About the Program
The Designated Emphasis (DE) in Political Economy gives PhD students at UC Berkeley the opportunity to strengthen their training in interdisciplinary political economy, to join a vibrant intellectual community that cuts across academic units on campus, and to earn an extra credential along with their doctoral degree. This program has multiple benefits for faculty and graduate students as well as for the campus community more broadly, positioning Berkeley at the cutting edge of the study of interdisciplinary political economy, both nationally and internationally.
PhD students in any department may apply. All applications must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Group. In order to gain such approval, students must have taken one core course (or be enrolled in one) before applying to the Designated Emphasis. Students should take care to make their applications before their qualifying exams.
Doctoral students must commit to fulfilling the DE requirements and present a tentative plan for doing so (with proposed courses, dates for those courses, and a target date for the Qualifying Examination).
Designated Emphasis Requirements
Students in the DE must take three courses from the list below, or two courses from the list plus a third course with substantial political economy content that has been approved by the Designated Emphasis's head graduate advisor. At least two of the three courses must be taken outside of the student’s home department. And the three courses must be from at least two different departments.
Core Course List
|POL SCI 209A||Comparative Political Economy||4|
|POL SCI 226A||International Political Economy||4|
|POL SCI 279||Selected Topics in American Government||4|
|SOCIOL 273C||Advanced Seminars in Research Methods: Comparative and Historical Research||3|
|SOCIOL 280Q||Advanced Study in Substantive Sociological Fields: Economy and Society||3|
|HISTORY 280D||Advanced Studies: Sources/General Literature of the Several Fields: United States (When topic is Economic History)||4|
|ECON 210A||Introduction to Economic History||3|
|ECON 215A||Political Economics||3|
|ECON 215B||Political Economics||3|
|ECON 260A||Comparative Economics||3|
|GEOG 215||Seminar in Comparative and International Development||4|
|ESPM 217||Political Economy of Climate Change||3|
|LAW 217||Course Not Available (When taught by Prof. Grewal and subject is Political Economy related)|
|PHDBA 279PA||Political Economy: Frameworks||3|
|PHDBA 279PC||Political Economy: Empirics||3|
|PHDBA 279PD||The Economic Institutions of Capitalism in Historical Perspective||3|
DE students are encouraged to embrace the spirit of the program, and not only to satisfy the minimum formal requirements. In particular, they are encouraged to take at least two courses that stretch them beyond the most prevalent approaches to political economy in their home disciplines.
DE students will also be required to participate in DE workshops to be held about once a month during the fall and spring semesters. They will also be encouraged to participate in the Berkeley Economy and Society Initiative (BESI) Programs.
Since the Economics Department and the Haas School political economy programs overlap, students in one of these units may only count one course in the other unit as an “outside” course. Thus, an Economics student could count one Haas course as an outside course, but would have to take at least one course outside of both Economics and Haas.
The History Department offers a variety of seminars with the number 280, so only those that focus on political economy will count for this program. In case of doubt, check with the DE's graduate student affairs officer.
Examination and Dissertation Requirements
Students must be admitted to the DE before the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination must include examination of knowledge within the DE.
Students must have at least one DE faculty member on their Qualifying Exam and Dissertation Committees. They should choose that member(s) from the Designated Emphasis affiliated faculty roster. Students may also request approval from the graduate adviser for another faculty member, who has substantial expertise in political economy, and whose own work is relevant to that of the student.
The dissertation topic must incorporate study within the Designated Emphasis.
Designated Emphasis Conferral Process
The Designated Emphasis will be awarded solely in conjunction with the doctoral degree and will be signified on the student’s transcript.
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