Economics PhD FAQs

Economics PhD FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Applicants are admitted exclusively for the fall semester when the initial core courses of the doctoral program are offered.

Yes, we do. Please visit our page for the Master of Science in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics for more information.

No. The format of letters of recommendation is left to the discretion of the author.

Yes. When evaluating applicants the Graduate Admissions Committee looks at the whole picture:

  • Past academic performance and previous coursework
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Your statement of purpose
  • A strong mathematics background including three semesters of calculus and a course in linear algebra. A course in mathematical analysis is recommended, as well.

Strong applicants have performed well in all of those areas. We admit students from many backgrounds including recent college graduates, applicants with advanced degrees and applicants from the workforce.

The doctoral program is designed to take five years to complete. The typical student has finished coursework and begun dissertation work during the third year of the program.

We receive about 250 applications per year, of which we admit approximately 10 percent.

It varies from year to year, but generally between 40-60 percent of our students in residence are international students.

Yes. Nationality is not a factor in our admission decisions, just the strength of the overall application.


Doctoral Program financial information can be found here. For additional information on tuition costs please reference the Bursar's Office web page.

Assistantship stipends are awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Stipend amounts average $21,000 per year and waive the tuition and the registration fees and surcharges.

A limited number of tuition waivers are available to students who do not receive assistantships.

Typically 70–80 percent of our new, first-year students receive some level of financial support. Plus we fund all continuing students making good progress up through the fifth year of the program.

There are no specific requirements; however, assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis.

The University of Arizona does not grant waivers of the application fee. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Doctoral Program Requirements

Due to the rigorous nature of our program, we expect applicants to have a strong background in math. Below are the courses that make-up a sound preparation for our program. For ease of reference, courses are listed by number and name as they appear in the UA schedule of classes.

MATH 124–Calculus I with Apps
MATH 129–Calculus II
MATH 215–Intro to Linear Algebra
MATH 223–Vector Calculus

There is not a minimum score requirement for the GRE, although we do expect applicants to perform well. A competitive score on the quantitative section usually falls above the 80th percentile. That said, we assess applicants in the context of their overall qualifications and within the context of the applicant pool as a whole. The Economics Department code for the GRE is 1801.

No. We don’t require the Economics subject test.

The mean GRE scores of our last incoming class were Verbal: 150 and Quant: 163. The Education Testing Service (ETS) recently changed its scaling for GRE scores. Current ETS concordance tables for verbal and quantitative are on the ETS website

A minimum grade-point average of 3.00, based on a 4.00 scale, is required for admission to the Graduate College. Calculation of the grade-point average is based on the final portion of an applicant's undergraduate record, the graduate record or a combination of both. The Department can ask the Graduate College to make an exception in cases where all other aspects of the application are very strong.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) will report scores for up to five years. Because that’s as long as we are able to receive official score reports, your GRE scores are accepted for five years.

The minimum TOEFL score required by the Graduate College of the University of Arizona is 550 (paper version), 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (iBT test). The University of Arizona Institution code for the TOEFL is 4832

The official UA policy on TOEFL scores is that the exam date must be within two calendar years of the term of enrollment.

IELTS scores can be used to satisfy the university's English Proficiency requirement in lieu of TOEFL scores. Applicants must submit a minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6).

No, you do not need to submit a TSE score for admission. However, students on assistantship are not allowed to teach until they have met an English speaking proficiency requirement. That requirement can be satisfied with a score of 50 or higher on the TSE, a sub-score of 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the iBT TOEFL or a score of 7 or higher on the T-BEST exam. The T-BEST exam is administered at the University of Arizona.

If you don’t find the answer to your question, please contact Liz Jenkins, graduate coordinator, at