The University of Delaware offers a new innovative interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Economic Education, run jointly by the Department of Economics and the School of Education and designed to train the next generation of leaders in this important and fast-growing field.
The field of economic education focuses primarily on developing and evaluating economic and financial literacy programs and curricula in the K-12 school system, in universities, and in a wide variety of outreach programs. William Becker, one of the leaders in the field, describes the field this way: “it focuses on the scholarship of teaching economics…the content to be taught, methods of teaching, evaluation of those methods, and information of general interest to teachers of economics in elementary through graduate school.”
Traditionally, professionals and scholars in this field have been trained in either economics or education, with little or no formal training in the other area. This is no longer an adequate model for training economic educators - the increasing complexity and importance of economics in today’s world requires a new generation of scholars and leaders who have a deeper understanding of both disciplines. Drawing on the substantial strengths in graduate programs in economics and education at the University of Delaware and on the nationally recognized University of Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, the UD Ph.D. in economic education provides that needed interdisciplinary training.
Graduates of the program will have a wide range of professional and academic employment opportunities, including university departments of economics and education; centers for economic education (approximately 300 nationally, most affiliated with universities); education units within regional Federal Reserve banks and other private sector businesses and foundations with an interest in economic and financial literacy; school districts and state departments of instruction; and education consulting and evaluation firms.
The curriculum is evenly balanced between core coursework in economics and in education, including theory, research methods, and applied topics. Electives allow students to specialize in one area or the other, depending on student interests and strengths. The program can realistically be completed in four years following a B.A. or in three years for a student with substantial prior graduate training in economics or education.
Students do not need any special undergraduate preparation, although exposure to coursework in economics mathematics (through elementary calculus), and statistics is strongly recommended. Well-qualified students will be considered for financial aid.