* Graduate Faculty
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
Affiliate Graduate Faculty
Degrees Offered: BA in economics, MA in economics, PhD in economics
The Academic Program
Economics (ECON) is the social science that deals with the allocation and use of human and material resources under conditions of scarcity and uncertainty. It examines this subject matter at the micro level (the consumer, the household, the firm, and the industry) and the macro level (the region, the labor force, the government, the nation, and the world). Courses in these topics are complemented by instruction in the statistical and mathematical tools necessary for modeling, data collection and analysis, and hypothesis testing. Students of economics will learn a body of knowledge that is essential to understanding many aspects of the modern world and contemporary public policy issues, including such vital matters as international trade, economic development, the environment, the budget deficit, Hawai'i's economic challenges, deregulation, business cycles, and consumer behavior. A BA in economics is an excellent background for demanding analytical and policy positions in the public and private sectors; it is also a highly regarded preparation for graduate work in law, business, and political science, as well as economics.
Economics at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa is consciously directed toward policy challenges in the Asia Pacific region, which comprises the nations of the Pacific rim and the Pacific Islands, as well as Hawai'i. Many of the department's undergraduate and graduate students come from this part of the world. Geographic and subject matter interests of students and faculty contribute to a regional specialization in accord with the University of Hawai'i's overall mission. Theses and dissertations are thus well grounded in recent theory and methodology but deal insightfully with crucial policy issues of the region.
The UH Manoa Department of Economics participates in academic and educational exchanges with the Research Institute of Economics and Business Administration of Kobe University, Japan, and Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Advising is mandatory for all graduate and undergraduate economics majors. Contact the department office for specific information.
The bachelor of arts in economics provides students with an intensive knowledge of the theory and practice of economics, with an emphasis on the analysis of contemporary policy challenges of Hawai'i and the United States in the Asia Pacific region. Majors study a wide range of current economic policy issues and learn a powerful framework for analyzing these issues. They also develop reasoning and communication skills that are useful across disciplines. As a result, the BA program has been successful in preparing graduates for advanced study in economics, business, law, and other social sciences, as well as challenging careers in business management, technical analysis, policy evaluation, and education.
The department offers a graduate program leading to the MA and PhD degrees. Graduate alumni are successful economists, entrepreneurs, and government policy experts in a variety of settings and institutions, especially in Hawai'i, Asia, and the Pacific region. Faculty research interests facilitate graduate field specializations with regional emphasis on Hawai'i, Asia, and the Pacific. Student and faculty research focuses on analyses of policy issues of importance to countries in Asia and the Pacific.
The MA program prepares students for policy analysis in government, international agencies, and the private sector, emphasizing application of theory to economic decision-making. The MA is not a prerequisite for the PhD. The PhD program provides state-of-the-art training for high level academic, government, and private-sector careers.
The department maintains strong links with the East-West Center, particularly with the center's Programs on Population, International Economics and Politics, Environment, and Resources: Energy and Minerals. Relationships also exist with various country centers located in the School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies and with other programs in the College of Social Sciences. In conjunction with the College of Business Administration, the department also offers a program leading to a PhD in economics and business.
Entering graduate students are expected to have a bachelor's degree, not necessarily in economics, and to have completed courses in intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory, elementary statistics, and mathematics through calculus. Students with deficiencies must make them up prior to entering the program or within the first year of study.
TOEFL scores (for all applicants from foreign countries where English is not the primary means of communication) and two letters of recommendation must be submitted by applicants. Students applying for the graduate program must submit official GRE General Test scores.
To receive an MA, students must be in residence for at least two semesters, and all work must be completed within seven years of admission.
Graduate credit will not be granted for 300-level courses. Students who complete the PhD core may substitute a pass on any PhD qualifying or field exam for the individual research project requirement for a master's degree.
A PhD student must be in residence for at least three semesters and complete all requirements within seven years of admission to the doctoral program.
PhD students must receive passing grades on the two qualifying exams in micro- and macroeconomic theory and on a qualifying exam in their major field. Students failing a qualifying examination may retake it only once. With prior approval of the graduate committee, the minor field can be outside of economics.
After passing the three qualifying examinations, PhD candidates will complete a research project leading to a dissertation proposal. This will be done under the supervision of the graduate chair and one or more faculty members approved by the graduate chair. Concurrently, the student must enroll in one or more of the workshops offered each semester (ECON 730). With advance approval of the graduate chair, field research over a period of one semester or more may be used in lieu of ECON 730 to satisfy the research project requirement.
The comprehensive examination--of which the written qualifying examinations are a part--will include a broad probing of the candidate's general economic knowledge. The oral part of the PhD comprehensive examination will be administered jointly with the defense of the dissertation proposal, before a dissertation committee chosen by the student and approved by the graduate chair and the Graduate Division of the University. A student who fails the comprehensive examination may repeat it once. A student who fails a second time is dropped from the program.
The final examination, which is oral, covers the candidate's defense of the final dissertation draft. It is administered orally and is open to the public. Candidates failing the final examination may be allowed to repeat it once upon petition approved by the graduate faculty concerned and the dean of the Graduate Division. Those failing it twice are dropped from the program. The final dissertation must also conform to University standards in content and format.