How to Get a Doctorate in Economics

Posted date: July 13, 2017

Applicants for a Ph.D. or a doctorate in economics typically earn the degree to progress a career in economic theory, research, government, the private sector or just teaching. Doctoral candidates should study economic conditions at both a macro and micro level. Therefore, earning a doctorate will include studying systems and banking, international economies, as well as research and analytical methods. If you want to get a doctorate in economics, you should continue your graduate education at a university or college, working on a dissertation, as well as defending that final work -dissertation in the course of an oral defense.

Nine Main Steps

1. Getting your degrees: Master's and Bachelor's. To achieve a doctorate, you are obligated to have accomplished graduate major paper in economics.

2. Selecting institutional affiliation. The most popular programs in economics, according to the U.S. News and World Report rankings, are the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (M.I.T.), Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the Princeton University.

  • One may choose to stay with the school he/she previously attended, or one may continue studying at the institution, in which he/she received an undergraduate or graduate degree, if the program was chosen right.
  • One can search for various online programs. Obtaining a doctorate degree online in economics is possible. There are not so many programs offered, but one can find the right program at

3. Taking the required courses. All schools will offer different classes to be taken students are working towards the doctorate.

  • One can turn to the school handbook for the requisite courses. Those courses will include classes of the advanced level in microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics and research methods.

4. Choosing a field to major in. Many doctoral programs offered require students to choose an area of specialization. Depending on the school of one’s choice, he/she will be able to pick the majors in Labor Economics, Health Economics, Development, International Trade, and in other fields.

5. Taking supporting courses. Other courses one will choose are supposed to enhance knowledge of economics, and prepare a person for pursuing a Ph.D. in future. The electives, most of the time, are meant to be approved by the head of economics department.

  • One has to include the needed research instruction. Therefore, complement economics studies with extra classes in statistics, math, and other analytical and quantitative research courses.
  • One has to check for foreign language requirements. There are many schools that require demonstrating that one knows at least one foreign language.

6. Working with a mentor or an advisor. Ensure that your Ph.D. studies are on the right track; this can be done when you communicate with your advisor. Furthermore, an advisor can be very helpful in choosing the right classes, as well as assist with the dissertation plan.

7. Passing required doctoral examinations. Many schools require one to pass examinations, demonstrating the level of preparation to write and then be able to defend a dissertation/thesis.

  • One has to take the written examinations, as they are scheduled by school. There are schools that require oral examination.
  • One has to study hard. If the results are poor, there are programs that will restrict one from continuing working towards the doctorate in Economics.

8. Working on a doctoral dissertation research plan.

  • One has to discuss the plan for writing the dissertation with an advisor, as well as other faculty members. A dissertation can be defined as a substantive research paper, offering one’s academic opinion on a particular topic, and providing gathered findings and conclusions, based on the study.

9. Defending the dissertation. When doctoral studies come to an end, one is supposed to submit his/her dissertation to the board of faculty and administrators; one has to later defend what he/she wrote, being able to answer all of the possible questions about research and findings.


One can increase the chances of getting accepted by desired doctoral program by maintaining high grade point average during undergraduate and graduate studies, showing a high score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), as well as submitting persuasive recommendation letters.

  • One has to make sure to pay the required attention to all schedules and deadlines provided by school. A dissertation has to be submitted on time, and all oral and written examinations are scheduled, according to school academic calendar.


The process aimed at how to get a doctorate in Economics can be very time-consuming and intensive. In fact, one has to be prepared to sacrifice some other spheres of life, while trying to pursue this course of study.

Now you have a good idea of how to get a doctorate in Economics.