May 18, 2024  
2020-21 Graduate Catalog 
2020-21 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, Ph.D.

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Adam Rennhoff, Program Director
(615) 898-2931

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.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the doctoral program, candidates are expected to attain a GRE score of 302 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).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official scores on the General Record Examination (GRE).
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Economics requires completion of a minimum of 64 semester hours, including a minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework and 13 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 econometrics at the end of the the first year of study. Students must then complete six field courses and a research paper in their chosen field during the second year. During the summer of the second year, students develop a dissertation prospectus under the guidance of a dissertation chair. Each student is responsible for securing the agreement of a Ph.D. faculty member to become the chair of the student’s dissertation committee. The chair will suggest other potential committee members. Each student must successfully defend a dissertation prospectus in an oral examination and, upon approval by the student’s dissertation committee, prepare a dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate. The dissertation is completed with agreement of the chair and two additional committee members.

Curriculum: Economics

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Dissertation Research (13 hours)

Sample Course and Examination Schedule

The following sample schedule outlines the sequence of Ph.D. course requirements:

Summer-Year 1

Spring Semester-Year 2 (Choose 2)

Summer-Year 2

Fall Semester-Year 3

Spring Semester-Year 3

Summer-Year 3

Fall Semester-Year 4

Spring Semester-Year 4

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