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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Program

department of economics

The Ph.D. in Economics at Boston College

The graduate program in economics is dedicated to full-time Ph.D. students. The doctoral program is designed to train economists for careers in teaching and research by providing strong backgrounds in economic theory, quantitative research methods, and applied fields. Requirements include course work, comprehensive examinations, a doctoral dissertation, and a one-year residence requirement.

The Department of Economics has a full-time graduate faculty of 34 and admits about 16 full-time students per year into the Ph.D. program. The size of the program permits the department to offer a broad range of courses while at the same time enabling students to receive a good deal of individual attention. The Boston College Economics Department ranks 18th among U.S. economics departments in the February 2017 IDEAS rankings and 26th in the February 2017 IDEAS world rankings. 

Boston College's proximate location to Cambridge and Boston make it part of the area's lively intellectual community. The Ph.D. program draws upon the rich academic resources of Greater Boston's universities and colleges in addition to those available within the Department of Economics and other departments at BC.

Learning Outcomes

  • The department's Ph.D. students are expected to master advanced economic theory, research methods, and two economic subfields, and produce original contributions to the discipline so as to enjoy professionally rewarding careers in Economics. These include (i) tenure-track positions at high-quality Ph.D.-granting universities and/or the top primarily undergraduate colleges around the world, (ii) research positions in top non-academic research departments spanning domestic (e.g., U.S. Federal Reserve Banks), foreign (e.g., the European Central Bank), and international organizations (e.g., the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank), and (iii) employment in the private sector (e.g., leading consulting firms).
  • Graduate students are expected to adhere to the principles of scientific integrity by responsibly using economic data and research methods and giving appropriate attribution to original work and source material.
  • Graduate students selected to serve as teaching assistants or teaching fellows in the department's undergraduate program are expected to develop and apply best practice teaching methods.

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