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The PhD interfield degree program combines courses from both sides in the Division of Politics & Economics (DPE) for an interdisciplinary political economy degree.

This innovative interfield degree program combines PhD-level research in political science, economics, methods, and political economy. Leading faculty-scholars from both fields impart the skills, knowledge, and experience that will qualify you for competitive careers in the nonprofit sector, corporate arena, government, consulting, academia, and more. Students must be accepted into the PhD interfield by the Department of Politics and Policy or the Department of Economic Sciences.

Program Highlights

Program at a Glance

80 units

5 years

*This estimate assumes full-time registration and pursuit of the degree. Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring

Economic Sciences, Politics & Policy

Division of Politics & Economics

PhD in Political Science & Economics

Featured Courses

ECON 302
Modern Macroeconomics

This course examines the state of modern macroeconomics and its evolution. The course is analytically rigorous and draws on empirical evidence but without being highly technical. Furthermore, it explores the political influences that affect the design of macroeconomic policy.

ECON 313
Microeconomic Analysis

This course presents the neoclassical theory of welfare economics, demand, cost, the firm, and competitive and monopoly price in product and factor markets under conditions of certainty in a rigorous way. Introduction to positive transaction costs economics.

ECON 381
Probability & Statistics for Econometrics

This course covers probability and statistics. Topics include the fundamental concepts of probability theory, Bayes’ rule, notions of discrete and continuous distributions, hypothesis testing, and other necessary statistical instruments, which are widely used in almost every phase of your academic career. A firm understanding of mathematical techniques and its applications covered in this class is essential for successful graduate studies in economics.

PP 480
Nature of Inquiry: Quantitative Research in Social Sciences

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to interpreting and collecting data to answer social science questions. With respect to interpretation, students will learn how to define correlations and causal effects.

SPE 486
Data Analytics and Visualization

Surveys and applies over 20 different methods and tools (including econometrics, big data, game theory, network analysis, social media, machine learning, sentiment analysis and data mining) to solve real world political, economic, and business issues. Students will learn and use widely accepted analytics software platforms, including Excel, R, STATA, TABLEAU, and GEPHI.

SPE 489
Computational Tools for Social Sciences

This course is designed to give students a flexible and broad toolkit for conducting quantitative social science research. It will cover the skills needed to collect, clean, aggregate, explore, visualize, and analyze data using the R statistical language. It will cover everything from general programming and workflow to web scraping and mapping.


Core Courses (24 units)

Political Economy Required Courses:

  • International Political Economy (4 units)
  • Comparative Political Economy (4 units)

Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

Required Courses:

  • Microeconomic Analysis (4 units) OR
  • Consumer Theory and General Equilibrium (4 units)
  • Modern Macroeconomics: Analysis, Policy and Applications

Two of the following, with approval of the field advisor.

  • Game Theory and Asymmetric Information (4 units)
  • Macroeconomics Analysis II (4 units)
  • Computational Tools for Social Sciences (4 units)

Research Tools (16 units)

Choose one of the following four-course statistical sequences.

Track 1 (required for those whose primary department is Economics)

  • Nature of Inquiry: Quantitative Research in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • Math for Economists (4 units)
  • Probability and Statistics for Econometrics (4 units)
  • Econometrics I (4 units)
  • Econometrics II (4 units)

Track 2 (open to those whose primary department is Politics & Policy)

  • The Nature of Inquiry: Quantitative Research in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • Introduction to Statistical Analysis (4 units)
  • Multivariate Regression Analysis (4 units)
  • Applied Data Analysis (various letters and topics) (4 units)

Field Options (40 units)

Political Science (20 units)

The Faculty of Political Science requires a minimum of five (5) courses to complete a field (20 units). Here is a list of concentrations available:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics
  • International Political Economy
  • Public Policy
  • Research Methodology


Economics (20 units)

  • Applied Microeconomics: within this field are subfields to choose from:
    • Crime & Law Economics
    • Behavioral, Experimental, and Neurological Economics
  • International Economic & Development Policy (see your advisor)



The Inequality and Policy Research Center (IPRC) is an initiative of the Institute for Democratic Renewal. IPRC supports the scientific analysis of political, health, socioeconomic, and group-specific inequality in the United States and abroad. We develop evidence-based policy and program solutions to problems related to inequality. For more information:

The Institute for Democratic Renewal provides students hands-on engagement with and scholarly reflection upon the core issues facing the institutions and processes of democracy in the United States and abroad. Prominent, significant research projects have included Renewing Democracy Through Interracial/Multicultural Community Building. This project led to the production and publication of the Community Builder’s Tool Kit: A Primer for Revitalizing Democracy From the Ground Up (more than 70,000 copies in six languages are in use nationwide).

Faculty & Research

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John Moore

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3925