College of Social Sciences


The Ph.D. program prepares the student for academic and other professional careers by training students to do advanced research in economics. Extensive training in the core areas of economics is essential to professional development.

Core Courses

There are nine core courses (27 semester hours) in the doctoral curriculum; two each in micro and macro theory, three in econometric methods, one in mathematical economics, and one in history of economic thought. A typical schedule for the first academic year is provided below. Students with prior graduate work may, with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, choose to follow a course schedule different from the one suggested.


ECO 5405 Mathematical Economics
ECO 5115 Microeconomic Theory I
ECO 5204 Macroeconomic Theory I
ECO 5416 Econometrics I


ECO 5116 Microeconomic Theory II
ECO 5207 Macroeconomic Theory II
ECO 5423 Econometrics II


 ECO 5427 Econometrics Field Course
 ECO 5305 History of Economic Thought

Core Examinations

Following completion of the first two core courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics, students are expected to demonstrate their competence by passing doctoral core examinations. These exams are offered in May, with an opportunity to retake the exam in August. See the Guide to Graduate Studies in Economics for details.

Fields of Specialization

The Department regularly offers many fields of specialization. These include: Applied Econometrics, Experimental Economics, Financial and Monetary Economics, Labor Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics and Development, Law and Economics, Population Economics, Public Economics, and Urban Economics. Other fields may be offered if sufficient interest exists. Students must select at least two fields of specialization. One of the field areas, but not both, may be drawn from outside the Department, subject to the prior approval of the Graduate Committee and the host department.

Elective Courses

A Ph.D. student must complete at least 54 semester hours of graduate-level coursework. The ten courses in the core account for 27 hours while field courses generally account for another 12. The remaining hours are elective. To apply to the 54 hours, an elective course must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in advance. No more than six hours of Directed Individual Study (DIS) or Graduate tutorial course work may count toward the 54 hour requirement.

Supervised research and teaching (ECO 5914 and 5940) do not contribute to the required 54 semester hours. Likewise, dissertation credits (ECO 6980) and preliminary preparation hours (ECO 6960) do not count toward satisfying this requirement. However, graduate hours earned at FSU or elsewhere leading to the Master's degree in economics and/or accepted graduate-level transfer credits may be applied to the 54-hour course work minimum for the Ph.D., with prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Dissertation

An individual must complete at least 24 semester hours of dissertation credit (ECO 6980) although the total number of credits carried should be commensurate with the time a student and the faculty devote to the project. At least one year of full-time work is customarily spent on the dissertation, hence a student should expect to enroll for a total of 30 or more dissertation hours. This standard complies with University guidelines. Registration for dissertation credit cannot occur until the student is admitted to candidacy, having passed both core exams and successfully defended a dissertation prospectus. All dissertation hours must be approved in advance by the Director of Graduate Studies; hours that have not been approved will not be counted in calculating total dissertation credits.


According to University rules, a Ph.D. student must maintain residency by registering for a total of 24 credit hours in any period of twelve consecutive months. Undergraduate courses and courses such as supervised research which carry credit hours but which do not apply to the Ph.D. hours requirement can be used to satisfy residency. Summer courses can be counted as well. The student, however, cannot begin to fulfill residency until completing 30 hours of graduate work or receiving a Master's degree. Dissertation credits provide the most convenient way to earn residency, especially for students holding assistantships.

Normal Progress

A student is considered to be making normal progress if the core examinations are completed by August of the first academic year, field courses are completed by the end of the second, a satisfactory GPA is maintained, and the prospectus is defended by January of the third year. In accordance with University regulations, each graduate student in the Ph.D. program must cooperate in a written evaluation of progress annually, late in the Spring term. Two "unsatisfactory" progress evaluations will result in the student’s being terminated from the program.

Time Limit

All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five calendar years of admission to candidacy. Failure to meet this deadline means that the core exams must be retaken and passed for a student to continue in the program.

Student Guide

The information on this page provides a brief summary of our program. The complete set of regulations that govern the program is provided by the Guide to Graduate Studies in Economics.