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Economics

The Howard University Department of Economics trains leaders for America and the Global Community.

Graduates of the Department include Dr. Samuel Z. Westerfield, Jr. for whom the National Economics Association named its most prestigious award for economists who make outstanding contributions to economics and as teachers, researchers and public servants. Westerfield held many posts in academia, including a visiting position at the Harvard Business School and as Dean of the School of Business at Atlanta University (with his noted colleague Whitney M. Young, the Dean of the School of Social Work), and as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia (1969-1972), and as Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for African Affairs. 

Alums also include Dr. Sadie Gregory, Acting President, Coppin State University; Dr. Akpan Ekpo, Vice Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University of Technology in Nigeria, Chair of the Akwa Ibom Investment and Industrial Promotion Council and Member of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and, Dr. Gwendolyn Flowers, who served as Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce and as the chief economist for the D.C. Financial Control Board; Dr. Marva Corley is an Economics Affairs Officer with the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs; Cheryl Hill Lee is a Statistician Economist at the U.S. Census Bureau where she coordinates the report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage. Last year’s undergraduate majors went on to pursue doctorates in economics, work for investment banking firms, work for big six accounting firms, work for the Peace Corps, work for major retailers and manufacturing firms and take government positions; reflecting the range of careers that economists pursue.

The Department achieves its goal by being a dynamic and vibrant place where students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences. The Department’s Howard Economic Policy Forum which has aired nationally on C-SPAN has played host to NAACP President Bruce Gordon, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, AARP President Marie Smith, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashcle, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Member Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, and Federal Reserve Board of Governors Vice-Chair Ronald Ferguson. Last year’s inductees into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honor society, heard from economics Nobel Laureate Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, and the year before they heard from Dr. Andrew Brimmer, the first African American to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Overview

The Department of Economics at Howard University provides students with a sound foundation in economic theory and its applications. Coupled with this is a concerted effort to produce students who are competent in the use of the quantitative tools in analysis. This is supplemented by a state of the art computer laboratory. The economics program provides a unique opportunity to gain experience and employment in research and policy making institutions in Washington.

The Economics Department offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Both programs offer specializations in Growth and Development, International, Urban, and Labor. Each of these fields of study allows the student to select a cluster of complementary courses drawn from such offerings as econometrics, economic theory, and international economics.

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Admission Requirements

Master of Arts

All students admitted to the graduate program must have at least a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent, a cumulative GPA of B or better, a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in economics, plus a course in differential calculus or mathematics for economists. The economics credits should include 6 credits of statistics and 6 credits of intermediate economic theory. 
 

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy Program in Economics. Applicants with a Master's degree in a related field will be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program upon submission of proof that work completed is equivalent to the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in economics at Howard University. 
 

Students admitted into the Ph.D. program with an M.A. degree must have a GPA of well over B and a minimum of 24 graduate course credits, including at least 6 credits in economic theory, 3 credits in econometrics, and 3 credits in graduate statistics. 
 

Students may be admitted with a deficiency in mathematics or statistics on the condition that the deficiency be corrected in the first semester. These makeup credits will not count toward completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

 

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The M.A. program has a course structure similar to that of the Ph.D. program, although it requires fewer credits. Students must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 15 must be devoted to general course requirements: 206-200, 206-202, 206-204, 206-210, and 206-211; 6 to thesis work; and 15 to the area of concentration.

Students who do not wish to write a thesis must take 6 additional credits of course work, 3 of which must be the seminar in the area of specialization. Each thesis will be directed by an adviser, read by at least one other faculty member, and followed by an oral defense. 
 

Following are the individual areas of specialization and their course requirements: Developmental Economics-206-220, 206-266, two other courses in the area, and one elective course in Economics; Urban Economics -206-230, two other courses in the area, and two electives in Economics; Monetary/Fiscal Economics-206-271, 206-272, and three courses from 206-240, 206-241, 206-242, 206-245, 206-249, and 206-273; Human Resources Economics-206-261, 206-262, and three courses from 206-233, 206-234, 206-247, 206-248, and 206-251, 206-263. 
 

Students must pass the comprehensive examinations, offered in February and September, which cover the following three areas: price theory, macroeconomic theory, and an area of specialization. The student may elect to take examination in all subjects or take the theory examinations first and the field of specialization at another time. If the student chooses the latter, he or she must pass the theory examinations before taking the field of specialization at the next sitting. 
 

If the student elects to take examinations in all three subjects the first time, he/she must pass at least two. Otherwise, he/she will be required to take all three examinations again on the second sitting.

      
There is no language requirement. 
 

Doctor of Philosophy

Students must earn a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, of which 12 must be devoted to dissertation work, 33 to electives and to the area of concentration, and 27 to the following general course requirements: 206-200, 206-201, 206-202, 206-203, 206-204, 206-210, 206-211, 206-212, and 206-213. Students may earn up to 6 credits in an internship program. 
 

Following are the individual areas of specialization and their course requirements: Development Economics-206-220, 206-221, 206-228, 206-244, 206-245, plus any of the four courses out of 206-216, 206-222, 206-223, 206-224, 206-225, 206-226, 206-227, 206-240, 206-241, 206-242, 206-250, 206-260, and two courses outside of the field based on the student's interest; Urban Economic Development-206-230, 206-231, 206-237, plus any of the six courses out of 206-216, 206-232, 206-233, 206-234, 206-235, 206-242, 206-250, 206-251, and two courses outside of the field; Monetary Fiscal Economics-206-240, 206-271, 206-272, 206-273, 206-216 plus any of the four courses out of 206-274, 206-216, 206-222, 206-240, 206-242, 206-245, 206-269, 206-250, and two courses in related fields; Human Resources Economics-206-261, 206-262, 206-223, 206-263, 206-216, plus any four courses out of 206-214, 206-233, 206-234, 206-247, 206-248, 206-250, 206-251 and two courses outside of the field. 
 

Students must pass the comprehensive examinations offered in February and September, in the following four areas: price theory, macroeconomic theory, quantitative economics, and an area of specialization.

Students are required to take the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations in both microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory as soon as they have successfully completed the required macro- and microeconomic theory courses. If the student passes both of these examinations, that student will become eligible to take the comprehensive examinations in quantitative methods and the approved area of concentration. 
 

Ph.D. students must also demonstrate in a formal examination a reading proficiency in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese. Under exceptional circumstances, the department may permit students to substitute for a language an advanced course that provides skills relevant to dissertation research, such as computer programming or mathematics. The language requirement must be fulfilled before the student is admitted to candidacy.

Residence Requirements

Master of Arts

The M.A. program has a course structure similar to that of the Ph.D. program, although it requires fewer credits. Students must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 15 must be devoted to general course requirements: 206-200, 206-202, 206-204, 206-210, and 206-211; 6 to thesis work; and 15 to the area of concentration.

Students who do not wish to write a thesis must take 6 additional credits of course work, 3 of which must be the seminar in the area of specialization. Each thesis will be directed by an adviser, read by at least one other faculty member, and followed by an oral defense. 
 

Following are the individual areas of specialization and their course requirements: Developmental Economics-206-220, 206-266, two other courses in the area, and one elective course in Economics; Urban Economics -206-230, two other courses in the area, and two electives in Economics; Monetary/Fiscal Economics-206-271, 206-272, and three courses from 206-240, 206-241, 206-242, 206-245, 206-249, and 206-273; Human Resources Economics-206-261, 206-262, and three courses from 206-233, 206-234, 206-247, 206-248, and 206-251, 206-263. 
 

Students must pass the comprehensive examinations, offered in February and September, which cover the following three areas: price theory, macroeconomic theory, and an area of specialization. The student may elect to take examination in all subjects or take the theory examinations first and the field of specialization at another time. If the student chooses the latter, he or she must pass the theory examinations before taking the field of specialization at the next sitting. 
 

If the student elects to take examinations in all three subjects the first time, he/she must pass at least two. Otherwise, he/she will be required to take all three examinations again on the second sitting.

      There is no language requirement. 
 

Doctor of Philosophy

Students must earn a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, of which 12 must be devoted to dissertation work, 33 to electives and to the area of concentration, and 27 to the following general course requirements: 206-200, 206-201, 206-202, 206-203, 206-204, 206-210, 206-211, 206-212, and 206-213. Students may earn up to 6 credits in an internship program. 
 

Following are the individual areas of specialization and their course requirements: Development Economics-206-220, 206-221, 206-228, 206-244, 206-245, plus any of the four courses out of 206-216, 206-222, 206-223, 206-224, 206-225, 206-226, 206-227, 206-240, 206-241, 206-242, 206-250, 206-260, and two courses outside of the field based on the student's interest; Urban Economic Development-206-230, 206-231, 206-237, plus any of the six courses out of 206-216, 206-232, 206-233, 206-234, 206-235, 206-242, 206-250, 206-251, and two courses outside of the field; Monetary Fiscal Economics-206-240, 206-271, 206-272, 206-273, 206-216 plus any of the four courses out of 206-274, 206-216, 206-222, 206-240, 206-242, 206-245, 206-269, 206-250, and two courses in related fields; Human Resources Economics-206-261, 206-262, 206-223, 206-263, 206-216, plus any four courses out of 206-214, 206-233, 206-234, 206-247, 206-248, 206-250, 206-251 and two courses outside of the field. 
 

Students must pass the comprehensive examinations offered in February and September, in the following four areas: price theory, macroeconomic theory, quantitative economics, and an area of specialization.

Students are required to take the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations in both microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory as soon as they have successfully completed the required macro- and microeconomic theory courses. If the student passes both of these examinations, that student will become eligible to take the comprehensive examinations in quantitative methods and the approved area of concentration. 
 

Ph.D. students must also demonstrate in a formal examination a reading proficiency in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese. Under exceptional circumstances, the department may permit students to substitute for a language an advanced course that provides skills relevant to dissertation research, such as computer programming or mathematics. The language requirement must be fulfilled before the student is admitted to candidacy.

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School 
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059