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Ph.D. FAQs

Have questions about earning a Ph.D. in Economics? Browse the list below for some of the most common questions, or explore our site for more information!

Q: What is your application deadline?

Our annual application deadline is January 15 for the following fall semester.

Q: What materials/tests do I need to submit with my application?

Please submit the following materials with your application.

  • Three letters of recommendation (these should be submitted electronically)
  • Unofficial transcripts, uploaded with your application; if you receive an offer of admission, we will request mailed hard copies of these transcripts
  • Official GRE scores
  • International applicants only: official TOEFL or IELTS scores; if your undergraduate degree was taught entirely in English, you may contact the department to request a waiver of this requirement

Q: What test scores do admitted candidates usually have on the GRE?

Applicants often overestimate the importance of GRE scores for Ph.D. applications. The GRE tests whether you can do high school math quickly and correctly, as well as your vocabulary. Scores below a certain level (say, below 155 verbal and below 161 quantitative) tend to indicate problems, while very high scores do not necessarily guarantee that you are fully prepared for a Ph.D. program in economics.

For candidates who satisfy these thresholds, we look primarily at their preparation for a Ph.D. program in terms of how they did in the challenging courses they took in both advanced economics and math, rather than going only by their specific GRE scores.

Q: Do you have a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score?

Admitted international candidates tend to have a minimum TOEFL speaking score of 24 or an IELTS speaking score of 7.

Q: Can I get an application fee waiver?

The department usually grants fee waivers only to domestic Pell Grant students. To request a fee waiver, please contact the department directly.