Prospective Students

Our graduate program is a five-year Ph.D. program with no separate admissions for a terminal M.A. degree.  Students obtain an M.A. in Economics en route to their Ph.D.[1]  We also offer a Graduate Minor in Economics for OSU students enrolled in non-economics graduate programs at OSU.

Application and Admission

Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in economics, but some substantive preparation in economics, covering intermediate micro and macroeconomic theory and elementary econometrics, is highly desirable.   We recommend that a prospective graduate student learn as much undergraduate mathematics as possible with emphasis on calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics.  We also offer an intensive mathematics camp prior to the start of Autumn Semester.  We recommend that prospective graduate students remedy deficiencies in the core background areas in economics and mathematics prior to entering our program.

All applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, all previous academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a brief autobiography, including a statement of purpose. In addition, OSU requires foreign applicants to score at least 550 written or 213 computer based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). To be considered for any fellowship or assistantship, applications must reach us no later than November 30 for foreign and U.S. applicants. The scope of our fellowships and assistantships is explained later in the section on Departmental Support. Also, please see the separate web page for application information.”

Ph. D. Program Outline

The first year of graduate study gives a thorough treatment of the fundamentals of micro and macroeconomics, and econometrics.  The course work in micro and macroeconomic theory provides the basis for the qualifying examinations (qualifiers) taken at the end of the first year.  (Many students also qualify for the M.A. in Economics at the end of the first year).  The second year of study prepares students for field specialization.  Students are required to pass two field examinations at the end of their second year.  Field courses allow students to review the relevant literature and examine current research.  Students are urged to find research topics while they take courses.  During the third year, students develop a dissertation topic by way of completing third-year research papers, which will be judged by students’ provisional candidacy exam committee chaired by the student’s mentor.  A fourth year student should write a formal dissertation proposal, attain the Ph.D. candidacy status by passing the candidacy examination, and strive to make substantial progress in dissertation research.  The fifth year is devoted to the completion of dissertation research and an entry into the new Ph.D. placement market.



M.A. in Economics:  Students obtain an M.A. in Economics after successfully completing 45 credit hours of courses that comprise the core of the first year graduate curriculum, and by achieving M.A. Pass on both the micro and macro qualifier exams.  Our M.A. degree is open not only to our Ph.D. students but also to students in any Ph.D. program at OSU.