Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Graduate Study

The Department of Economics offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics and a Master of Public Policy degree jointly with the Department of Political Science. Students who are admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program may obtain a Master of Arts degree in Economics.

The doctoral degree prepares students for professional careers in research, teaching, government, and business. Doctoral students must qualify in general economic theory, methods, and two fields of specialization.  The fields of specialization include:

Advanced Economic Theory
Advanced Macroeconomics
Environmental and Resource Economics
Industrial Organization
International Economics
Labor Economics
Public Economics

Substitution of a field in another discipline is possible. The master degree is offered to students who are admitted to the doctoral program that satisfy the master degree requirements.

The Master of Public Policy program provides students with the requisite skills to address complex societal problems, reconcile conflicting political and ethical values in policymaking, make informed decisions about program activities, and provide effective leadership in policy development and implementation.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Economics may elect specializations in environmental and resource economics. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Environmental and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog. 

Economics - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree is available to students enrolled in the Ph.D. degree program in Economics or, with departmental approval, as a second degree for students enrolled in other graduate degree programs. Only the Plan B (without thesis) option is available. Course requirements include the first-year core sequence in the Ph.D. program in Economics, which prepares students for continuing in the Ph.D. program or for professional careers that call for high-level training in economic theory and quantitative analysis methods.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University, of the College of Social Science, and the Department of Economics, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Before admission to graduate work, a student should have acquired a minimum of 25 credits in the social sciences, mathematics, statistics, agricultural economics, accounting, or business administration, or in some combination of these fields. Students with limited economics in their undergraduate programs will have to correct such deficiencies by completing collateral courses, not to count toward the degree, which serve as prerequisites for the graduate economics courses.

Applicants to the graduate programs are required to submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test; in addition, applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation and transcripts of all prior collegiate course work supplied to the department.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Economics

  1. Complete all of the following courses (22 credits):
     EC    811A    Mathematical Applications in Economics  (2)
     EC    811B    The Structure of Economic Analysis  (2)
     EC    812A    Microeconomics I  (3)
     EC    812B    Microeconomics II  (3)
     EC    813A    Macroeconomics I  (3)
     EC    813B    Macroeconomics II  (3)
     EC    820A    Econometrics IA  (3)
     EC    820B    Econometrics IB  (3)
  2. Complete three additional Economics courses at the 800-900 level totaling at least 8 credits.
  3. Obtain a master's level pass on the written comprehensive examination in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.

Academic Standards

To remain in the program and receive the M. A. degree in economics, a student must:

  1. Maintain at least a 3.00 grade–point average.
  2. Earn a grade of 3.0 or higher in required 800–900 level economics courses.
  3. The accumulation of grades below 3.0 (including N grades in the P-N grading system) in more than two courses of 3 or more credits each removes the student from the degree program; this policy does not apply to courses below the 400-level unless the courses are required for the student’s program.

Economics - Doctor of Philosophy

Students may be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics only for a fall semester.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Economics

  1. Complete the core courses in economic theory, mathematical methods in economics, and econometrics.
  2. Pass a comprehensive examination in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.
  3. Complete other course requirements as specified in the document The Doctoral Program in Economics, available from the Department of Economics.
  4. Demonstrate competence in two fields of specialization and advanced methods.
  5. Present a research paper at the Department of Economics spring conference.
  6. Present a dissertation proposal to the student’s guidance committee.
  7. Write an acceptable dissertation and defend it successfully in a public oral examination.

Academic Standards

Refer to the Doctor of Philosophy degree statement in the College of Social Science section.