Current Students

All current students should familiarize themselves with both the graduate catalog and the department brochure. Questions should be directed to the director of Graduate Studies. Students should also be aware that enrolling in an Independent Study (ECON 698), courses outside of the department or internship (ECON 795) require forms to be completed and returned to the director. 

Sufficient Progress

Each year students in both programs will be individually evaluated to ensure they are making sufficient progress in the program. Failure to maintain sufficient progress may lead to the withdraw of any assistantship awards or removal from the program. The benchmarks for sufficient progress for each degree program are as follows.

M.A. Degree Program

Students in their first year should complete the core coursework in Microeconomic Theory (ECON 660), Macroeconomics Theory (ECON 661), Statistics and Probability (ECON 590), and Math for Economists (ECON 591) with a grade of B or better. If a student does not pass the theory courses with a grade of B or better, they will be required to sit for the M.A. Comprehensive Exam held during the first full week of August between their first and second year. Students should expect to complete their M.A. research paper and have it evaluated by a faculty member by the end of their second year after which their degree will be awarded.

Ph.D. Degree Program

Students should expect to complete all the requirements for their degree within five years. Some deviations from the timeline below may occur in extreme situations.


Year One

Students will complete the Core Theory Sequence (ECON 660 and 661) in addition to Econometrics (ECON 690 and ECON 692) and all necessary pre-requisites (ECON 590, 591 and 691).

Year Two

After completing the remaining core theory courses (ECON 760 and 761) in the fall semester, students will sit for the first attempt on the theory exams during the first full week of January between the fall and spring semester. Students who fail to pass either of the exams will be required to retake that exam the first full week of August between their second and third year. Students are also expected to begin taking their field courses and should start working on ideas for their Ph.D. research paper as well. Sufficient progress is measure by students completing the necessary field courses when offered and maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0.

Year Three

For students who do not pass both of their theory exams by the second attempt in August will be transferred to the M.A. program. If the student currently holds a graduate assistantship, that assistantship will be continued through the fall semester at the M.A. non-instructional rate. For students that successfully pass both theory exams, they will continue to complete the field courses in the fall semester and enroll in Economics 796 in the spring semester to being work on their Ph.D. research paper. This is a piece of original research developed and written by the student with advice from a member of the graduate faculty of the department.

To fulfill the Ph.D. Research Paper requirement, the student must have the completed paper evaluated by a three-member committee of Graduate Faculty. The student will also present the paper as part of the weekly seminar series (ECON 798). Students may not enroll in ECON 799 until the paper has successfully been evaluated by the faculty. Failure to complete the paper by the end of the fall semester of their fourth year will result in the student being placed on Department probation which will include a reduction of any assistantship awards. Failure to complete the paper after a third semester will result in dismissal from the program.

Years Four and Five

Students will be working on their dissertation and preparing for the job market. The dissertation will typically be a collection of at least three essays that are related to the student's fields of study. Sufficient progress is determined via an annual evaluation of the student's dissertation chair as to the progress the student has made during the year. It is expected that students will successfully defend their dissertation no later than the end of their fifth year.