Doctor of Philosophy in Economics

Program Director: Dr. Adam Rennhoff
Business and Aerospace Building, N328B
Graduate Analyst: Felisia Griner

The Ph.D. recipient from Middle Tennessee State University is a learned scholar who has acquired advanced academic skills and is well prepared to teach at the college level, conduct independent, peer-reviewed research, and provide professional service to the private and public sector. MTSU's Ph.D. program in economics gives graduates the opportunity to combine advanced training in economic theory with applied research. Candidates completing the Ph.D. in economics will have the academic and instructional skills necessary for successful careers as university professors, research economists, consultants for private businesses, and advisors to the government.

The program's intent is to ensure that graduates are well versed in teaching and trained to conduct peer-reviewed research in leading academic journals. MTSU's program has a more extensive teaching component than many other doctoral programs in economics. For example, our program incorporates as part of the required curriculum a semester-long course in undergraduate teaching methods. After completion of this course, students go on to teach independent sections of economic principles for up to four semesters. On the research front, students are strongly encouraged early on in their program to participate in joint projects with the faculty. Consequently, it is not uncommon for our students to have co-authored publications by the time they graduate.

The Ph.D. program currently offers fields of study in labor economics and industrial organization and encompasses a variety of topics in applied microeconomics. The labor field covers techniques for evaluating standard labor topics such as wages, unemployment, human capital, and discrimination and integrates material from related areas such as health economics, and demography. The industrial organization field emphasizes the development of computational tools used to solve and estimate modern models of firm strategy and market structure. Students entering the Ph.D. program in economics must hold a baccalaureate degree.

Students entering with a baccalaureate degree are required to complete a minimum of 64 semester hours, including a minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework, a one-credit hour economics workshop (two presentations), and 12 hours of dissertation research. Of the total 64 hours, 43 hours must be at the 7000 level. Up to 12 semester hours of formal coursework may be applied toward the minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework for students entering with a Master of Arts in economics.

Located within the AACSB International accredited Jennings A. Jones College of Business, the Department of Economics and Finance is supported by a dedicated faculty with strong academic credentials and relevant business and professional experience outside the academic arena.

Admission Requirements:

To be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy in Economics program, a student must submit to the College of Graduate Studies:

  • Online application and appropriate application fee
  • Official transcript of all colleges, universities (including business and technical schools). If the transcripts are issued from an international (non-US) institution, a course-by course analysis is required. Original non-US transcripts should be submitted directly to the evaluation service. (Click here for more information on non-US transcripts.)
  • Official Test Scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)



Submit Application Materials to:

College of Graduate Studies
MTSU Box 42
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Test Codes for Middle Tennessee State University:
INFS - 6ZR-KJ-37
MBA (Full-time) - 6ZR-KJ-25
MBA (Part-time) - 6ZR-KJ-52
GRE 1466
MAT 1751
Praxis 1466
TOEFL 1466