Economics, Ph.D.

Economics

Earn your Ph.D. in Economics and gain global studies, high-demand skills for academia, policy, research, and consulting.

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Economics, Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Economics is offered by the Jones College of Business at MTSU. The mission of the graduate program in economics is to provide students with advanced studies in economic theory and research methodology. The department's approach to these degree programs is global, interactive, and innovative.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Economics requires completion of 64-105 semester hours, including a minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework and 13 hours of dissertation research. Students entering with a master's degree in economics may have up to 12 hours applied toward the 51 hours of formal coursework. Students must demonstrate competency in economic theory by passing the Qualifying Examination in microeconomics and econometrics at the end of the first year of study. An economics PhD is one of the most attractive graduate programs: if you get through, you have a high chance of landing an impactful research job in academia or policy. Academic economics is one of the best ways of conducting and promoting global priorities research. You have back-up options in the corporate sector since the skills you learn are in demand. You should especially consider an economics Ph.D. if you want to go into research roles, are good at math (i.e. quant GRE score above 165), and have a proven interest in economics research. With a Ph.D. in economics, you can choose to become a college professor or work at the Federal Reserve, international agencies, consulting firms, private banks, or other for-profit ventures. Economists are in high demand for more than just their economic knowledge. Their training in strategic thinking, analysis of complex data, and other skills enhanced by their economic training are in need in many organizations and governments. There are many career fields that they can pursue, including:

  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Educator
  • Economist

Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information
Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information

News Briefs

Professors prepared and cared

Professors prepared and cared

Both Brandeanna (Allen) Sanders and Alan Seals studied economics at MTSU. Graduating with both an M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008), Seals took a position with Auburn University as an assistant professor. "The best aspect of MTSU's Ph.D. program is the faculty who run it," he says. "While in graduate school, I was able to work closely with people who cared about my professional success and growth as a scholar. It was a great experience. "After graduating with both an M.A. (2008) and a Ph.D. (2010), Sanders went to work as an economist with the U.S. Department of Defense. Her background in labor economics proved to be very useful in that important position. "I use techniques that I learned at MTSU to analyze the impact of policies that affect pay and benefits on the recruiting and retention decisions of the armed forces. I also found the seminar series [at MTSU] to be great preparation for presentations to senior leadership in my department."

His professors were great people, too

His professors were great people, too

John Nunley is a Blue Raider through and through, earning his B.S. (2004), M.A. (2005), and Ph.D. (2008) degrees in economics at MTSU. Today, he conducts research and teaches economics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Regarding MTSU's Ph.D. program, he says its greatest asset is the outstanding faculty. "After interacting with economists from all over the world and hearing about their experiences in graduate school, it is apparent to me that the training I received at MTSU was superior in many ways. In my view, the key advantage of MTSU's Ph.D. program is the willingness of the faculty to work closely with students, their quality advice, their commitment to developing quality researchers and teachers, and the many hours they spend reading your papers and thinking about your research. The faculty are great economists and mentors. But perhaps more importantly, they are great people, and it was a pleasure for me to study under them."

News Briefs

Professors prepared and cared

Both Brandeanna (Allen) Sanders and Alan Seals studied economics at MTSU. Graduating with both an M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008), Seals took a position with Auburn University as an assistant professor. "The best aspect of MTSU's Ph.D. program is the faculty who run it," he says. "While in graduate school, I was able to work closely with people who cared about my professional success and growth as a scholar. It was a great experience. "After graduating with both an M.A. (2008) and a Ph.D. (2010), Sanders went to work as an economist with the U.S. Department of Defense. Her background in labor economics proved to be very useful in that important position. "I use techniques that I learned at MTSU to analyze the impact of policies that affect pay and benefits on the recruiting and retention decisions of the armed forces. I also found the seminar series [at MTSU] to be great preparation for presentations to senior leadership in my department."

His professors were great people, too

John Nunley is a Blue Raider through and through, earning his B.S. (2004), M.A. (2005), and Ph.D. (2008) degrees in economics at MTSU. Today, he conducts research and teaches economics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Regarding MTSU's Ph.D. program, he says its greatest asset is the outstanding faculty. "After interacting with economists from all over the world and hearing about their experiences in graduate school, it is apparent to me that the training I received at MTSU was superior in many ways. In my view, the key advantage of MTSU's Ph.D. program is the willingness of the faculty to work closely with students, their quality advice, their commitment to developing quality researchers and teachers, and the many hours they spend reading your papers and thinking about your research. The faculty are great economists and mentors. But perhaps more importantly, they are great people, and it was a pleasure for me to study under them."

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CAREERS

Many MTSU economics graduates land good jobs thanks to open doors provided by faculty and their outreach to economics alumni. An aspect of training in the graduate program is grooming students for the job search and job interview to help with landing a job that suits the person's interest and skill set. Career opportunities for Ph.D. economics graduates can be found in areas such as

  • Banking
  • Consulting
  • Government
  • Higher education
  • Insurance
  • Law
  • Manufacturing
  • Private business
  • Public service
  • Real estate
  • Risk management

Employers of MTSU Economics Ph.D. graduates include

  • Auburn University
  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Belmont University
  • Black Hills State University
  • FedEx
  • Marshall University
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • New York City Department of Finance
  • Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University
  • Regional Economics Models, Inc.
  • Tennessee City/State Government
  • Tennessee Department of Revenue
  • Tennessee Education Association
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College
  • Transylvania University
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • West Virginia University
  • Westminster International University at Taschkent
  • Wittenberg University

REQUIREMENTS

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FACULTY

INFORMATION

Faculty and staff continue to carry out a multi-pronged recruiting strategy to target top students. Periodically, information packets containing a poster, program brochures, the program's curriculum, graduation requirements, and application forms are distributed to every undergraduate department of economics in the nation. At various intervals each year, the department contacts all Ph.D. alumni and invites them to provide the names of potential students for the program. Every fall, the graduate director and several current graduate students hold a question-and-answer session sponsored by the undergraduate Economics Club to discuss graduate study in economics. Faculty work with students to prepare them for the job market, and efforts are made to reach out to alumni to help build a network of potential employers for MTSU graduates.

 

Funding

A limited number of Ph.D. Fellowships are available through graduate assistantships offered through the Department of Economics and Finance and, with a separate application, the Political Economy Research Institute Fellowship Program.

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