Feb 24, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Economics, Ph.D

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The minimum standard for admission to the Ph.D. program is a Master’s degree from a recognized university, with a B+ average. Admission is competitive: not all applicants who meet the minimum standard will be offered admission.


There are three phases of  doctoral studies:

Phase 1

The first is passing the comprehensive exams in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Students must complete the following courses:

Additional Information

ECON 761   may be waived if equivalent work has already been completed by the student at another university. A student’s claim to have completed equivalent work will be tested by examination at the beginning of the academic year.

Phase 2

The second phase is passing the comprehensive exams in two areas of specialization and writing a research paper. Certain courses, selected at the discretion of the field examination committee, must be completed before attempting these exams. The usaul areas of specialization, and typical course requirement for each of them, are given below however additional areas of specialization in which the department has research strength may be allowed with the permission of the graduate chair if they are based on courses offered by the department.

Additional Information

These comprehensive exams must be completed within twenty-four months of entering the doctoral program. The research paper requirement must be met within twenty-seven months of entering the doctoral program. The research paper will be presented in the Fall term during the PhD workshop discussed below. The research paper must be accepted by the supervisory committee.

Phase 3

The third phase is the thesis. A student may choose to take additional courses at this stage if the courses are germane to the student’s proposed research. Up to four half courses may be taken outside of the department with the approval of the Graduate Chair. In addition to writing a thesis and taking courses, students must achieve the Active Researcher Milestone which involves participating in the department’s research activities (for example, by attending seminars, PhD workshops and meeting with visiting speakers) and regularly presenting their research. The Active Researcher Milestone must be achieved annually until graduation.

A student at this stage is required to complete the following seminar courses. Students who have passed all their comprehensive examinations should register for Econ 798 in the Fall term that immediately follows and present the research paper. Doctoral students typically take a total of 12-14 graduate courses at this university.

Co-op Option in the Ph.D. Degree

Students in the Ph.D. program who have successfully completed the comprehensive examinations may apply for the co-op option associated with this degree program. The number of students who will be accepted will be small and will depend on available placements. To receive the Ph.D. co-op designation, the student must work a total of eight months in either one or two placements and successfully complete both ECON 796  Economics Co-op Work Term I and ECON 797  Economics Co-op Work Term II. A student may, however, chose to only work for four months in a co-op placement and successfully complete only ECON 796.

Students must register in ECON 796 for the first four months while working at a co-op placement and in ECON 797 for the second four months. Both of these courses are not for credit. Registration in these courses will be restricted to students who have a co-op placement that has been approved by the student’s supervisor and the Department. A placement must  include a significant research opportunity. At the completion of four months of a co-op placement, the student must write a report discussing the work undertaken in light of his/her academic studies and append a letter of evaluation by the employer. This report must be judged satisfactory by the student’s supervisor and the Department to successfully complete either ECON 796 or ECON 797. Successful completion of these courses will be indicated on the student’s transcript. In the event the report is judged unsatisfactory or the student does not complete the full four months of a co-op placement, the student’s transcript will indicate that either ECON 796 or ECON 797 was not completed.

While registered in either ECON 796 or ECON 797, a PhD student will be considered as a full-time student, pay the co-op fee, and the student’s term count will be rolled back at the end of the co-op placement(s).

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