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Ph.D. Degree

The Ph.D. program is a full time program leading to a Doctoral Degree in Economics.  Students specialize in various fields within Economics by enrolling in field courses and attending field specific lunches and seminars.  Students gain economic breadth by taking additional distribution courses outside of their selected fields of interest.

General requirements


Students  are required to complete 1 quarter of teaching experience. Teaching experience includes teaching assistantships within the Economics department or another department .


Students apply for candidacy to the PhD program by the start of their third year in the program.


The University Orals Examination is typically taken in the final year of the program.

University's residency requirement

135 units of full-tuition residency are required for PhD students. After that, a student should have completed all course work and must request Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status.

Department degree requirements and student checklist

1. Core Course requirement

Required: Core Microeconomics (202-203-204) Core Macroeconomics (210-211-212) Econometrics (270-271-272).  The Business School graduate microeconomics class series may be substituted for the Econ Micro Core.  Students wishing to waive out of any of the first year core, based on previous coverage of at least 90% of the material,  must submit a waiver request to the DGS at least two weeks prior to the start of the quarter.  A separate waiver request must be submitted for each course you are requesting to waive.  The waiver request must include a transcript and a syllabus from the prior course(s) taken.  

2.  Field Requirements

Required:  Two of the Following Fields Chosen as Major Fields (click on link for field course requirements).  Field sequences must be passed with an overall grade average of B or better.  Individual courses require a letter grade of B- or better to pass unless otherwise noted.

Research fields and field requirements:

  • Behavioral & Experimental
  • Development Economics
  • Econometric Methods with Causal Inference
  • Econometrics
  • Economic History
  • Environmental, Resource and Energy Economics
  • Finance
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Trade
  • International Finance
  • Labor Economics
  • Market Design
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Macroeconomics
  • Political Economy
  • Public Economics

3.  Distribution

Required:  Four other graduate-level courses must be completed. One of these must be from the area of economic history (unless that field has already been selected above). These courses must be distributed in such a way that at least two fields not selected above are represented.  Distribution courses must be passed with a grade of B or better.

4.  Field Seminars/Workshops

Required:  Three quarters of two different field seminars or six quarters of the same field seminar from the list below.   

310: Macroeconomics Faculty Coordinator: Pablo Kurlat
315: Development Faculty Coordinator: Pascaline Dupas
325: Economic History Faculty Coordinator: Ran Abramitzky
335: Experimental/Behavioral Faculty Coordinator: Doug Bernheim
341: Public/Environmental Faculty Coordinator:  Caroline Hoxby/Larry Goulder
345: Labor Faculty Coordinator: Nick Bloom
355: Industrial Organization

Faculty Coordinator: Liran Einav

365: International Trade Faculty Coordinator: Kyle Bagwell 
370: Econometrics Faculty Coordinator: Han Hong
391: Microeconomic Theory

Faculty Coordinator:  Ilya Segal

General Timeline

  • First year: core courses  
  • Second year: field and distribution requirements, candidacy paper
  • Third year: third year seminar and field seminars, admission to candidacy, thesis advisor
  • Fourth year: thesis committee, TGR status, oral exams