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Ph.D. Program in Economics and Public Policy

The Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy is aimed at producing new scholars and policy-makers to address critical issues centered on economic development, the rising demand for energy associated with economic growth , and the environmental and climate consequences of such progress. The program blends training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics with an understanding of institutional detail and political economy, giving students the tools necessary to address questions in economic development, energy and environmental policy within an interdisciplinary framework that is needed for policy effectiveness. Dissertation research under faculty guidance will further train students in the practice of independent and original scholarship.

The program includes three required, two-term core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics-econometrics. These will typically be followed by field courses in the areas of development, energy and environmental policy, and political economy. Suggested coursework and research schedules for completion of the degree are shown below.

Students entering with: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
B.A./B.S. -- Core methods courses in Econ (6)
-- 2 electives towards field requirements.
-- Completion of field requirements.
-- Qualifying exams.
-- Research paper.
-- Defend dissertation prospectus.
-- Begin thesis research.
-- Continue dissertation research. -- Complete & defend dissertation.
MALD (Fletcher)
[Assume field requirements completed]
-- Core methods courses in Econ (6)
-- 2 electives towards field requirements.
-- Qualifying exams.
-- Research paper.
-- Defend dissertation prospectus.
-- Begin thesis research.
-- Continue dissertation research. -- Complete & defend dissertation.  
M.S. (Tufts Economics)
[Assumes core methods courses completed]
-- Completion of field requirements.
-- Qualifying exams.
-- Research paper.
-- Defend dissertation prospectus.
-- Begin thesis research.
-- Continue dissertation research. -- Complete & defend dissertation.  
M.A. or M.S. (External) -- Equivalency exams in core methods.
-- Core methods as necessary.
-- Begin field courses.*
-- Completion of field requirements.
-- Qualifying exams.
-- Research paper.
-- Defend dissertation prospectus.
-- Begin thesis research.
-- Continue dissertation research. -- Complete & defend dissertation.

* Students entering with a master's degree in economics may be exempt from the core courses, in which case completion of field requirements can be accelerated into the first year.

All students will choose two fields of study from among the following areas: 1) Development Economics; 2) Energy and Environmental Policy; and 3) Comparative and International Political Economy. Each field will require three courses for completion, including a required core course. The courses taken to fulfill the field requirements must be approved by the program's Advising and Curriculum Committee, which is made up of Economics and Fletcher faculty, and chaired by a member of the program's Steering Committee. Each student's transcript will indicate his or her field of study.

Progression through the program will require that students demonstrate "Acceptable" performance. This will include earning passing grades in all courses. It will also require passing field exams in two of the three fields listed above.

Students may apply for admission to doctoral candidacy with successful completion of their coursework. Admission to such candidacy will require:

  1. Successful completion of course work, as described above.
  2. The completion of a major research paper in the second year. This paper can be based on work from a field course or done through an independent study.
  3. The successful defense of a dissertation prospectus.
  4. Commitment by a faculty member from Economics or Fletcher to serve as primary dissertation advisor.

Students who do not proceed to doctoral candidacy will receive a joint terminal master's degree in Economics and Public Policy to be granted by either Fletcher or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Graduation from the program will require that students successfully defend their thesis in a public forum and before their full thesis committee.