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Economics Ph.D. program ranked by U.S. News, prepares for 50th Anniversary

WVU B&E Economics Ph.D. 50th anniversary

The Ph.D. Economics program at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics was listed as one of the nation’s best earlier this month in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The doctoral program, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, was listed by U.S. News at #83.

“This national ranking is the result of long-term investment and strategy by the Economics Department,” said Javier Reyes, B&E Milan Puskar Dean. “Our Economics Ph.D. graduates have worked in a variety of capacities ranging from the federal government to tenure-track teaching positions at colleges and universities around the world. Their education and training here at B&E has propelled them into very successful careers.”

Dr. Joshua Hall, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for Free Enterprise, said a ranking such as this one draws attention to the abilities of graduates and the strengths the department has built. “Rankings are important because not everyone can have a first-hand experience with WVU or our students,” Hall said. “Those who have hired our graduates know their abilities. The fact that their quality is reflected in these rankings helps us recruit the next generation of Mountaineers to Morgantown.”

The listing among the nation’s top economics Ph.D. programs is based on peer assessment; in other words, how peers see the B&E program.

“Peer assessment is part assessment of the quality of the economics faculty and the impact of their published research, and part assessment of the quality of the output of the graduate program, which is students who earn their Ph.D. in economics here,” said Cliff Hawley, professor and Economics Department chair. “We have an outstanding group of faculty scholars in economics who do innovative research and who mentor our Ph.D. students. Our doctoral graduates then have successful careers and that goes a long way toward producing the solid academic reputation of B&E’s Economics Ph.D. program.”

The program, which will hold its 50th anniversary celebration April 21-23, has seen graduates perform highly respected, successful work.

“Most graduates over the last half-century have advanced to careers as college and university professors, from small schools up to major research universities,” said Dr. Brian Cushing, economics associate professor and chair of the 50th Anniversary Ph.D. Program Planning Committee. “Some have served as department chairs, deans and even as college or university presidents. A large number have also worked for state governments or the federal government in positions at such well-known places as the Federal Reserve Bank, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Congressional Research Service, and U.S. Department of Labor. While most spent their careers in the United States, many others have worked overseas, mostly at universities, but often in prominent government roles. A significant number, including several recent graduates, have worked for organizations such as the World Bank.”

Many of these graduates are expected to attend the program’s 50th anniversary celebration April 21-23.

Cushing said, “Our graduates have been great ambassadors for the Economics Department, College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University and the state of West Virginia as a whole.”