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    Columbia Campus
  Jun 13, 2024
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Economics, Ph.D.

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Admission Department of Economics 
Degree Requirements Moore School of Business 

The doctoral program in economics provides thorough training in economic theory supplemented by knowledge of quantitative tools and understanding of modern economic institutions and policy problems. This program prepares candidates to pursue successfully careers as economists in academia, research, government, and business.


Applicants must submit official transcripts of their complete academic record, two letters of reference, and scores on the GRE. In the most recent class of entrants, the average undergraduate GPA was 3.70. The average scores on the GRE were 545 (verbal) and 724 (quantitative). Prerequisite courses that must be taken prior to enrollment are intermediate micro- and macroeconomics, statistics (ECON 692 or equivalent), and calculus (MATH 141-142 or equivalent). An applicant whose native language is not English is required to take the TOEFL exam and earn a score that meets the requirements for admission to The Graduate School.

Owing to the lock-step nature of the program, admission is for the fall semester only, and all students are required to take at least nine semester hours of course work during the fall and spring semesters. The Ph.D. program is currently in an every-other-year admission cycle.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in economics normally requires a minimum of four years of full-time work (a minimum of 60 graduate hours beyond the baccalaureate degree or 30 graduate hours beyond the master’s degree with at least a B average, including 12 hours of dissertation credit).

A planned course of study shall be organized at the beginning of the student’s period of residence. This plan shall be formulated by the student in conference with a three-person advisory committee designated by the graduate director. Changes and departures from this plan will be subject to the approval of the student’s advisory committee, the graduate director, and the dean of The Graduate School.

Requirements for the Ph.D. include the following:

2. Second-year field courses (18 Hours)

There will be six field courses offered in the second year. All students will be required to take these six courses. These offerings will take advantage of the department’s strengths in international economics and applied microeconomics. The six courses will include international trade, international monetary economics, economic growth and development, and three courses in three separate applied-microeconomics areas (selected from public choice, experimental economics, health economics, industrial economics, microeconomics, and labor economics). The particular course offerings will be announced during the student’s first year. Up to two courses may be taken outside the department with the approval of the student’s advisory committee and the graduate director. If this option is chosen, the student is required to take the remaining field courses from those offered by the department.

3. Examinations

Admission to Candidacy

Students must successfully complete a written admission-to-candidacy examination following the first year in the program. This examination will cover all economic theory courses required during the first year in the program and will be constructed and evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members appointed by the department chair.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination will consist of two parts. The written part will be constructed and evaluated by a committee of at least four faculty members appointed by the department chair. It will cover material from the student’s second-year field courses. The oral part of the exam will also be evaluated by a committee of four faculty members. It will consist of either a defense of the dissertation proposal or a research presentation to the general faculty.

4. Language Requirements

The candidate must demonstrate competency in a computer programming language or statistics as demonstrated by appropriate course work or examination by the student’s Ph.D. advisory committee.

5. Dissertation

Each candidate must present a dissertation that gives evidence of original and significant research. The dissertation must be completed not later than five years after successfully completing the oral comprehensive examination. The candidate must defend the dissertation before a committee consisting of not fewer than four members.

6. Teaching and Research

Prior to receiving a Ph.D. degree, the student is required to teach and participate in research under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Economics.

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