- Although we accept writing samples (please try to limit to 10 pages), we do not require a writing sample, however the on-line application system will not allow applicants to by-pass this section of the application. If you do not have a writing sample that you want to submit, please upload a document of your choice in this section (eg. CV, list of relevant courses, abstract)
- We ask that you mail one hard copy of your official transcript(s) in addition to the unofficial transcript(s) which you upload with the application. It's ok if the official transcripts reach our office after the application deadline.
- Recommendation letters may be sent directly to the department if your recommenders do not want to upload their letters in the on-line application system. They can be sent via postal mail, or as email attachments.
The on-line system for graduate applications for the next academic year opens in mid September from the Office of Graduate Admissions. The department only admits students for the fall quarter of each year.
The 2012-2013 application schedule for the Department of Economics:
- December 11, 2012 (midnight EST) - on-line applications due in the Department of Economics
- March 15, 2013 - Admissions decisions sent
- April , 2013 - Admitted students fly-outs
- April 15, 2013 - Economics Department must be informed of student decisions
- Late-Aug - Required arrival for newly admitted Ph.D students
General Stanford graduate admissions information can be found at the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Application forms cannot be downloaded. You must apply on-line via Office of Graduate Admissions.
2012-2013 Application Fee: $125 (subject to change).
Please send any mailed supporting materials for the application which have not been uploaded to:Department of Economics
Graduate Admissions Committee
579 Serra Mall Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
For specific questions about the graduate economic program: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission and financial aid decisions are made by the Admissions Committee of the Department in March of each year for the class which will enter the following September. The Department receives more than 700 applications per year, and approximately 50 are admitted. The entering class size usually consists of 25 students. On average, approximately 50% of our admits are international students. The Stanford Economics Department is committed to redressing the historic under-representation of women and minority groups in the economics profession. The Department will consider proposals for admission deferral on their merits, but does not grant one automatically. Applicants must begin their studies in September of the year in which they are accepted.
The criteria which are considered include:
- Preparation and performance in undergraduate studies, especially in economics, mathematics, and statistics - one copy of official original transcripts for all secondary institutions attended
- GRE scores, especially the quantitative
- TOEFL results (if applicable)
- Three letters of recommendation, especially as these reflect research ability
- Statement of purpose.
In deciding whether to apply, you should be aware of how competitive the process is. Successful applicants have scores above the 95th percentile on the quantitative GRE, and received excellent grades in economics and math courses.
The Department requires competence in the calculus of several variables, linear algebra, and probability and statistics as they are used in modern economics. Deficiencies in these areas must be remedied, prior to entering graduate school; the Department holds a math review course during the five weeks prior to the start of the Autumn quarter which entering students are expected to take.
Applicants are not required to have been undergraduate economics majors, but some substantial preparation in economics is desirable. In general, the quality and extent of undergraduate education are an important part of the applicant's record, as is any relevant work experience.
The Department does not accept the transfer of actual units of previous graduate work. However, students with previous graduate work may be able to pass some of the required comprehensive examinations upon entrance, thus reducing the time required for the Ph.D. degree. In particular, a student is given the option of taking the economics and econometrics comprehensive examinations upon arrival at Stanford in the autumn.
Success in the program requires outstanding skills in speaking and writing English. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This examination should be taken no later than October and preferably earlier. A minimum iBT TOEFL score of 100 is required. TOEFL scores are waived for applicants who have received a degree from a post-secondary institution where instruction was given in English (http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/exams-international). Applications will not be considered unless the GRE and TOEFL scores are included.
The GRE and TOEFL test results should be submitted by the Educational Testing Service. You may provide self-reported results with your application, but final decisions on admission will not be made without the official scores from the testing service. The department will accept unofficial score reports received by the application deadline to keep your file active while waiting for official scores to arrive from ETS, in the event that there is a delay in receiving the official scores from ETS.
Financial assistance for first-year students ranges from no aid to a full fellowship which includes tuition; it is awarded on the basis of merit for both internation applicants and US citizens. There is no separate application required to request department financial support other than checking the relevant box on the application form. In recent years, the Department has been able to support all qualified second, third, and fourth-year students with teaching or research assistantships.
Sources of funds for research assistantships are from private industry, the National Science Foundation, and private endowment organizations. Government contracts for defense programs are not solicited by the Department.
The Department of Economics expects prospective applicants to apply for any external funding for which they are eligible, and especially to the National Science Foundation's program for graduate fellowships in economics, if they are U.S. citizens. NSFs are awarded on a geographical basis, and you may wish to consider using a home address rather than a school address on your application to increase your chances of receiving this award. For applications, write to:
National Science Foundation
Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
P.O. Box 3010
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-3010
The Department does not have a predetermined formula for weighing admission criteria, nor does it have any rigid cut off points on these criteria. All factors are taken into account and weighed by the Committee. However, the primary consideration is the likelihood that the candidate will be able to complete the Ph.D. program with distinction. The committee looks for evidence that the applicant will be able to deal successfully with the quantitative material which is heavily emphasized in the core curriculum, and that the student will be able to produce high quality independent research.