Admissions FAQ

Admission for the 2018-2019 academic year is now closed. The application system for the 2019-2020 academic year will open in August 2018.

To submit an application, click here to go to Laney Graduate School's admissions site.

If you would like to receive more information about earning a PhD in Economics from Emory University, please click this link and complete the Inquiry Form.

Is Economics PhD study right for me?

Do you find it easy to immerse yourself in dispassionate and impartial analyses of economic issues? Do you see yourself teaching the difficult and subtle interrelationships of economic incentives, opportunities, and outcomes? Do you hope to work in a field in which analytical economic expertise is productive? If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, then study toward the PhD at Emory may be the right choice for you.

If you are primarily interested in applying economic concepts to business strategy questions involving marketing, production, and efficient organization, then a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is probably your best choice. If you are primarily interested in policy analysis and issues related to government administration, then a degree from a public policy school may be appropriate, although a PhD in economics can also lead to this kind of career. If you are interested in a research degree but prefer finance, marketing, management, or operations research, then a doctorate degree in business administration (DBA) is the right choice for you. Although the PhD in economics and business are similar, research undertaken by economics graduate students is usually more motivated by policy issues rather than industry questions.

At Emory, we only admit students interested in obtaining the PhD degree. Most graduate students are apprentice faculty who conduct research and teach courses. Many economics PhDs do indeed spend at least part of their careers in academia. Others pursue careers in full-time research in private research institutions, government, large corporations, financial institutions, or trade associations.  For example, we have close ties with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a great record of placing students at the Federal Reserve, where they are engaged in policy work. You can obtain a list of our placements at

Why should I apply to Emory?

The Emory PhD Program puts students on the intellectual frontier of the economic discipline by introducing them to leading-edge theories and techniques. With this training, students can actively investigate research questions of particular interest and importance to them.

The hallmark of the Emory PhD Program is the close interaction between faculty and students. Classes are small and interactive, and students have the opportunity to obtain a deep understanding of the material. The faculty are eager to mentor students and involve them in their research. In fact, many students write research papers with the faculty. Joint work is submitted to academic journals for publication. Students are provided the opportunity to present research in departmental seminars, as well as at non-Emory academic conferences.

Our key strengths are:

What is the timetable for the admissions process?

Students are only accepted for fall admission. The three important admissions dates to remember are:

  • Deadline for completing online applications is January 3.
  • Admissions offers are made by April 1.
  • Student decisions must be submitted by April 15.

How do I apply?

Submit your application online. The Graduate School application is available at Before applying, please review the Laney Graduate School’s application requirements and instructions.

How many applications do you receive and how many students do you accept each year?

To view our degree program statistics, click here. You can see the number of applications we receive, number of students accepted into our program, time to degree, and other useful information.

Do you admit international students?

Yes. We do not discriminate based on nationality or any other factors. We examine each applicant on the basis of their own portfolio. Students typically enter the U.S. on an F-1 visa. For more information on Emory's International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) visit

Do you offer funding, fellowships, or other financial aid?

Students admitted to our program receive multiple years of support (tuition plus stipend) contingent upon acceptable progress towards degree completion. The stipend is typically paid over a period of 12 months. Advanced students may receive additional support through teaching, research grants, or dissertation completion fellowships. Additional funds are also available through special competitive fellowships offered through the University. Students have the opportunity to teach in summer for additional pay starting at their third year.

Do I have departmental duties in exchange for the fellowship?

Students are expected to work as research assistants, teaching assistants, and/or teaching associates in all years in which they receive a fellowship, excluding the first year when they have no work assignment. 

What requirements do I have to fulfill before I start teaching?

All students are required to complete the Laney Graduate School’s TATTO (Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity) program. This involves a sequence of pedagogy courses taught within the LGS as well as the department. Provided that this training is completed successfully, you will receive hands-on experience with teaching through TA duties starting at the second year. You will have the opportunity to teach your own course(s) after your third year.

Do you require the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)?

Yes. The GRE is required for all applicants. GRE Scores are valid for a period of 5 years. The TOEFL or IELTS is also required of all international students from non-English speaking countries provided they do not have an undergraduate or master's degree from an English-speaking institution.

Can the TOEFL/IELTS requirement be waived?

If you have completed your undergraduate or graduate education at an English-speaking university, this requirement is waived.

Do you require official GRE and TOEFL scores sent by ETS?

Yes.  We do require official scores to be sent by ETS. The department code for the GRE is 1801. The department code for the TOEFL is 84. Emory’s code is 5187.

Will you accept a copy of my GRE scores and transcripts rather than official reports?

The admissions committee can use a scanned or copied version of your scores and transcripts for initial review, but we will need official versions of both documents if you are admitted.

Do you require the TSE (Test of Spoken English)?

We do not require the TSE, but we do have an ELSP proficiency assessment, which all non-native English speakers must take upon arrival at Emory. You are exempted from or placed in the ELSP course sequence based on the outcome of this assessment. 

Do you have minimum GPA or GRE requirements?

We do not have strict minimum requirements, although we recommend that applicants demonstrate a score of at least 60% on the GRE Quantitative Exam and 50% on the GRE Verbal Exam. Please be aware that most applicants will score in much higher percentiles than the minimum proficiency thresholds. We also recommend that you show high grades in your upper level economics, mathematical, and statistics courses.

Can I have more than 3 letters of recommendation?

Three letters of recommendation are required, although you can submit an additional fourth letter if you choose to do so.

Can I submit a writing sample along with my statement of purpose?

Yes. You are encouraged to submit a writing sample such as a research paper or previously-published article.

What fields do your faculty specialize in?

Our faculty specialize in a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Health Economics, and Microeconomics.

What classes can I take to strengthen my preparation for the Ph.D. Program?

We have found that advanced preparation in mathematics and statistics is very useful to our students. Courses such as Real Analysis, Multivariate Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Probability Theory and Statistics, and Econometrics. We do not require these courses for admission, but strongly recommend them.

Do I need a Master's Degree to qualify for your program?

No, although students who have taken more advanced courses in economic theory, mathematics, and econometrics are at an advantage when being considered for admission. 

Do you offer a self-contained Master's Degree Program?

No. The program is designed solely for PhD study. There are no Master’s-level courses or a self-contained Master’s level program.

Who do I contact if I have specific questions about the admissions process?

If you have specific questions about the application process, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Mrs. Stephanie White at