Learning Goals and Assessment for Doctoral Program

Doctoral Program in Economics

Adopted February 2008

(revised November 2011)

Economics is recognized as a core discipline at every major research university with strong intellectual connections to all other social sciences, as well as management, business, finance, mathematics, and operations research. Students receiving the doctorate in Economics are highly skilled individuals who assume positions in a variety of academic, governmental, financial and policy related occupations. Consequently, it is the role of the doctoral program in Economics to train students at the highest level of intellectual rigor in the major sub-disciplines within our profession:  macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. The learning goals of the department, assessment of each goal, and role of the program in helping students achieve the goals are described below.

1.  Attain marked ability, scholarship, research and leadership skills in economics, with specialization in selected sub-disciplines.

This is the first phase of a process in which we seek to inculcate in our students a broad familiarity with the models and techniques of modern economic theory and its applications. In this phase, usually three to four semesters in duration, we emphasize quality instruction in core and field courses.

Assessment of student achievement of goal:     

Role of the program in helping students to achieve goal:

2.  Engage in and conduct original research

 In this phase of graduate training, students are immersed in the process of research. This process is initiated with a second year research paper and culminates with the completion of the doctoral dissertation.

Assessment of graduate student achievement of goal:

Role of the graduate program in helping students achieve goal:

3.  Prepare to be professionals in careers that require training at the highest levels in economics and selected sub-disciplines.

Upon completion of coursework and the doctoral dissertation, the department provides advice and assistance to our newly minted Ph.D.s as they enter the job market. Since economists have many more employment prospects than students in many other disciplines, it is incumbent upon the faculty to help students evaluate these different opportunities, whether in academia, government, finance or non-profit sector.

Assessment of graduate student achievement of goal:

Role of the program in helping students achieve goal:

The Department of Economics and associated committees formed from faculty members active in the graduate program regularly review the structure and content of the program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews are used to evaluate and adjust the learning goals put forth in this document in order to best fulfill the program’s goal of providing an optimized learning experience for students, leading to optimal knowledge pass-through and optimal placement upon graduation.