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Course of Study & Timeline


Course of Study & Timeline

Course of Study

All students must follow an approved program of study. Programs can be approved by either the Executive Officer or the Deputy Executive Officer. A minimum of 60 credits are required for the Ph.D., including two courses in Microeconomics, two courses in Macroeconomics, and three courses in Econometrics. The third required course in Econometrics is either Applied Microeconometrics or Applied Macroeconometrics and is normally taken in the second year in the program. In addition, all students are required to complete a three-credit course in Economic History or the History of Economic Thought.

Further, students will participate in the ongoing program Seminar in Applied Economics. Students must take the seminar one time for credit and have an option of taking it a second time for credit.  The seminar may be audited in subsequent semesters.  Attendance will begin following completion of the Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics course requirements for the first examination. Some students will be selected in their advanced stage to present papers at this seminar.

All students also must complete the course Research Methods and Writing in Economics, normally in the student’s second year of study.   This course, inter alia, contains a component involving the student presentation of his/her own research papers and a critique of them by students and the instructor.

Students who are holders of Chancellor’s (teaching) Fellowships must in their first academic year (when no teaching assignments are made) complete a no-credit course, Teaching Strategies in Economics.        

A new, full-time student who has completed the mathematics requirements (see 1.C) would normally take the first Micro, Macro, and Econometrics courses during his or her first semester and the second course in each sequence in the second semester.  First-year students might also take courses in Economic History.

The 60-credit requirement for a full-time student without previous graduate work in economics is typically fulfilled as follows:


Core Courses (Micro, Macro, and Econometrics)

24 credits

Economic History or History of Economic Thought

3 credits

Research Methods and Writing in Economics  

4 credits

Applied Micro-Econometrics, or Applied Macro-Econometrics

4 credits

Seminar in Applied Economics (one semester)

3 credits

Advanced Level Field Courses (2 courses per field)

12 credits

Electives* (which may include Individual Research units and/or additional course work in the two advanced fields, or an additional course in applied econometrics, or an additional semester of the Seminar in Applied Economics.)

10 credits


60 credits

*Students may take up to 3 electives on a Pass/Fail basis.

Faculty Mentorship

All graduate work is carried out under the direct and regular supervision of faculty.  At the time of admission, the Executive Officer or Deputy Executive Officer acts as the student’s mentor, and continues to do so until the student determines the field in which he or she would like to specialize.

At that time, in consultation with the Executive Officer or Deputy Executive Officer, the student will choose an adviser in his or her desired field of specialization.  Typically, this adviser will also be the student’s dissertation adviser.  The faculty mentor will advise the student regarding issues such as advancing in a professional career.  If the student decides to change his or her field of specialization, he or she may choose to change advisers.  It is the student’s responsibility to choose an adviser and to inform the adviser of his or her interests and intentions.

In addition to being advised by doctoral faculty, all new incoming students are assigned a student mentor as part of the peer advisement program.


Timeline to Degree

60 credits requirement for a full-time student without previous graduate work in economics**
Year 1 (24 credits)
Math camp in September
Labs in math, statistics and programming throughout the year
6 Core Courses: Micro, Macro Econometrics (24 credits)
Non-credit teaching course(s) offered by the GC
June: Level I Preliminary exams in 2 out of 3 core courses.
Year 2 (up to 23 credits)
Advanced level field courses: 2 courses per field (12 credits)
Seminar in Applied Economics (3 credits)
Applied Macroeconometrics or Microeconometrics (4 credits)
Research Methods and Writing in Economics (4 credits)
August: Preliminary field exam in one field
Year 3 (13 credits)
An elective course (3 credits)
Additional elective courses: (10 credits)
Individual Research units, additional work in two advanced fields, additional
course in Applied Econometrics or Seminar in Applied Economics,
courses from the consortium
Research Methods and Writing in Economics if not taken previously;
Form the dissertation committee;
Year 4
Dissertation proposal defense within 12 months of moving to level 3
Seminar courses (Applied economics and student seminar);
Year 5
Work on dissertation
Preparation for the job market
Year 6
Completion, defense and deposit of dissertation; submission of academic papers for publication
Job market seminars and job search
**Students who come with previous graduate work can complete the program in 5 years.

For further details see sample schedule here