The Master's and PhD programs have different objectives. The MS program is designed to provide the training necessary for careers in government and business where original research is generally not the primary concern. The PhD program is designed to train economists capable of adding to the knowledge of economics, doing independent research, and teaching at college or university levels.
Applicants for graduate studies in Economics must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School and be accepted by the Department of Economics. Detailed information can be found at the LSU Graduate School website, Prospective Students link. Kindly note that the LSU Graduate School Requirements, in addition to the ones specific to the Economics Department described in the next paragraph, are only for consideration and do not guarantee admission.
In addition to the Graduate School requirements, we would like students to have completed undergraduate courses in calculus, statistics, and intermediate macroeconomics and microeconomics before entering the PhD program. It would be preferable for students interested in pursuing the PhD degree to also take at least a year of calculus, a linear algebra course, and probability and statistics.
Non-economics majors with strong academic records and the requisite math and statistics background are encouraged to apply. However, these individuals would be required to work through intermediate macroeconomics and microeconomics textbooks on their own by the end of the summer preceding entry into the PhD program. A list of suitable textbooks will be supplied by the department.
The Department also requires three letters of recommendation. We do not require writing samples.
All PhD students, both domestic and international, including entering graduate students, are eligible to apply for assistantships. A full time (20 hours/week) graduate student assistant currently receives a stipend of $18,100 per academic year, and is also provided a full tuition waiver but must pay university fees. Students holding assistantships are expected to assist the faculty in their research and teaching for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Teaching assistantships, which involve teaching an entire section, are available to those advanced graduate students who have successfully passed the PhD qualifying exams. Graduate School Supplement Awards are sometimes available to outstanding graduate students entering the PhD program. These awards range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year and are generally renewable for a maximum of four years. A minimum GPA of 3.0 every semester is required to retain the award. Summer stipends for teaching or research have been available in the past and will be available in the future, but their number varies from summer to summer.
Requirements for the PhD Program
Students may first earn a MS degree and then enter the PhD program, or may immediately enter the doctoral program. The PhD in economics consists of a core of macro and micro theory and three fields of specialized study--a macroeconomics field, a microeconomics field, and the econometrics field. The courses and sequencing are as follows:
For more information, please contact: