Applying to the Program

What is the deadline for applying?

The application deadline is January 15 of the year in which you plan to begin the program. After January 15 the application software is disabled, so it is extremely important that you submit the online application by that date. The admissions committee will not consider incomplete applications; therefore, you should begin the application process early. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all supporting application materials such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores are uploaded by January 15.

Can I be granted early admission?

We do not offer early admission. The online application software will be re-activated at the beginning of October, and applicants may begin to submit an application at that time.

May I apply for admission for the spring term?

No. The graduate curriculum is structured in such a way that spring admissions are not an option.

Can I receive a pre-evaluation?

We simply don't have the resources to do pre-evaluations. To be considered for the PhD program, you must apply; it will not give you an advantage to e-mail your education history and other credentials to the department, as it will not be taken into consideration unless you apply for admission.

What are the minimum requirements for entry into your program?

See our admissions requirements page for full details. In short, you must:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or the equivalent level of education from a foreign institution.
  2. Submit transcripts indicating graded coursework completed and degrees awarded, as well as the date the degrees were conferred.
  3. Submit TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores for international students who do not qualify for an exemption.  Submission of GRE scores is optional for the 2020-21 admission cycle.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess your potential to do graduate work.
  5. Submit a personal statement detailing your reasons for pursuing graduate study in economics.
  6. Be sufficiently prepared in mathematics. The minimum mathematics requirements are two semesters of calculus and a semester of linear algebra. In practice, most students we admit have more than the minimum mathematical preparation and have taken courses in real analysis, differential and difference equations, and probability theory.

Is an undergraduate degree in economics required in order to apply?

No, though some undergraduate coursework in economics would be helpful.

Primarily we are looking for individuals who have the necessary mathematical preparation to do well in our doctoral program, and who have a genuine interest in pursuing cutting-edge research in economics. Graduate-level economic analysis, unlike undergraduate coursework, is highly mathematical and requires frequent use of the tools learned in calculus, differential equations, real analysis, and linear algebra. If you don't have graded coursework in these areas, we urge you to take additional mathematics courses before applying.

May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

Yes, if you like. What matters most is not the number of letters submitted but their quality. Your letter writers should be in a position to understand both your abilities as a student and the rigor of doctoral study in economics. Professors of economics are a good choice for letter writers, though they are certainly not the only choice.

How many applications do you receive each year?

Typically, between 300 and 400.

Will I be notified when my application is complete? When will I know if I've been accepted?

You will be able to check the status of your application online. It is your responsibility to begin the application process early, to request transcripts and letters of recommendation in a timely manner, to make sure that the recommenders have actually written and submitted a letter, and to arrange to sit for the standardized tests (if required) well in advance of the deadline.

Admission decisions are typically announced in March. You will receive an e-mail notification followed by a formal letter. Please be sure that the e-mail address you provide on the application form will remain active for at least six months.