Economic Analysis & Policy Requirements

I. Preparation 

Admitted students are assumed to have a substantial background in economics. An undergraduate major in economics or mathematics or a graduate degree in economics or business administration suffices in most cases.

In addition, all students are required to have, or to obtain in the first year, skill in the use of the following mathematical methods:

Topic Courses
Calculus MATH 19, 20, 21: Calculus 
Linear Algebra MATH 51: Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Modern Applications
MATH 113: Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory


Analysis MATH 115: Functions of a Real Variable
Probability MS&E 220: Probabilistic Analysis
STATS 116: Theory of Probability


Optimization ECON 181: Optimization and Economic Analysis
Statistics STATS 200: Introduction to Statistical Inference

II. Course Requirements

All required courses must be taken for a grade (not pass/fail or credit/no credit). Exceptions are made if the required course is offered pass/fail or credit/no credit only. Each course must be passed with a grade of P or B- or better. Substitutions of required courses require approval from the faculty liaison. Waiving a course requirement based on similar doctoral level course completed elsewhere requires the approval of the course instructor, faculty liaison, and the PhD Program Office.

Requirement Courses
Core Requirements
(7 courses)
  • MGTECON 600 Microeconomic Analysis I
  • MGTECON 601 Microeconomic Analysis II
  • MGTECON 602 Auctions, Bargaining and Pricing
  • MGTECON 603 Econometric Methods
  • MGTECON 604 Econometric Methods II
  • MGTECON 629 Faculty Research Workshop

One macroeconomics course:

  • ECON 210 Macroeconomics I
  • MGTECON 610 Macroeconomics
  • MGTECON 612 Advanced Macroeconomics II
  • MGTECON 617 Heterogeneity in Macroeconomics
Field Requirements
(6 courses)

Students must complete 3 two-course sequences in topics in economics and related business fields. Examples are given below. If a course appears in more than one sequence, the course may not be counted twice. Alternative topics and two-course sequences may be proposed by the student, and must be approved by the faculty liaison.


  • ACCT 610 Seminar in Empirical Accounting Research
  • ACCT 611 Disclosure and Financial Markets
  • ACCT 612 Financial Reporting Seminar
  • ACCT 617 Applications of Contract Theory in Accounting Research

Advanced Econometrics

  • ECON 273 Advanced Econometrics I
  • ECON 274 Advanced Econometrics II
  • ECON 275 Economics-based Econometrics
  • ECON 293 Machine Learning and Causal Inference
  • MGTECON 605 Econometric Methods III
  • MGTECON 607 Methods for Applied Econometrics
  • MGTECON 640 Quantitative Methods for Empirical Research

Advanced Macroeconomics

  • ECON 211 Macroeconomics II
  • ECON 212 Macroeconomics III
  • ECON 233 Advanced Macroeconomics I
  • ECON 234 Advanced Macroeconomics II
  • ECON 235 Advanced Macroeconomics III
  • ECON 266 International Trade I
  • ECON 267 International Trade II

Advanced Theory

  • ECON 282 Contracts, Information, and Incentives
  • ECON 286 Game Theory and Economic Applications
  • ECON 289 Advanced Topics in Game Theory and Information Economics
  • ECON 291 Social and Economic Networks
  • MGTECON 608 Multiperson Decision Theory

Applied Microeconomics (with Application to Personnel, Labor and Urban Economics)

  • MGTECON 652 Personnel Economics
  • MGTECON 618 Social Insurance and Urban Economics


  • FIN 620 Financial Markets I
  • FIN 621 Financial Markets II
  • FIN 622 Dynamic Asset Pricing Theory

Industrial Organization

  • ECON 257 Industrial Organization I
  • ECON 258 Industrial Organization IIA
  • ECON 260 Industrial Organization III


  • ECON 246 Labor Economics I
  • ECON 247 Labor Economics II
  • ECON 248 Labor Economics III

Market Design

  • ECON 285 Matching and Market Design
  • ECON 284 Simplicity and Complexity in Economic Theory
  • ECON 287 Mechanism and Market Design

Political Economics

  • ECON 220 Political Economy I
  • ECON 221 Political Economy II
  • ECON 222 Political Development Economics
  • MGTECON 624 Dynamic Political Economy Theory
  • POLECON 680 Foundations of Political Economy
  • POLECON 681 Economic Analysis of Politics
  • POLECON 682 Workshop on Institutional Theories and Empirical Tests in Political Economy

Public Finance

  • ECON 241 Public Economics I
  • ECON 242 Public Economics II

III. Practicum

Students do not need to sign up for practicum in year one. In years two through five, students sign up for MGTECON 699 with the faculty liaison or the faculty advisor (after one is chosen) as a one unit pass/fail course in every quarter. Students must regularly attend and participate in one of the seminar series at Stanford GSB. With the faculty liaison’s approval, students may attend a non-Stanford GSB seminar series, in lieu of a seminar series at Stanford GSB.

IV. Field Examination

Students take two field exams in the summer after the first year in the program: theory and metrics. Students must pass both exams in order to successfully complete the requirement. Successful completion of the field exams is required for advancement to candidacy.

V. Summer Research Paper

Each student is required to submit a research paper and present it in the Fall quarter of their third year in the program at the time announced by the liaison. The paper has to be an original and novel body of work. Students should discuss the scope and expectations for the paper with their faculty advisor and liaison. The papers and presentations will be graded by the faculty with a Pass/Fail grade. A student who fails will be provided with a second opportunity to complete this requirement (paper and presentation) in the spring of the third year. Successful completion of the research paper is required for advancement to candidacy.

VI. Teaching Requirement

One quarter of course assistantship or teaching practicum. Requirement must be completed prior to graduation.

VII. Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is a judgment by the faculty of the student’s potential to successfully complete the requirements of the degree program. Students are required to advance to candidacy by September 1 before the start of their fourth year in the program.

VIII. University Oral Exam

The oral examination is a defense of the dissertation work in progress. The student orally presents and defends the thesis work in progress at a stage when it is one-half to two-thirds complete. The oral examination committee tests the student on the theory and methodology underlying the research, the areas of application and portions of the major field to which the research is relevant, and the significance of the dissertation research. Students are required to successfully complete the oral exams by September 1 before the start of their fifth year in the program

IX. Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is expected to be an original contribution to scholarship or scientific knowledge, to exemplify the highest standards of the discipline, and to be of lasting value to the intellectual community. The Econ faculty defer to the student’s Dissertation Reading Committee to provide general guidelines (e.g. number of chapters, length of dissertation) on the dissertation.

Typical Timeline

Year Three

Year Four