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Criteria for Recommending Renewal of Assistantships

The faculty of the Department of Economics wish to ensure that as many students as possible complete the requirements for their doctoral degree in a timely manner (four to five years). The criteria for renewing assistantships described below reflect that objective. As long as students meet these criteria, they will keep on track for a timely completion of their Ph.D. requirements and may be reasonably assured of retaining financial aid through their fourth year in the program, unless otherwise specified in the initial offer letter.If there is strong evidence that a student will complete all degree requirements during the fifth year, the department makes every effort to provide financial support; but such funding is less certain.

Academic Criteria for Renewal of Assistantships

The criteria set out below are guidelines. Exceptions may be made, especially when there are unusual circumstances.

  • At all times, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for all coursework and for all 700-level economics coursework taken while in the graduate program.
  • Successfully complete Economics 701, 702, and 721 in Fall of Year 1.
  • Successfully complete Economics 711, 712, 725, and 723 (Dynamic Methods) in Spring of Year 1.
  • Pass the Microtheory and Macrotheory comprehensive exams at the end of Year 1.
  • Successfully complete Economics 726 and two field courses in Fall of Year 2.
  • Successfully complete Economics 727 and the second courses of two fields in Spring of Year 2.
  • Complete a Dissertation Initial Progress Report, with approval from your dissertation advisor and the Graduate Coordinator, by the end of Fall Semester of Year 3.
  • Successfully complete at least one of the two graduate level elective courses by Fall of Year 3. Register for the dissertation workshop (Economics 709) every semester in residence starting with Fall of Year 3.
  • Successfully complete the last graduate level elective course (if this has not been completed previously) and choose a dissertation chair by Spring of Year 3 at the latest.
  • Make acceptable progress on a dissertation as attested to by the dissertation advisor.
  • Successfully defend your dissertation proposal by the beginning of Year 5 in order to be considered for funding in Year 5.

Other Criteria for Retaining an Assistantship

  • Discharge assistantship duties in a satisfactory fashion.
  • Do not hold any other form of paid employment during the fall or spring semester without the written consent of the Chairperson of the Department of Economics.
  • Do not hold more than one position of employment with the University at any given time.
  • Maintain continuous registration as a full-time student (nine credit-hours each semester).

The latter two criteria are University regulations that cannot be waived by the Department of Economics or the College of Business and Economics.

Financial assistance is always contingent on availability of funds and, therefore, could be affected by budget reductions. To date, however, the department has not had to unexpectedly withdraw or fail to renew an assistantship solely due to funding cuts.


Approved October 1996
Revised course numbers, April 2002
Updated August 2006, December 2009, August 2013, and August 2016