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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 additional PhD program details, please consult the PhD Handbook linked our PhD program web page.

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

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
12 credit hours of ECONOM 9085 or other electives12
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.

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 typically take the qualifying examination at the end of the first year of courses. It consists of written sections for microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics.

Comprehensive Examination Process

The comprehensive examination is typically done in a student's fourth year. It is administered by the student's dissertation committee and usually consists of written and oral portions, focused on the student's dissertation research.

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.


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.

Our admissions information web page has dates, required items, helpful suggestions, score guidelines, and contact information. Applications are submitted online here through the Graduate School.

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