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Intellectual Rigor and Collaboration

Degree Requirements

Students are transformed into fully trained scholars, capable of doing research on the same level as that of the people who taught them.

Our Curriculum

NYU Stern’s PhD program is full time, with students admitted only for the fall semester. Students will focus their research and academic experiences in one of our eight fields of study. The typical completion time is five to six years.


Before beginning the doctoral program, students must satisfy prerequisites in calculus, matrix/linear algebra, microeconomics, macroeconomics, probability and statistics.


The program begins with coursework consisting of foundational tools (e.g., probability, statistics, economics, econometrics) along with courses in the major area of study. Each student's course of study is designed by the student and an advisor with the student's specific interests in mind, and there is plenty of room for electives in related areas (e.g., psychology, sociology, computer science, economics, etc.).

Field Examinations

After completing core coursework in the major field, students must pass comprehensive examinations measuring their depth of knowledge in their field of study. These examinations are typically given at the end of the first or second year, depending on the department. Passing these examinations show faculty that students are ready to become active independent researchers.


Students are required to teach just one undergraduate course during their course of study. Teaching provides students with an opportunity to contribute to their department's academic community, while also improving their pedagogical and communication skills. Prior to teaching, all students will attend a teaching workshop to learn best practices.

Research Papers

Most departments require students to have a working paper by the end of summer as a rising third year student. Students will have access to faculty for guidance on their papers, and will find the experience advances their growth as a researcher. 

Advancement to Candidacy

By the middle of the fourth year of study, students must initiate a major piece of original research -- the dissertation proposal. Students will work closely with faculty in preparing and developing an idea. In addition to the proposal, students must successfully complete all coursework, field examinations, teaching requirements, and research papers in order to advance to candidacy for the Ph.D.


Working closely with faculty in their field and potentially across disciplines, the dissertation is the final research project produced by the student. It is the extension and completion of the dissertation proposal.