The faculty, following a proposal by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and the Graduate Committee, has recently approved some changes to the requirements for the Economics Ph.D. degree. The changes are effective starting Spring 2020 and all the relevant information is available on the department’s website in the Graduate Programs section. The main structure of the requirements is unchanged. The requirements consist of successfully completing:
1. Course Requirements
2. Doctoral Written Examination
3. Doctoral Dissertation
The main change for course requirements concerns the fields of specialization. They are now more flexible and new fields can be created by students and supervisors. New fields still need to be approved by the DGS.
In terms of the doctoral written examination, the main changes affect both the written qualifying examinations in econometrics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics and the field paper requirement. The change to the qualifying examinations clarifies the criteria for passing the examination and guarantee, a third attempt. The change to the field paper requirement is more substantial. Students will have more time to complete the paper; the due date is not at the beginning of the Fall semester of the third year but at the end of the Fall semester. The requirement will also become more stringent and the filled paper committee will be larger with one advisor plus two readers.
Finally, with regard to the doctoral dissertation requirement, the only change is relative to the preliminary oral examination, i.e. the evaluation and defense of the thesis prospectus. The prospectus defense must now be completed by the end of the fourth year or at least one year before graduation.
In short, with these new changes, students should have a clearer path toward the completion of the degree, with important milestones to accomplish in each year they are in the program. These changes should also guarantee a more organic and continuous relationship between students, faculty, and advisors. Information sessions to present the degree requirements to students have been held by the DGS.
The DGS, the Graduate Committee and all the faculty are available to clarify any questions you may have in completing the requirements toward a great accomplishment: A Ph.D. in Economics at UNC. We are all waiting to celebrate you at the finish line!
There will be an info session for second year and third year PhD students to talk about the changes made to the PhD requirements.
Info Session targeted to third-year students and higher:
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
12:30-1:30pm in GA 211