Graduate Guide

Graduate Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The MA program requires 32 credit-hours of course work, and can be completed in three semesters of full-time study by most students. The program includes core courses (theory, econometrics) and electives.

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD program in Economics requires a minimum of 60 credit-hours and normally takes four to five years of full-time study. The program includes required courses (44 credits), electives (16-20 credits), and the dissertation. Students must pass comprehensive examinations in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and complete a 35 page paper prior to the start of the fourth year of study, in addition to the dissertation. PhD students select two elective fields of specialization from:

  • Econometrics - applied and theoretical
  • Labor economics
  • Advanced macroeconomics
  • Environmental economics
  • Development economics


The Department of Economics seeks applicants prepared to develop the requisite skills to perform rigorous research, regardless of undergraduate major. Prospective students are expected to have a strong foundation in mathematics; the department does, however, offer a review course to assist students in this area. Satisfactory GRE scores - especially quantitative - are required, and an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or better is desirable.

Economics Department Application Deadlines

  • Master's: May 15 for fall-semester admission
  • 5 Year Accelerated BS/MA: rolling for fall-semester admission
  • Doctoral: February 1 for fall-semester consideration
  • There is no spring admission to either the MA, 5 Year Accelerated MA or PhD programs.


The State University of New York policy states that a second degree at the same level (e.g., master's or doctorate) can be awarded only when a significant amount of additional course work in a very different field is completed. Normally when a student has already earned a master's or doctorate in a given discipline (e.g., economics or history) at another foreign or U.S. institution, a second degree at the same level in that discipline cannot be earned at Binghamton University.

Financial Aid, Assistantships and Fellowships

Approximately two-thirds of full-time PhD students in the Economics Department are supported by fellowships and assistantships carrying an annual stipend plus a tuition scholarship and medical insurance. These awards are based exclusively on academic merit, and generally require the recipients to assist in teaching or research. Summer and occasional adjunct teaching positions are available as well, on a competitive basis. Entering PhD students who are awarded aid, and who maintain satisfactory performance, can expect to receive financial support for at least four years. Assistantship decisions for new students are normally made in early April.

A limited number of Clark Fellowships are available to US citizens who are members of historically under-represented groups, including minorities, women and those with a history of overcoming disadvantage. Applicants who feel that they meet the requirements are encouraged to complete the required essay and submit it with their application. Qualified candidates are automatically nominated by the Economics Department.

Graduate Handbook

This handbook is intended to give graduate students in the Economics Department information which will be useful to them during their academic careers. If information is readily available elsewhere, references are made to other sources, chiefly the University Bulletin and the university's Graduate School Manual.

Additional Information