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The Ph.D. Program in Economics emphasizes analytical and quantitative skills and exposes students to a broad range of contemporary policy issues to prepare them for careers in academic, business, or government careers. In their first two semesters of study, students receive rigorous training in three core areas: microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

After completing the core sequences, students choose three fields of specialization for intensive study. For most students, work on the dissertation begins in the third year and occupies them through the fourth or fifth year of residence.

STEM Designation
Our PhD program has recently been reclassified as STEM (CIP Code 45.0603: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics). Students in STEM degree programs can apply for a 24 month STEM extension of F1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).

For more information or questions regarding the PhD program – e-mail us.

DO NOT E-MAIL FACULTY MEMBERS DIRECTLY. THEY WILL NOT RESPOND TO YOUR REQUESTS. Please submit ALL your inquiries to the e-mail link above.

Core Courses

The core courses form an integrated sequence of courses that develop the theoretical and quantitative tools students will build on later in their careers. These courses include two semesters of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics.

An undergraduate major in economics is not a requirement, but students are expected to have taken some economics courses, including at least intermediate theory courses. Students should also have a solid background in mathematics. The recommended math courses are calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical statistics, but more math is generally considered an advantage. A master’s degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program, nor for completing the Ph.D. degree.

Field Courses

After a highly structured first two semesters, students have more choice as they select three areas of specialization. The field courses are intended to broaden and deepen the students’ understanding of economics and to encourage students to develop more specific interests. The fields and their associated courses include:

  • Advanced Theory/Special Topics: ECON 689
  • Behavioral and Experimental Economics: ECON 655, ECON 656, ECON 659
  • Econometrics: ECMT 677, ECMT 678, ECMT 679
  • Labor Economics: ECON 609, ECON 610
  • Industrial Organization: ECON 649, ECON 650
  • International Economics: ECON 651, ECON 652
  • Advanced Macroeconomics: ECON 635, ECON 637, ECMT 638
  • Public Economics: ECON 603, ECON 604

Sample Five Year Program

First Year

First Semester

ECMT 675 – Econometrics I
ECON 629 – Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 636 – Macroeconomic Theory I

Second Semester

ECMT 676 – Econometrics II
ECON 630 – Microeconomic Theory II
ECON 646 – Macroeconomic Theory II
Qualifying Exams

Second Year

First Semester

Two or Three Field Courses – (Part 1)

Second Semester

Two or Three Field Courses – (Part 2)
Field Presentation/Proposal

Third Year

First Semester

Any remaining Field Course – (Part 1)
ECON 690 – Theory of Research / Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Submit Degree Plan and Advisory Committee

Second Semester

Field Course – (Part 2)
ECON 690 – Theory of Research/Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Research Paper Presentation (3rd Years)

Fourth Year

First Semester

ECON 690 – Theory of Research/Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Preliminary Oral Defense
File Dissertation Proposal Approval Page

Second Semester

ECON 690 – Theory of Research/Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Research Paper Presentation (4th Year)

Fifth Year

First Semester

ECON 690 – Theory of Research/Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Job Market Ready

Second Semester

ECON 690 – Theory of Research/Workshop
ECON 691 – Research
Final Defense (Oral)
Final Dissertation Submitted

Steps to Fulfill Doctorate Degree Requirements

There are many steps that each student need to complete in order to graduate with a PhD. Many of these steps require the student filling out paperwork and getting necessary approvals (some require months of lead time). To see all of the steps and access links to download necessary forms, please CLICK HERE


Beginning in the third year and extending through the fifth year of residence, students participate in departmental workshops. Workshops are commonly offered in theory, macro, money, international, applied micro, and econometrics. The workshops are designed to acquaint students with research methodology and to provide opportunities for them to present their own research.

Department Qualifying Exams and Field Exams

Students must pass qualifying examinations in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics following completion of the core sequences. The exams are given in late May and late July or early August. Students must also pass examinations in one field of specialization following completion of the appropriate field sequences. The field exams are given in January and May. Please consult the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements by the Office of Graduate Studies for the Ph.D. degree. You may find this in the Graduate Handbook on the web site


Students normally begin research on their dissertations in their third year. The dissertation is intended as a demonstration of the student’s ability to perform original research.

Teaching & Research

In their first and second years of Ph.D. study, students receiving financial support are normally assigned as research assistants to faculty members to aid them in teaching and research activities.

In their third and fourth years, students may become teaching assistants and have the opportunity to instruct undergraduates at Texas A&M. Both types of assistantships are viewed as integral parts of the educational process, preparing students for careers in teaching and research.

Funding Opportunities

Gail Frey Monson Memorial Scholarship


The Monson Memorial Scholarship provides a one time stipend (typically $500) to a fourth-year female Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics. Applicants must be full time graduate students in good standing in the Department of Economics, have been admitted to Ph.D. candidacy, and demonstrate good citizenship in the department. Applicants must submit the following materials to the Scholarship Committee: (a) a cover letter, (b) a copy of her vita, (c) a copy of her dissertation proposal, and (d) a letter from her main advisor concerning student’s eligibility and qualification for the award. Letters from other members of the student’s advisory committee are not required, but are encouraged. Deadline to apply isApril 15.

S. Charles Maurice Graduate Fellowship in Economics

This fellowship is established by a generous gift from Niccie L. McKay, wife of late Professor S. Charles Maurice. This scholarship (typically $2,500) is for a 4th year Ph.D. student in Economics. Submit a letter of nomination from the chair of the advisory committee, papers and other supporting materials by April 15.

Korean Economics Alumni Merit Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by the members of the Korean Economics Alumni Association and offers a lump sum payment of $1,000, and if the recipient is an out-of-state student, he/she will also receive a waiver of out-of-state tuition. It will be awarded in August to a second year student who has no funding from the department and has passed all qualifying exams.