Suggested application timeline

The typical timeline for applying to doctoral programs in economics is:

May to September

Research and begin selecting schools


To decide which program is the best fit, potential students should consider their own qualifications (including their GRE scores, their GPA, and their mathematical preparation) as well as the methodological approach, fields of specialization, predominant ideology, size of program, program culture (cooperative, competitive, etc.), typical time-to-degree, required examinations, financial aid, emphasis on mathematics, job prospects, and location of the programs to which they apply.


Practice for the GRE


This could include using an on-line preparation website, a printed or electronic study guide (widely available at bookstores), or taking a specific course. The test is administered by Educational Testing Service, and their website ( provides extensive information on the GRE.


Take the GRE for first time by October


Contact individuals to solicit letters of recommendation. Potential factors to consider when soliciting letter writers are the degree to which he/she can assess your potential abilities in graduate school (including your mathematical background and your analytical skills) and his/her prestige. Non-native speakers may also want to have supplementary letters addressing written and verbal communication skills.


Re-take the GRE, if needed, and prepare applications and statement of purpose

December to Early January

Applications generally due around this time

February to April

Acceptance decisions released


Graduate programs begin


Naturally, some programs have different schedules, so be careful to review the deadlines for the particular programs to which you are applying.