Carnegie Mellon University


In the first year of the program, students take a two-semester sequence in microeconomic theory, which encompasses basic microeconomics and a course that covers various modeling approaches to dynamic firm decision making, industrial competition, and economic growth. Students also begin their coursework in statistical methodology and take substantive courses relating to organizations and technological change. In the second year of the program, students take a two-semester sequence in the economics of entrepreneurship and technological change.

Every student in the program is required to take the following courses:

90-908: Ph.D Microeconomic Analysis
88-762: Dynamic Models for Firm Decision Making and Industrial Competition
79-821: The Rise of Industrial R&D
47-903&904: Organizational Theory
88-992 Economics of Entrepreneurship
90-910 Economics of Technological Change

Students are also required to develop expertise in empirical methods. They are required to master a range of statistical methods and also learn about designing surveys and doing fieldwork. Generally this will involve at least three courses from the following menu:

Statistical Theory for Social and Policy Sciences (90-905)
Introduction to Econometric Theory (90-906)
Econometric Theory and Methods (90-907)
Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences (47-907)
Regression Analysis (36-707)
Linear Models and Experimental Design (36-708)
Continuous Multivariate Analysis (36-722)
Probability and Estimation Methods for Engineering Systems (12-704)
Decision Analysis and Optimization (19-702)
Econometrics I (47-811)
Econometrics II (47-812)
Econometrics III (47-813)
Time Series Analysis I (36-728)
Time Series Analysis II (36-730)
Discrete Multivariate Analysis (36-720)
Statistical Methods for Behavioral Sciences (36-743)
Applied Policy Analysis (19-701)
Experimental Design and Data Analysis (19-703/4)

Students will also be required to complete a two-semester concentration in an area of their choosing. Each student's area of concentration will be worked out in conjunction with his or her faculty committee. Areas of concentration will differ across students according to the college or department in which they are admitted. For example, students admitted through the Organizational Behavior program in GSIA might do their concentration in individual and group decision making, taking a micro-organizational behavior course and possibly a course in behavioral decision making. A range of concentrations will be available to students. Some of the concentrations that will be available are illustrated through the following course groupings:

  • Courses in organizations and behavioral decision making
  • Courses in technology policy and innovation
  • Courses in entrepreneurship, firm startups, and financing of new ventures
  • Courses in groups and organizations
  • Courses in game theory and industrial organization
  • Courses in technology policy and regional economic development
  • Courses in the history of business and technological change
  • Courses in information systems and technological change
  • Courses in engineering pertaining to innovation and technology
Students will be required to present and defend a research paper to the faculty during their second year and to pass a qualifying exam administered at the end of their third semester covering all of the required courses in the program except the last semester of the second-year sequence on entrepreneurship, firm strategy, and industry evolution. They will also have to defend successfully a doctoral thesis proposal and then complete the doctoral thesis. Each participating unit may also have distinctive requirements.