Economics Ph.D. Advising

The Economics Ph.D. program director serves as the temporary academic advisor for all graduate students. Within a semester after passing their qualifying exams, the student selects a permanent advisor who will chair the student's advisory/examining committee. The student and the permanent advisor arrange the appointment of the advisory/examining committee. This committee, the advisor, and the program director together supervise the student's course of study and examinations.

The research advisor may be a different faculty member than the permanent chair. Students may request the appointment of a committee member from the faculty of another university or from a relevant discipline or profession, provided the prospective member has achieved a record of distinction. The Graduate Dean formally approves the appointment of the student’s advisory/examining committee.

Additional information:

  • A program of study form must be filed with the graduate school as soon as possible after the advisory committee is formed.
  • All Graduate School forms, paperwork, and other correspondence regarding the academic progress of Ph.D. students must be routed through the program director, irrespective of whether a permanent advisor has been selected.
  • Students employed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) have research supervisors associated with their employment. The GRA supervisor, who may be assigned upon entry to the program, is not the student’s academic advisor. It is often the case that a student will request that their GRA supervisor becomes their academic advisor; however, these are two different roles.
  • Changes in the program may be made only with the approval of the entire committee and graduate dean. When necessary, substitute members of the committee may be appointed by the graduate dean.

Advisory Committee

Your advisor should be the primary department contact for information, guidance, and mentoring throughout a student's graduate studies. It is the student's responsibility to contact his/her advisor about appropriate coursework, research questions, and selection of a graduate committee.

The Ph.D. graduate committee consists of at least five members of the graduate faculty, including your advisor. In addition to the permanent advisor as chair, the committee is composed of two or more members from Economics; one or more members from departments in related fields; and one member outside Economics, who is the Graduate School Representative. You should work with your advisor when selecting the committee and should be done in your second year after passing the comprehensive examinations.

The role of the graduate school representative committee member is to assure compliance with Graduate School regulations and procedures and report any deviations from prescribed standards to the Graduate School. The advisory/examining committee consists of at least five graduate faculty members. In addition to the permanent advisor as chair, this committee includes three or more members of the Ph.D. in Economics program list of Graduate Faculty and at least one graduate faculty member from outside the program faculty who serves as the Graduate School Representative.

All advisory/examining committee members are involved in the approval of the student's program of study and in the topic design of the dissertation and in the conduct of the dissertation oral examination.

Program of Study

The approved program of study describes the student's specific plan of courses, research, and related activities. The graduate student's advisor, the program graduate director, and the advisory/examining committee determine the program of study for each degree candidate, including the dissertation and the acceptable courses for completion of the degree. The Graduate Dean has final approval of the program of study. The program of Study Form and instructions are online here.

Subsequent changes may be made at any time via the online Change in Program of Study Form or Change of Advisory Committee Form, with the approval of the major professor, graduate director of the program, advisory/examining committee and the Graduate Dean. The student's advisory/examining committee may require the student to take additional courses if, in its opinion, additional training is needed to achieve the expected level of proficiency.

S/U Grades

  • A maximum of nine (9) graduate credits toward a doctoral degree of satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) grading, in addition to the S/U credits for the comprehensive examination including transfer credits, is acceptable.
  • A maximum of 24 dissertation credits may be applied to a Doctoral degree. Final credits for dissertation are not officially recorded until the faculty for the graduate degree via the online Doctoral Notice of Completion Form approves the candidate.