The Regional Research Institute is dedicated to multidisciplinary research on the economic and social development of lagging regions, such as Appalachia in the United States. It focuses on theories and history of regional development, methods for studying regions, and policies for stimulating their development. The Institute creates learning opportunities and provides research support for faculty members and students. It is an internationally prominent center for the advancement of regional science – an interdisciplinary field that links economics, geography, planning, and other social sciences. Throughout its distinguished 45 year history, the Institute has been a separate unit, independent of any college. Currently the Institute brings together thirty-one faculty associates drawn from twelve departments in five colleges, an extended network of scholars elsewhere in the United States and abroad, and an outstanding group of graduate students.The Institute provides research experience and training for students but offers no degree program. Its Regional Science faculty have long staffed graduate courses in regional economics, and its alumni are among the nation’s leading regional economists. The Institute currently supports students in three doctoral programs. For information on how to apply, please select the programs that interest you.

Graduate research assistants are nominated by their departments or by faculty associates. The Institute prefers to hire doctoral candidates who have completed one year of graduate study, but masters candidates, undergraduates, and entering graduate students are considered. Most students are in Economics, Geography, or Natural Resource Economics, but History, Law, and Sociology are regularly represented, too. The students have offices at the Institute and state-of-the art computing equipment. As their educations progress, so do their roles in research projects. They learn skills, conduct and publish research, present papers at conferences, and complete their dissertations. They continue the Institute’s well-established student tradition of writing articles or prize-winning papers while serving as research assistants. Final-year fellowships permit exceptional students to finish their dissertations and prepare their research for publication.Ph.D. in Economics.

The Economics doctoral program offers a solid theoretical and quantitative core with fields in international trade and finance, labor economics, monetary and financial economics, public finance, regional and urban economics, and resource economics (in cooperation with the Division of Resource Management). Applications are encouraged from students in any field who have had courses in economics at least through the intermediate theory level, statistics, and calculus. For more information contact Clifford Hawley by phone at 304-293-7865, by fax at 304-293-5652, or by e-mail at

The Geography Ph.D. program offers students the opportunity to study regional development and planning, environmental and resource geography, and geographic information systems and remote sensing. Regional strengths for research within the program include Appalachia, southern Africa, Europe, and North America. For more information, contact Tim Warner, Graduate Program Coordinator, by phone at 304-293-5603, ext. 4328, by fax at 304-293-6522, or by e-mail at Ph.D.

in Natural Resource Economics program specializes in resource and environmental economics, environmental management and policy, links between environmental quality and economic development, and international and regional development (in cooperation with the Department of Economics). The equivalent of two courses of calculus is expected, and course work in differential equations and linear algebra is desirable. For more information, contact Tim Phipps, by phone at 304-293-4421, by fax at 304-293-3740, or by e-mail at