The Doctor of Philosophy degree in applied economics in the Department of Economics at Western Michigan University is designed to meet the needs of future high-level practicing economists in non-academic settings. The Ph.D. program is intended to be completed within four years if you are entering with good undergraduate economics and quantitative methods (mathematics and statistics) training or a Master of Arts in economics.
The Department of Economics has full-time and adjunct faculty demonstrating a wide range of research interests with a common theme of applied research. The faculty uses state-of-the-art economic theory and empirical methods to address the myriad problems of an economic nature confronted outside the classroom, which was the foundation to offering the Ph.D. degree in applied economics.
The WMU Ph.D. program in applied economics develops skills required for applied research and prepares doctorates for their first job in academia.
Workshops and internships
WMU's program retains a core curriculum as is required by traditional Ph.D. programs in economics, but also requires that you participate in a series of applied economics workshops and complete a one-year internship in a non-academic organization. Doctoral students intern with organizations such as:
- Businesses and hospitals
- City, county or state government agencies
- Consulting or research firms and institutes
- Financial institutions
During an internship, you will report to an employee of the organization and a Department of Economics faculty member. The internship gives you the incentive and opportunity to apply your knowledge of economic theory and empirical methods to the actual problems faced by an organization. The internship is also intended to provide the subject of your dissertation and therefore send you into the job market with a somewhat different orientation than that of graduates from traditional programs.
For admission to the Ph.D. program in applied economics, you must satisfy all the criteria identified in the graduate catalog. In addition, the Department of Economics requires:
- GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical).
- Intermediate level micro and macroeconomic theory.
- One year of calculus.
- A personal statement discussing your career plans.
- Three letters of reference from persons in a position to assess your qualifications for doctoral-level study and likelihood of successful completion of the Ph.D. degree.
WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system.
Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information, with a summary for the Doctor of Philosophy in applied economics. Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.
Thank you for your interest in applying for this graduate program.
All applications and supporting documents must be received by:
- Feb. 1 to receive full consideration for financial assistance.
- August 1 without a financial assistance request.
Meet our students
The Department of Economics has a diverse student body with students from all over the world. Our doctoral students have opportunities to teach undergraduate classes, attend conferences and conduct research both independently and in collaboration with faculty.
Our Ph.D. alumni have established successful careers and lives. Check out current job positions of some of our Ph.D. alumni.
Contact Dr. Mark Wheeler, director of graduate programs, for additional information.