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Economics & Public Policy

Program Requirements

With a few modest exceptions students will be required to meet the course, examination, and research requirements of both programs.

Examination Requirements

Within Tepper, Ph.D. students are not required to take courses, but they are required to pass qualifying examinations. Tepper students (those in this joint program who matriculate through Tepper) take the following qualifying examinations:

  • Microeconomics 
  • Econometrics 
  • Macroeconomics
  • Public Economics

The microeconomics and macroeconomics qualifying exams are the same exams that all Tepper Economics PhD students take. The microeconomics exam covers Microeconomics I, Microeconomics II, Game Theory and Applications, and Economics of Contracts. The macroeconomics exam covers Macroeconomics I, Dynamic Competitive Analysis, and Computational Methods for Economics. Students in the joint program may satisfy the econometrics requirement in two ways. They may satisfy the econometrics requirement in one of two ways. They may take the Tepper qualifying examination in econometrics, or they may take the Heinz quantitative requirements course sequence and take a qualifying examination based on that course sequence.

Students with appropriate preparation prior to their entry to the program may take the qualifying exams prior to the 3rd semester point if they choose, but they must take the entire set of qualifiers as outlined above. For further information, visit the Qualifying Examinations page.

Course Requirements

Heinz course requirements include:

  • Ph.D. Seminar I, II, & III (90-901/902/918) 
  • Organizations (90-917) or Demography (90-912) 
  • 1 research seminar 
  • Seminar in Public Economics

Four course Econometrics/Statistical Methods Requirement:

This requirement can be met by taking a variety of graduate level courses from Tepper, Heinz, and the Department of Statistics. These courses include:

  • Statistical Theory for Social and Policy Sciences (Heinz, 90-905) 
  • Introduction to Econometric Theory (Heinz, 90-906) 
  • Econometric Theory and Methods (Heinz, 90-907) 
  • Econometrics I (Tepper, 47-811) 
  • Econometrics II (Tepper, 47-812) 
  • Advanced Economic Analysis II (Econometrics) (Tepper, 47-902)
  • Regression Analysis (Statistics, 36-707) 
  • Linear Models and Experimental Design (Statistics, 36-708) 
  • Discrete Multivariate Analysis (Statistics, 36-720) 
  • Continuous Multivariate Analysis (Statistics, 36-722) 
  • Time Series Analysis I (Statistics, 36-728) 
  • Time Series Analysis II (Statistics, 36-730)

In addition, students must pass a qualifying examination based on the material in the Heinz sequence of 90-905, 90-906, and 90-907 or the Tepper sequence of 47-811, 47-812, and 47-902.

Commentary on Course Requirements

In large measure the course requirements combine those of the separate programs. The changes are as follows:


  • Students will have the flexibility to take either Tepper’s or Heinz’s econometrics sequences.


  • The research seminar requirement is reduced from a 2 to 1 course requirement. We anticipate that public Economics will be taught in research seminar format. Further, we wanted to reduce the course work demands in an already demanding curriculum. Note that the research seminar requirement is similarly reduced in the joint Statistics Ph.D. program.


Carnegie Mellon University's Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) is an interdisciplinary PhD program that focuses on training PhD students to do research in education.


Pre-Dissertation Research Requirements

Both Tepper and Heinz require students to author (or co-author) two papers. The papers will serve to simultaneously fulfill the research requirements of both programs. At Tepper the first and second papers are preliminarily scheduled for completion by the end the first and second years of residency, respectively. The final date for completion for the two is, respectively, no later than the third and fifth semester of residency. Heinz allows an additional semester for completion of the papers with the first and second papers due for completion no later than the fourth and sixth semesters of residency, respectively. The Heinz School will maintain its policy that in combination the papers demonstrate the research competence, flexibility and structuring requirements.

Dissertation Requirement

A student’s committee will include at least one faculty member from Tepper and Heinz.


Students in the joint program must be admitted into both the Heinz Public Policy and Management Ph.D. program and the Tepper economics program. However, to ease the administrative burden on the applicant, he or she need only submit one application from either program.

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