Degree Requirements, Economics
Graduate handbook information is updated and maintained by each program. Graduate handbooks are available within each program's office and online at https://utexas.box.com/v/UTAustinGraduateHandbooks. Please contact the program with concerns or questions.
Master of Arts
The Master of Arts Option III degree program is designed for students pursuing a terminal master's degree in economics with 10-month, 18-month, and 24-month tracks. The degree is offered on a coursework-only basis; i.e. it is not offered with a thesis option or a report option. Students are required to take a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, including a foundational sequence of courses in economic theory and econometrics. All courses required for program completion are offered in accordance with University policies that govern non-formula-funded (Option III) programs and are delivered in a face-to-face format with the option for a hybrid online format in limited circumstances. Course requirements and details of hybrid online coursework are described in depth in the Department’s MA Program Handbook. This degree is a STEM Designated Degree Program, as identified by the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension. Applicants admitted to the program must submit a nonrefundable pre-enrollment tuition fee to secure enrollment in the program.
Master of Science in Economics
The Master of Science in Economics (MSEcon) degree is designed for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy in Economics. To complete the degree, students must complete at least 39 hours* of coursework. First, students must complete a foundational sequence of core courses in macroeconomic theory, microeconomic theory, econometrics, and mathematics for economists. Second, they must also complete the field course requirements designed to provide students with expertise in specific research areas. These requirements are described in more detail in the Department’s MSEcon, PhD Program Handbook. This degree does not require completion of a thesis or final report. This degree is a STEM Designated Degree Program, as identified by the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension.
Doctor of Philosophy
To obtain the Doctor of Philosophy degree, students must complete the requirements for the Master of Science in Economics degree, as well as the following requirements:
- Students must complete the comprehensive exam requirements.
- Students must pass the second-year paper requirement.
- Starting with the third year, students must participate in the writing seminar for their area of specialization and must make significant progress on their research by the end of each academic year.
- Students must complete a minimum of six credit hours of dissertation.
- Finally, students must write a dissertation of original research and have the dissertation approved by their dissertation committee following an oral defense.
Most students finish their degree in five years with 93 total credit hours, but some take six years with 111 total credit hours. This includes credits for writing seminar, research, and dissertation courses taken in the third and later years. These requirements are described in more detail in the Department’s MSEcon, PhD Program Handbook. This degree is a STEM Designated Degree Program, as identified by the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension.