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Economics, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Economics provides students with the opportunity to combine advanced training in the field with teaching and applied research. Graduates of the program may possess the skills necessary for successful careers as university professors, research economists, consultants for private businesses, and advisors to the government. Department faculty and staff provide resources and support needed to ensure the placement of doctoral students after four years of study. The department’s attention to job market preparation has led to an excellent record of placing its graduates in tenure-track positions at well-known public universities and colleges. Students who opt for non-academic employment have accepted research positions at branches of the Federal government, FedEx, Regional Economic Models Inc., and various Tennessee state government organizations.


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Professors prepared and cared

Professors prepared and cared

Both Brandeanna (Allen) Sanders and Alan Seals studied economics at MTSU. Graduating with both an M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008), Seals took a position with Auburn University as an assistant professor. “The best aspect of MTSU’s Ph.D. program is the faculty who run it,” he says. “While in graduate school, I was able to work closely with people who cared about my professional success and growth as a scholar. It was a great experience. ”After graduating with both an M.A. (2008) and a Ph.D. (2010), Sanders went to work as an economist with the U.S. Department of Defense. Her background in labor economics proved to be very useful in that important position. “I use techniques that I learned at MTSU to analyze the impact of policies that affect pay and benefits on the recruiting and retention decisions of the armed forces. I also found the seminar series [at MTSU] to be great preparation for presentations to senior leadership in my department.”

His professors were great people, too

His professors were great people, too

John Nunley is a Blue Raider through and through, earning his B.S. (2004), M.A. (2005), and Ph.D. (2008) degrees in economics at MTSU. Today, he conducts research and teaches economics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Regarding MTSU’s Ph.D. program, he says its greatest asset is the outstanding faculty. “After interacting with economists from all over the world and hearing about their experiences in graduate school, it is apparent to me that the training I received at MTSU was superior in many ways. In my view, the key advantage of MTSU’s Ph.D. program is the willingness of the faculty to work closely with students, their quality advice, their commitment to developing quality researchers and teachers, and the many hours they spend reading your papers and thinking about your research. The faculty are great economists and mentors. But perhaps more importantly, they are great people, and it was a pleasure for me to study under them.”


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Many MTSU economics graduates land good jobs, thanks to open doors provided by faculty and their outreach to economics alumni. An aspect of training in the graduate program is grooming students for the job search and job interview to help with landing a job that suits the person’s interest and skill set. Career opportunities for Ph.D. economics graduates can be found in areas such as

  • Banking
  • Consulting
  • Government
  • Higher education
  • Insurance
  • Law
  • Manufacturing
  • Private business
  • Public service
  • Real estate
  • Risk management 

Employers of MTSU Economics Ph.D. graduates include

  • Auburn University
  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Belmont University
  • Black Hills State University
  • FedEx
  • Marshall University
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • New York City Department of Finance
  • Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University
  • Regional Economics Models, Inc.
  • Tennessee City/State Government
  • Tennessee Department of Revenue
  • Tennessee Education Association
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College
  • Transylvania University
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • West Virginia University
  • Westminster International University at Taschkent
  • Wittenberg University

The Department of Economics and Finance offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Economics with specializations in labor economics and industrial organization.

Applicants for the Ph.D. program are not required to have earned a master’s degree. Students who wish to enroll must submit an application form, an official undergraduate transcript (a bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required to be admitted), an official GRE score, and three letters of recommendation. The program is a full-time course of study, and priority in admission will be given to those who enroll as full-time students.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.

Additionally, departmental graduate programs include a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics, in which one may choose either a general curriculum or a concentration in Financial Economics, and a Master of Science in Finance.

There is also a graduate minor in Economics. 

Undergraduate

The Economics and Finance Department offers undergraduate majors in Economics and Finance. The Economics major leads to two degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The B.B.A. is a business major and is also available with a concentration in Labor Relations. The B.S. is offered through the College of Liberal Arts.

The Finance major includes concentrations in Business Finance, Financial Institution Management, Risk Management and Insurance, and Real Estate, all leading to the B.B.A.

Undergraduate students can pursue minors in Economics, Economics and Finance, Industrial Relations, Finance, Real Estate, Insurance, and Real Estate/Insurance.

Economics, Ph.D.

Adam Rennhoff, Program Director
(615) 898-2931
Adam.Rennhoff@mtsu.edu

Ph.D. students in economics are trained for careers in teaching and applied research. The Ph.D. provides students with the opportunity to combine advanced training in economics with educational pedagogy and research methodology.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the doctoral program, candidates are expected to attain a GRE score of 302 or better. Candidates must also have completed, at a minimum, one semester of calculus and hold a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4 point scale).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the General Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Economics requires completion of a minimum of 64 semester hours, including a minimum of 51 hours of formal coursework and 13 hours of dissertation research. Students entering with a master's degree in Economics may have up to 12 hours applied toward the 51 hours of formal coursework. Of the total 64 hours, at least 43 hours must be at the 7000 level.

Students must demonstrate competency in economic theory by passing the Qualifying Examination in microeconomics and econometrics at the end of the the first year of study. Students must then complete six field courses and a research paper in their chosen field during the second year. During the summer of the second year, students develop a dissertation prospectus under the guidance of a dissertation chair. Each student is responsible for securing the agreement of a Ph.D. faculty member to become the chair of the student's dissertation committee. The chair will suggest other potential committee members. Each student must successfully defend a dissertation prospectus in an oral examination and, upon approval by the student's dissertation committee, prepare a dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate. The dissertation is completed with agreement of the chair and two additional committee members.

Curriculum: Economics

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Required Core Courses (33 hours)

  • ECON 7005 - Advanced Mathematical Methods for Economists

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100 or equivalent as determined by instructor. Covers optimization, including the Lagrange equation and the envelope theorem, linear equations, eigenvalues, orthogonality, and least-squares estimators.

  • ECON 7010 - Macroeconomics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7010 - Macroeconomics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100. First-semester core course in macroeconomic theory for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Economics. Macroeconomic models are used to study topics related to the national economy. Topics include dynamic macroeconomics, the basic Solow model, savings in an overlapping generations model, infinitely lived agents, recursive deterministic models, recursive stochastic models, Hansen's real business cycle model, practical dynamic programming, impulse response functions, vector auto-regressions, and money.

  • ECON 7020 - Microeconomics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7020 - Microeconomics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100. First-semester core course in microeconomic theory for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Economics. Microeconomic models are used to study topics related to the production of firms and consumer choice. Topics include profit maximization, cost minimization, utility maximization, choice and demand, consumer and producer surplus, uncertainty, competitive markets, and monopoly.

  • ECON 7030 - Macroeconomics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6100 and ECON 7010. Second-semester core course in macroeconomic theory for students pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics. Focuses on modern intertemporal macroeconomics. Develops discrete-time dynamic optimization techniques and examines the role of fiscal and monetary policies in centralized and decentralized economics and their welfare implications. Reviews recent developments in economic growth theory and international macroeconomics. Focus is quantitative but developing intuition about macroeconomic dynamics stressed.

  • ECON 7040 - Microeconomics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6100 and ECON 7020. Second-semester core course in microeconomic theory for students pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics. Examines oligopolies and pricing strategies with game theory, general equilibrium including the incorporation of public goods and externalities, and information economics with asymmetric information in principle-agent models. Mathematical models used to derive the theories; comfort with multivariate calculus and linear algebra essential.

  • ECON 7060 - Econometrics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7060 - Econometrics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite:ECON 6100. First of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Topics include linear algebra, estimation, ordinary least squares, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, dummy variables, the linear statistical model, regression analysis, and non-linear models. Integrates practical applications in various computing environments, including SAS, STATA, RATS, and MATLAB.

  • ECON 7070 - Econometrics II  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7070 - Econometrics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites:ECON 6100 and ECON 7060. Second of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Topics include the methods of time series analysis, Box-Jenkins methods, general-to-specific modeling, volatility models, vector auto-regressions, unit roots, co-integration, unobserved components, state space models, and neural networks. Integrates practical applications in various computing environments, including SAS, STATA, RATS, and MATLAB.

  • ECON 7080 - Econometrics III  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7080 - Econometrics III

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7060, ECON 7070, and passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. The third of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Emphasizes nonlinear estimation methodology for cross-section and panel data.  Includes discussion of various qualitative and limited dependent variable models, including those for discrete responses, censored and truncated data, sample selection problems, treatment effects, and duration analysis. Incorporates practical applications in SAS, STATA, and other computing environments.

  • ECON 7090 - Econometrics IV  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7090 - Econometrics IV

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7060, ECON 7070, and ECON 7080. The fourth of four Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics; uses empirical models to address research questions. Topics include the methods of time series analysis, stationarity, autoregressive moving average models, forecasting, dynamic panel regression, and vector autoregression. Incorporates practical applications in Stata, R, and other computing environments.

  • ECON 7660 - History of Economic Thought

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate status and proficiency in reading and writing English. Examines the history of Western economics beginning with the ancient Greeks, including the medieval scholastics, the early modern mercantilists, and selected thinkers from classical liberal economics, socialism, the historical and institutionalist schools of economics, neoclassical economics, and contemporary economics.

  • ECON 7950 - Instructional Development and Practice in Economics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Workshop environment where students present key economic concepts, use new technology, organize and structure courses and individual classes, use assessment tools, and deal with conflict in the classroom. Offers preparation to teach undergraduate classes in economics.

Field Courses (Choose 18 hours)

  • ECON 7130 - Behavioral Economics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 7040. Advanced methods used in practical applications in microeconomics. Topics include ways that psychologically more realistic assumptions about people can improve economic analysis.

  • ECON 7400 - Health Economics  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7400 - Health Economics

    3credit hours

    Applications of microeconomics to analysis of the health care delivery system in the United States. Major issues include the private and public demand for health care, supply of health care, cost of health care, the pricing of health care, and the analysis of the various health care reform policies of the industry. Examines how economics can provide valuable insights into the above problems of social choice.

  • ECON 7430 - Public Finance  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7430 - Public Finance

    3credit hours

    Examines the role of government in the allocation and distribution of society's resources. Topics include theories of government sector growth, public and quasi-public goods, externalities and agency theory, transitivity and completeness of voting preferences, income redistribution and economic justice, social insurance, health care programs, tax shifting and incidence analysis, efficiency and equity in taxation, and efficiency and redistributive aspects of deficit financing. Topics may involve case studies such as budget formulation, environmental policies, payroll taxes, and alternative tax structures.

  • ECON 7470 - Economic Growth and Development

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 2410 and 2420 and permission of instructor. Satisfies the M.B.A. international course requirement. Critical analysis of causes, processes, and consequences of economic development; evaluation of various policies and strategies for economic development; introduction to advanced growth models and theories. Special emphasis on the less developed countries.

  • ECON 7510 - Labor Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the first half of an introduction to labor economics in the areas of human capital formation, wage determination, labor market mobility and job search, changes in wage structure, youth behavior and outcomes, shifts in labor demand, compensating wage differentials, and discrimination. Focus is to introduce students to current economic research methods and modern econometric techniques in preparation for conducting independent research.

  • ECON 7520 - Labor Economics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the second half to an introduction of the leading theories in labor economics. Focuses on the most current published research techniques as found in top general interest and labor field journals. The nature of the course dictates that a wide range of topics be covered and that content changes. Past topics have included unemployment and inflation, employment allocation and job loss, technological progress, globalization, inequalities, labor market policies, youth behavior and outcomes, health, and labor supply decisions. Frequent use of multivariate regression analysis and other modern econometric techniques allows students to enhance skills necessary to conduct independent research in the field.

  • ECON 7530 - International Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Introduces the core models of international economics. Focusing on alternative returns to scale models, students will analyze the direction, volumes, and effects of international trade; various trade policies and their effects; optimal entry modes of multinationals into foreign markets (FDI or exports, vertical-integration, or offshore outsourcing, etc.). Students will also analyze determinants and effects of the slicing of the global value chain, regional economic integration, exchange rate movements, and balance of payments deficits.

  • ECON 7550 - International Economics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6530, ECON 7040, and ECON 7080. Applications-oriented course emphasizing quantitative tools to analyze policy issues related to international trade, exchange rates, sectoral resource allocation, and growth. Topics include an extended introduction to trade policy analysis using a general equilibrium modeling framework. Practical aspects of general equilibrium modeling emphasized and applied to a particular issue of interest, such as the impact of trade liberalization on labor markets and growth or the impact of trade and exchange rate distortions on resource allocation and growth.

  • ECON 7710 - Monetary Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Provides an integrated treatment of a variety of dynamic optimization and dynamic equilibrium models and examines their empirical implications for individual choices and, in particular, savings and asset prices. Three frameworks studied: infinitely lived representative agent models, heterogenous agent models, and representative and heterogenous agent models with financial frictions. Advanced numerical solution methods and panel data estimation techniques also incorporated.

  • ECON 7725 - Asset Pricing  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7725 - Asset Pricing

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7040 and ECON 7090. Theoretical and empirical research in asset pricing. Topics include debt and equity valuation, securities markets, and portfolio theory.

  • ECON 7730 - Corporate Finance

    3credit hours

    Theoretical and empirical research in corporate finance. Specifically, an understanding of modern theories of capital structure, dividend policy, corporate control and governance, investment banking, and capital budgeting. Emerging areas of research such as Fintech, market microstructure, venture capital financing, and comparative international corporate finance.

  • ECON 7810 - Industrial Organization I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the first half of the graduate sequence in industrial organization, in which microeconomic models are used to study topics related to firm strategy and market structure. Emphasis on preparing students to conduct their own research, introduces students to current methods and techniques in a variety of research areas within the field of industrial organization.

  • ECON 7820 - Industrial Organization II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the second half of the graduate sequence in industrial organization, in which microeconomic models are used to study topics related to firm strategy and market structure. Aim is to improve students' economic modeling and econometric skills in order to prepare them to conduct independent research. Students will make extensive use of statistical software packages such as MATLAB and STATA.

Dissertation Research (13 hours)

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Sample Course and Examination Schedule

The following sample schedule outlines the sequence of Ph.D. course requirements:

Fall Semester-Year 1

 

  • ECON 7005 - Advanced Mathematical Methods for Economists

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100 or equivalent as determined by instructor. Covers optimization, including the Lagrange equation and the envelope theorem, linear equations, eigenvalues, orthogonality, and least-squares estimators.

  • ECON 7010 - Macroeconomics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7010 - Macroeconomics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100. First-semester core course in macroeconomic theory for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Economics. Macroeconomic models are used to study topics related to the national economy. Topics include dynamic macroeconomics, the basic Solow model, savings in an overlapping generations model, infinitely lived agents, recursive deterministic models, recursive stochastic models, Hansen's real business cycle model, practical dynamic programming, impulse response functions, vector auto-regressions, and money.

  • ECON 7020 - Microeconomics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7020 - Microeconomics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 6100. First-semester core course in microeconomic theory for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Economics. Microeconomic models are used to study topics related to the production of firms and consumer choice. Topics include profit maximization, cost minimization, utility maximization, choice and demand, consumer and producer surplus, uncertainty, competitive markets, and monopoly.

  • ECON 7060 - Econometrics I  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7060 - Econometrics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite:ECON 6100. First of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Topics include linear algebra, estimation, ordinary least squares, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, dummy variables, the linear statistical model, regression analysis, and non-linear models. Integrates practical applications in various computing environments, including SAS, STATA, RATS, and MATLAB.

  • ECON 7070 - Econometrics II  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7070 - Econometrics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites:ECON 6100 and ECON 7060. Second of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Topics include the methods of time series analysis, Box-Jenkins methods, general-to-specific modeling, volatility models, vector auto-regressions, unit roots, co-integration, unobserved components, state space models, and neural networks. Integrates practical applications in various computing environments, including SAS, STATA, RATS, and MATLAB.

Spring Semester-Year 1

 

  • ECON 7030 - Macroeconomics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6100 and ECON 7010. Second-semester core course in macroeconomic theory for students pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics. Focuses on modern intertemporal macroeconomics. Develops discrete-time dynamic optimization techniques and examines the role of fiscal and monetary policies in centralized and decentralized economics and their welfare implications. Reviews recent developments in economic growth theory and international macroeconomics. Focus is quantitative but developing intuition about macroeconomic dynamics stressed.

  • ECON 7040 - Microeconomics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6100 and ECON 7020. Second-semester core course in microeconomic theory for students pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics. Examines oligopolies and pricing strategies with game theory, general equilibrium including the incorporation of public goods and externalities, and information economics with asymmetric information in principle-agent models. Mathematical models used to derive the theories; comfort with multivariate calculus and linear algebra essential.

  • ECON 7080 - Econometrics III  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7080 - Econometrics III

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7060, ECON 7070, and passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. The third of three Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics, in which empirical models are used to address research questions. Emphasizes nonlinear estimation methodology for cross-section and panel data.  Includes discussion of various qualitative and limited dependent variable models, including those for discrete responses, censored and truncated data, sample selection problems, treatment effects, and duration analysis. Incorporates practical applications in SAS, STATA, and other computing environments.

  • ECON 7090 - Econometrics IV  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7090 - Econometrics IV

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7060, ECON 7070, and ECON 7080. The fourth of four Ph.D.-level courses in econometrics; uses empirical models to address research questions. Topics include the methods of time series analysis, stationarity, autoregressive moving average models, forecasting, dynamic panel regression, and vector autoregression. Incorporates practical applications in Stata, R, and other computing environments.

  • ECON 7660 - History of Economic Thought

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate status and proficiency in reading and writing English. Examines the history of Western economics beginning with the ancient Greeks, including the medieval scholastics, the early modern mercantilists, and selected thinkers from classical liberal economics, socialism, the historical and institutionalist schools of economics, neoclassical economics, and contemporary economics.

Summer-Year 1

 

  • ECON 7950 - Instructional Development and Practice in Economics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Workshop environment where students present key economic concepts, use new technology, organize and structure courses and individual classes, use assessment tools, and deal with conflict in the classroom. Offers preparation to teach undergraduate classes in economics.

  • ECON 7099 - Comprehensive Examination and Preparation

    1 to 3credit hours

    Open only to students who are not enrolled in any other graduate course and who will take the master's comprehensive examination during the term. The student must contact the graduate advisor during the first two weeks of the term for specifics regarding the details of this comprehensive examination preparatory course. Credit may not be applied to degree requirements.

  • Qualifying Exam-Macroeconomics
  • Qualifying Exam-Econometrics

Fall Semester-Year 2 (Choose 4)

  • ECON 7130 - Behavioral Economics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: ECON 7040. Advanced methods used in practical applications in microeconomics. Topics include ways that psychologically more realistic assumptions about people can improve economic analysis.

  • ECON 7400 - Health Economics  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7400 - Health Economics

    3credit hours

    Applications of microeconomics to analysis of the health care delivery system in the United States. Major issues include the private and public demand for health care, supply of health care, cost of health care, the pricing of health care, and the analysis of the various health care reform policies of the industry. Examines how economics can provide valuable insights into the above problems of social choice.

  • ECON 7430 - Public Finance  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7430 - Public Finance

    3credit hours

    Examines the role of government in the allocation and distribution of society's resources. Topics include theories of government sector growth, public and quasi-public goods, externalities and agency theory, transitivity and completeness of voting preferences, income redistribution and economic justice, social insurance, health care programs, tax shifting and incidence analysis, efficiency and equity in taxation, and efficiency and redistributive aspects of deficit financing. Topics may involve case studies such as budget formulation, environmental policies, payroll taxes, and alternative tax structures.

  • ECON 7470 - Economic Growth and Development

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 2410 and 2420 and permission of instructor. Satisfies the M.B.A. international course requirement. Critical analysis of causes, processes, and consequences of economic development; evaluation of various policies and strategies for economic development; introduction to advanced growth models and theories. Special emphasis on the less developed countries.

  • ECON 7510 - Labor Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the first half of an introduction to labor economics in the areas of human capital formation, wage determination, labor market mobility and job search, changes in wage structure, youth behavior and outcomes, shifts in labor demand, compensating wage differentials, and discrimination. Focus is to introduce students to current economic research methods and modern econometric techniques in preparation for conducting independent research.

  • ECON 7530 - International Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Introduces the core models of international economics. Focusing on alternative returns to scale models, students will analyze the direction, volumes, and effects of international trade; various trade policies and their effects; optimal entry modes of multinationals into foreign markets (FDI or exports, vertical-integration, or offshore outsourcing, etc.). Students will also analyze determinants and effects of the slicing of the global value chain, regional economic integration, exchange rate movements, and balance of payments deficits.

  • ECON 7710 - Monetary Economics I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Provides an integrated treatment of a variety of dynamic optimization and dynamic equilibrium models and examines their empirical implications for individual choices and, in particular, savings and asset prices. Three frameworks studied: infinitely lived representative agent models, heterogenous agent models, and representative and heterogenous agent models with financial frictions. Advanced numerical solution methods and panel data estimation techniques also incorporated.

  • ECON 7725 - Asset Pricing  3 credit hours  

    ECON 7725 - Asset Pricing

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 7040 and ECON 7090. Theoretical and empirical research in asset pricing. Topics include debt and equity valuation, securities markets, and portfolio theory.

  • ECON 7810 - Industrial Organization I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the first half of the graduate sequence in industrial organization, in which microeconomic models are used to study topics related to firm strategy and market structure. Emphasis on preparing students to conduct their own research, introduces students to current methods and techniques in a variety of research areas within the field of industrial organization.

Spring Semester-Year 2 (Choose 2)

  • ECON 7520 - Labor Economics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Student must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the second half to an introduction of the leading theories in labor economics. Focuses on the most current published research techniques as found in top general interest and labor field journals. The nature of the course dictates that a wide range of topics be covered and that content changes. Past topics have included unemployment and inflation, employment allocation and job loss, technological progress, globalization, inequalities, labor market policies, youth behavior and outcomes, health, and labor supply decisions. Frequent use of multivariate regression analysis and other modern econometric techniques allows students to enhance skills necessary to conduct independent research in the field.

  • ECON 7550 - International Economics II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 6530, ECON 7040, and ECON 7080. Applications-oriented course emphasizing quantitative tools to analyze policy issues related to international trade, exchange rates, sectoral resource allocation, and growth. Topics include an extended introduction to trade policy analysis using a general equilibrium modeling framework. Practical aspects of general equilibrium modeling emphasized and applied to a particular issue of interest, such as the impact of trade liberalization on labor markets and growth or the impact of trade and exchange rate distortions on resource allocation and growth.

  • ECON 7730 - Corporate Finance

    3credit hours

    Theoretical and empirical research in corporate finance. Specifically, an understanding of modern theories of capital structure, dividend policy, corporate control and governance, investment banking, and capital budgeting. Emerging areas of research such as Fintech, market microstructure, venture capital financing, and comparative international corporate finance.

  • ECON 7820 - Industrial Organization II

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must have passed Ph.D. qualifying exams in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Serves as the second half of the graduate sequence in industrial organization, in which microeconomic models are used to study topics related to firm strategy and market structure. Aim is to improve students' economic modeling and econometric skills in order to prepare them to conduct independent research. Students will make extensive use of statistical software packages such as MATLAB and STATA.

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

  • Field Paper due by July 1.

Summer-Year 2

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Fall Semester-Year 3

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

  • Dissertation proposal due by October 1
  • Dissertation proposal defense

Spring Semester-Year 3

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Summer-Year 3

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Fall Semester-Year 4

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Spring Semester-Year 4

 

  • ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    ECON 7640 - Dissertation Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

  • Dissertation Completion

Program Notes

On matriculation, students will complete a degree plan. The Ph.D. advisor must approve the degree plan. In some cases, it may be possible to complete the program on a part-time basis, but the program is designed for full-time students.

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

Faculty and staff continue to carry out a multi-pronged recruiting strategy to target top students. Periodically, information packets containing a poster, program brochures, the program’s curriculum, graduation requirements and application forms are distributed to every undergraduate department of economics in the nation. At various intervals each year, the department contacts all Ph.D. alumni and invites them to provide the names of potential students for the program. Every fall, the graduate director and several current graduate students hold a question-and-answer session sponsored by the undergraduate Economics Club to discuss graduate study in economics. Faculty work with students to prepare them for the job market, and efforts are made to reach out to alumni to help build a network of potential employers for MTSU graduates.

A limited number of Ph.D. Fellowships are available through graduate assistantships offered through the Department of Economics and Finance and, with a separate application, the Political Economy Research Institute Fellowship Program.

Contact Information

Adam D. Rennhoff
Adam.Rennhoff@mtsu.edu
615-898-2931

Who is My Advisor?

Adam D. Rennhoff
Adam.Rennhoff@mtsu.edu
615-898-2931

Mailing Address

Department of Economics and Finance
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 27
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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