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Degree Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program are required to complete 36 credits of graduate course work, write a second-year paper and final Ph.D. dissertation, and pass a final oral examination and a comprehensive exam.

EEFE Ph.D. degree requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Students in the EEFE Ph.D. program will be required to complete 36 credits of course work at the 500- and 600-level, write and successfully defend a second year paper, write and successfully defend a Ph.D. dissertation, and pass a candidacy examination and a comprehensive examination. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Course work requirements include 21 credits of core course work, at least 12 credits of field courses, and 3 credits of elective courses selected from a list of approved electives maintained by the program office.

Core Course Work Requirements

21 credits consisting of microeconomic theory (6 credits), applied welfare economics (3 credits), econometrics (6 credits), quantitative methods (3 credits), and computational economics (3 credits). The required courses for the core curriculum are:

  • ECON 502 Microeconomic Analysis* (3 credits)
  • AEREC 510 Econometrics I (3 credits)
  • AEREC 511 Econometrics II (3 credits)
  • ECON 521 Advanced Microeconomic Theory (3 credits)
  • AEREC 527 Quantitative Methods I (3 credits)
  • AEREC 533 Applied Computational Economics (3 credits)
  • AEREC/EME 529 Applied Welfare Economics (3 credits)

* Students selecting the Energy Systems Field may petition to substitute EME 500 Energy and Mineral Project Investment Evaluation (3) for ECON 502.

Field Course Requirements

Two fields consisting of a minimum of 6 credits each from designated field courses.

Energy Economics, Policy and Systems

  • ENNEC 540 Economic Analysis of Energy Markets (3 credits)
  • ENNEC 560 Mineral and Energy Finance I (3 credits)

Environment and Natural Resource Economics

  • AEREC 519 Resource and Environmental Economics I (3 credits)
  • AEREC 541 Resource and Environmental Economics II (3 credits)

Food Industrial Organization

  • AEREC 503 Agricultural Marketing (3 credits)
  • AEREC 536 Agricultural Commodity Markets  (3 credits)

Elective Course Requirements

A minimum of 3 credits at the 500 level, which 3 credits must be selected from the following list:

  • AEREC 531 Microeconometrics (3 credits)
  • ENNEC 541 Economics of Energy and the Environment (3 credits)

Candidacy Examination

A candidacy examination will be administered by the EEFE Exam Committee each year in the second half of May or the first half of June. The candidacy exam will typically be taken at the end of the student’s first year in the Ph.D. program. It must be taken no later than 18 months after entering the Ph.D. program. Students may petition the Exam Committee to defer the exam but in no case will a student be permitted to defer beyond the end of the third semester, excluding summer. 

Successful completion of the candidacy exam admits the student to Ph.D. candidacy. Students must also meet the English language competency requirements to be admitted to candidacy.

English Competency

Competency in the English language in all forms of expression is essential for progress in graduate study and is required by Graduate Council. The EEFE Graduate Committee assesses each entering student’s English language competency as part of the admissions process. The Graduate Committee may require an entering Ph.D. student to take an exam to better determine his/her English language competency. If a student fails the exam, the Exam Committee will present a remediation plan to the student and the EEFE Graduate Committee. This remediation plan may require the student to take appropriate courses or instruction. Upon completion of the recommended remediation plan, the student will be required to retake the English competency exam. If the student fails the retake exam, she or he will be dropped from the Ph.D. program.

Second Year Paper

Under the direction of an EEFE faculty adviser, Ph.D. students are required to submit an original research manuscript at the conclusion of the Spring semester of the second year, and to present the findings of the research to the EEFE faculty in a seminar in the Fall Semester of the third year. The paper and presentation are intended to develop and demonstrate students’ ability to identify research questions, conduct appropriate theoretical and/or empirical analyses to address these questions, and effectively present research findings in written and verbal forms appropriate for scholarly publication and presentation. The manuscript must address a question of scholarly significance in economics, ideally in the student’s major field of specialization.  

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination with oral and written components will be administered and graded by the student’s doctoral committee. The timing of this examination is at the convenience of the student and the committee that administers it. However, since the exam is comprehensive, it is recommended that it be given after the student has completed most of his or her course work. The content of the exam is determined by the student’s doctoral committee, but usually focuses on the student’s dissertation proposal and related course work.

Final Oral Examination

Upon completion of the student’s doctoral dissertation, a final oral examination is scheduled. The examination consists of an oral presentation of the dissertation by the candidate and a period of questions and responses. These will relate in large part to the dissertation, but may cover the candidate's entire program of study. The exam is administered by the student’s doctoral committee and open to the public. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School, and the student must pass a final oral examination.

Recommended Plan

The recommended course schedule for a student starting the Ph.D. program in the Fall semester without any course work deficiencies is shown in the table below. Such a student would take the candidacy examination in June following their first Spring Semester. The timing of the comprehensive exam varies from one student to another, but it is usually taken after a student has completed most of his or her course work. Students making normal progress would be expected to complete and defend their dissertations in the fourth year after starting the program.

YearFall SemesterSpring Semester
First Year ECON 502 Microeconomic Analysis Econ 521 Advanced Microeconomic Theory
First Year AEREC 527 Quantitative Methods I AEREC 511 Econometrics II
First Year AEREC 510 Econometrics I AEREC 529 Applied Welfare Econ and Policy
Second Year AEREC 531 Applied Micro Econometrics AEREC 533 Applied Computational Economics
Second Year Field Course Field Course
Second Year Elective or Field Course Elective or Field Course
Third Year Elective or Field Course Elective or Field Course