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Qualifying Examinations

Written qualifying exams in each of the three core fields (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics) are required and are offered each year at the end of spring quarter and again at the end of summer. Each exam is administered and graded separately. All three exams must be passed by the end of the spring quarter of the student's second year in the program. No exceptions will be made to this policy.

In preparation for the qualifying exams, the department expects a student to be competent relative to existing knowledge on the subject. The specific guide to subject matter needed for competence in a field is the body of topics covered in the first-year courses in that field.

Students intending to take a qualifying exam must inform the Graduate Coordinator at least one month in advance of the examination date.

A student can be exempted from one of the qualifying exams if the student received a minimum of a B+ in all first-year core courses (in a field) OR received one B and attained a minimum of a 3.5 GPA in a field's core courses.

Students are not allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program if they have not passed all three qualifying exams by spring quarter of their second year in the program.

At the discretion of the faculty giving the qualifying examination, incoming students can attempt to waive a core sequence by passing the qualifying examination for that sequence.  This is most likely to be approved when the student has a strong background in the sequence and wants to advance more quickly to field courses and research in the area.

Oral qualifying examinations are required by the University to advance to candidacy when pursuing a Ph.D. See "Advancement to Candidacy" (CPHIL degree).