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College of Business

PhD in Economics

University of Wyoming's Economic and Finance PhD degree The PhD in Economics program is designed to equip the student for professional research in university, government, or industry positions. Applicants to the program must complete, or have previously completed, course work that satisfies the PhD prerequisite courses listed on the Graduate Admissions webpage.

During the first year, a foundation in economic theory and the basic quantitative and mathematical tools necessary for professional research is given. Students take a Micro Theory sequence (ECON 5020 and ECON 5120) and an Econometrics sequence (ECON 5350 and ECON 5360), as well as courses in Mathematical Economics (ECON 5330) and Economic Dynamics (ECON 5130).

To progress to the second year, students must earn a B+ grade or higher in all of these courses. If they fail to do so in a Micro Theory course (including Mathematical Economics and Economic Dynamics), they must pass a Micro Theory comprehensive exam instead. Similarly, if they fail to earn a B+ grade or higher in an Econometrics course, they must pass an Econometrics comprehensive exam. Both exams are given at the end of the summer following the first year.

After the first year, all PhD students take a core sequence of one Macroeconomics (ECON 5010) course and two courses in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.* Additionally, they choose five electives from a menu that varies from semester to semester and is put together with student input. The electives reflect our faculty’s research in areas additional to Environmental and Resource Economics, such as Development Economics, Energy Economics, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Industrial Organization, and International Trade. For a complete list of the program’s courses, click here. One of the electives may (but need not) be taken outside of the department, for example in Statistics, Mathematics, the Haub School of ENR, or the Energy Management MBA Program.

The PhD program’s qualifying examination takes the form of a research paper requirement. Students must complete a paper by the end of the summer following their second year, and present that paper to their committee. If the paper and presentation are judged adequate, the student is awarded a Master’s degree in Economics and continues in the PhD program. Otherwise, the student is given one chance to revise and resubmit their paper, by December of their third year. If the revision is still judged inadequate, the student fails out of the PhD program, but may (depending on the quality of the revision) still be awarded a Master’s degree.

During the third year of the PhD program, the student is expected to complete course work and prepare a dissertation proposal. The dissertation committee gives an oral examination based on this proposal, which constitutes the preliminary exam for degree candidacy. We expect students to have received committee approval of their dissertation proposal before entering their fourth year.

During the third year and beyond, the majority of time is devoted to dissertation research. The student will usually also be asked to teach at least one undergraduate course and to assist in faculty research projects. Following successful completion of the dissertation, students present an oral defense to their committee. A favorable report from the committee completes the requirements for the doctor of philosophy degree.

For more information please email Kristin Lewis, our department's Graduate Coordinator.

*In rare cases, the Environmental and Resouce Economics requirement may be waived and two other graduate-level courses substituted.

Sample Program - PhD in Economics

Year 1
Fall Semester Spring Semester
ECON 5020 Microeconomic Analysis I ECON 5120 Microeconomic Analysis II
ECON 5330 Mathematical Economics ECON 5130 Dynamics
ECON 5350 Econometrics I ECON 5360 Econometrics II
ECON 5890 Frontiers of Economics - Bugas Lectures ECON 5890 Frontiers of Economics - Bugas Lectures
Year 2
Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer
ECON 5400 Environmental and Resource Economics I ECON 5410 Environmental and Resource Economics II 2nd-Year Paper
ECON 5010 Macroeconomic Analysis I Grad Elective
Grad Elective Grad Elective
Year 3
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Grad Elective Dissertation Research (9 credits)
Grad Elective Dissertation Proposal Defense
Dissertation Research (3 credits)
Year 4
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Dissertation Research (9 credits) Dissertation Research (9 credits)
Dissertation Defense
Contact Us

Department of Economics

College of Business Department 3985

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-2175

Fax: 307-766-4028


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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