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 and weekly seminars, and are readily available to meet with students outside of class.  Each week the department invites faculty members, visiting scholars and students to hold seminars in Behavioral Economics, International Economics, Industrial Relations, Industrial Organization, Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomics, Finance, Econometrics, Development and Political Economy.

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


  • Applications are available from the Graduate Admission Office online: Application for Graduate Admissions. Please see our page on Admissions for more information on application procedures and frequently asked questions. Generally:

December 1 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.  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 1st deadline.
  • Apply Here



  • The Economics Department is located in the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building on Washington Road, which was dedicated in spring 2017.  Post-general exam graduate students are all provided office space in the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building, either in Economics common spaces or offices belonging to one of the centers (Industrial Relations, Finance, Center for Health & Well-being, etc.). First- and second-year students have group offices with 12 unassigned desks in each.
  • Orange Key Tours: Interested students can take a virtual tour of campus.