About the Program
The graduate program in Economics at MIT began in 1937. Since the addition of a Ph.D. program in 1941, it has grown to its present size of 132 full-time students and 31 faculty members. Its major emphasis is the training of doctoral candidates in a broad program of advanced study and research for professional careers in universities, government, or colleges, in public and private research and consulting organizations, and in financial institutions and other private businesses. The demands on a professional economist are such that the depth and breadth of the doctoral program have become indispensable training for a professional career. The Department of Economics, therefore, admits to full-time graduate study only candidates for the Ph.D. In order to maintain a close and continuing contact between students and faculty, the Department restricts the size of each incoming class. This year’s class of 22 includes 11 international students and 6 women.
MIT operates on the semester system. The fall term, including examinations, ends before winter vacation. In January, during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), there are no regular classes. This permits students the freedom to write papers and to attend special lectures, seminars, or colloquia organized by students and faculty. It also allows students to pursue their own research interests. The spring term runs from February through May.