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About the Ph.D. Program

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 academia, business, or government. In their first two semesters, students receive rigorous training in three core areas: microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

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

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).

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.

Field Courses

After a highly structured first two semesters, students have more choice as they select two 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:


ECMT 677 Applied Microeconometrics, ECMT 678 Nonparametric Econometrics, ECMT 679 Time Series Econometrics, ECMT 638 Applied Time Series Econometrics

Public Economics

ECON 603 Public Economics I, ECON 604 Public Economics II

Labor Economics

ECON 609 Labor Economics I, ECON 610 Labor Economics II

Advanced Microeconomic Theory

ECON 631 Microeconomic Theory III (aka Advanced Theory I). ECON 632 Microeconomic Theory IV (aka Advanced Theory II)

Advanced Macroeconomics

ECON 635 Advanced Macroeconomics I, ECON 637 Advanced Macroeconomics II, ECON 638 Applied Time Series Econometrics

Industrial Organization and Economics of Organization

ECON 649 Industrial Organization I, ECON 650 Industrial Organization II

Behavioral and Experimental Economics

ECON 655 Experimental Economics, ECON 656 Field Experiments in Economics, ECON 659 Behavioral Game Theory

Sample Five Year Program

First Year

Prior to starting, all incoming PhD students are required to take a preparatory MATH/STAT Bootcamp taught by faculty from the A&M Economics Department

First Semester (Fall)

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

Second Semester (Spring)

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

Second Year

First Semester (Fall)

Two or Three Field Courses – (Part 1)

Second Semester (Spring)

Two or Three Field Courses – (Part 2)
Field Presentations/Proposals

Third Year

First Semester (Fall)

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

Second Semester (Spring)

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

Fourth Year

First Semester (Fall)

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

Second Semester (Spring)

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

Fifth Year

First Semester (Fall)

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

Second Semester (Spring)

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


Beginning in the third year and extending through the fifth year of study, students participate in departmental workshops (ECON 690). Workshops are commonly offered in theory, macroeconomics, applied microeconomics, experimental economics and econometrics. The workshops are designed to acquaint students with cutting-edge research in their area of interest 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.


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.

Additional 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 is April 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.