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Structure of the Ph.D. Program

In the first year, students take core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics in preparation for the preliminary exam in these subjects at the end of the first academic year (if failing, the prelim can be retaken once).

In the second and third years, students take electives (Ph.D.field classes). These classes present the research frontier in different subfields of economics and prepare students for the transition to doing their own research.

In the third year, students write a research paper under the direction of a faculty member. Passing this third-year paper is the last requirement before entering the dissertation stage.

By the end of the fourth year, students should pass a preliminary thesis defense (“qualifying examination”), in which they outline the structure of their thesis, as well as some preliminary results.

For a list of Graduate Economic Courses, click here. For course syllabi, click here. For prelims (VU affiliated only), click here.