Ph.D. Application Procedures
The average entering class size is 20 students out of approximately 75 in the graduate program. Because of the large applicant pool, the Department considers only those with excellent academic records and outstanding letters of recommendation. The Department is fully committed to building one of the top Economic Ph.D. programs in the world.
Our graduate program accommodates the needs of students from varying backgrounds. Although useful, an economics major is not necessary. You will make better progress in the program if you have had adequate preparation in mathematics. Students entering the program are required to have taken a sequence in calculus, a course in linear algebra, and a course in mathematical statistics. These prerequisites are a bare minimum, and additional background in mathematics and in graduate-level economics courses can ease the transition into the program.
We require, in addition to the completed formal application, three letters of recommendation, a transcript from the undergraduate institution(s), and the verbal, quantitative, and analytical Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). We do not have minimums on the GRE scores nor do we provide averages as all materials submitted in the application are considered. The economics achievement test is not required. The application deadline is January 15th for Fall admission.
TOEFL: Foreign students, whose native language is not English, must report scores on a recent TOEFL or equivalent test of English proficiency. To be eligible for a TOEFL waiver the applicant must have completed a full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States. Please note that the entire program of study must have been completed at the institution.
We do not have a required minimum on the TOEFL. Submitting good results of TSE (Test of Spoken English) will increase the acceptance probability of an application.
*Note that our curriculum starts with a quantitative methods course during the month of August prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. This early starting date should be taken into account when applying for admission.
How to apply
Applicants are required to upload/submit all application materials electronically. Apart from the original transcripts, paper material received will result in a high risk that your application will not be processed. To be considered for admission into the Economics doctoral program, you must submit the following:
- A completed online application.
- Application fee.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- Scanned electronic Transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate work to be uploaded to the admissions application & original transcripts mailed to the department if offered admissions.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) submitted through ETS. Only scores that the University will consider scores from tests taken within the last five years.
- Proficiency in English is required of all applicants. Applicants, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Only scores from tests taken within the last two years will be accepted. (Students who have a degree from a US institution can be waived). Will will also accept IELTS scores.
Please use School Code: 6929 and Department Code: 1801 when sending GRE & TOEFL/IELTS scores.
Please have the official transcripts sent to (please note that sending in additional materials may cause a significant delay in your application):
Department of Economics
One Brookings Drive
Seigle Hall 307
Campus Box 1208
St. Louis, MO 63130
How can I check the status of my application?
You can login to the admissions website to see whether your materials have been received. We begin to check-in material in mid-December.
What are my chances of being accepted?
Admission to the Ph.D. program in Economics at Washington in St. Louis is a competitive process, and your chances of being admitted will differ from year to year depending on the strength of the applicant pool. It is impossible for us to prescreen candidates, the only way to know your chances of being accepted to our program is to apply.
Do I need to submit an official transcript?
No. We require a scan of your transcript to be uploaded to our admissions site. If an offer is made, we will then ask you to provide the official transcripts.
Can I get a TOEFL waiver?
If you have received a graduate or undergraduate degree from a US institution, the TOEFL requirement is waived. You do not need to send a special request. The exception does not apply to other English speaking countries.
I will graduate from my current program in May of next year. Do I still have to submit a TOEFL?
As long as your degree is conferred before the beginning of our program, you are waived from providing the TOEFL exam.
How can I change/update a recommender?
Please email Sonya Woolley at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information that you would like to change. No phone calls, please.
May I submit an IELTS?
Yes, you must have your scores mailed to the department.
I’m still working on finishing my coursework. Can I update my application when new grades are given? Yes, you may update your application at any time simply by logging into the admissions system.
I have a new GRE score being released after the deadline. Can I use the new score?
We begin reviewing applications January 16th. You are welcome to update your application and scores at any point but we will review what we have on file, it's important to have your application complete by the deadline.
Can I be considered for a fellowship?
Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The university also offers competitive fellowships which may be found here: https://graduateschool.wustl.edu/prospective_students/financial-information/competitive-fellowships
Can I apply for an MA in Economics at Washington University?
No. We do not offer a terminal Master's degree in Economics; however, you can receive your MA en route to your Ph.D., after being admitted to the program.
Can I send you my transcripts/background to see if I am a good candidate for your program?
No. The only way to know your chances is to apply. We WILL NOT prescreen candidates.