problems. The defense of the dissertation will take the form of an oral examination and otherwise conform to University policy. The candidate's third year will be spent in an internship (ECON 7120) or taking an additional field and taking three workshops (ECON 6990). The fourth year will be spent taking two additional workshops and concentrating on the dissertation.
Doctoral candidates are required to participate in six workshops designed to deepen their understanding of theoretical and empirical economics by giving them the opportunity to discuss the research being conducted by the department's faculty, economists from other institutions, and graduate students. These workshops are the principle instrument for teaching students how to construct and execute a research project and for familiarizing them with a great variety of applied economic research. An Applied Economics workshop (ECON 6990) is offered each semester and during the spring session. Because a workshop is intended as a forum for presenting on-going and recently completed research, the faculty member in charge of the workshop facilitates a seminar-type discussion based on the presenter's work. Presenters include the students in the class, other Ph.D. students, economists doing applied research at non-academic organizations, and faculty involved in applied research from this and other economics departments. Students have the opportunity to become familiar with a great variety of applied economic research and make comparisons to their own internship projects.
In the third year, candidates may intern at a non-academic organization. Examples of such organizations include state, county, and local government agencies; consulting or research firms; financial institutions; businesses; and health care organizations. Interns are required to carry out an extensive analysis of a real-world economic problem and to prepare a report on the solution to that problem. The internship comes at a time in the program when students have completed their core courses in economic theory and methods as well as field courses, which contain a mixture of theory and applications. The internship provides students an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice and to gain practical experience. The intern works under the close scrutiny of a faculty advisor, who approves the topic and provides primary supervision of the intern. Supervision is also provided by one or more individuals at the sponsoring organization. These individuals are most closely familiar with the institutional setting of the problem and with the available data. Internships are tailored to the individual student. However, the internship is normally within commuting distance of the University. Interns are typically unpaid and are expected to work approximately 20 hours per week on the internship project. Advisors and students are matched on the basis of mutual interest in the internship project.
An original doctoral dissertation is required of all students in accordance with The Graduate College's regulations and the regulations established by the department. Students shall work with a dissertation committee under whose guidance the dissertation will be written. A satisfactory oral defense of the dissertation completes all the requirements of the Ph.D. degree.
Director of Graduate Programs
5315 Friedmann Hall
Telephone: (269) 387-5553
Fax: (269) 387-5637