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Overview of the PhD Program

The PhD program in MSU’s Department of Economics is a leader in economic research and training, routinely being ranked between the 25th and 35th best economics department in the United States.  For example, the 2016 IDEAS’ Research Papers in Economics (RePEC) listed MSU as the 23rd best US economics department, and our publication record from 2006-2015 places us at 29th in the United States in the Tilburg Rankings. Some of our highest ranked individual fields in the United States include econometrics (12), international trade (13), public (22), and labor (23), according to the 2016 RePEC ranking.*

We recognize that the best education comes from building a strong theoretical and econometric foundation and working closely with faculty members and fellow classmates. As a department, we have taken steps to maximize these opportunities by increasing funding to first year students, reducing teaching assistant hours, increasing research assistantship opportunities, keeping field class sizes small, fostering a collaborative environment within and between cohorts, and replacing field exam requirements with research milestones and presentations.

Our goal is that students will leave Michigan State University with the research experience, tools, and professional network necessary to succeed in their desired careers. Over the past few years, we succeeded in placing over half of our students in academic jobs at universities like the University of Louisville, University of California-Riverside, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Other graduates place at top federal government agencies like the Census Bureau, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and Department of Agriculture and top research organizations and corporations like Mathematica, Abt Associates, and Amazon.
Please see here for all of our recent placements.

* For additional and updated rankings, please see RePEC, Tilburg, USN&WR, and AEA.


Michigan State University Department of Economics