There are six program milestones: (1) Preliminary Examination, (2) Field Paper, (3) Choosing a Dissertation Advisor and Committee, (4) the Dissertation Prospectus Defense (Admission to Candidacy), (5) the Dissertation Proposal Defense, and (6) the final Dissertation Defense itself. Satisfactory performance in the Ph.D. program is defined as maintaining at least a B average, obtaining no grade lower than a B-, and meeting these six milestones on time.
A NOTE ON RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS: Students should expect to complete the PhD program in five years and yet they will typically finish taking classes in the first half of that time. The dissertation-writing phase thus accounts for at least half of the program. This is a very important, formative time when students mature as professional economists. They interact with the faculty, learn to teach and perform research by working with faculty members as RA’s or TA’s, present their own work in workshops and seminars, travel to conferences, participate in departmental seminars, and meet with visiting speakers. Students who choose to leave during this period typically never complete the PhD degree. It is therefore expected that all PhD students will remain in residence in New Orleans during this very important and formative period. Leaving New Orleans without obtaining explicit written approval from the student’s dissertation advisor and from the Director of Graduate Studies will constitute grounds for terminating financial support permanently. Any such written approval must be obtained by the end of the first month of the semester before the intended absence.