PhD in Economics

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-PHD-ECON

The economics PhD prepares students for careers in academia, business, and government. Core courses train students in modern theory and quantitative techniques, while field courses stress the application of theory to relevant economic problems. Dissertation work requires students to master and apply the skills of original research. With an emphasis on writing for publication, many students have had articles accepted and published in professional journals while in the graduate program. Research in the department covers a broad spectrum, from problems of immediate policy importance to fundamental questions of economic and social organization.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

ECON 637 Econometrics I 3
ECON 715 Macroeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 811 Microeconomic Theory I 3
ECON 812 Microeconomic Theory II 3
ECON 816 Macroeconomic Theory II 3
ECON 830 Mathematical Economics I 3
or ECON 831 Mathematical Economics II
Total Credits 18


Select 30-42 credits of electives from economics courses in any of the fields offered by the department 1 30-42
Total Credits 30-42

Students may substitute up to a maximum of 6 credits of courses outside economics in closely related fields with prior written approval of the director of the graduate program. ECON 695 Special Topics in Economics cannot be applied toward PhD requirements.

Qualifying Exams

Students must successfully pass qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Field Exams

Students must successfully pass field exams in two knowledge areas. Subject to course availability, the department offers courses in the following fields of study on which the knowledge area field exams will be based. Because the specific courses offered each year vary, students should consult the department for the courses that can be used for each field.

  • Austrian economics
  • Constitutional political economy
  • Economic history
  • Economic sociology and political economy
  • Experimental economics
  • Industrial organization
  • Individualized field exam
  • Institutions and development
  • Law and economics
  • Monetary theory
  • Public choice
  • Smithian political economy

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all coursework required on their approved program of study and all exams. In addition, students must have a dissertation committee appointed by the dean as well as an approved proposal. Evidence of the approved proposal must be on file in the Dean’s Office before a student can advance to candidacy.


Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of doctoral proposal (998) and doctoral dissertation research (999), including at least three credits of 999. A maximum of 24 credits of 998 and 999 may be applied to the degree. Once enrolled in 998, students in the economics doctoral program must maintain continuous registration in 998 or 999 each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries, as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Registration. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional dissertation credits beyond the maximum 24 credits. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least one credit of 999.

Dissertation Research 12-24
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Research.
Doctoral Dissertation Research (minimum of 3 credits)
Total Credits 12-24