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Ph.D. Program in Economics and Public Policy

Program Requirements

The joint Ph.D. Program in Economics and Public Policy is a collaborative effort between Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Department of Economics. Students are full members of both the Department of Economics, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and its vibrant and interdisciplinary public policy community.

Faculty Advisor: All incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is there to help you settle into the program and answer questions. The advisor plays an important role in approving second year field courses. The advisor may or may not be part of your dissertation committee which is only formed in the third year.

First Year Coursework: The first year of coursework is completed in the economics department. All students are required to take a two semester sequence in micro theory, a two semester sequence in macro theory, statistics and econometrics. In addition, students are required to enroll in a yearlong research seminar class which includes mandatory seminar attendance and written assignments.

Second Year Coursework: In the second year of the program, students declare a field among the following: development, environmental or political economy. Students are required to take two advanced courses in their chosen field. These courses must be approved by the students’ advisor. Students are also required to enroll in the yearlong second year paper course designed to give students a head start on the research process. The fourth course is an elective chosen by the student in consultation with the students advisor.

Field Exams: At the end of the second year, students are required to pass a field exam. The timing of this exam is jointly determined between the Professor(s) administering the exam and the students taking the exam. It may be taken as early as June or as late as September of the students’ third academic year.

Doctoral Candidacy: Students may apply for admission to doctoral candidacy upon successful completion of the following:

  1. Course work as described above;
  2. A major research paper in the second year;
  3. Defense of a dissertation prospectus, and;
  4. Commitment by a faculty member from Economics or Fletcher to serve as primary dissertation advisor.

Graduation from the program requires that students successfully defend their thesis in a public forum and before their full thesis committee. 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 the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.