The major requirements for the Ph.D. degree consist of passing the qualifying examination and writing an acceptable dissertation. Other requirements include computer competency, specific courses, credit hours, grade point average, and residence. All of these are briefly described below.
Every student must pass a written qualifying examination in Micro and Macro Economic Theory at the end of their first year of study. This 8 hour exam will take place over 2 days in May, with a second attempt being offered in July. Students who do not pass this exam on either attempt will not be allowed to continue in the program. Only students that maintain a GPA of 3.0 in the first year required courses are allowed to take the qualifying exam.
Two fields are required. Each field involves at least 6 hours of 7000 level course work in a specified area and must be completed with at least a B in each course. Pre-prospectus Workshop (ECO 7304) or Introduction to Applied Econometric Methods (ECO 6375) can be used, with the prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, to count toward three hours of one six-hour field requirement.
Third Year Research Paper
By the end of third year, all students must complete a research paper that has to be approved by their faculty advisor, present the research paper at a symposium, and have it evaluated by the faculty.
The student must pass the qualifying examination and must complete the field requirements before beginning work on the dissertation. Once these requirements are completed, work on the dissertation proceeds in two stages. In the first stage, the student prepares a dissertation prospectus which, upon completion, is presented before a faculty committee. In the second stage, after the prospectus is approved, the student proceeds to work formally on the dissertation. When the dissertation is completed, the student must defend it at a final oral examination.
Every Ph.D. student must satisfactorily complete 8 required courses: Introduction to Quantitative Economics (ECO 6371), two microeconomics courses (ECO 6384, and 6385), two macroeconomics courses (ECO 6394, and 6395), and three econometrics courses (ECO 6372, 6374, and 6375).
In addition to required credit courses, students must attend a pre-prospectus workshop and departmental seminars.
Every Ph.D. student must earn 48 semester credit hours in economics in an approved program of study. Up to 24 semester credit hours of graduate course work may be transferred from another institution upon approval by the department and by the Office of the Graduate Dean. The 48 hour requirement excludes ECO 8000- Dissertation Research, ECO 7304-Prospectus Workshop and ECO 7275-Econometrics Workshop.
Grade Point Average
Each student is expected to maintain at least a cumulative B (3.0) average over all courses taken in the program.
Every Ph.D. candidate must be in residence at SMU for at least one academic year.
The required course work must be passed and the field requirements must be completed within five years from the date on which the student entered the graduate program.
Up to five years are allowed for completion of the dissertation from the date on which the student completes the qualifying examinations.