PhD in Economics Plan of Study

PhD in Economics Plan of Study

Core Program

All PhD students pursue a common set of core economics courses during their first year of study. This core consists of course work in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. These courses provide the necessary training for conducting research in economics at the advanced level.

First-Year Examination

After the completion of the first year of the program, students are examined on their competence in the first-year material and their readiness to continue in the Economics program. Students must take and successfully pass the first-year exams. Passing these exams allows Economics PhD Students to take their specialization courses in their second year.

Fields of Specialization within the Economics PhD

The PhD in Economics offers three fields:

  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics
  • Macroeconomics

Each field consists of a sequence of three quarterly courses with the final spring term course being a field specific seminar course. Students must take two of the three specializations listed above. The field sequences introduce students to the cutting-edge research methods and topics in each field. In addition, all students are required to take an advanced microeconometrics class during their second year in the program.

Candidacy Examination

At the completion of their coursework, students take written and oral candidacy examinations, also referred to as field exams. These examinations test each student’s preparation for dissertation research in the three fields. Each student must pass the field exam in the area in which they wish to pursue research. Once the candidacy examinations are passed, the student is recognized as a PhD candidate.

Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is a piece of original research designed to make a contribution to the student’s chosen discipline. Each candidate selects a dissertation adviser and an advisory committee of additional faculty members is formed. The candidate prepares a detailed dissertation proposal that is defended before the University community. After successfully defending the proposal, the candidate conducts the research and prepares a written dissertation. The completed dissertation is then defended in a final oral examination.

Instructor Training

LeBow and Drexel provide PhD students with training in how to be highly effective teachers in their first and second years. Typically, after the candidacy exam has been passed, doctoral candidates in LeBow assume teaching duties as sole instructors for three courses total before graduating the program.