May 29, 2023
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Adam Rennhoff, 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 three degree programs: the Master of Arts (M.A.) with a major in Economics, the Master of Science (M.S.) with a major in Finance, 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.
The M.A. program offers two curricular paths: general economics 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. The M.S. in Finance offers three concentrations: Corporate Finance, Investments, and General Finance. M.S. students are offered a graduate-level knowledge base and expertise for work in the growing field of finance. 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.
NOTE: Students can only begin graduate programs in Economics in the fall semester.
For admission to the doctoral program, candidates are expected to attain a GRE score of 302 (current scale) or 1100 (former scale) or better. Candidates must also have completed, at a minimum, one semester of calculus and hold a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4 point scale).
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 demonstrate competency in economic theory by passing the Qualifying Examination 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)
Labor Economics (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 Prior to Fall Year 1
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 entry into the program;
- 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.
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