The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree. It signifies that the recipient is able to conduct independent research and has both a broad basic knowledge of all areas of economics and a comprehensive knowledge of one area in particular. The Ph.D. program equips its graduates with modern economic techniques, enabling them to take leadership positions in economic research in the academic, business, and government worlds.
The Department of Economics has risen to prominence in recent years by attracting internationally renowned scholars to its faculty and by carefully selecting its student body. There are many reasons to believe that we can offer students an outstanding intellectual environment. Seven members of our department are Fellows of the Econometric Society, and one is a Nobel Laureate. Many currently serve or have served on the editorial boards of major journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Journal of Economic Theory. Perhaps most significantly, the department placed among the top ten in the Tilburg University ranking of economics departments.
Admission to graduate studies in economics is limited to students of outstanding promise. All applicants must take the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. 08540. All international students must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Exceptions to this rule include students who attended English speaking college-level institutions. Students from English speaking countries, such as the U.K. or Ireland are also exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS exams.
The Ph.D. program is designed for full-time students only. In evaluating applicants for this program, members of the departmental admissions committee consider the following criteria: previous academic performance, quantitative GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and background in economics and mathematics. Because of the diverse nature of such information, we do not adhere to strictly defined cut-off points on grade-point averages or GRE scores. Applicants should also remember that the Ph.D. and the M.A. programs are very different and have different objectives and admissions criteria. Admission into the M.A. program does not guarantee eventual admission to the Ph.D program. Those interested in the Ph.D. program are encouraged to apply directly to the Ph.D. program, and not to the M.A. program.
DEPARTMENTAL FELLOWSHIPS, PRIZES, AND AWARDS
There are various sources of funding for students in the Ph.D. program. Our top students receive MacCracken fellowship awards. These fellowships guarantee funding for five years (subject to satisfactory academic performance) in the form of payment of the basic tuition fee as well as a living allowance for the year. Many other students work as teaching adjuncts, sometimes assisting a professor and sometimes teaching a course of their own. Many professors also have research grants from a variety of sources (National Science Foundation, C.V. Starr Center, etc) which provide research assistantships (R.A.'s) to graduate students.