Admission to the PhD program is based on promise of outstanding scholarship as demonstrated by previous academic performance, by scores achieved on the general portion of the GRE, and by recommendations. A master’s degree in economics or a related field is not required for admission.
Students entering the PhD program with only a baccalaureate degree, including those that receive a MA in economics from the University of Tennessee while in the program, must take a minimum of 72 total graduate credit hours, including a minimum of 48 graduate course credit hours and 24 credit hours in ECON 600 - Doctoral Research and Dissertation . Students entering with a master’s degree will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graduate course credit and 24 credit hours in ECON 600 - Doctoral Research and Dissertation . Specific department requirements for the PhD include the following.
Satisfactory performance on microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory qualifying examinations. Exams are administered twice during the summer following the first year of PhD coursework, and a student needs to pass the qualifying examinations to remain in the program.
Completion of ECON 581 with a grade of B or better and completion of ECON 582 and ECON 583 with GPA of 3.0 or better, or by qualifying examination.
Satisfactory completion of a second-year research paper submitted to the faculty. A student needs to pass the requirement by the end of the fall semester of their third year to remain in the PhD program.
Students are required to complete a doctoral dissertation and to defend it successfully before the faculty.
Students demonstrate competence in at least two fields of specialization in economics by completion of a two-course sequence with a GPA of 3.25 or better in each field, including grades of B or better in each field course, or by alternative demonstration of competence with the agreement of the dissertation committee.
Students are required to complete (with a grade of B or better) two elective courses in economics at the 500 level or above. The two elective courses must be outside the core subject areas and outside the fields of specialization.