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Program FAQs

Ph. D. Program

Could you give me a brief description of what would be considered normal progression through your Ph.D. program?

A typical student’s first year of study would cover the following core materials:

  • Microeconomics (ECON 200A-C)
  • Macroeconomics (ECON 210 A-C)
  • Introductory Econometrics (ECON 220A-C)
  • Computing (ECON 280)

In the second year, students finish the econometrics core (ECON 220D-F), and begin their elective courses.
In the third year, students complete elective courses and produce a literature review and an original paper, which typically serves as the start of a dissertation.
The average number of years to complete the program is 4-6 years.

Could you give me more information on what has been referred to as “Math Camp” for entering graduate students? I am asking because I am particularly concerned about my math preparedness.

At the start of the first year of study, the Department offers a mathematics review and preparation course, ECON 205, which meets daily for three weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall Qarter.  This course gives students an intensive review of analysis, single and multi-variable calculus, and optimization.  The material covered in this course is useful in all of the first-year sequences and is designed to prepare entering students for their first year of study.  Entering students with confidence in their mathematical skills are not required to take the course, although everyone is encouraged to attend (typically everyone does) and all students are required to pass the final examination. More information is found at ECON 205.

When am I required to have an Adviser?

Students are encouraged to select an adviser by the third quarter of their second year.

Qualifying Exams

If I am in my first year and do not pass all my qualifying exams in the spring of my first year, would I still have a chance to impact my group standing by passing my Quals in the Fall of my second year?

Students who pass Qualifiers (i.e. Qual Exams held annually in June and September and advancement to candidacy - CPHIL) before the 1st day of instruction for the Fall Quarter may be reclassified for the Fall Quarter.

Advancement to Candidacy

Per program guidelines, a student needs to be advanced to candidacy by the Fall Quarter of their 4th year in order to maintain Group Standing A. What is the exact deadline for advancing (CPhil) in order to qualify as having advanced for the Fall Quarter or for subsequent quarters in the 4th year (or subsequent years)?

Students who pass the CPhil exams by the 1st day of instruction for Fall Quarter may be reclassified for the Fall Quarter; by the last day of Fall Quarter for the Winter Quarter; and by the last day of Winter quarter for the Spring Quarter. Students are strongly urged to schedule their CPhil exams prior to the last day of instruction in the Spring, because of difficulties in convening the entire committee during the summer period. A summer CPhil will be conferred in the following Fall Quarter. For more information, check out Advancement to Candidacy.


When would I need to defend my dissertation in order to qualify for a Spring degree?

Dissertations completed by the last day of the quarter will be conferred in that quarter.

When would I need to defend my dissertation in order to qualify for a Summer degree?

Dissertations completed by the last day of Summer Session II will be conferred in Summer. If the dissertation is completed between the last day of Summer Session II and the end of Fall Quarter it will be conferred at the end of Fall Quarter.

Master's Degree in Economics 

As a Ph.D. graduate student, when can I apply for an in-progress Master’s in Economics?

When you have completed 36 quarter-units with a grade point average of at least a B and pass additional requirements as listed on the M. A. in Economics program.

Financial Support

If my group standing should fall below Group A (thereby reducing the level of my TAship), what would be the probability of being upgraded to a 50% TA post?

Although there is no guarantee, upgrades from group standing floors are quite common in the Department due to the large number of courses and high enrollments in undergraduate Economics courses. Enrollments in the Fall and Winter Quarters are typically higher than that of Spring, and the TA support needed is correspondingly higher for those quarters. We typically upgrade most students whose group standing floor falls below Group A one to two quarters each year. We emphasize that there is no guarantee that the demand created by enrollments or restrictions imposed by funding limits would allow upgrades in any given quarter.

Job Market

When do students normally go on Job Market?

With job market paper in hand and the prospect of completing their dissertation within the year, students normally go on Job Market in their 5th year, although some of our students go on job market in their 6th year.

When do I start getting ready for Job Market?

Ideally students are asked to identify themselves as potential Job Market Candidates at the end of Spring Quarter or early summer of 4th year, so that much of the preparation can start in the summer after (completion and fine tuning of job market paper, setting up personal website, CV and Dissertation Abstract, identifying writers of letters of recommendation). Confirmation of job market candidacy usually takes place in the beginning of the Fall Quarter of 5th year, in consultation with your adviser and Placement Director for the year in question (the director can change from year-to-year).

If I confirm my job market candidacy for a given year, when do I start applying for jobs?

This can begin as early as late September and extend through November (or later for some postings). The heaviest months for job listings are October and November.