FAQ

When should I apply?

Applications open September 1. Graduate Admissions must receive the required application documents by January 15 for consideration of funding at the time of admission. It is best to get your application done as soon as possible. Some items, such as transcripts, can be updated at the end of the semester.

How do I apply?

Submit your application online through ASU Graduate Admissions.

May I email my transcripts and test scores to the Graduate Coordinator, Director of Graduate Studies, or Department Chair, to review my information and let me know if I will be admitted into the PhD program before I apply?

No. All documents must be submitted directly to Graduate Admissions and added to your application file. Once the application is complete, the Graduate Committee will review it.

Can the application fee be waived by the Economics Department?

No. The application fee is determined by Graduate Admissions, not the Economics Department.

Once my application is complete, how long does it take for a decision to be made?

First, the Graduate Committee will interview a group of top candidates, as chosen by the committee. Second, there will be recommendations for admission (or not) from that group. Last, within a few weeks after the January 15 deadline, offers of admission with funding, waitlisted admissions, and denials are processed and the status will be updated in MyASU. The Committee Chair will communicate with the students directly. Graduate Admissions sends denials letters through the MyASU portal; you will not hear from the committee.

How many applications do you typically receive in a given year and how many people do you admit?

We receive between 200 and 250 applications per year. Our admission number ranges from 30 to 40 students and we start a cohort of about 9 to 12 students.

April 15th is very near and my application has not been admitted or denied.

Often, we do not deny students admission until the very last minute due to the chance that changes may occur in our top list of students. As students are removed from waitlists at other schools, this creates a shift in our list as well.

May I submit GMAT scores rather than GRE scores?

Yes, but GRE scores are preferred in order to accurately compare applicant scores.

Can I apply to the program via a paper application?

No, all PhD applications must be completed online.

How is my application evaluated?

The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews your application as a whole. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate College, the Economics Department application committee considers factors such as your letters of recommendation, scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), personal statement of career objectives, courses taken on your transcript that provide a foundation for the PhD program and resume/CV . Based on the committee's assessment, a recommendation is made to the Graduate College, who then either approves or denies your application and notifies you in writing.

Can I start the program at times other than the fall semester?

No. Fall semester is the only start time offered.

Can I defer my admission?

You can request a deferral from the Director of Graduate Studies and each case will be reviewed individually. However, the level of funding will not be guaranteed since we cannot predict the accomplishments of the next cohort. Funding amounts, awards and fellowships are based on academic achievement at the time of admission to the PhD program.

Is a master's degree required for admission to the PhD program?

A master's degree is not required, but students with relevant graduate degrees will be more competitive in the application process.

Can I transfer in credits from a master's degree?

No, unless they need to be counted towards your 4th year of college coursework. The Economics PhD program curriculum is an intensive five-year program and all core courses must be completed.

What sort of previous coursework would make me a more competitive applicant?

As a general guide, a PhD student should have a math background that includes three calculus courses plus one course in advanced calculus and one course in differential equations. Topics should include real analysis, mathematical analysis (proofs) and linear algebra. In addition, two semesters of statistics plus intermediate macroeconomic and microeconomic theory.

Does the Department of Economics provide waivers for the TOEFL exam?

No, only the Graduate Admissions can consider or grant TOEFL waivers.

How long will it take to complete the program?

Although it is possible for a student to graduate in four years, the typical student takes five to six to complete the program. However, sixth year funding is never guaranteed.

Where have recent graduates of the program been placed?

Information about the placement of recent graduates can be found in the Job Market Placement section.

Can I expect to teach while in the PhD program?

In-classroom and teaching experience has become an increasingly important component to competitiveness in the PhD job market. Over the course of your enrollment in the PhD program, you can expect to teach or somehow be involved in classroom experiences. Every attempt is made to defer teaching until the summer after the student's third year in the program, but staffing requirements and great opportunities may lead to students teaching prior to that time.