Doctor of Economics

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Program details

You can expect to complete the Economics PhD program in four to six years depending on your academic background. The first two years of the PhD program focus on formal coursework and associated milestones. You will complete no less than twelve semester-long graduate level courses, including the following required core courses:

  • Microeconomics (Econ 707, 757)
  • Macroeconomics (Econ 709, 759)
  • Econometrics (Econ 615, 715)

Upon completion of the required coursework, you are expected to undertake an oral candidacy examination, following which the remainder of the program is devoted to original research and the associated production of a formal dissertation.

Economics Student

Program progression

The typical program and associated milestones

Prior to the Fall Semester (first year):

You are encouraged to attend a week long “Block Week” course in mathematical economics. This course is intended to be a combination refresher and primer for formal mathematical techniques used at the graduate level in both core micro and macroeconomics courses. This is a non-credit course and no formal grades are assigned.

Fall Semester (first year):

You are required to register in core Microeconomic Theory (Econ 707) and Macroeconomic Theory (Econ 709) courses. Typically, you will also register in a single field course in the fall term.

Note: We suggest that you register for only 3 courses in the first year fall term due to the workload associated with the required core Micro and Macroeconomics theory courses.

Winter Semester (first year):

You are required to register in Advanced Microeconomic theory (Econ 757), Advanced Macroeconomics (Econ 759) and Advanced Econometrics (Econ 715).

Spring and Summer Semesters (first year):

The first year spring term is devoted to preparation for and completion of the required Field of Study Examinations in Micro and Macro Theory. These exams are generally set for in May. Students who fail to pass a comprehensive exam on the first sitting are allowed to re-take one or both comprehensive exams in August.

Fall semester (second year):

You are required to register in field courses of your choice. At this stage, you should begin to work on a paper to satisfy the department’s second-year research paper requirement. This involves writing a research paper in your field(s) of specialization.

Winter semester (second year):

You will typically register in three field courses of your choice, satisfying the remainder of your coursework requirements. (Completion of the required twelve semester long courses must occur before you can sit for the thesis proposal oral examination described below).

Spring and Summer semester (second year):

The spring and summer of the second year are devoted to the research paper requirement. A research proposal for the paper together with a declaration of a supervisor needs to be submitted by May 15 of the second year.

Third Year

The final version of the second year research paper must be submitted by end of October of the third year. Following completion of the paper requirement, you must sit for an oral candidacy exam by January of the third year (after 28 months in the program). Students entering the program without prior credit for Econ 657,659 and 615 can apply for an extension, in which case the deadline is 36 months.

Post Candidacy

Outside an expectation that you will regularly participate in department seminars and workshops, you are left to pursue dissertation related research under supervision. Following completion of the dissertation, you are required to sit for a formal oral defence of the dissertation.

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Graduate Program Advisor

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Graduate Program Director

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Dr. Trevor Tombe



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