Year 1

At the beginning of the student’s first year, the DGS will assign a first-year faculty advisor to each student. Each student should outline a tentative plan for advanced coursework appropriate for his or her research objectives.

In addition to the eight courses for quality grade, each student must take the non-credit seminar Introduction to Graduate study in the Autumn of the first-year.

Courses taken by Ph.D. students during the first two years of the program are intended as preparation for a research career in public policy studies. All Ph.D. students must demonstrate mastery of the core subject areas of econometrics and economic theory, as covered in PPHA 42000, 42100, 42200, 44100, 44200, and 41501. They demonstrate this competence by passing the six core courses with an average grade of at least B+. Students who do not meet this GPA requirement in the first year will have the opportunity to take a qualifying exam during summer quarter. GPA minimum requirements for qualifying exam waivers by AOF can be found on the annual AOF document: 2023-24 AOF

By the end of the spring quarter of the first year, students, in consultation with the DGS, must identify at least one Harris School faculty member to act as an adviser for the qualifying paper. A second University of Chicago faculty member should also be identified to serve on the faulty committee for the paper.

Sample First-Year Course Schedule




PPHA 42000: Applied Econometrics I

PPHA 42100: Applied Econometrics II

PPHA 42200: Applied Econometrics III

PPHA 44100: PhD Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis I

PPHA 44200: PhD Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis II


PPHA 41501: Game Theory

AOF course

AOF course

Qualifying Exam

Ph.D. students must pass a qualifying exam, as specified by their Area of Focus, by the end of the summer of their first year of study. This might be a GPA minimum in specified courses, a written exam, or some other assessment as determined by faculty in the Area. Students who do not meet the requirement will be removed from the program. Students can appeal removal by submitting an Appeal Form for Program Continuation to the Program Director 14 days before the start of autumn quarter of their second year of study at the latest; the request will be reviewed by the Ph.D. Committee and a decision, an Appeal for Program Continuation Outcome Form, will be sent to the student in writing.