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Graduate Application FAQs

Does the Department of Economics offer an MA program?

The Department of Economics offers a full-time Ph.D. program. Part-time study is not available. There is no MA program. The Economic Growth Center offers a one-year MA program in International and Development Economics. For more information on this program see Economic Growth Center Program page.

What are the requirements for admission to the Ph.D. program?

Applicants to the program should submit the Yale Graduate School Application, three (3) letters of recommendation, personal statement, transcripts, GRE score. The TOEFL is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived 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. 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 not have to retake the examination.

What are admitted applicants' average GRE and TOEFL scores?

We do not calculate or track average or minimum scores for admission.

What are the minimum TOEFL scores required for admission?

The minimum TOEFL score necessary for admission is 250 depending on whether you take the computerized or written test. In addition, a minimum of 60 or 25 is required on the oral comprehensive section. For the TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT) the minimum total score is 100; 26 on each section except writing which has a minimum of 22. More information about TOEFL and IELTS tests can be found on the Yale Graduate School website.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The average time of completion is five years, although some students finish in four years. Students are allowed 6 years of registration.

Are personal interviews required for admission?

We do not make use of interviews for admission.

Can you give me information on Financial Aid available to incoming students?

All applicants offered admission to the program are provided with a stipend that is adequate to live on in New Haven. They are also provided with six years tuition and health coverage fellowships

How many students are accepted into the program?

Our target size for the entering class is approximately 19-23 per year.

I am currently in a Master’s program and would like to transfer coursework. Is this possible?

The Yale Graduate School does not accept transfer students. The presumption is that students who receive a Yale doctoral degree do their studies at Yale. Students currently enrolled in a Master’s or 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. Students may, after one year of course work at Yale, petition the Economics Department and the Graduate School to waive up to one year of course work at Yale in view of prior graduate-level course work completed elsewhere. All other requirements, including the comprehensive examination, the economic history requirement, oral examinations, and the econometrics paper, must be completed at Yale.

How long before I know if I have been accepted?

Applications are due December 1. Decisions are made and letters of acceptance mailed by early March. Applicants must make admission decisions by mid-April. See the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences dates and deadlines page for addtional information.

What makes an application look attractive to the admissions committee?

a) Adequate preparation in mathematics. Applicants should have multivariate calculus. Linear algebra, real analysis and probability theory and/or statistics also looks good.

b) A good grade record. This is not precise as standards vary widely among schools.

c) Informative letters of recommendation. It is helpful if these show the applicant is creative and enterprising.

d) Of the GRE scores we focus mainly on the quantitative score in percentage terms. Anything over 90% is fine; below 85% raises questions.

Attached is my academic vita. Can you tell me if I am likely to be admitted to your program?

It is not possible to assess material and make a judgment on whether a candidate is suitable for the program. All application materials are taken into account when making decisions on admission.