The PhD program focuses on a solid core curriculum in economic theory and econometrics. Beyond this, we offer a number of specialized fields of study: econometrics, economic development, economic history, environmental and natural resources economics, industrial organization, international trade and finance and labor economics.

Degrees Offered


Degree Details

The satisfactory completion of a total of 48 semester hours of course work and 30 hours of dissertation research is required. First year courses include Microeconomic Theory I and II, Macroeconomic Theory I and II, Mathematical Statistics for Economists, and Econometrics. These courses are followed by three preliminary exams prior to the start of the second-year. In the second year, students take Advanced Economic Theory and five upper level electives. In year three, two additional electives and two semesters’ research colloquium are required. Students then complete an oral comprehensive exam. Most students begin dissertation research in the second semester of their third year. Conducting dissertation research and completing and defending the dissertation are the final steps for completion of the degree.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Carefully review information contained in the “Admissions” and “Apply” sections of the graduate webpage for the Department of Economics.
  2. Have a solid background in mathematics. See department webpage for more information.
  3. All International applicants must submit a TOEFL score, including a speaking section unless English is the native language in your country of citizenship. Otherwise, NO EXCEPTIONS–even if you attended college in an English-speaking country.

For minimum requirements, refer to the "Admissions" section of the Overview page on the graduate website for the Department of Economics. We cannot evaluate credentials until a complete application has been submitted.

Applicant Instructions

Do not submit research papers or any other materials not listed in the “Apply” section of the ECON webpage. If you submit items not on the list, they will not be reviewed and processing of your application may be delayed. Do not mail any materials submitted online. This will cause duplication that may delay processing of your application. Before submitting anything not on the list, please send an email query to  

Fall Domestic Application Deadline

January 19, 2017

International Application Deadline

December 1, 2016

Contact Information

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Economics
Economics 222
256 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
Phone: 303-492-6396
Fax: 303-492-8960

Department of Economics website