PhD Qualifying Exams

  • Students must be enrolled or active in the university system at the time of taking the exam.
  • All students must take qualifying exams, also known as prelims, in microeconomics and macroeconomics after successfully completing (grade C or better) the micro and macro course work.
  • Students are allowed two attempts to pass each exam. If a failing grade is received on the second attempt the student will be terminated from the program.
  • Qualifying exams are graded on a pass/fail basis.
  • Qualifying exams must be passed before the field exams can be attempted.
  • Each qualifying exam is closed-book, three hours in length and is offered twice yearly (August/January).
  • Students who have not attempted both qualifying exams by the third semester in the degree program will not be considered for financial aid from the department without special permission from the PhD Director.
  • Qualifying exams will not be waived under any circumstances.
  • Qualifying exams from other universities are not acceptable.
  • Copies of past exams are available at myMason Blackboard / Organizations / Economics Graduate Students / Content / Graduate Exams

Please send your request for exceptions to our exam policy to



Last updated:  06/03/15