In the second year, students will develop their research interests by taking a total of three elective courses in their second year (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 can take more elective courses in their second year, but 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 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.
Finding an Advisor
Students are strongly encouraged to find a potential advisor(s) within 1.5 years into the program, that is, after their third semester. This will ensure that the students have adequate guidance while writing the proposal for candidacy and will be able to submit it on time. The PhD mentors assigned to the students will facilitate them in finding the advisors.
Admission to Candidacy
To attain candidacy, students must submit a research proposal working towards the final dissertation. The deadline for the proposal is the beginning of their third year, that is, after the second year summer before the start of the Monsoon semester. The proposal should include a well developed research plan. The details of the proposal will be determined by the respective advisor and the Student Research Committee.
Students will then be called upon to orally defend their research plan before their Student Research Committee (SRC), specifically constituted for each PhD student. The Student Research Committee will be appointed by the Program Coordinator of the Department before the student plans to defend their Research Plan. It will be chaired by the student’s faculty advisor (must be a permanent faculty (tenured or non-tenured) of the Economics department at Ashoka University) and will include as members: (a) co-advisor, if any, and (b) at least one permanent faculty member (tenured or non-tenured) from Ashoka University Economics Department, and at least one external committee member who is from outside the department (may be from any other department within the university or outside the university) who specializes in a related area. Post candidacy, students can change the composition of the Student Research Committee after getting approval from the PhD coordinators and the Research office.
Students may apply to be formally admitted to PhD candidate status once they have completed their coursework requirements and successfully defended a research plan.
The university requires that an incoming PhD student holding a MPhil/MTech degree need to fulfill the candidacy requirements within 1.5 years.