The Economics Ph.D.

A well-respected program preparing students for academic and professional careers through research and application.

Program Info

The Economics Ph.D. program provides students with the advanced training and knowledge necessary to pursue positions leading to careers in research and teaching at other institutions of higher learning, careers in economic analysis and forecasting, and careers in public policy analysis within local, state, or federal government.

We seek to admit, train, and graduate students who have initiative, enthusiasm, and a desire to become scholars.

The Economics Ph.D. begins approximately three weeks before the start of the fall semester Advanced Mathematical Economics (EC 600). This course is designed to review all the necessary mathematical skills and methods that students will need to be successful in the Economics Ph.D. Program

Required 1st Year Courses

Fall Semester:

  • EC 610: Microeconomic Theory
  • EC 611: Macroeconomic Theory
  • EC 670: Econometrics


Spring Semester:

  • EC 660: Game Theory
  • EC 661: Macroeconomic Theory II
  • EC 671: Seminar in Econometrics: Panel Data


After completion of the first-year course work, students are required to pass qualifying exams in macroeconomics and microeconomics. See the "Qualifying Exam" tab for more information


After passing qualifying exams, students must take six field courses and at least two supplementary courses. These courses can be taken during either their second or third year of Ph.D. study.

Students can choose from two groups of courses: Group A and Group B

Group A courses are considered tools for economic research

Depending on the research interests of the student, different tools courses and seminars should be taken. It is advised that students talk to the Economics Ph.D. Coordinator and their dissertation advisor regarding what is best for them based on their interests.


Group A EC 672 Financial Econometric Modeling
Group A EC 673 Nonparametric Econometrics
Group A EC 597* Experimental Economics
Group B EC 612 Seminar in Industrial Organization
Group B EC 616 Seminar in Monetary Economics
Group B EC 623 Public Expenditure and Policy Analysis
Group B EC 624 Political Economy
Group B EC 631 Seminar in International Finance
Group B EC 640 Theory of Risk and Insurance
Group B EC 676 Advanced Monetary Policy
Group B EC 597* Environmental Economics
Group B EC 597* Urban Economics
Group B EC 597* Behavioral Decision Theory
Group B EC 597* Other Special Topics (Ph.D. level)


Admission decisions are made by the Economics Ph.D. Admissions Committee. Factors considered include:

  • GRE scores(UA minimum 300)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Previous courses taken
  • Personal statement
  • Grades


TOEFL Statement

As per the policy of the University of Alabama Graduate School, a student whose first language is not English must submit an official score report for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). The minimum score for admission to a degree program or for nondegree admission is 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 79 on the iBT. The minimum IELTS score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 6.5. The PTE minimum score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 59. TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of intended initial enrollment at The University of Alabama. Should TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores become more than two years old prior to enrollment, the student will be required to retest and submit an acceptable score before enrolling. The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE will not be required from an applicant who fulfills the following criteria: 1) has been in residence in the United States at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, and 2) has been enrolled in coursework for two consecutive years immediately prior to enrolling at The University of Alabama or has earned a degree from that college or university within three years of enrolling at The University of Alabama. The Test of Spoken English (TSE) is recommended for international students who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships.

Admission to the Economics Ph.D. program is on a rolling basis, meaning applications can be submitted at any time.

To receive full consideration for admission in funding, please submit your application by January 15th, as decisions for funding are usually made by early February.

Qualifying Exams
As a part of the regular sequence in the Economics Ph.D. program, students are required to pass a qualifying examination, which is administered at the end of their first year of study, starting in June.

The exam is comprised of two parts: microeconomics and macroeconomics. To be eligible to continue in the Ph.D. program, a student must pass both parts of the exam. If a student has successfully passed both parts of the exam by the end of August, the student will be allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program. If students need to retake the exam, this opportunity is offered before classes start in August.

During the third year, students are expected to commence work on the dissertation. Students are expected to have identified a primary advisor by the start of the fall semester of their third year and formally begin work on their thesis.

Writing a dissertation is the final test of research skills. It requires an understanding of relevant literature and methodology, as well as the ability to think independently. Ph.D. candidates must:

  • Find an original topic
  • Plan a test of hypotheses
  • Propose this topic to their committee
  • Write and defend at a final oral examination a document acceptable to the dissertation committee and to the Graduate School.

Contact Us

robert hammond headshot

Robert Hammond

Program Director