Jul 26, 2017
Mark Owens, Program Director
The mission of the graduate program in economics is to provide students with advanced studies in economic theory and research methodology. To accomplish its mission, the Department of Economics and Finance offers two degree programs: the Master of Arts (M.A.) with a major in Economics and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a major in Economics. The department’s approach to these degree programs is global, interactive, and innovative.
In the M.A. program, students are offered three curricular paths: general economics, Industrial Relations, and Financial Economics. M.A. students in economics are offered preparation for careers in private business and public service. The focus of the M.A. program is on decision analysis and applied research. Ph.D. students in economics are trained for careers in teaching and applied research. The Ph.D. provides students with the opportunity to combine advanced training in economics with educational pedagogy and research methodology.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
For admission to the doctoral program, candidates are expected to attain a GRE score of 302 (current scale) or 1100 (former scale) or better. Students entering the Ph.D. program in economics must hold a baccalaureate degree.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
- submit official scores on the General Record Examination (GRE);
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Economics requires students entering to complete a minimum of 64 semester hours, including a minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework, a one-credit hour economics workshop (two presentations), and 12 hours of dissertation research. Students entering with a master’s degree in Economics may have up to 12 hours applied toward the 51 hours of formal coursework. Of the total 64 hours, at least 43 hours must be at the 7000 level.
Students must complete the Qualifying Examination . Competency in economic theory is tested by qualifying examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics at the end of the student’s first year of study. Students must also complete coursework in a major field and a minor field. A field consists of a minimum of two doctoral-level (7000-level) courses. Students complete a research paper in their major field during the second summer after finishing the field coursework.
Candidates must successfully defend a dissertation prospectus and, upon approval by the candidate’s dissertation committee, prepare a dissertation. The student is responsible for contacting a Ph.D. faculty member about becoming the chair of the student’s dissertation committee. The chair will suggest other potential committee members.
After completion of the dissertation, the candidate is given an oral examination dealing with the structure and content of the dissertation.The candidate will be notified in writing of the committee’s approval of the dissertation.
Candidate must complete 64 hours in the following course of study:
Required Core Courses (40 hours)
Fields of Study
Every student has to choose two fields and four 7000-level field courses.
Monetary Economics (6 hours)
Labor Economics and Employment Relations (6 hours)
Industrial Organization (6 hours)
Dissertation Research (12 hours)
Sample Course and Examination Schedule
The following sample schedule outlines the sequence of Ph.D. course requirements:
Summer - Year 2
- Field Exam - Major Field Exam
- Field Exam - Econometrics or Minor Field Exam
Summer - Year 3
- Proposal - Dissertation Proposal
Summer - Year 4
Defense - Dissertation Defense
On matriculation, students will complete a degree plan. The Ph.D. advisor must approve the degree plan. In some cases, it may be possible to complete the program on a part-time basis, but the program is designed for full-time students.
- file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of 21 credit hours (in consultation with graduate advisor);
- file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.