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PhD in business Economics

Admissions Requirements

Successful candidates for admission have strong records of academic performance in rigorous programs and exemplary GRE general test or GMAT scores, especially in the quantitative area. Applicants with bachelors degrees in the social sciences, engineering, sciences, as well as, business are encouraged to apply.

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL or IELTS, unless they have obtained the equivalent of a US bachelor degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction. The committee prefers scores of at least 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT) of the TOEFL or scores of at least 7.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


Good Academic Standing

All courses should be completed with a grade of B or better.


Teaching Requirement

Students must teach or assist with teaching in a formally offered course for one full academic term. This engagement should include, at least, 8 hours of front-of-class teaching and 16 hours of teaching preparation time. The requirement may be fulfilled by completing a teaching fellow or instructor assignment at a Northampton University.


Special Field Exam

Students are required to pass the Special Field Exam at the end of the second year. The exam consists of an oral portion in which the student will be examined on content from the student’s reading lists. The written component of the special field examination requirement requires students to submit a publishable paper. This paper must be approved (pass/fail) by two faculty members in the student’s unit.


Dissertation Proposal

By the end of their third year, all students are required to obtain approval of their dissertation proposal by their Dissertation Chair.



Students are required to write a dissertation, which typically takes the form of three publishable papers, to the satisfaction of their Dissertation Committee. The dissertation defense is oral and open to the public.

Seminar Participation

After passing the written Field Exam, students are expected to enroll in a working seminar or participate in an informal lunchtime seminar group. Students in their third year or beyond must present in the working seminar (or informal lunchtime seminar) at least once per year.

The Dissertation

The student selects a faculty dissertation committee consisting of three members of the Northampton faculty; one of whom must be in the Department of Economics and one of whom must be from the Business School. Under the dissertation committee’s advisorship, the student will proceed to complete the dissertation research. The dissertation should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to perform original research that develops in a scholarly way a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding in the chosen special field. The requirement is that the analysis and evaluation of relevant data yield significant and independent conclusions.


Normal completion time is five years.