360 Huntington Avenue
301 Lake Hall
Boston, MA 02115-5000
1. COMPLETE THE REQUIRED COURSEWORK
For students who enter with a bachelor's degree, this requires completing all core courses (ECON 5105, ECON 5110, ECON 5120, ECO 5140, ECON 7710, ECON 7720, and ECO 7740), completing the two required courses in your chosen field, and completing at least three elective courses. For students who enter with a master's degree in economics, this normally implies completing the Ph.D. level core courses (ECON 7710, ECON 7720, and ECO 7740), completing the two required courses in your chosen field, and completing at least one elective course. Your overall grade point average must be at least 3.0, with at least a B grade in all core and field courses.
2. PASS THE MICROECONOMICS AND MACROECONOMICS QUALIFYING EXAMS
These exams are normally offered twice a year. You are given a maximum of two attempts to pass each exam. Once you have completed Macro II you must sit for the macro exam at the next offering. Likewise, once you have completed Micro II you must sit for the micro exam at the next offering. Failure to do so without prior consent of the Graduate Coordinator will result in an automatic fail.
3. PARTICIPATE IN THE "PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IN APPLIED ECONOMICS PROGRAM" AND PASS THE FIELD COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
The practical experience program will be offered in the spring term every other year. Students who have completed their field courses should participate in the program at its next offering. The comprehensive exam is offered twice a year, in January and May. It includes questions from the field you have chosen to concentrate in as well as questions on econometrics methodology. You are given a maximum of two attempts to pass this exam. Once you have completed your second field course, you must sit for the field exam at the next offering. Failure to do so without prior consent of the Graduate Coordinator will result in an automatic fail. After you have completed the required coursework and passed the field comprehensive exam, you will become certified as a doctoral degree candidate (ABD). A degree candidate has a maximum of five years to complete an acceptable doctoral dissertation.
4. ATTEND FIELD LUNCHES
Read the department's Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. Each Ph.D. field will schedule (approx. weekly) brown bag lunch meetings each semester. Those who have passed the field exam are required to attend. All doctoral candidates will be expected to present their research at various stages of writing their dissertation.
5. FORM A DISSERTATION COMMITTEE AND PREPARE AND PRESENT A DISSERTATION PROPOSAL
The department expects that a doctoral candidate's dissertation committee should be formed and the dissertation proposal presented within six months of reaching degree candidacy. Your committee should consist of a principal advisor, and a minimum of two other members. Your principal advisor must be a member of the economics department who holds a Ph.D. degree. Not all committee members have to be members of the economics department, but should be qualified for the field you plan to write in. One committee member can be from outside the department. The composition of your committee must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator and Chair using the Dissertation Status Form. When completed, this form will be placed in your file in the Student Services office. You will be required to update this form with the appropriate information at each following stages of the dissertation process, including your proposal defense and dissertation defense. When your committee has agreed on your proposal topic, you must present and defend it at an open seminar.
6. COMPLETE AND DEFEND THE DISSERTATION
This entails working with your principal advisor and other committee members until you have completed your dissertation. It also entails presenting the final version of your dissertation to your committee at an open seminar. Complete and bring to your defense the Graduate School Dissertation Approval Record. Obtain the necessary signatures when your committee has given final approval to your dissertation. Please also read carefully the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences webpage that contains important information about thesis guidelines, commencement, and associated deadlines.