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Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Economics

The primary goal of the PhD program in Business Administration with a major in Economics is to prepare students to become productive researchers and professors at institutions of higher learning, or as researchers in government and business. Because completing a doctoral degree is a difficult and lengthy process, we pay close attention to each student throughout their tenure. The program consists of only a handful of PhD students at any one time, allowing each student to work closely with the faculty and to receive the hands-on training needed to succeed.

Admissions:New PhD students begin the program in the fall semester of odd numbered years, with admission decisions being made early in the spring semester. Successful applicants typically have a strong quantitative background, though not all have an undergraduate degree in economics or business. Applicants must submit a GMAT or GRE score, and international applicants that do not hold a degree from an English speaking country must also submit a TOEFL score. Details on the application process may be found at MSU’s Office of the Graduate School's website.

Program of Study: The minimum course requirements for completing the Economics PhD program consist of the following:

  • Seven required economics courses (21 hours)
  • Five elective courses (15 hours)
  • One finance course (3 hours)
  • Two research methods courses (6 hours)
  • One teaching methods course (3 hours)

These courses are designed to develop analytical skills and to provide students with a good foundation in economic theory and empirical methods, and they are typically completed over the first two years. Students are expected to take the Quantitative Area Qualifying Exam by the end of their first year of study, and are eligible to take the Written Comprehensive Exam in Economics in December of their second year. After passing the Written Comprehensive Exam in Economics, students begin work on an original research project and present it to the faculty for approval as the dissertation proposal. Work on the dissertation usually lasts two to three years, and a final oral exam, called the dissertation defense, concludes the PhD program.


For specific information about the Economics PhD program at Mississippi State University, please contact the coordinator, Dr. Claudia Williamson at

Visit MSU’s Office of the Graduate School website for information on University admissions requirements for US students and International students.

Apply now