—Betsy Caucutt, Western University, UMN PhD, 1997
Every economics PhD program has its own signature. At the University of Minnesota, our approach is distinguished by a thorough grounding in economic analysis and the insistence on balance between theory and applications. The emphasis upon rigorous theoretical underpinnings for applications ensures that assumptions are clearly specified, allowing others to judge their appropriateness and that results clearly follow from assumptions rather than relying on intuition. This emphasis on analysis and theory makes the program inappropriate for students who want a terminal MA.
Our focus on analysis from the start of the program demands that entering students have extensive mathematical skills. At minimum, the program requires a thorough understanding of multivariate calculus and linear algebra, which includes the ability to use the concepts of these fields independently as well as the ability to follow the reasoning of others using those concepts. A student will not be admitted to the program unless it is clear from the application materials that they have this understanding.
Students who take pleasure in applying mathematical and statistical tools to social issues will find that the training here at the University of Minnesota opens up exciting avenues for productive theoretical and applied research.
We do not admit students seeking a terminal MA, but this degree is often awarded en route to the PhD.