The Ph.D. program in Economics has about 70 students in residence and an entering class size of about 15 each year. What follows is a brief description of the year-by-year progression of the program.
Prior to coursework in September, students undertake a Mathematics Review that is administered online.
During their first year, students take course sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Each course sequence consists of two courses, each a semester long.
At the end of the academic year students write comprehensive examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics.
In the second year, students take advanced courses in their chosen fields of specialization, as well as a one-semester course in applied econometric methods. Students also participate in a one-semester seminar course that introduces them to the research process. Starting in the second year, students begin attending the many research seminars held by the School, furthering their exposure to the research frontier.
Near the end of the second semester, a research paper proposal is submitted. The summer after the second year is spent working on this paper (which is submitted in the first semester of the third year), the purposes of which are to familiarize students with the research process and to aid and foster the transition to independent study.
In their third year, students reduce their course load and concentrate on research. Students participate in a Ph.D. research seminar course. This seminar provides an opportunity for “in-class” interaction between faculty and students, as well as an opportunity for students to present work to their colleagues and peers.
By their third year, students participate in School research seminars on a regular basis, usually in one or two fields of specialization. As well, students are regular participants in one of the weekly “brown bag” lunch workshop series, where students and professors present their work-in-progress and preliminary research in an informal setting.
Throughout the year, students further their research through self-initiated interaction with faculty outside of the classroom setting. By the year’s end, students form a Dissertation Committee in preparation for the Admission to Candidacy. Admission involves having their Dissertation Prospectus approved by the candidate’s supervisor(s).
In consultation with their Committee, students now work full-time on their Dissertation. The goal is to prepare a completed dissertation chapter that can be used as a “job market paper.”
Typically, students complete their job market paper by the end of the first semester of the fifth year. During this semester, students are assisted in the preparation of their “job market package,” containing their research papers, curriculum vitae, and faculty reference letters.
Initial job interviews are held every year in December and January. Following interviews, students visit universities and other employers, and typically conclude their job search by the end of March.
The Dissertation is typically completed at the end of the fifth year. At this time, the candidate is given an oral examination by members of the School, and then the candidate defends the dissertation in an oral examination administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Upon successful defence, the Ph.D. is granted.