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PhD in Economics

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  • Entry requirements
    Admission is based primarily on four factors:

    1. Mathematical ability and training as evidenced by courses taken in mathematics and related subjects, grades in those courses, and the quantitative GRE score.

    2. General academic ability as evidenced by the applicant's academic record, including both grades and the difficulty of courses taken.

    3. Training in economics as evidenced by the applicant's academic record in economics and related fields, letters of recommendation, and work experience related to economics.

    4. Evidence of motivation and aptitude for research judged primarily on the basis of the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, work experience in economics, and previous research projects.

    In past years most candidates recommended for admission have met the following criteria:

    * GPA of 3.8 or higher with consideration for the degree of difficulty of the course work.

    * Upper level mathematical course work including real analysis or honors advanced calculus with grades of A- minus or better.

    * Quantitative GRE score of 780 or higher.

    * Grades of A-minus or better in intermediate level theory courses (microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics) with a strong preference for honors or mathematical track versions of all three courses.

    * Advanced undergraduate or graduate-level course work in economics.

    * Proven independent research ability (e.g., honors thesis).

    * If applicable, TOEFL score of 600 on the paper test or 270 on the computer-based test.

    * Very strong letters of recommendations from at least two faculty members who know the candidate in both classroom and out-of-class settings (e.g. independent research).

    * Statement of purpose that expresses coherent ideas about why the candidate is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in economics and describes likely areas of research interest.
  • Course description
    P.h.D in Economics

    The Ph.D. program at Berkeley is designed for students interested in pursuing advanced study and conducting original research in economics. The Ph.D. degree is awarded in recognition of the recipient.s qualifications as a general economist and of the ability to make scholarly contributions in fields of specialization.
    In advancing to the Ph.D. degree, a student passes through two major stages:

       1. Preparation for candidacy typically takes two to three years. During the first two semesters, students take courses to achieve competence in econometric methods, in methods of economic history and in fundamentals of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. During the next two years, students prepare for examination in two fields of specialization of their choosing, prepare a dissertation prospectus, and take an oral examination. When these steps are completed, students are advanced to candidacy.
       2. Completion of a dissertation after advancing to candidacy typically takes one to two years. The dissertation must be based on original research and represent a significant contribution to the body of Economic knowledge.

    The entire process takes approximately five years, although some students are able to complete the program in less time. Below is an overview of the program requirements by year and other pertinent information.

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