Qualifier and Field Examinations (First and Second Year)
Both the microeconomics and macroeconomics qualifiers are offered twice per year in summer, usually in June and August. Each qualifier is four hours long and graded as Ph.D. Pass, M.A. Pass, or Fail. Field exams are offered twice in the same examination period as qualifiers. Students should take qualifiers and field exams as soon as they have completed relevant course work.
Mentor Program and Research Papers (Third Year)
After passing two field exams, students in the third year are matched with faculty mentors who guide them to potential dissertation research ideas. A mentor's primary task is to facilitate a mentee’s development as an academic researcher. Starting in the third year, a student is required to give at least one research workshop per year to obtain feedback from graduate students and faculty members.
Candidacy Examination and Final Defense (Fourth and Fifth Year)
Once the student progresses sufficiently in preliminary research on a dissertation topic, the student and mentor (or research advisor) establish a provisional committee that guides the student's research towards a formal dissertation proposal and the candidacy examination. The candidacy examination evaluates the validity and scope of the dissertation proposal, and serves as a forum for critique and guidance towards the successful completion of dissertation research. Before the dissertation committee signs the thesis, the student must successfully defend the dissertation research in the final oral examination. The final oral exam committee may suggest and request changes in the written text of the student’s dissertation.