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Application Procedures



Prospective applicants can apply to the Ph.D. Program in Economics using the following options that can be found on the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Please be aware the application deadline for the Economics Department Ph.D. program is December 1, 2023.

  • On-line applications are accepted by the Yale Graduate School
  • Paper copy of the application is no longer available

All information regarding the Graduate Program in Economics is available on this web site. Hard copy of materials will not be mailed.

Note: Do not request materials from this email site. Please see Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.



Official score reports must be submitted for all required examinations. Ask the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to report your scores to the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, code 3987.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The General Test is required of all applicants. Applicants should take the GRE no later than November. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register early to schedule test dates and times. For registration forms, test dates, test centers, and general information contact is external)

Test of English as a Foreign Language. The TOEFL is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived only for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. NOTE:  1 or 2 year MA degree does not qualify for the waiver.  If you do not qualify for a waiver but have taken the TOEFL within the last two years you will need to have your TOEFL scores released to us (code 3987). If your scores can no longer be released, you will need to take the test. The test should be taken as early as possible to ensure that your scores are received in time to be incorporated in your file. Normally TOEFL scores will not be released if they are older than two years. If you took the TOEFL before and ETS will release those scores then you should no have to retake the examination.

International English Language Test System (IELTS). You may substitute IELTS for TOEFL. 

If you are still not sure if you must submit TOEFL scores, please review this flowchart: Is English Language Testing Required for My Application? (start with the question “Is your native language English?”)

For additional information and the latest updates on the TOEFL and TSE, please visit the ETS website: is external).

Test of Spoken English (TSE). All international applicants who accept offers of admission to the Ph.D. program and whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged to present scores on the Test of Spoken English by the time of enrollment in the fall. The TSE is administered in the United States and abroad. For further information check the is external) web site. Students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may be retested and/or asked to take courses in English for speakers of other languages. A high level of proficiency is required for students to serve as teaching fellows.

More information about TOEFL and IELTS tests can be found on the Yale Graduate School website.



Doctoral and master’s degrees. Students may enter the Graduate Economics Program after earning a bachelors degree (or the equivalent) or a master’s degree. The Master of Philosophy is awarded to students who complete all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation. The Doctor of Philosophy is awarded upon acceptance of the doctoral dissertation. The Economics Department does not accept students into a terminal master’s program. The Economic Growth Center offers a one-year MA program in International and Development Economics.

Full-time and Part-time Study. Doctoral students are expected to devote their full energies to course work and preparation for the qualifying examinations in the first years, and dissertation research and writing in the final years of graduate study. There is no part-time study available to applicants to the Department of Economics.

Nondegree Study. Qualified individuals who wish to study at the graduate level but not pursue a degree may be admitted to the Division of Special Registration (DSR) as “special students.” Admission to this program is for one term or one year only and carries with it no commitment for further study. These students are not eligible for financial aid or loans. Applicants interested should apply in the same fashion as for full-time study.

Interdisciplinary Study. Students may apply for admission to only one department or program within the Graduate School per year. Students may take one or more courses in a related department, and are often advised by faculty members from more than one department during their dissertation research. Students in the Graduate School, may, with permission, take advantage of course or research opportunities in Yale College and in the professional schools.

Joint-degree Programs. The Department of Economics offers a joint J.D./Ph.D. degree with the Yale Law School. Students must apply to and be admitted to the Yale Law School independently of the Graduate School. Applicants may apply to both schools at the same time or they may enter one school and apply to the second during their first year of study. A separate application is required for each school, and each makes its own admission decision. Students who apply simultaneously to two schools should indicate that they are doing so on both applications. For information on the Yale Law School see the following web site:

Transfer Students. The Yale Graduate School does not admit transfer students. The presumption is that students who receive a Yale doctoral degree do their studies at Yale. Students currently enrolled in a doctoral program elsewhere who wish to apply to a Yale doctoral program may do so through the normal admissions procedure. They must meet all the application requirements, including the deadline for submission. Some very successful students have entered the Yale program in this way. Such students may petition the Economics Department and Graduate School to waive a portion of the Ph.D. course requirement (normally a maximum of three courses) in recognition of previous graduate-level work done at Yale or elsewhere. All other requirements, including the comprehensive examination, the economic history requirement, the oral examination, and the econometrics paper, must be completed at Yale. Students who enter the program from another doctoral program receive the full six-year financial aid package.

Those interested in transferring to Yale might consider the Exchange Scholars Program as an alternative. At participating institutions, students may petition their own schools to enroll full-time at Yale for a term or for an academic year as exchange scholars. Participating universities include Berkeley, Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Stanford.

Further Graduate School Information. A comprehensive description of academic rules and regulations of the Yale Graduate School will be made available to students when they are registered. The Programs and Policies booklet may be found on the Internet at the Graduate School website.



Length of Study. Students are expected to complete the requirements for the degree in six years of registration. The first two years are generally spent taking courses full time; the third is spent preparing a dissertation prospectus within workshops and completing all requirements except the dissertation; the remaining years are spent pursuing and writing up a work of original research. The average length of time required to complete the program is five years. A small percentage finish in four years, although students are guaranteed registration for 6 years in which to finish their degree.

Residency Requirement. Doctoral students in this program are required to be in residence in New Haven for at least three years.

Dissertation. The doctoral dissertation is the climax of the graduate school experience. Every dissertation makes an original contribution to a student’s field of study by discovering significant new information, achieving a new synthesis of ideas, developing new methods or hypotheses, or applying established methods to new materials. A dissertation also demonstrates the student’s mastery of relevant resources and methods. Students work with two advisers throughout this process.



In the academic year 2023-24 tuition for full-time study is $48,300. This rate is expected to increase in subsequent years. Ph.D. candidates are charged four years of full tuition. Thereafter students are charged a modest continuing registration fee each term until the dissertation is submitted or the terminal date is passed.  For the 2023-24 academic year this fee is $790 per semester.



The Graduate School provides full tuition, health insurance and stipend fellowship for the first six years of study. Normally the Department of Economics provides additional stipend support. There is a combined award policy that applies to students who obtain outside fellowships. This policy gives students a financial incentive to obtain outside awards.

Teaching Fellowships. Because the faculty considers teaching to be essential to the professional teaching of all doctoral students, they serve as teaching assistants in the third and fourth years of study.

Research Fellowships. Department faculty often hire students as research assistants either part-time or full-time.  During this academic year there are seven students supported as full-time research assistants where this funding replaces the need to serve as a teaching fellow.  In the summer of 2020, twenty-five students were supported as part-time research assistants for faculty. 

Outside Fellowships. All applicants for admission are strongly urged to compete for outside fellowships which can be used at Yale. These fellowships are sponsored by both public and private agencies and are often more generous than those awarded by the University. In addition to their financial advantages, distinction is conferred on a student who wins an award. The McDougal Graduate School Center maintains a library of fellowship information; incoming students seeking external aid are advised to consult it on arrival in New Haven.

Federal and Non-Federal Student Loans. Loans administered by the University are available to citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. The types of loans and amounts a student is eligible to borrow are based entirely on financial need as determined by federal formula.