*J. Russo, PhD (Chair)—health economics, applied microeconomics
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
P. Garrod, PhD—marketing and production economics
Affiliate Graduate Faculty
R. Blair, PhD—industrial organization, antitrust economics
Degrees Offered: Undergraduate Certificates in Human Resources/Organizational Management, and Social Sciences and Health; BA (including minor) 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, Hawai‘i’s economic challenges, regulation, 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 public policy, as well as economics.
Economics at UH 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. Geographic and subject matter interests of students and faculty contribute to a regional specialization in accord with UH’s overall mission.
The UH Manoa Department of Economics participates in academic and educational exchanges with Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan; Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea; Kobe University, Kobe, Japan, and Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand..
Advising is mandatory for all graduate and undergraduate economics majors. Contact the department office for specific information.
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Resources/Organizational Management
The purpose of this certificate is to prepare students intending to enter careers in human relations and management in business, non-profit agencies, and public agencies. Such careers require a broad range of knowledge and skills. Understanding finances is fundamental to the life of an organization. In addition, management requires an understanding of cultural styles of communication, modes of resolving conflict, principles of psychological motivation, and interpersonal influence. Public relations is also important in reaching the public and communicating with constituencies. Organizations also must operate in an environment of complex legal regulations. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Sociology.
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Social Science and Health
The purpose of this certificate is to supplement the disciplinary major of students who wish to pursue careers in the field of health and health care by enhancing the breadth, quality, and coherence of their education through taking health-related courses in a variety of different academic disciplines. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Sociology.
The BA 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 U.S. 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.
Majors must complete 24 credit hours of upper division courses including ECON 300, 301, and 321. At least six credit hours must be earned by completing Upper Division II ECON courses, and students must earn a C (not C-) or better in all courses designated as counting toward the major.
Students must complete 15 credit hours of approved upper division courses, including ECON 300 and 301.
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 PhD program provides state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical 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, economics, and energy. Relationships also exist with various country centers located in the UH Manoa’s School of Pacific and Asian Studies and with other programs in the College of Social Sciences. In conjunction with the Shidler Business College, 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 macroeconomics theory, elementary statistics, and a mathematics background that includes at least two 3-credit semester courses in calculus. For the PhD program, we recommend the completion of two additional courses prior to entry in any of the following subjects: advanced calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis, or related areas. 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.
An MA student must be in residence for at least two semesters, and all work must be completed within seven years of admission.
A student must earn 30 credit hours in economics, including at least 21 hours of 600- or 700-level courses. Up to 9 credit hours of 400-level courses may apply to the 30 credit hour requirement. Graduate credit will not be granted for 300-level courses. A student must have a B average (3.0 GPA) for all courses completed at UH Manoa applied toward the degree, and a B average for all 600-level and 700-level courses.
The MA requires completion of the following:
A student may also choose to write a master’s thesis in lieu of the individual research project. Students who complete the PhD core may substitute a passing grade on either of the PhD qualifying exams for the individual research project requirement for a master’s degree.
A student who completes the MA degree may apply to the PhD program. By taking appropriate courses, a student may be able to earn both MA and PhD degrees within five years.
A PhD student must be in residence for at least three semesters and complete all requirements within seven years of admission to the graduate program.
The PhD in economics requires successful completion of
Normal progress requires students to take and pass both theory qualifying exams at the end of the first two semesters of study, and to complete all core courses in the first three semesters of enrollment. Students failing a qualifying examination may retake it only once.
Students choose two fields, each consisting of two courses, from among the following five fields offered by the department:
Some field courses are offered annually, others less frequently. Students may petition to substitute a field in another discipline or another field in economics for one of the five fields listed above.
Before the end of their fourth semester, students should, in consultation with the graduate chair, reach agreement with a UH Manoa economics faculty member to serve as their research paper advisor. Doctoral students are required to enroll in ECON 730 in their fifth semester and complete their research paper. Students must receive a grade of “Pass” or “High Pass” on their research paper to continue in the doctoral program. Students who receive a grade of “Fail” on their paper may submit a revised version during the following semester. Students who receive a grade of “Fail” on the revised paper will not be allowed to proceed further in the doctoral program.
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 UH Manoa. A student who fails the comprehensive examination may repeat it once. A student who fails a second time is dropped from the program. Students who pass the oral exam are advanced to candidacy for the PhD.
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 dismissed from the program.
Finally, a dissertation accepted by the dissertation committee is submitted to the Graduate Division. The final dissertation must also conform to UH Manoa standards in content and format.
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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