PhD in Ecological Economics

The Ecological Economics PhD program is currently being redesigned. Program requirements are likely to change. The program is not accepting applications at this time.

The Ph.D. degree in Ecological Economics requires 90 credits beyond the Bachelor's degree and 60 beyond the Master's degree. The minimum residency requirement for the Ph.D. is 45 credit hours. Students are required to take ten courses (30 credits) in addition to passing comprehensive exams and proposing, writing, and defending the Ph.D. dissertation. The core requirements consist of three courses: Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Microeconomics, and Econometrics. All three courses emphasize applications as an important complement to the study of economic theory and prepare students for written comprehensive examinations in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. Depending on a student's background, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Quantitative Methods are also taken to prepare for these exams. Two of the following three courses are required to provide core knowledge in the integration of economics and the study of the environment: Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, and Ecological Economics. Other courses offered in the Economics department that complement the Ecological Economics focus include: International Economics, Public Finance, and Economic Analysis of Technological Change. These can be combined with courses offered in other departments and Schools at Rensselaer and the Capital District, so that research programs can be tailored to interdisciplinary interests and career plans. Students are considered each year for admission in the Fall semester.

Rensselaer Doctoral Program in Ecological Economics


The field of Ecological Economics offers unparalleled opportunities for applying the concepts and methods of economics to challenges surrounding environmental degradation, resource use, and development. Rensselaer is unique in offering a Ph.D. degree in Ecological Economics within its Department of Economics. The program combines traditional training in advanced economics with a broader inter-disciplinary perspective, in an atmosphere of close interaction between faculty and students.


Our faculty includes ecological economists who have made major contributions in shaping the field and providing leadership for a number of important interdisciplinary professional societies and journals. Students work with them in developing research competence in many aspects of sustainable development, resource and environmental economics, energy and climate policy, and sustainable livelihoods. Much of our faculty and student research involves quantitative models linking economic structure, socio-economic characteristics, and environmental conditions. The research includes analysis at global, regional, national, and local scales. Much of our research also focuses on the intersection of ecological economics with the economics of technological change. Our Department of Economics is in the top 20% of economics institutions in the state of New York according to (August 2009), besting many departments that are much larger.


The core sequence of Ph.D. economics courses at Rensselaer includes Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Environmental Economics, and Ecological Economics. Our students also have elective course options not available at all universities, including energy economics & policy; cost-benefit analysis; technology change; institutional economics; geographic information systems; and a wide variety of mathematics, decision sciences, operations research, engineering, and management courses.

Handbook for the Doctoral Program in Ecological Economics

This Handbook describes all aspects of the requirements for earning a doctoral degree in Ecological Economics and provides a summary timetable of key events. This is the most current version of program requirements and supersedes the information in Rensselaer's Catalog.

Additional information

To apply:

Graduate Admissions:

Office of Graduate Education:

Information for international applicants:

Cost of attendance: 


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