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Prospective Students

The Department of Economics requires that students have demonstrated academically distinguished records at the undergraduate and, if applicable, the graduate level. To apply to any of the Economics programs, follow the instructions on the Graduate School website and complete the online application.

Coursework

Students need not have majored in Economics but must have coursework at least through Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (the equivalent of our ECON 3140) and mathematics at least through Multivariate Calculus (our MTHSC 2070). Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have taken the GRE examination; we look for quantitative scores in the 160's but are somewhat flexible on verbal scores.

Students must demonstrate competency by passing core course sequences in the initial year of study and subsequent qualifying exams in economic theory and econometrics. In their second and third years, students choose two concentrations from the primary fields listed below. Students begin developing a research program by writing and submitting papers in their second and third years of study. In addition, all students beyond the first year must attend a weekly workshop in their chosen field(s), where they will have the opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from the faculty and other graduate students. Successful students will have chosen a Ph.D. advisor no later than the start of their fourth year and will write and defend their dissertation within four or five years.

The Department of Economics offers eight primary fields:

  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  • Financial Economics
  • Growth and Development
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Monetary and Macroeconomics
  • Public Economics

The Department also offers two fields as secondary fields only:

  • Anti-trust and Regulation
  • Applied Econometrics

Transfer of Credit

As a strict rule, the Department does not allow transfer of credit for Ph.D. courses taken at other institutions. The reason for this policy is that in our experience, even students from well-ranked programs do not always have the knowledge that our Department expects in order to pass the Qualifying Examination in Economic Theory.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees during their July meeting for the upcoming academic year. The most recent information on tuition and fees is available at https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/finance-tuition/. The Department of Economics is classified as a Tier 3 Program. Students on graduate assistantship have their tuition waived, but must pay full-time graduate assistant fees each semester. A student must take at least nine credit hours per semester in the fall and spring to be full time.

All graduate students are required to have health insurance. Students who are already covered by policies that meet the University's requirements are eligible for waivers. All others are covered by the Clemson University Student Insurance Plan. A description of the plan is available at https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/students/health-insurance.html. Premiums are included with tuition and fees for fall and spring semesters (summer premium is included in the spring semester), and students are automatically enrolled. Fees for the Clemson University Student Insurance Plans are subsidized by the Graduate School. A description of the subsidy is available at https://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/student-health/insurance-and-billing.html.

Application Deadlines

Formally, the deadline for application to the Ph.D. program is January 15 of the spring semester. In practice, the Department of Economics has evaluated applications on a rolling basis, — both prior to the formal deadline and afterward throughout the spring semester. However, applicants who desire full consideration for funding in the Ph.D. program should have completed their application by January 15. Applications received after that date will still be considered for funding, but do not have the same chances.

Application Information

To complete a formal application for the program, apply online through the Graduate School. Applications should be received no later than five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of your application must be on file by that date. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible for the best funding opportunities.

Required Documents