The Ph.D. Program in Economics

Information for Prospective Students

  • The Department of Economics is home to over 50 faculty and approximately 130 enrolled graduate students.  Members of the faculty interact with students at weekly bagel hours, weekly seminars and are readily available to meet with students.  Each week the department invites faculty members, visiting scholars and students to hold seminars in International Economics, Industrial Relations, Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomics, Finance, Econometrics, Development and Population Research.

Course of Study

  • The Ph.D. Program is a five-year, full-time program. The department does not offer a Master’s Degree and students are not permitted to work outside of the university while enrolled. The first two years of study are devoted to coursework and preparation for the General Examination.  In the third fourth and fifth years students are not required to take classes, but are required to become Assistant Instructors within the department and continue work on their dissertation.
  • Program Requirements


December 15 is the deadline for all applicants.

Admission decisions are emailed to all applicants no later than March 15. April 15 is the deadline for admitted students to reply to the offer.  If your reply is not received by April 15, each department thereafter has discretion to rescind the offer of admission and financial aid if enrollment and/or financial resources have been exceeded.

Each year the department receives about 750-800 applications for admission.  The program is very competitive, enrolling only twenty-five new students each year. Students are required to take the Graduate Record Exam.  The average score of admitted applicants on each section of the GRE is in the high 90th percentile (> 98), though the department is particularly interested in the Quantitative score.  Students who are non-English speakers and who have not attended an English speaking college or university are required to take the TOEFL Exam.  Working knowledge of multivariate calculus and matrix algebra are required.

All students who are accepted to the Ph.D. Program in Economics are offered full tuition support and a stipend for the years they are enrolled.


  • Each year the department and faculty placement director assist students who are on the job market.  Recruiters from The Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund and other organizations visit campus to interview students.  Students are required to attend the ASSA meeting for interviews in January while on the job market.


  • If you wish to come to Princeton as a visiting student for one term or the year, you must complete the online application for admission and submit all materials before the December 15th deadline.
  • Apply Here



  • The Economics Department is located in Fisher Hall.  Many faculty also have offices in the Woodrow Wilson School, Wallace Hall, The Bendheim Center for Finance and the Labor Section in Firestone Library.  Post-general exam graduate students are provided office space in Fisher Hall if they are not assigned office space in another building. The department has a computer cluster in the building, which is set up for all graduate students.
  • Orange Key Tours: Interested students can take a virtual tour of campus.