Carnegie Mellon University

Economics and Public Policy

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

  • Microeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Public Economics

The microeconomics and macroeconomics qualifying exams are the same exams that all Tepper School Economics Ph.D. 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 one of two ways. They may take the Tepper School 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 choose to take the qualifying exams prior to the third semester, however, they must take the entire set of qualifiers as outlined above.

Commentary on Course Requirements

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

Tepper School:

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


  • The research seminar requirement is reduced from a two to one 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.

Please visit our Ph.D. Student Profiles page to view the profiles of our current doctoral candidates.