M. Phil.  The Master of Philosophy degree is awarded to students in the Ph.D. program upon completion of all the requirements for advancement to candidacy for a doctorate in economics except the prospectus and prospectus workshop requirements.

M.A. (En route to the Ph.D.)  The M.A. degree is awarded upon completion of at least eight term graduate courses listed or cross-listed by the Department of Economics.  At least six of these courses must be Ph.D. courses in the Department of Economics (not courses from the International and Development Economics Masters Program).  The average grade of all the graduate courses taken that are listed or cross-listed by the Department of Economics must be at least a High Pass, and at least two of these grades must be an Honors.  Students must complete at least two of the three first-year two-course sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics, or econometrics.  In computing the grade average, the relevant grades are those reported to the registrar and so do not include pluses or minuses.  A Fail counts as a zero, a Pass counts as a 1, a High Pass counts as a 2, and an Honors counts as a 3.  To say that the average grade must be High Pass means that the arithmetic average of these numbers must be at least 2.

Students in doctoral programs other than Economics may earn an M.A. in Economics under the conditions listed in the previous paragraph.  Such students automatically earn an M.A. in their own department when awarded a Ph.D., and Yale allows students to earn only one M.A. degree.  Consequently students must apply to have the M.A. in their own department replaced by the Economics M.A.  This application must be made to the Directors of Graduate Studies of Economics and of the student’s own department.  Prior to this application, the student must have taken the first one-term course in at least one of the three first-year two-course sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics, or econometrics and obtained a grade of at least High Pass.  As part of the application, the student must submit a proposed list of economics courses, and this list must be approved by the two Directors of Graduate Studies and by the appropriate dean of the Graduate School.  The Director of Graduate Studies of Economics must approve any deviation from this list, and this approval should be obtained before taking courses not on the list.

Terminal Master’s Degree Program.  Students working toward a J.D. in the Law School may earn an M.A. degree in economics.  The degree requirements that apply to these students are the same as those described above for the M.A. degree en route to Ph.D. for students in doctoral programs other than Economics.  Students wishing to join this J.D./M.A. joint degree program must apply for separate admission to the Economics graduate program.  Students admitted to this program pay three years of tuition to the Law School and one year of tuition to the Graduate School.  The Graduate School does not offer fellowship support to J.D./M.A. candidates. 

The M.A. in International and Development Economics is described under International and Development Economics.


1) Combined Degree defined.  A combined degree results in the award of one PhD with two departments named.  It is not two separate degrees and the student is not expected to fulfill all the requirements of both departments.

2) Purpose.  Combined degrees are intended to provide a sufficiently broad training program for a student wishing to complete an interdisciplinary dissertation.

3) Who designs a combined degree program.  Combined degree programs are designed on an ad hoc basis by the student, the DGSs of the two departments, and the appropriate associate deans of the Gradate School.

4) Timing. Most combined degrees are proposed by students during the summer after the first year of study.  Students are not given extra time or funding to complete combined degrees.  In particular, students must advance to candidacy by the end of their third year of study.

5) Degree of Integration.  A combined program should synthesize the knowledge and methods of the two departments into a single study.  Ideally the dissertation should be equally strong in both fields.  For example, a dissertation with the first half focused on economics and the second half focused on political science would not be acceptable.

6) Administrative requirements. An ad hoc combined degree program is established in the following steps.

a) A program is initiated by writing of a pre-prospectus by the student.  This is a document that describes how and why the two fields are to be integrated.

b) The student recruits a faculty dissertation advisor from each department and obtains their approval of the pre-prospectus, perhaps modified in response to their advice.

c) The student recruits two other faculty members to serve on the dissertation committee, one from each department.

d) The student discusses the requirements for a combined degree with both departmental DGSs.

e) The student prepares a comprehensive study plan that contains a list of courses and examinations agreed on by both DGSs and approved by both departments.  The goals of the course selection are to give some breadth of knowledge of both fields and prepare the student to complete the dissertation.  A key to success in combined programs is not to require too many courses and to focus on preparation for dissertation research.  The examinations should include the two comprehensive examinations in micro and macroeconomic theory given at the end of the first year by the Department of Economics.  Normally the two departments addminister qualifying examinations jointly.  This procedure may require the production of examinations that both departments evaluate simultaneously.  The plan of study should contain the following: i) A cover sheet for approvals by both dissertation advisors, both DGSs, and by the appropriate associate dean of the Graduate School, ii) an introduction where the student explains the rational for proposing the ad hoc combined degree, and iii) a semester by semester time line listing all classes, teaching, and required examinations.

f) Both departments must accept the dissertation prospectus.

g) The plan of study is a contract, and the student must receive written permission in advance from both DGSs and the appropriate associate dean of the Graduate School for any changes to the plan.

h) Once everyone agrees and the plan of study is approved, the combined program is recorded in Banner.

7) Funding and Teaching. The department that first admitted the student is the “primary department.” The student’s funding is from the primary department as is the teaching expectation.  Ideally students should obtain teaching experience from both departments.