Admissions and Application Forms
To apply to the Ph.D. program in Economics, please do so via the Graduate School's online application system. The introductory page is here: http://gradschool.vanderbilt.edu/admissions/index.php and the direct link is on the right. For technical application questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no application fee.
You will need the following to complete your application: three letters of recommendation (to be submitted electronically), unofficial transcripts to be uploaded to your application (hard copy official final transcripts will be required by mail only if an applicant receives an offer of admission), official GRE scores, and official TOEFL or IELTS scores (required for international applicants only). Official GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores must be current through the end of July, 2016. (Scores remain current for five years for the GRE and 2 years for the TOEFL.) The GRE and TOEFL institution code is 1871. The GRE departmental code is 1801. The TOEFL departmental code is 84. Our application deadline is January 15th. Applications without official test scores as of January 16th will not be considered for admission. Please be aware that applicants are admitted for the Fall semester only.
Most students entering our Ph.D. program have majored in economics as undergraduates, and some have a Master's degree in economics. Extensive training in economics is helpful but not sufficient preparation for the Ph.D. program. It is essential that each entering student has taken at least one year of calculus, one semester of statistics, and intermediate level courses in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. Courses in linear algebra differential equations, real analysis, and econometrics are also strongly recommended. Any deficiencies in these areas should be made up before beginning graduate work.
Tuition for 2015-16 is $21,816 per semester for a normal load of twelve credit-hours, or $1,818 per semester hour. Financial aid based on academic merit is awarded to many Ph.D. students. These awards provide a twelve-month stipend in addition to a University Tuition Scholarship. University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. The following graduate awards are normally supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship, which usually includes student health insurance coverage: University Fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and Teacher Training Awards. Financial aid awards may be renewed for four years. For 2016-17, the stipend is $25,000. Starting with Summer 2001 we have operated a summer research grants program, where students can receive support for research they propose (these grants are awarded on a competitive basis). Usually, six awards in the neighborhood of $3,000 are granted.
During the first year, students on aid have no teaching responsibilities. Thereafter, aid recipients work twenty hours per week as teaching assistants (although funding in later years is not guaranteed, it is very rare for students who are making adequate progress to be denied five years of funding). Applicants with outstanding records will be considered for Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholarships, which provide a supplementary stipend in addition to a regular scholarship or fellowship award, or for University Graduate Fellowships. Several of these awards are currently held by economics Ph.D. students. The Graduate School also awards several five-year fellowships to under-represented graduate students in arts and science disciplines. For further information, see the Graduate School's web page entitled Fees and Charges.