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Graduate Program & Overview

The UH-Manoa Economics Department offers one of the world’s leading graduate programs, providing theoretical, empirical, and historical foundations for the study of economic policies across the globe. Our program offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and admits students to both programs. According to the Research Papers in Economics (RePec) rankings, our department ranks among the top 20 percent of economics departments in US universities. (

With alumni and current students coming from more than 40 countries over the world, we maintain global reach and diversity in the program. The STEM designation allows international students to have more flexible practical training opportunities upon graduation. See UHM International Student Services website for further information.

The Department’s graduate program enrolls about fifteen new students each year. Doctoral students take required courses in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, econometrics, and complete two fields of specialization. Field options include Economic Development, International Economics, Public Economics, Resource and Environmental Economics, and Human Resources.

Graduate students in our department work closely with faculty to build their skills as researchers. Students regularly present their ongoing research in the Department’s weekly lunchtime workshops. The workshop series provide valuable feedback from fellow students and other faculty in a relaxed collegial environment. In addition, we have an active seminar series for faculty and graduate students, which regularly features rising young stars and globally-recognized scholars in economics.

Graduates of the program teach in universities in the United States and across the globe. They work for federal and state agencies, international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank, and in the private banking and consulting sectors.

The department has a close working relationship with the East-West Center, a federal research and educational institution that specializes in the Asia-Pacific region and is located on campus. Our location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, our proximity to the East-West Center, and our multicultural graduate student body provide us with a natural comparative advantage in studying behavior and public policies in Asia-Pacific economies.

MA Program Student Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of economic theory and analytical and quantitative tools appropriate for applied analysis. These quantitative tools include but are not limited to experience with programming in Stata and/or SAS, as well as, experience analyzing and interpreting programmed output.
  2. Students will be able to understand, use, and analyze economic data.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to ask a well-formulated question, analyze the problem and draw reasoned policy conclusions.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to write a professional report and present the results orally.
  5. Students will be well prepared for a position in their field that directly uses their MA training or for admission to a professional program or PhD program in their field.

PhD Program Student Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of economic theory and analytical and quantitative tools.
  2. Students will demonstrate an ability to understand, integrate, and apply the various tools, concepts and principles of economics and quantitative methods to analyze and to develop solutions to economic problems in a clear and concise written form.
  3. Students will demonstrate a “frontier” level competency and familiarity with the literature in the student’s perceived specialty area.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent and original research in economics.
  5. Students will have the skills necessary to qualify for teaching positions at the university and college levels, and for research positions in the public or private sector.
  6. Program graduates will be able to obtain employment that uses the level of expertise obtained in the PhD program.
  7. Students will complete these goals according to the timeline described in the graduate program guidelines.

We are currently accepting applications for graduate study in Economics.