If you’re a graduate student and interested in pursuing an advanced study in the field of economics, you should start researching the best PhDs in Economics. By enrolling in an economics PhD program, you’ll be getting an in-depth education on past and current economic trends.
In this article, we’ll try to help you choose the right PhD in Economics by going over some of the best programs in the United States. We’ll also cover some of the highest-paying economics jobs on the market and provide an overview of the PhD in economics salary possibilities.
What Is a PhD in Economics?
A PhD in Economics degree is an advanced doctoral degree program that studies the distribution and consumption of goods and services. Economics classes teach students to analyze small-scale and global-scale economic factors to make predictions for future markets.
The main goal of economics departments in PhD programs is to teach students how to help different institutions improve and optimize their economic actions. Through a mix of teaching, research, and a heavy course load, economics grad students will perfect their quantitative skills and learn to make decisions that increase the profitability of the organizations they work for.
How to Get Into an Economics PhD Program: Admission Requirements
The admission requirements to get into an economics PhD program include a bachelor’s degree in a related field and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Other admission requirements can include GRE exam scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume. Admissions counselors will look at a student’s comprehensive experience before grad school.
Different schools have other specific admission requirements for their economics PhD programs, but all international and English as a second language-speaking (ESL) students will have to submit proof of English proficiency in the form of Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) exam scores.
PhD in Economics Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- GRE test scores (optional for most schools)
- Two to three letters of recommendation
- Proof of English proficiency (for ESL and international students)
- Statement of purpose
- Previous knowledge in math-intensive subjects, such as economic theory, statistics, mathematics, differential and integral calculus, and linear algebra
Economics PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Economics?
It can be very hard to get into economics PhD programs. Economics PhD acceptance rates vary between 2.4 and 7.4 percent. At Johns Hopkins University, for example, only 12 students are selected to enroll in the Economics PhD program out of more than 500 applications.
How to Get Into the Best Universities
Best PhDs in Economics: In Brief
|Arizona State University
|PhD in Economics
|Colorado State University
|PhD in Economics
|PhD in Economics
|Johns Hopkins University
|PhD in Economics
|Kansas State University
|PhD in Economics
|Oregon State University
|PhD in Applied Economics
|PhD in Economics
|University of Maryland
|PhD in Economics (ECON)
|University of Utah
|PhD in Economics
|West Virginia University
|PhD in Economics
Best Universities for Economics PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Economics
The best universities for PhD economics programs include Arizona State University, John Hopkins University, Syracuse University, and Drexel University. These schools will adequately equip you with the economic knowledge and skills needed to ensure you are ready for a well-paying job in the economics career path of your dreams. Continue reading for all you need to know to prepare for grad school at one of the top Phd in Economics degree programs.
Can You Get a PhD in Economics Online?
Yes, you can get a PhD in economics online. Liberty University currently offers an online PhD in Public Policy with a concentration in Economic Policy. This program focuses on teaching students how to shape economic policy across legislation, communications, politics, education, and international relations. Grad school students can complete this online program in three years.
Best Online PhD Programs in Economics
|Online PhD in Public Policy with Concentration in Economic Policy
How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Economics?
It takes five years on average to get a PhD in Economics. The first two years are usually spent completing core classes in economics, and by the third year, students prepare for exams in their specialization field of choice. The final two years are for research and writing a dissertation.
Some students are able to complete their PhD program in less time. Others take up to seven years to finish their degrees, especially if they don’t already have a master’s degree in the field, or are taking courses part-time.
Is a PhD in Economics Hard?
Yes, a PhD in Economics is a hard degree to obtain. However, at this level of education, regardless of the area of study you choose, all programs are hard to complete. Doctoral programs are intended for students who wish to become true experts in their field of choice.
Economics PhD programs are hard because extensive research and practical capabilities are required of candidates. Through a heavy course load, econ grad students are expected to work hard to develop their skills to the maximum and create publishable, high-quality work.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Economics?
It costs an average of $19,314 per year to get a PhD in Economics, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This value is an average of the graduate tuition required in all public and private institutions between 2018 and 2019. Tuition rates will vary by school, and private universities are often more expensive than public institutions.
How to Pay for a PhD in Economics: PhD Funding Options
PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Economics include research and teaching assistantships, and many different fellowships and scholarships. These can either be provided directly by the university or by independent institutions and organizations.
Some of these include the Provost Graduate Fellowship, the Melvin Eggers Graduate Economics Scholarship for Doctoral Students, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
What Is the Difference Between an Economics Master’s Degree and PhD?
The main difference between an economics master’s degree and a PhD is that master’s degrees are more career-oriented, while PhDs are focused on research. Since many doctorate students wish to pursue academic careers and teach in high-quality schools, they opt for a PhD program that allows them to acquire expert-level knowledge through research and assistant teaching.
Other differences between these two programs include funding options for payment, as master’s degrees don’t have as many funding options as PhD programs do, as well as the time of completion and the difference in salary between economics master’s and PhD graduates.
Master’s vs PhD in Economics Job Outlook
Employment for both economics master’s and PhD graduates is expected to grow in the next 10 years. However, the growth percentage is much higher for certain economics jobs for those with a doctoral degree. For example, employment for budget analysts, a position that requires only a Master’s Degree in Economics, is projected to grow five percent from 2020 to 2030, which is slower than the average growth for all occupations.
On the other hand, employment for postsecondary teachers, who typically need to have a PhD in Economics, is expected to grow 12 percent in the next 10 years.
Difference in Salary for Economics Master’s vs PhD
Considering the differences mentioned above, there’s a significant difference in average salaries for economics master’s and PhD graduates. While a budget analyst makes around $84,240 on average per year, a postsecondary teacher makes $124,090 on average per year.
Related Economics Degrees
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Why You Should Get a PhD in Economics
You should get a PhD in Economics because it will allow you to learn many valuable quantitative and analytical skills in the field, improve how you communicate with peers and non-experts alike, learn from a wide variety of specializations, and put you on track for a career in research and academics.
Reasons for Getting a PhD in Economics
- Wide range of specializations. A PhD in Economics allows you to specialize in an area that interests you most, such as financial, labor, international, political, business, feminist, Keynesian, environmental, or development economics.
- Improve communication skills. Throughout your economics PhD program, you’ll be required to publish high-quality articles for peer review. This means that you’ll also be expected to learn how to communicate your findings to the common layman.
- Learn many relevant skills. Econ students learn skills that will allow them to work for several institutions. They’re able to evaluate and calculate risk, make predictions, develop and use mathematical models, and deeply understand market dynamics.
- Work in academia. Most PhD graduates desire to become professors themselves. A PhD in Economics allows students to work for all kinds of superior institutions and have a fulfilling career in research and academia.
Getting a PhD in Economics: Economics PhD Coursework
Getting a PhD in Economics begins with core economics PhD coursework. For most programs, these courses include micro and macroeconomics, econometrics, mathematics for economists, and research design and methodology.
A microeconomics course teaches decision-making when it comes to allocating resources of production, exchange, and consumption. Students learn about consumer and producer theory, general equilibrium theory, game theory, and other key applied microeconomic topics.
Macroeconomics is the area of economics that studies the economy as a whole. It accounts for the total goods and services provided, economic growth, and total income and consumption. In this course, students learn about the different macroeconomic models and current trends in macroeconomic thought.
In an econometrics course, students learn about probability and statistics, random variables, and hypothesis-testing procedures. Students will also be able to apply mathematical formulations to create complex economic models.
Mathematics for Economists
This core course is important to review the mathematical techniques required in economics. Students consolidate their knowledge in calculus, matrixes, algebra, differential equations, and set theory.
Research Design and Methodology
This introductory course is fundamental to guide students through conducting relevant research in economics literature for their dissertation, article publications, seminars, and any other papers they’ll need to prepare.
Best Master’s Degrees
How to Get a PhD in Economics: Doctoral Program Requirements
If you’re wondering how to get a PhD in Economics, the answer is pretty straightforward. To successfully complete an economics PhD program, students will have to complete all of the doctoral program requirements. These include successfully concluding core economics classes, establishing a program of study, passing the qualifying exam and candidacy examination, and defending a final dissertation.
Potential Careers With an Economics Degree
PhD in Economics Salary and Job Outlook
Getting a PhD in Economics will grant you career stability and financial security. Career prospects in the economics field are great, as employment in these jobs is projected to grow faster than average. Continue reading for a list of some of the best PhD in Economics jobs available to graduates and an overview of their annual salaries.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Economics?
With a PhD in Economics, you can apply to many high-paying jobs in the field. These jobs can include financial manager, postsecondary economics teacher, economist, personal financial advisor, or even urban and regional planner roles.
Best Jobs with a PhD in Economics
- Financial Manager
- Postsecondary Economics Teacher
- Personal Financial Advisor
- Urban and Regional Planner
What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Economics?
The average salary for someone with a PhD in Economics is $110,000 per year, according to PayScale. This value varies depending on the career path you choose, the company you work for, or even the industry you base your work in.
Highest-Paying Economics Jobs for PhD Grads
|Economics PhD Jobs
|Postsecondary Economics Teacher
|Personal Financial Advisor
|Urban and Regional Planner
Best Economics Jobs with a Doctorate
In this section, we’ll cover the best economics jobs you can get with a doctoral degree. They include financial managers, postsecondary teachers, and economists. Other high-paying jobs include personal financial advisors and urban and regional planners.
Is a PhD in Economics Worth It?
Yes, a PhD in Economics is worth it. Getting an economics PhD is a great way to gain valuable skills for the econ job market, work on your overall communication, and guarantee financial security and stability over the course of your career.
Economics PhD graduates can choose between conducting research and teaching in superior institutions, prestigious government positions, and continuous work at some of the highest-paying private institutions.
Additional Reading About Economics
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PhD in Economics FAQ
Some of the top companies that are hiring economists in 2022 include RAND, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the World Bank. Fannie Mae, the IMF, and Amazon are also top companies looking for economists.
Yes, you are expected to teach or somehow be involved in classroom experiences during your PhD program. Most students receive financial funding through teaching assistantships. These are viewed as an important component of the PhD college career.
You’ll need to have some kind of mathematics background to be admitted to an economics PhD program. All candidates must have taken intensive math classes and need proven math ability in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations.
No, you don’t need an econ master’s degree to enroll in an economics PhD. However, only a small number of applicants are accepted into these programs and a master’s degree could be considered a competitive edge.
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