PhD Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements cited in the University Catalog and on the College of Humanities and Social Sciences website, the following requirements also apply:

  • 72 credit hours must be applied to the degree
  • At least 42 credit hours must be earned as a degree-seeking student in the Economics PhD program at George Mason University (see Transfer Credit and Reduction of Credit)
  • 18 credit hours of core coursework must be applied to the degree (exceptions or waivers must be approved by the PhD Director):
    • 6 credit hours of Microeconomic theory (ECON 811 and 812)
    • 6 credit hours of Macroeconomic theory (ECON 715 and 816)
    • 3 credit hours of Mathematical Economics (ECON 830) or Mathematical Economics II (ECON 831)
    • 3 credit hours of Econometrics (ECON 637)
  • All students must complete the micro and macro theory course sequences even if they have taken similar courses at another institution. Exceptions will not be granted.
  • Must pass two qualifying exams - micro and macro (see Qualifying Exams)
  • Two or more courses in each of two fields must be completed prior to taking field exams (see Field Exams)
  • Must pass two field exams (see Field Exams)
  • DISSERTATION CREDITS – The amount of dissertation credits required is determined by the amount of coursework credit completed. May apply a minimum of 12 dissertation credits and a maximum of 24 dissertation credits (998 and 999 combined) to the degree. Must complete a minimum of 3 credits 999.
  • Must pass a final public defense of the doctoral dissertation
  • Up to 6 credit hours of Mason coursework may be taken outside of the Economics department (through another discipline) with the approval of the PhD Director
  • Up to 6 credit hours of coursework may be taken through the Consortium with the approval of the PhD Director
  • Up to 6 credit hours of directed readings (ECON 896) may be applied toward degree requirements
  • Students must advance to candidacy within 6 years after first enrollment and must complete dissertation requirements and graduate within 9 years after first enrollment
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in course work, which may include no more than 6 credits of C