The Ph.D. in Economics at Syracuse is a research-oriented degree, designed for those who want to do applied economics in an academic setting, government, international agencies, independent research organizations, or private businesses with a substantial research mission. The Graduate Program reflects the Department’s focus on research in Labor Economics, Public Economics, International Trade, Urban Economics and Econometric Theory.
Entering graduate students should have had at least one year of calculus, a course in mathematical statistics, and a course in linear algebra. In their class work, Ph.D. students take a course in mathematical economics, three courses in microeconomic theory, two courses in macroeconomic theory, three to four courses in econometrics, fulfill the requirements in two fields, as well as breadth requirements and electives totaling 51 credits.
Counting dissertation hours, the total number of credits in the program is 72 hours. Students may choose two fields from among labor economics, international economics, public economics, urban economics and econometrics. Students with particularly strong theoretical interests may take fields in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory. A student with strong interest in finance may take a field in it through the finance department of the School of Management. A student wishing to take a field in an area other than microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, labor economics, public economics, international economics, or urban economics must receive the explicit approval of the Director of Graduate Studies of the economics department.
Faculty and graduate students work closely in research, teaching, and graduate study. For example, Ph.D. students often write papers for journals and conferences with faculty members.
Faculty and graduate students work closely in research, teaching, and graduate study. For example, Ph.D. students often write papers for journals and conferences with faculty members. In addition, some graduate students participate in the Future Professoriate Program, a special university program that helps form good teaching practices. Syracuse University is one of a few universities that provide graduate students with a formal program to learn about college-level teaching practices.
Please note that the PhD program does begin in the Summer, typically the first week of July.
Applications from all interested individuals are welcome. Current graduate students have varied undergraduate backgrounds, including economics, other social sciences, and mathematics. Completion of a master’s degree in economics is not required to enter a Ph.D. program, and most students do not obtain an M.A. degree before entering the Ph.D. program.
A person interested in studying for the Ph.D. should complete the application form found on the admissions website ( https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/admission/) and have three letters of recommendation sent on her or his behalf. Applications with supporting materials must be received by January 15 to ensure full consideration.
In addition, an applicant should submit her or his scores from a recent general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and transcripts of all collegiate and post-collegiate work. An applicant whose first language is not English should submit the results of a recent TOEFL examination. Please note that the Economics Department does NOT accept IELTS in place of TOEFL. Preference for graduate assistantship is given to students with TOEFL scores of 100 (ITOTL) and above.
Merit-based financial aid awards are available to support study in the Ph.D. program in the form of fellowships and graduate assistantships. Financial support is renewed each year for four years of study, subject to maintaining satisfactory performance in the Ph.D. program. The deadline for submitting applications for a University Fellowship or the deadline for a graduate assistantship is January 15, 2018, although later applications are considered for the assistantship awards. Candidates for admission who do not require University financial support may apply at any date.
Economics applicants compete with Economics Department Ph.D. applicants for one University Fellowship. Winners receive a fellowship in their first and fourth years of study and receive graduate assistantship in their second and third years. Fellowships include a stipend ($25,290 in 2017-18) and a full-tuition scholarship for 30 credits for the academic year. Students receiving a fellowship have no service responsibilities to the University during the years that they are on the fellowship. Recipients are required to take 15 credits each semester that they are on fellowship. Fellowship recipients can opt to have University health care insurance coverage at a modest fee. Fellowship stipends are taxable under the state and federal government laws.
The Economics doctoral program provides opportunities to obtain teaching experience and to participate in research projects with faculty. Most entering and continuing graduate students have teaching assistantships. All teaching assistants participate in the unique Teaching Assistant Orientation Program conducted by the Graduate School. As a teaching assistant, students eventually gain experience in all aspects of teaching, from exam preparation and grading to lecture their own classes, usually teaching in the Division of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
Advanced graduate students may elect to compete for research assistantships. Research assistantships are available, through the Center for Policy Research, a research institute within the Maxwell School, or through faculty members who have externally sponsored research projects. It is useful for students to serve as both teaching and research assistants during their time in the doctoral program.
Graduate assistantships are renewed each academic year on the basis of satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program and of the recent performance as a teaching or research assistant. Assistantships include a stipend for the academic year ($18,650 in 2016-17) and a subsidy toward health insurance coverage for the year. Assistantships require 20 hours of service per week in teaching, grading, or research. A full graduate tuition scholarship for 24 hours of course work per year is also awarded with the assistantship. Students with assistantships take 9 hours of courses during each semester, and use their remaining 6 hours during the summer to register for additional courses or for dissertation credits. Graduate stipends are subject to tax by state and federal government but, at this time, are not subject to the social security payroll tax.
The economics department offers opportunities for teaching, research, and summer fellowship support. Summer funding is also available to graduate students through externally funded research projects. All summer support is subject to taxation by the state and federal governments but, at this time, is not subject to the Social Security payroll tax.