The Doctor of Philosophy program in economics requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. The program provides rigorous training in economic theory, econometrics, and applied economics. It has six components: a coordinated sequence of core courses, a qualifying examination, a research paper, a set of major field courses, a dissertation proposal and comprehensive examination, and a dissertation.

The department partners with the College of Law to offer a combined J.D./Ph.D. degree program; see Combined Programs in this section of the Catalog. It also participates in the M.B.A. program; see the Master of Business Administration Program in the Catalog.

Requirements for the Ph.D. program are as follows.

Core Sequence

First Semester
ECON:5005Real Analysis for Economics2
ECON:5015Dynamic Programming2
ECON:5115Fundamentals of Microeconomics3
ECON:5135General Equilibrium2
ECON:5215Fundamentals of Macroeconomics I2
ECON:5225Fundamentals of Macroeconomics II2
ECON:5805Statistics for Economics3
Second Semester
ECON:5125Game Theory2
ECON:5145Information Economics2
ECON:5235Fiscal Policy and Insurance in Macroeconomics2
ECON:5245Monetary Economics and Search Theory2
ECON:5815Theoretical Econometrics I2
ECON:5825Theoretical Econometrics II2
Third Semester
ECON:5855Applied Econometrics I2
ECON:5865Applied Econometrics II2

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is normally taken the summer after the first year.

Research Paper

The research paper is normally completed the summer after the second year.

Major Field Courses

Each student chooses a major study area in addition to the core courses. The requirement for the major area is a minimum of 24 s.h. of intensive study in a field and in courses that enable students to understand the relationship between their specialty and related fields.

Dissertation Proposal and Comprehensive Examination

Students must defend a dissertation proposal in a comprehensive examination within one year of completing the research paper requirement.


Submission of the completed dissertation and an oral defense of the dissertation research completes the Ph.D. program.


The Department of Economics and the College of Law offer a combined Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy program. Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program. For information about the J.D., see Juris Doctor (College of Law) in the Catalog.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test and have their scores sent to the University. Those whose first language is not English and who do not hold a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited college or university in the United States must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and have their scores sent to the University.

Applicants must submit a completed Application for Graduate Admission, official transcripts from all institutions they have attended, and all official test scores to the University of Iowa Office of Admissions.

Application deadline for admission and financial support is January 15 for fall entry.

Over 90 percent of students reported that they found permanent employment, were accepted to graduate school, or were not seeking employment within six months of graduation.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs; for more information about careers in economics, visit the Pomerantz Career Center website.