- Purposes and Goals of the Examinations
The purposes and goals of the written qualifying examinations are to help ensure that each student who receives a Ph.D. from the department is thoroughly trained in the basic core of macroeconomic theory, microeconomic theory, and econometrics. Qualifying examinations provide an incentive for students to review, absorb, and integrate the material covered in the core classes.
- Administration of the Examinations
- Scheduling of the Examinations
The examinations are administered during the summer session between the first and second years of the Ph.D. program. The first attempt of the microeconomics examination will be given on the last Friday in May in odd numbered calendar years and the Monday following the last Friday in May in even numbered calendar years. The first attempt of the macroeconomics examination will be given on the last Friday in May in even numbered calendar years and the Monday following the last Friday in May in odd numbered calendar years. The econometrics examination will be given on the Thursday following the last Friday in May.
The second attempt of the microeconomics examination will be given on the Monday four weeks before classes begin for the Fall semester in odd numbered calendar years and on the Friday four weeks before classes begin for the Fall semester in even numbered calendar years. The second attempt of the macroeconomics examination will be given on the Friday four weeks before classes begin for the fall semester in odd numbered calendar years and on the Monday four weeks before classes begin for the fall semester in even numbered calendar years. The econometrics examination will be given on the Wednesday four weeks before classes begin for the fall semester.
- Form of the Examinations
Each examination will be a 4-hour written examination (the hours of the examination being uniformly enforced).
- Grading of the Examinations
Each examination will be evaluated separately, and a grade of "Pass with Distinction," "Pass," or "Fail" will be assigned. The examining committee will complete the grading of the examinations as soon as possible. In no case will the results of first round of examinations be returned later than June 30. Should June 30 fall on a weekend, results will be returned no later than the Friday preceding June 30. In no case will the results of the second round of the examinations be returned more than three weeks after the examination is given.
- Other Requirements Related to Taking and Passing the Qualifying Examinations
- Students have two attempts to pass a qualifying examination in each subject. Students must take the examinations at the times outlined.. There will be no additional attempts except as outlined in Section III, "Petition Process." Students who have failed to pass all three qualifying exams cannot continue in the Ph.D. program They will be given the option of completing a Master's degree or leaving the program with no degree. If a student chooses not to attempt a given examination at the time it is offered, the student will be given a failing grade on the examination.
- Students must be officially accepted into the Ph.D. program in order to take the Qualifying Examinations. Only the Director of Graduate Programs can waive this requirement.
- The Examining Committee
A Qualifying Exam committee will be appointed for each subject area (Macro, Micro, and Econometrics). These committees will typically consist of two or three members, and at least one shall be from the relevant theory teaching core. Each committee will be appointed by January 31 and will serve for one year. The members of these committees will be announced to the faculty and graduate students of Economics.
- Material to be Covered in the Examinations
Questions on the qualifying examinations will cover the general subject matter of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and econometrics appropriate for study by beginning Ph.D. students. The graduate courses (Economics 629, Economics 630, Economics 636, Economics 646, Econometrics 675 and Econometrics 676) will cover the majority of topics on this outline and the syllabi for these courses are a useful reference for the examinations. Copies of these syllabi and the topic outline will be available on the Economics Graduate Web page. Students who for whatever reason are delayed in taking their Qualifying Examinations will be held responsible for any changes in the topic outline or course material that has occurred since they completed the relevant classes.
- Petition Process
- Students failing the Qualifying Exam on their second attempt may petition for a third attempt. The petition should be directed to the Director of Graduate Programs and contain an argument for why the student should be given a third chance to pass the Qualifying Examination, including reasons for failing now and reasons for likely success on a third attempt.
- Petitions will be considered at the sole discretion of the Director of Graduate Program and Department Head of Economics. Petitioners are not guaranteed a third attempt.
- Third attempts, if granted, will be during June of the following academic year. The exam may cover different material as core courses may differ somewhat from year to year.
- Students failing the Qualifying Exam and granted a third attempt are not considered eligible for Department funding.
- Students granted a third attempt may be required to repeat previously taken core courses, either for credit or by audit, at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Programs.