PhD Requirements | Economics | SIU

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PhD Requirements

The Ph.D. degree prepares students for teaching and research positions in the academic world, for positions such as senior economist in private industry and consulting firms, and for government positions requiring advanced economic training.

Admission and Retention

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Economics may be achieved with a master's degree or its equivalent and a grade point average of 3.25 (A=4.0) or better for all graduate level work. Students with bachelor's degrees and a grade point average of 2.7 or better will be admitted as master's students. Upon passage of the qualifying exams in Economic Theory, the student will then be admitted into the doctoral program.

Residency Requirements

The residency requirement for the Ph.D. must be fulfilled after admission to the Ph.D. program but before formal admission into Ph.D. candidacy. In general the equivalent of one year's work at SIUC is required. However, this requirement can be fulfilled in a variety of ways. For the various options available see the Graduate Catalog.

Progress Toward the Ph.D.

In the student's progress toward the Ph.D. the student must meet the following basic requirements: the qualifying examinations; field specializations and examination; the acquisition of research tools and other course requirements; and a dissertation. An outline of the typical progress is shown below.

The Qualifying Examinations

The purpose of the qualifying examinations is to inform both the student and the faculty whether the student is making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D. degree. For a student who fails these examinations the Qualifying Examination Committee will normally consider two alternatives: (1) retaking all or part of the examination or (2) encouraging the student to withdraw from the Ph.D. program.

The qualifying examination in microeconomics and macroeconomics will be based primarily on materials in microeconomic theory (ECON 540a, 540b) and macroeconomic theory (ECON 541a, 541b), respectively.

Fields of Specialization

A student is required to take two specialized fields in economics.  In addition, the student is required to pass a written examination (after completion of the appropriate course work for credit) in one specialized field at the end of the second year.  The Department of Economics offers the following fields of specialization:  economic development, international economics, monetary theory and policy, applied microeconomics, advanced economic theory, and finance.  A student will be allowed to take a field exam at most two times.


Year 1

  • Fall :ECON 465, 540a, 541a
  • Spring: ECON 511, 540b, 541b
  • Summer: Qualifying Exams

Year 2

  • Fall: ECON 567a, 541c, Field 1
  • Spring: ECON 540c, 567b, Field 1
  • Summer: Field 1 Exam

Year 3

  • Fall: ECON 567c, Field 2
  • Spring: Elective, dissertation, Field 2

Year 4

  • Dissertation  

The Dissertation

Upon successful completion of the course work and passing of the qualifying and field examinations, a student will then be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D.  This will normally occur after the third year of work.  Following this, the candidate, in consultation with his/her dissertation chairperson, will form a dissertation committee and develop a proposal.  After the proposal is approved, the student must complete a dissertation based on original research and successfully defend the dissertation before the faculty.

You are required to submit your thesis electronically to the Graduate School.  For electronic submission of your thesis, please go to http://dissertations.umi.com/siu .  Here you will find a detailed frequently asked questions as well as information from UMI (University Microfilm International) regarding electronic submission requirements.  One copy of the thesis is to be submitted to the Department of Economics prior to graduation.