The chief consideration in choosing a department at which to do graduate work in economics must be the quality of its faculty as economists and as teachers of economics. The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago has always ranked among the handful of leading departments in the world. It has also claimed a disproportionate share of the honors the economics profession can bestow.
Application for Admission
The Department of Economics receives 600-700 applications for an entering class of 20-25 students per year. The number of well-qualified applicants exceeds the number of offers we can make. Nevertheless, we still strongly encourage those interested in graduate economic study to apply.
The application deadline for the 2017-2018 academic year is December 15, 2017. The University of Chicago’s Division of Social Sciences administers applications to the doctoral program. Please see their webpage for an online application.
The Department of Economics considers of a wide range of factors to evaluate each applicant: previous educational record, letters of recommendation, a writing sample, previous research experience, the applicant’s scores on the GRE and on the TOEFL or IELTS, the compatibility of the applicant’s research interests with the program strengths in the department, and any special factors that the applicant may bring to the Department’s attention. The Department evaluates each applicant on the basis of all material available; no arbitrary cut-offs in terms of a student’s grade point average or test scores are used.
The goal of the Ph.D. program is to train students for careers of research and teaching in economics, broadly defined. A primary concern in admissions is the likelihood that a student will be able to complete the Ph.D. program with distinction and embark on a successful research career. The Department looks for evidence that the applicant will be able to master the quantitative analytical methods of modern economics and will be able to do high-quality independent research. A recommendation letter is most effective when the recommender can explicitly compare the applicant’s preparation and research potential with others who have been successful in top economics Ph.D. programs. In the Statement of Academic Purpose, Writing Sample, and the choice of people to write recommendation letters, applicants should try to provide information and evidence about their academic objectives and aptitude for research in economics.
All students receive full tuition, insurance, stipends and research funds for five years.
Additional funding from department based fellowships, awards, additional research work and teaching is common.
External funding through extramural agencies is encouraged.
The Department of Economics will hold an informal faculty dinner reception for admitted students Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 6:30pm. Campus Day will be held all day (8:00am-6:00pm) Thursday, April 5, 2018. Details will be relayed to invited prospective students in March 2018.
Joint PhD Program in Financial Economics
Admission to the joint program requires admission to both the doctoral program in the Department of Economics and to the doctoral program in the Booth School, but interested parties need only apply to one or the other program. Students may enter the joint program at the beginning of their doctoral studies. Those seeking admission to the joint program should apply online to either the Ph.D. program in the Department of Economics or the Booth School.