GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS
Registration. Students must register with the
Graduate School for the fall and spring semesters of six years or until the dissertation
is submitted. The registration must be continuous unless a formal leave of absence is
obtained. During the six-year period, failure to register without a leave of absence is
the same as withdrawal from the program. The Graduate School may refuse to register a
student who has not met either the Schools requirements or those of the Economics
Department for adequate progress. Refusing to register students withdraws them from the
Residence Requirement. Students are required to
reside in the New Haven area for at least three years while studying for their Ph.D.
Advancement to Candidacy. A student is advanced
to candidacy after having completed all requirements but the dissertation. These
requirements are described below. Important Graduate School regulations regarding
advancement to candidacy are the following:
- Students must advance to candidacy prior to registration for the seventh semester.
Students will not be permitted to register if they are not advanced to candidacy by that
- Students who have advanced to candidacy must continue to register through the
sixth year or until submission of the dissertation, whichever comes first.
Registration Limit. Students may not register for
more than six years (i.e., 12 semesters), unless they receive a waiver of this rule from
the Graduate School. Waivers are granted for students whose dissertation research
requires, for instance, extensive fieldwork or learning a foreign language. Students may,
however, submit dissertations after the six-year limit, provided they have advanced to
candidacy. Students who are not registered are not eligible for financial aid and may not
earn money as teaching assistants or part-time acting instructors.
Two Honors. Before registering for the third
year of study, students must receive a grade of honors in at least one year long graduate
course or two semester graduate courses in economics. As the Graduate School does not
distinguish the grades of H+, H, and H, this requirement may be met by receiving at
least an H in two graduate courses in economics.
Qualifying Examination. Students must pass a
general examination separate from course examinations. In the Economics Department, the
oral examination, described below, serves as the qualifying examination.
Prospectus. A dissertation prospectus must be
submitted to at least two department faculty members, be signed by them, and then approved
by the Director of Graduate Studies. The prospectus should describe the topic of research,
and contain an explanation of its importance, a quick review of what has been done by
other researchers on the subject, a description of the dissertations contribution
and of the methods and source material to be used, a tentative outline of the
dissertation, and a provisional timetable for the feasibility of completing it within two
or three years. A more detailed description can be found in the Economics Department Expectations for
ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT REQUIREMENTS
Exceptions to these requirements may be obtained only by vote of the Economics faculty.
Exceptions are granted in recognition of extenuating circumstances.
Prior to Registration for the Second Year
- Students must have taken for credit and passed at least six economics graduate courses.
- Students must pass written comprehensive examinations in micro and macro economics.
These are given in May and late August of each year. They may be taken in August
prior to the first year of study with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies. They
must be taken in the spring term of the first year of study and in the event of failure in
August of the same year. Students may take the comprehensive examinations no more than two
times. Students who have not passed the exam prior to their second year of study will be
permitted to register as a Masters candidate for the following fall semester for the
purpose of completing enough courses to be eligible for the degree. The microeconomics and
macroeconomics exams will be given on two different days for three hours. The exams
scheduled in the spring term will occur10 days after the end of course exams. The
questions on the comp exams will be on topics listed in the micro and macro course syllabi
from the immediately proceeding year. Each exam will be graded separately and in the event
of failure, students will retake only the part of the exam they do not pass. Note:
Comprehensive Exams taken by students prior to their first year will be graded as a pass
only if they are a "solid" pass, rather than a "minimal" pass.
Prior to Registration for the Third Year
- Students must have met the two honors requirement specified by the Graduate School.
- Students must have taken at least 14 semester courses in economics and have received a
grade of at least P- in each of them. With the permission of the Director of Graduate
Studies, courses in related fields and independent reading courses can be used to fulfill
this requirement. Workshops may not be used to satisfy it.
- Students must have received an average of at least HP in the courses they have taken.
The admissibility of courses for this requirement is the same as for the 14 course
requirement mentioned above. Grades within the Economics Department include pluses and
minuses. The grade average is computed as follows. A failure counts as a zero, a
P as a 1, a P as a 2, a P+ as a 3, an HP as a 4, and so on up to a 9 for an
H+. The arithmetic average of these numbers must be at least 4.5.
- All students must submit at least the first draft of their applied econometrics
- All students must take their first attempt at each of their two oral exams by June 30th
of their second year of the program. The examination tests a students general
analytic ability in economics and knowledge of two fields chosen by the student. At least
one of the fields must have substantial empirical and institutional content. Such fields
are drawn from a departmental list that includes labor economics, market organization,
macroeconomics, financial economics, behaviorial economics, economics of the public sector
and the environment, international trade and finance, economic development, and
comparative economic systems. Students may also choose as one of their fields mathematical
economics, advanced micro and macroeconomic theory, economic history, or econometrics.
Students may request examination in a special field designed in consultation with faculty
members. The choice of fields must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Each oral examination must be taken for the first time in the fall or spring of the second
year. Students may take the oral exam in one field no more than twice. An oral
examination that was failed on the first try must be retaken in the fall of the third
year, and the retake must be in the same field. Students are given the opportunity
to list two preferred examiners in each field. Efforts are made to fill all
preferences subject to faculty availability and the number of students making similar
requests. The exam is question and answer on subfields the students describe.
While students are expected to have a general command of their field, they should choose
subfields in which they have concentrated their study. They should indicate the
literature and topics which interest them. The broader the subfields, the more
likely the examiners are to confine questioning to the subfields listed. Students
will be expected to know in depth the material in the areas they specify. Students
are required to provide field sheets for each exam which outline the topics to be
discussed and the subfields they plan to prepare. Students should consult faculty
members in their field of interest as they prepare their description in that field.
NOTE: It is not appropriate for students to solicit or recruit faculty to sit on
their committee. It is the responsibility of the Graduate Office to assign faculty
examiners based on faculty availability and the number of exams in a given field.
Consideration is given to the preferences listed on student sign-up sheets.
Admission to Candidacy. Recall that the Graduate
School requires that students be admitted to candidacy prior to registration for the
fourth year of study. Students are recommended to the Graduate School for admission to
candidacy by vote of Department faculty after having completed Department requirements (1)
and (2) above, the Graduate Schools prospectus requirement, and the following
- Students must have completed two one-semester prospectus workshops (one per semester).
Prospectus workshops have the word "prospectus" in their title. There are other
workshops. If students can find no prospectus workshop corresponding to their interests,
they may substitute for this requirement other workshops. In order for workshops to count
toward the prospectus workshop requirement, students must make a presentation in each
workshop and present original work in one of them. This stipulation applies even if a
workshop is labeled as a prospectus workshop. If students can find no workshop whatsoever
in their area of interest, they may substitute an independent study guided by a faculty
member, provided the independent study leads to a dissertation prospectus that is
- Students must receive a grade of HP- or better in Economics 551 (Econometrics II) or 552
(Econometrics III). More advanced courses may be substituted for these with special
- Students must receive a grade of Satisfactory on an applied econometrics paper, which is
evaluated by the faculty advisor of the paper and another faculty member. In the paper,
the student should:
a. specify an economic model useful for the investigation of an interesting
b. select data and econometric methods appropriate to the question,
c. conduct proper statistical analysis, and
d. interpret the results in an intelligent way.
The Department's description of the Applied Econometrics Paper Requirement should answer any questions you
might have about it. It may be written in the the course Economics 556a or
independently with the help of a faculty advisor, the standards for the paper being the
same in both cases. The paper is not expected to be of publishable or nearly
publishable quality, but should demonstrate facility in the application of econometric
methods to an economic question. Note: Jointly authored papers will NOT be accepted.
- Students must complete with a grade of at least HP- a term of economic history, drawn
from a list of courses approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and economic history
- Pass an oral examination given by a committee of faculty members.
1) All economics doctoral students must give a dissertation prospectus to their
advisory committee by the second Friday in May of their third year.
2) In each academic year after the second, all economics doctoral students must
regularly attend at least two workshops. At least one of them must be an
"informal" prospectus workshop lunch or reading group, and at least one must be
a "formal" research workshop. Each student must present at least once a
year in one or other of the workshops that they regularly attend.
3) Third year students must submit an econometrics paper by February 1st.
Submitting the Dissertation. The
dissertation should make an original contribution to its field that demonstrates the
student's mastery of relevant resources and methods. Although the dissertation may
cover several related topics, it should have a unifying theme. The dissertation may
consist of several essays or one essay of sufficient scope. The dissertation is
guided by a committee of two Graduate School faculty advisors, at least one of whom must
be a member of the Economics Department, who serve also as readers. After a first
draft of the dissertation is completed, the Director of Graduate Studies appoints a third
reader. The student and the committee may recommend third readers, but the choice
remains with the Director of Graduate Studies, since the third reader serves as an
Expiration of Admission to Candidacy. Advancement
to candidacy expires ten years after the date it is granted, if no dissertation has been
submitted and approved in the intervening period.
Collaborative Work in the Dissertation. The
policy with respect to collaboration is to achieve a reasonable compromise between two
conflicting goals. While the Department wishes to encourage collaborative research
among students and between students and faculty, a dissertation should demonstrate the
student's ability to do independent research.
A substantial part of a dissertation should present work done and written solely by the
student. Specifically the dissertation should contain at least one substantial essay
written solely by the student. The dissertation committee and the Director of
Graduate Studies must approve the inclusion of collaborative work in the
dissertation. Students must acknowledge and describe any collaboration in the
preface of the dissertation.
These recommendations are NOT requirements.
Normal Sequence of Courses. During the fall
semester of the first year, students usually take Economics 500a (microeconomic theory),
510a (macroeconomic theory), 550a (econometrics I), and an economic history class which
would satisfy the economic history requirement if a grade of at least HP were
obtained. In the following spring, they usually take Economics 501b (microeconomic
theory), 511b (macroeconomic theory), 551b (econometrics II), and a fourth course in
economics or related subjects, such as probability theory, mathematics, or finance. Some
students who are well prepared in econometrics may take an advanced econometrics course
instead of Economics 550a in the fall of their first year after consulting with the DGS
and appropriate econometrics faculty. Students take the comprehensive examination in
theory in May of the spring semester of their first year. If they fail the exam, then they
take it again in the following August.
During the second year, students normally take economics courses in specialized fields,
such as industrial organization, mathematical economics, international trade, public
finance, and so on. They may also take courses related to economics from other
departments. It is a good idea to work on the econometrics paper in the fall of the second
year. It is wise to take oral examinations in the spring of the second year, though some
prefer to delay the exam until the following fall, studying for it during the summer. By
the end of the second year, students should normally have accumulated at least 14 courses
with an HP average. During the fall of the second year, students should locate a faculty
adviser, who will advise them about their studies.
The third year should normally be devoted to finding a dissertation topic and beginning
research on it. Third year students typically take one prospectus workshop or seminar each
Advisers and Dissertation Topics. An important
task of the student is to make the transition from being a taker of classes to a
participant in research. Important elements in making this transition are thinking
critically about material learned, reading widely, choosing topics that are feasible and
of interest to the student, and gaining contact with faculty. Students must take the
initiative in making such contact.
MA and M.Phil Degree Requirements; JD/MA or JDS/MA in Economics;:
The Master of Art degree is awarded upon completion of at least eight
term graduate courses listed or cross-listed in the Department of Economics. At
least six of these courses must be Ph.D. courses (not IDE courses) in the Department of
Economics. The exact list of courses must be approved by the DGS in Economics.
The average grade of all the graduate courses taken that are listed or cross-listed
in the Department of Economics must be at least a High Pass, and at least two of these
grades must be an Honors. Students must complete at least two of the three first
year two-course sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics, or econometrics for first
year graduate students.
In computing the grade average, the relevant grades are those reported to the registrar
and do not include pluses and minuses. A Fail counts as a zero, a Pass counts as a
1, a High pass counts as a 2 and an Honors counts as a 3. To say that the average
grade must be a High Pass means that the arithmetic average of these numbers must be at
Students in doctoral programs outside the Department of Economics may earn an MA in
economics under the conditions listed in the previous two paragraphs. Such students
automatically earn an MA in their own department when awarded a Ph.D., and Yale allows
students to earn only one MA degree. Therefore students must apply to have the MA in
their own department replaced by the Economics MA. This application must be made to
the DGS of Economics and to the DGS of the student's own department. Prior to
making this application, the student must have taken the first one-semester course in at
least one of the three first-year two-course sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics,
or econometrics, and obtained a grade of at least a High Pass. As part of the
application, the student must submit a proposed list of economics courses and this list
must be approved by the two DGS's and by the appropriate dean of the Graduate School.
The DGS of Economics must approve any deviation from this list, and this approval
should be obtained before taking courses not on the original list.
Students working toward a JD or JDS in the Law School may also earn a
Masters of Art degree in economics. All the rules described in the previous three
paragraphs apply to these students. In addition, students wishing to join this JD/MA
or JDS/MA in Economics program must apply for admission to the Economics Graduate
Program. Students admitted to the program pay three years tuition to the Law School
and one year tuition to the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not offer
fellowship support to JD/MA or JDS/MA candidates.
The Economics MA earned by doctoral students in the Economics or other departments is
an en route degree. The Economics MA earned by JD or JDS students in the Law School
is a terminal MA.
The Master of Philosophy degree is awarded to students in the
Economics Ph.D. program upon completion of fourteen term courses with at least two grades
of Honors. In addition, students must pass the comprehensive examinations in
economic theory and the oral examinations, and satisfy the course and paper requirements
in econometrics and the course requirement in economic history.