The Ph.D. degree requires 48 credit hours of academic work. This requirement is satisfied by taking regular Ph.D. classes offered by the Department of Economics, by accumulating 1 Dissertation Research credit-hour per semester once accepted to candidacy, and by seeking departmental approval for Ph.D.-level classes offered by other programs and schools.
All students are required to take the same 6 classes during the first year. The classes that they take are the “core” courses offered by almost every Ph.D. program in the country, classes that train students in the methodological tools of econometrics, micro, and macroeconomics. These classes also prepare them for the Preliminary Examination that is taken during the summer of program year I.
The curriculum begins to individuate cohorts during the second year. Students take field courses that line up with their research interests. The Department of Economics typically offers 3 field courses per semester, and students are encouraged to take at least two of these. They also have the option of exploring graduate classes offered by other departments and schools, but they must seek formal approval from the Director of Graduate Studies before enrolling for credit. They are expected to develop a strong sub-disciplinary specialization within economics in such fields as public economics, economic development, environmental economics, poverty and inequality, health economics, and the economics of education. Often classes in public health, biometrics, mathematics, or law can serve to strengthen this specialization as well as to broaden their job opportunities upon graduation.