Ph.D/Master of Arts in Economics

Ph.D/Master of Arts in Economics Overview

The College offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with specializations in health economics, international economics, monetary economics, public economics, regional and urban economics, and resource economics. Our program is built around an applied curriculum with a strong theoretical and quantitative foundation. We involve our students in research projects early, so that by the time they complete the Ph.D. many have one or more research articles accepted in academic journals.

Highly individualized program

Our student body is diverse, representing many different countries and viewpoints. Typically, 30 to 35 students are registered for formal course work, and 10 to 15 more are in residence finishing their dissertations. From the start, each doctoral student is assigned a faculty member to serve as research mentor and a senior doctoral student "buddy" to facilitate transition into the program. Small classes and an "open-door" policy allow students plenty of opportunity to discuss ideas with faculty.

Placement record

The Ph.D. degree in economics presents a wide variety of job opportunities--in academia, in government, in international organizations, and in the corporate sector. Most commonly, our graduates look for initial employment in academia. To help placement in the academic field, each doctoral student is offered full responsibility for teaching undergraduate classes. This preparation, together with their success in publishing research articles, has made our graduates extremely competitive in the job market. For a history of the program's placements, click here.

The M.A. program

We also offer a flexible Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program. We do not separately admit students for the M.A. program. It is part of our Ph.D. program and intended to be a degree obtained on the way to the Ph.D. Usually students are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program even if they do not have a prior master's degree. In a few cases, the M.A. program is appropriate and available as a terminal degree option for students who initially enrolled seeking the Ph.D.

Strong Links to Related Programs and Centers at WVU

The Department of Economics has built strong links to many other units on campus that contribute to the education of our students and enhance the opportunities for basic, applied, and interdisciplinary research.  The most beneficial and commonly used links include those with the Regional Research Institute, the Center for Free Enterprise, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the Department of Finance, the Division of Resource Management, and the Department of Geology and Geography. The Regional Research Institute, Center for Free Enterprise, and Bureau of Business and Economic Research all offer funded research assistantship opportunities for selected students.