In the second year, students will develop their research interests by taking three one-semester elective courses across the monsoon and spring semesters. In order to meet the requirements for the PhD, students must maintain a minimum grade of B or 3.0/4.0 in these courses. In case students have already taken elective courses in their first year in lieu of core courses for which they have received waivers, they will not be required to take any more than 6 elective courses across both years.
The list of elective courses offered in any semester will be announced closer to the date. Amongst others, students can expect elective courses in the following areas: Advanced Game Theory, Advanced Macroeconomics, Behavioral Economics, Decision Theory, Development Economics, Economic and Social Networks, Experimental Economics, Health Economics, History of Economic Thought, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Public Economics, Political Economy, Time Series Analysis.
Students may also take a PhD-level reading course in a subject more closely aligned to their research interests. However, approval for counting such a course towards the PhD must be obtained from the student’s Faculty supervisor.
Students already holding an MPhil degree prior to admission at Ashoka University may apply to have the elective course requirements waived, and move directly to submitting a research plan.
In their fourth semester, students must submit a research plan in the form of a short statement of their proposed research topic, including a description of methods, data and sources. In addition, they should submit a short piece of written work relevant to the thesis. Ideally, this should contain some preliminary theoretical results or empirical analysis.
Students will then be called upon to orally defend their research plan before a Student Research Committee, specifically constituted for each PhD student. The Student Research Committee, and chaired by the student’s supervisor, will be appointed by the Program Coordinator of the Department before the student plans to defend his/her Research Plan. It will include as members: (a) co-supervisor, if any, and (b) two faculty members who specialize in a related area, one of whom is from a different department or outside Ashoka University.
Formal admission to PhD candidate status
Students may apply to be formally admitted to PhD candidate status once they have completed their coursework requirements and successfully defended a research plan. Students holding a MA/MSc/MCom/BTech degree must complete this application within two years of being admitted to the PhD programme. Students holding an MPhil degree in Economics must complete this process within 1.5 years of being admitted to the PhD programme. Students who fail to meet these timelines will not be able to continue in the PhD programme.