Graduate Financial Support

Funding depends on a doctoral student maintaining "good academic standing" with the Department of Economics and the Graduate School. To maintain good academic standing, a PhD student must: 

  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0.
  • Pass the mandatory core courses in the program. 
  • Pass both preliminary examinations during the summer of the first year of the program. 
  • Submit a research paper by the due date in the summer after the second year in the program. 
  • Have the research paper accepted by the due date in the fall semester of the third year in the program. 
  • Pass the Dissertation Proposal before the end of the third year in the program. 
  • Be judged by the Director of Graduate Studies to be making satisfactory progress on his or her dissertation, when the student is beyond the Dissertation Proposal stage. 

Once a student is in the 6th year of the program or beyond, he or she is not in good academic standing, unless the Director of Graduate Studies has been supplied with convincing evidence, by the student and the student's dissertation supervisor, by the time funding decisions are made (typically the February before the current academic year) that: (i) there have been unusual circumstances that have impeded dissertation progress; (ii) the student will have the dissertation completed by the end of the upcoming academic year, and will be on the job market during the upcoming academic year. 

Additional Funding Sources

Summer Support

Summer financial support has typically been available to students about to enter their second-through-fifth academic year. Applications are due in February. There are also teaching positions available through University College. Students who have accepted a permanent job in the fall cannot receive financial support in the preceding summer.

Federal Work Study

American graduate students are eligible for support under the federally sponsored Federal Work-Study (FWS) program if they meet certain federally defined criteria of financial need. All American students must complete and submit the Family Financial Planning Statement (FFPS) in order to determine their eligibility for FWS support.

Travel Awards

Travel Funding

All items listed are required in order to receive reimbursement:

  1. Approval from contributing department/school(s) which may include:
    • Approved Form Request for Travel Expenses from Department (submit request prior to travel)
    • Approval of Graduate School matching (submit request prior to travel; see checkbox at bottom of the Request for Travel Expenses from Department form to request)
  2. Effective March 15, 2018 registration (using MYTRIPS) for University-related international travel will be required of all students traveling outside the United States for University purposes.
  3. Submit your travel reimbursement request in Workday using Create Expense Report (log in to to access Workday). Reimbursement requests should be submitted no later than 14 days after the completion of the trip. Travel will not be reimbursed if receipts are more than 30 days old. 
  4. Supporting Documentation. Supporting documentation is defined as an original document from the vendor that contains the price. Monthly credit card statements and canceled checks will not be accepted as supporting documentation. 

Foreign Receipts: Employees are encouraged to use to obtain the average exchange rate for the applicable time period. In addition, receipts for hotel, rental car, airfare, etc., should be labeled as such in English. A copy of the print screen with exchange rate must be included with the travel reimbursement request. A copy of a monthly credit card statement with original receipts is acceptable to show actual conversion amounts.

WashU Policies: Travel reimbursement policy and Non-reimbursable expenses

Please note:

CRES: The Center for Research in Economics and Strategy provides support for Olin doctoral research.  Funds may be used for items including purchase or development of data sets, conducting experiments, or other research materials, e.g., books or software.  Excluded items include travel and stipends.

Conditions required for an application to be considered are:

  1.   The research must be reasonably considered to be economics; and
  2.   Publication of research results is targeted towards a top academic journal in your area.

To apply for funds: Send and, a brief (<250 words) email describing the research idea, the items for which support is requested, and a forcasted budget. Include endorsement from a faculty member (thesis supervisor if you have one) in your area and the Director of the Olin Graduate Program. 


Preference will be given to research in areas that do not have a dedicated research center.


Washington University does not reimburse insurance on car rentals since we are able to provide an insurance card to employees (and PhD students when on WashU sponsored travel) prior to travel. Please see Carissa for the insurance card.


Dissertation Travel Fund

Department of Economics graduate students may apply for dissertation travel funds in the amount of $1,000 by submitting the form below provided that the following guidelines are met:

 Approved Form Request for Travel Expenses from Department (submit request prior to travel)

  • Enrolled in the Economics PhD program, fully-funded by a University Fellowship, and working on their dissertation. Students funded by Olin Fellowship, Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship, or a non-GS source (NSF Fellowship, McDonnell International Scholars Academy Scholarship, etc.) are NOT eligible for the dissertation travel fund.

  • Finished with all requirements for their PhD, prior to the start of a dissertation travel fund award. This includes all required examinations (prelims) other than the oral defense, all coursework, and the proposal defense as well as approval of the TSP form.

Additionally, please note:

  • Funds are available at the beginning of August for fall and the beginning of January for spring and will remain available until they are exhausted or the student graduates, whichever comes first.
  • If a student lives outside of St. Louis, the award may not be used for travel between their residence and St. Louis.