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Columbia, MO 65211
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PhD in Economics

Degree Requirements

The PhD program is designed to encompass training in economic theory and quantitative methods, as well as flexibility for students in choosing course work to suit their interests and intended careers.

For those entering the program with a bachelor’s degree, the following courses are required:

ECONOM 8370Mathematics for Economics3
Advanced Microeconomic Theory I
and Advanced Microeconomic Theory II
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I
and Advanced Macroeconomic Theory II
Econometric Theory I
and Econometric Theory II
ECONOM 9413Research Workshop II (PhD research workshop, taken for 4 consecutive semesters)12
Two 9000-level economics courses in one area of specialization6
Four other 9000-level economics courses (excluding ECONOM 9090)12
9 credit hours of ECONOM 9085 or other electives9
Dissertation research12
Total Credits72

Courses taken to satisfy these requirements (except dissertation research) may be taken while earning an MA at MU, or, as with students entering the program with prior graduate coursework, at other accredited colleges and universities as recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Specialization and Field Paper

Students are required to complete one area of specialization consisting of two courses and a field paper. It is expected that this area will be related to the objectives of the student’s dissertation. The instructors of the field courses will provide written guidance about field papers and oversee the content of the research paper, and the instructor of the PhD research workshop (ECONOM 9413) oversees the mechanics of the paper. Field requirement is satisfied after both courses have been passed and the instructor(s) of both field courses as well as ECONOM 9413 approve the field paper. The areas of specialization from which the student can choose are listed below. The department commits itself to offering a second course in any field to all students who have completed an initial course in the field, within two semesters of the student completing the initial course (not counting the summer semester). This course may consist of a readings course with one of the faculty members in the field in lieu of a regular course. If a readings course is provided, then the faculty member is required to provide the department with the reading list for the course.

List of Fields and Courses

ECONOM 9476Advanced Topics in Econometrics II3
ECONOM 9477Advanced Topics in Econometrics III3
Industrial Organization
ECONOM 9455Monopoly and Competition3
ECONOM 9471Advanced Game Theory3
International Economics
Labor Economics
Monetary Economics
ECONOM 9430Advanced Money and Banking3
ECONOM 9431Central Banking Policies3
Public Economics
Public Policy - Public/International
Quantitative Microeconomic Policy Analysis
ECONOM 9446Advanced Empirical Methods3
ECONOM 9447Topics in Microeconomic Policy Analysis3

Statement on Satisfactory Progress

  1. Taking and completing required course work on schedule and maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. Enrollment in a full-time program of study, i.e., completion of at least 9 credit hours per semester.
  3. Taking and passing qualifying and comprehensive examinations on schedule.
  4. Completing the field requirement on schedule.

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Qualifying Process

Students pursuing the PhD degree must pass a qualifying examination. Upon completion of relevant required courses in the first year, students take the qualifying examination, which covers microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The exam is 6 hours in length; it is administered in parts with two-hours devoted to each of the three core subjects. The first offering of the exam is in late May. Students who fail to pass all three parts of the exam the first time may retake the failed part(s) the following July/August. Students who fail the exam may continue in the MA program.

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Comprehensive Examination Process

Students pursuing the PhD degree must pass a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam has a written section and an oral section, both administered by the student's dissertation committee. The oral section of the comprehensive exam is part of the dissertation proposal defense.

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Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation must make a substantial contribution to knowledge. Upon completion of the dissertation, students pursuing the Ph.D. degree must pass a final oral examination. This exam can include an evaluation of the dissertation, the student’s defense of the dissertation, and the student’s general comprehension of economics, and is open to the academic community.

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Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in the Economics program and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program’s graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Before official admissions to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied.

Admission Contact Information

Pamela Gerth pagfgp@missouri.edu
118 Professional Bldg.
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-4776

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: January 15

The minimum requirements for admission into the PhD program are:
Undergraduate GPA 3.0
Minimum GRE scores:  Quantitative = 155
Minimum TOEFL scores:

Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550

Minimum Academic IELTS scores:

Item Score
Overall Score 6.5

Ordinarily, to be accepted for advisement in the PhD program, a student must have a master’s degree in economics, or, alternatively, the student must meet the requirements for admission to the MA program, together with the requirement of an adequate background in economics, mathematics and statistics.

Required Application Materials

The following items are required to be uploaded to the MU online Graduate Application for Admission:

  • Your transcript from every college or university you have attended
  • Your résumé
  • Your personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your official TOEFL or IELTS score.  Your official TOEFL or IELTS scores (sent directly from the Educational Testing Service) must be submitted directly to the Graduate Admission Office (210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211) * International applicants only.
  • Your official GRE scores (sent directly from the Educational Testing Service)

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