Preliminary Exam

The preliminary examination in Economics takes the form of a thesis prospectus and an oral examination by the student's committee.

Thesis Prospectus

The thesis prospectus is a paper that discusses in detail what the student plans to present in the dissertation, including preliminary results. The prospectus should show promise of further development into the student's dissertation. The prospectus and the presentation, which is often given at a departmental workshop, is the preliminary examination as specified in theĀ Graduate Bulletin.

Timetable for Exam

By the last day of graduate final exams in the spring semester of the third year, the student must successfully present a thesis prospectus to their supervisory committee.


The committee is nominated by the director of graduate studies in consultation with the candidate's thesis supervisor; it is comprised of at least four faculty members who help the student define the program of research and administer the seminar. One of the committee members must be from either outside the department or from a field within the department that is clearly differentiated from that of the candidate. The student must submit the list of their committee members to the director of graduate studies for approval by the last day of graduate classes in the fall semester of the student's third year. In the event of failure, the student may request that the thesis prospectus and preliminary examination be retaken one additional time as indicated in theĀ Graduate Bulletin.