Graduate Professional Development

CSU graduate students in Economics benefit from the support and mentorship of department faculty and fellow Ph.D. students. Explore opportunities to develop your professional skills.

Seminar Series

Screenshot of online seminar with 8 people on Zoom

The Department of Economics Seminar Series features presentations by highly sought visiting economists on a variety of research papers. The seminars provide an opportunity to see how other economists conduct research, and to learn how to effectively communicate research results. Graduate students have an opportunity and obligation to attend these seminars as part of their graduate education.

Brown Bag Seminars

Economics graduate students coordinate a weekly Brown Bag seminar during the fall and spring semesters. These sessions provide an opportunity for a presenting Ph.D. student to workshop a paper, talk, or research idea in the supportive company of peers and faculty. Graduate students have an opportunity and obligation to attend these seminars as part of their graduate education.

Dr. Elissa Braunstein, Professor and Chair of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University teaching in a classroom in the Clark building
View of a conference room from the back with audience sitting and listening


Professional conference presentations are often a crucial step in getting research published. These events also provide an excellent opportunity to learn about research in your areas of interest. Notices of upcoming professional conferences are frequently announced in economic journals.

We encourage you to consult with your advisor about which conferences might be appropriate destinations for your research. Department funds and university grants are frequently available to help support graduate students travelling to present at conferences.

CSU is also a rotating host of the Western States Graduate Workshop in Economics, organized in partnership with the University of Utah and University of Missouri-Kansas City. This event provides students the opportunity to present a paper in a supportive environment and is held annually in late September/early October.

Service to the Profession

You may be contacted by journal editors to review new books or articles being considered for publication or by textbook publishers to review new texts. These are examples of professional activities that economists typically undertake for the benefit of the profession in general. You may wish to consult with your adviser or other faculty member about whether and how to pursue these activities.

People talking and looking at papers on desk

Academic Job Market Preparation

Doctoral students have the support of faculty members and advisors when they are ready to prepare for the job market. Our Coordinator of Graduate Studies will guide you through our various job readiness practices that effectively place Ph.D. candidates:

  • Job market papers: Doctoral students practice presenting their "job market papers" in the early fall semester as part of the seminar series.
  • Resume/CV and application preparation: Your advisor is available to consult as you develop a Curriculum Vitae, research and teaching summaries, and template application letter, as well as help judge which schools are appropriate targets.
  • Recommendation letters and practice interviews: Faculty members provide recommendation letters and practice interviews.

Virtually all domestic (and many foreign) academic openings are listed in Job Openings for Economists (JOE), an online publication of the American Economic Association. In the annual cycle, the October and November editions provide especially rich listings of opportunities. Typically, applications are due by late fall, leading to the possibility of personal interviews at the annual meetings in early January. Campus visits follow throughout the spring.

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)

GTAs will be required to complete a series of professional development courses through CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching. The goal of these trainings is to introduce best practices and equip you for success in the classroom. You also can complete a Graduate Teaching Certificate of Completion and create a teaching portfolio, which will give you a head start if you plan to teach at a college or university after completing your degree.

CSU flag on light post during fall
Students listening to Dr. Elissa Braunstein, Professor and Chair of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University

Student Organizations

Economics Ph.D. students are encouraged to get involved on campus through such groups as:

  • Association of Graduate Student Economists (AGE)
  • Graduate Student Council (GSC)
  • Graduate Workers Organizing Cooperative (GWOC)