2010 - 2011 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Economics, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: May 31

Spring: November 1

Although students are admitted in both the Fall and Spring semesters, applicants without previous graduate coursework in Economics are advised to apply for the Fall. Students seeking Spring admission should contact the Director of the Graduate Program in Economics to determine whether they have the appropriate background.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Details on appropriate background are available from the department upon request.

Master's Degree in the Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in the Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required. Details on appropriate disciplines are available from the department.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Successful applicants typically score in the 65th to 99th percentile on the quantitative section and in the 50th to 99th percentile on the verbal section.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.

Transfer Credit:

A grade of "B" or better must have been earned in a course in a peer graduate program in order for the credit to transfer. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 42

Required Courses:

Core Courses (24 credits):

ECON 8001:  Microeconomic Analysis

ECON 8002:  Macroeconomic Analysis

ECON 8003:  Mathematics for Economists I

ECON 8005:  Microeconomic Theory I

ECON 8007:  Macroeconomic Theory I

ECON 8009:  Econometrics I

ECON 8106:  Microeconomic Theory II

ECON 8108:  Macroeconomic Theory II

Four specialization or elective courses (12 credits)

Dissertation research (6 credits)

With the permission of the Graduate Director, the student with an advanced Economics background can waive one or both introductory Economics courses (ECON 8001: Microeconomic Analysis and ECON 8002: Macroeconomic Analysis). The student with an advanced  background in Mathematics can waive the introductory ECON 8003: Mathematics for Economists I.

Upon finishing coursework, the student enters the research stage, which involves studying Economic literature and models, preparing a dissertation proposal, and writing a dissertation. This process is structured and monitored by the use of ECON 9994: Field Exam/Dissertation Proposal Research, ECON 9998: Dissertation Proposal Research, and ECON 9999: Doctoral Thesis Research.  ECON 9994 is designed for students who have finished all coursework and passed the theory prelims. Along with preparing for the field exams, they must choose a topic and start researching their dissertation proposal. ECON 9998 is designed for students who have passed all theory and field qualifying exams. The students are expected to complete their dissertation proposal and submit it to the Graduate Affairs Committee for consideration. ECON 9999 is designed for students who have an accepted dissertation proposal. Their research should be divided into several stages, each leading to a successful dissertation defense.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examinations:

The purpose of the preliminary examinations is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge of current research. There are two theory exams, one each in microeconomics and in macroeconomics, and two field exams.  The theory exams must be passed by the end of the second year, while the field exams must be completed within three semesters of passing the last theory exam.

The subject areas of the field exams are chosen by the student, in consultation with the Graduate Director. To prepare for a field exam, the student must take one or two courses in the subject area. The number of required courses is specified by the Field Examination Committee.  If a required course is not offered, it can be substituted by ECON 9182: Independent Study or ECON 9183: Directed Study. Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations should confirm a time and date with their departmental advisor.

Members of the Economics Department write the questions for the preliminary examinations. The student must answer every question on the examination in order to be evaluated. The Department Committee evaluates the examination. The evaluators look for a breadth and depth of understanding of specific research areas; a critical application of that knowledge to specific phenomena; and an ability to write technical prose. Each member votes to pass or fail the student. In order to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the exam has been satisfactorily completed.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal should consist of the following: (a) the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; (b) an exhaustive survey and review of literature related to the problem; and (c) a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem. The proposal should be completed and approved no more than one year after passing the last field exam. Upon approval, a timeline for completing the investigation and the writing process is established.


The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field. It should expand the existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's knowledge of both research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. Dissertations should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standard of the field; demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader discipline of Economics; and be prepared for publication in an academic journal.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the department. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

If any member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee decides to withdraw from the committee, the student shall notify the Chair of the committee and the director of the Ph.D. program. The student is responsible for finding a replacement, in consultation with the Chair. Inability to find a replacement shall constitute evidence that the student is unable to complete the dissertation. In such a case, the student may petition the director of the Ph.D. program for a review. Once a review of the facts and circumstances is completed, the director rules on the student's progress. If the director rules that the student is incapable of completing the dissertation, s/he is dismissed from the program. This decision may be appealed to the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and, if necessary, to the Graduate School.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional faculty member from outside the department. It examines the student's ability to express verbally her/his research topic, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Students preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary arranges the time, date, and room within two working days, and forwards the appropriate forms to the student. The student then sends a completed Announcement of Dissertation Defense form at least 10 days before the defense to the Graduate School. The Economics Department posts an announcement of the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Economics

Ritter Hall Annex, 8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Belinda Wilson, Department Administrator



Janice Vincent, Department Coordinator


Linda Wyatt, Graduate Coordinator


Graduate Director:

Dr. Fyodor Kushnirsky (until January 15, 2011)

Dr. Michael Leeds (after January 15, 2011)




Dr. Michael Bognanno


About the Program

The Ph.D. in Economics is designed to prepare the student for university teaching and research as well as for positions as economists in government, business, and industry. The program emphasizes the development of advanced research and scholarship skills in applied economics areas, including applied econometrics, economic development, financial economics, industrial organization, international economics, and labor economics. The program has a strong track record of placing its graduates in desirable positions.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered after 5:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Economics

Ritter Hall Annex, 8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Interdisciplinary tracks may be established with other departments.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.



Areas of Specialization:

The Economics faculty focus their research in the following major areas: applied econometrics, development economics, financial economics, industrial organization, international economics, and labor economics.

Job Placement:

The program is dedicated to producing well-trained researchers to work in academic positions and research-oriented jobs in companies, think tanks, government, and other institutions.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are permitted to take doctoral courses when granted an exception. Students may enroll in up to 9 credits with the permission of the Economics Graduate Director. Minimum undergraduate GPA requirements apply.

Financing Opportunities

The Economics Department has a limited number of Ph.D. assistantships that are awarded to exceptionally good candidates on a competitive basis. The assistantship requires 20 hours of service per week, which can include teaching and/or supervised research.  An assistantship provides a stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance.

Updated 11.5.10