Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in the field of Economics

Program Learning Outcomes for the MA and PhD Degrees in the field of Economics

Students graduating with a MA and PhD degree in the field of Economics will:

  1. Learn mathematical, statistical, econometric, and computational tools to carry out independent research in economics.
  2. Write an independent and original dissertation that is of sufficient quality to merit publication in a top economics journal.
  3. Conduct a focused review of the literature and develop a research design to carry out independent research.
  4. Learn to defend their research design and modeling choices by presenting their paper in a seminar environment.
  5. Communicate their research effectively by writing clearly, concisely, and cogently.
  6. Read critically and assess research manuscripts related to their field of study and in other fields.

Requirements for the MA and PhD Degrees in the field of Economics

For general university requirements, please see Doctoral Degrees. Candidates for the PhD usually spend from 2 to 2-1/2 years in full-time coursework and at least 1 year writing the dissertation; 5 years is a reasonable goal for completing the program. For the PhD, students must:

  1. Attend the statistics and mathematics camp before starting their first year courses.
  2. Complete an approved program of at least 18 courses (including approved courses in other departments), no more than 4 of which are research workshops. At least 2 years of full-time study must be in residence at Rice.
  3. Perform satisfactorily on the written general exams in economic theory and econometrics.
  4. Write a research paper proposal before the start of their third year.
  5. Write and present a research paper before the end of their third year.
  6. Choose a dissertation advisor by the end of their seventh semester.
  7. Attend a research workshop every semester after their first year and present their own research in a workshop once every year after their second year.
  8. Submit a written progress report in every semester they register for ECON 800.  
  9. Submit a dissertation progress report every year starting with their fourth year.

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the PhD Degree in the field of Economics 90

MA Degree Program

The MA degree is a non-thesis master's degree.  For general university requirements for non-thesis masters degrees, please see Graduate Degrees. Although students are not normally admitted to study for an MA, graduate students may earn the MA along the way to the PhD. In order to obtain a MA Degree in the field of Economics:

  • Students must pass the first year core courses with a grade point average of 2.67 or better
  • Students must complete 6 field courses with passing grades

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the MA Degree in the field of Economics30

Policies for the PhD Degree in the Field of Economics

Department of Economics Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Economics publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here:
http://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2017_18/Economics_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Admission 

Preparation for PhD Program. Applicants to the PhD program should have a strong background in mathematics and statistics. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

For additional information, please see the Economics website: https://economics.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the PhD Degree in the Field of Economics

Additional Master's Degrees Options for the PhD Degree in the field of Economics, or the PhD Degree in the field of Statistics

Students pursuing the PhD degree in the field of Economics, or in the field of Statistics, have the opportunity to also earn a Master of Arts (MA) degree in either the fields of Economics or Statistics, respectively.

Requirements for the PhD Degree in Economics with an MA Degree in Statistics

Students pursuing the PhD degree in the field of Economics and the MA degree with coordinated work in Statistics must complete:

5 courses form departmental (ECON or BUSI) course offerings that have a strong statistics content. 115
5 courses from departmental (STAT) course offerings that are significantly different in content to courses in economics. 1, 215
Qualifier in Econometrics at the comparable level of an MA degree in Statistics.
A major project - this may directed by economics faculty, but must have strong statistical content. The doctoral proposal in economics can count toward this requirement.
Total Credit Hours30
Footnotes and Additional Information

Requirements for the PhD Degree in Statistics with an MA Degree in Economics

Students pursuing the PhD degree in the field of Statistics and the MA degree with coordinated work in Economics must complete:

Core Requirements
Select 5 courses from departmental (ECON) course offerings comprising:
ECON 501MICROECONOMICS I3
ECON 502MACROECONOMICS3
Select 1 from the following:3
FINANCIAL ECONOMICS I 2
COMPUTATIONAL ECONOMICS 2
ECON 508MICROECONOMICS II5
ECON 511 / STAT 611ECONOMETRICS II 23
Elective Requirements
Select 5 courses from departmental (STAT) course offerings. 15
Qualifier in Statistics at the comparable level of a field of examination from the MA degree in the field of Economics.
A Major Project 1
Total Credit Hours32
 Footnotes and Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Economics website: https://economics.rice.edu/