Ph.D. Program in Economics
- Ph.D. Program Homepage
- Admissions and Application Information
- Graduate Programs
- Graduate Student Resources
Economics Research Awards/Support Programs
- Kirk Dornbush Research Assistantship [March 8th, 2013]
- The Noel Dissertation Fellowship [April 9th, 2013]
- Kirk Dornbush Summer Research Grants [March 19th, 2012]
- The Household International Best Research Paper Award [March 19th, 2013]
- The Summer Research Awards Program in Arts & Science, 2012 [February 27th, 2013]
- Social Science Dissertation Fellowships, 2012-2013 [not currently available]
- VU Graduate School Dissertation Enhancement Grants, 2012 [October 17th, 2012] Click here for a DEG application
Admissions and Application Forms
The best procedure for applying is via the Graduate School's online application system. The introductory page is here: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/gradschool/prospective_students/index.php and the direct link is on the left. Applications should be completed on-line, although in special circumstances printed applications can be requested from the Graduate School. . Requests for admissions materials can also be made via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You will need the following to complete your application: three letters of recommendation (to be submitted electronically), unofficial transcripts to be uploaded to your application (Hard copy official final transcripts will be required by mail only if an applicant receives an offer of admission), official GRE scores, and official TOEFL scores (required for international applicants only). Official GRE and TOEFL scores must be current with ETS through the end of April, 2015. (Scores remain current for five years for the GRE and 2 years for the TOEFL.) Our application deadline is January 15th. Applications without official test scores as of January 16th will not be considered for admission. Please be aware that applicants are admitted for the Fall semester only.
Most students entering our Ph.D. program have majored in economics as undergraduates, and some have a Master's degree in economics. Extensive training in economics is helpful but not sufficient preparation for the Ph.D. program. It is essential that each entering student has taken at least one year of calculus, one semester of statistics, and intermediate level courses in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. Courses in linear algebra differential equations, real analysis, and econometrics are also strongly recommended. Any deficiencies in these areas should be made up before beginning graduate work.
Tuition for 2014-15 is $21,384 per semester for a normal load of twelve credit-hours, or $1,782 per semester hour. Financial aid based on academic merit is awarded to many Ph.D. students. These awards provide a twelve-month stipend in addition to a full tuition waiver and health insurance, and may be renewed for four years. For 2014-15, the stipend is $21,200. Starting with Summer 2001 we have operated a summer research grants program, where students can receive support for research they propose (these grants are awarded on a competitive basis). Usually, three awards in the neighborhood of $3,000 are granted.
During the first year, students on aid have no teaching responsibilities. Thereafter, aid recipients work twenty hours per week as teaching assistants (although funding in later years is not guaranteed, it is very rare for students who are making adequate progress to be denied four years of funding). Applicants with outstanding records will be considered for Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholarships, which provide a supplementary stipend in addition to a regular scholarship or fellowship award, or for University Graduate Fellowships. Several of these awards are currently held by economics Ph.D. students. The Graduate School also awards several five-year fellowships to under-represented graduate students in arts and science disciplines. For further information, see the Graduate School's web page entitled Fees and Financial Support.