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Program Admissions


The requirements for admission to the PhD program are:

  1. The completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited College or University
  2. GPA of 3.0 or better or its equivalent
  3. The successful completion of intermediate microeconomic and macroeconomic theory*
  4. Sufficient preparation in mathematics through calculus, statistics, and linear algebra
  5. Three academic reference letters
  6. A brief statement of personal academic goals

 A master's degree in economics is not a requirement for admission. 
The GRE is no longer a requirement for admission. 

*If you do not meet these prerequisites, your application will be considered incomplete. Grades for the prerequisites should be posted on your transcripts at the time of application. These requirements may be completed at any accredited university, including as a non-degree seeking student at the University of Utah. These courses do not count towards your graduate degree program once admitted. 

Preparation in mathematics through calculus, statistics, and linear algebra is strongly recommended. It may be necessary for students not fully prepared for a graduate program to take remedial courses. Students who lack the proper background in micro and macroeconomic theory, statistics, and mathematics must take courses to remedy these deficiencies prior to their first year of study.

Detailed information on the University of Utah Graduate School admissions policies can be found here.

International students must demonstrate their proficiency in English by specific citizenship or examination. The University requires a minimum of 80 on the TOEFL  iBT exam, 105 on Duolingo, or 6.5 on the IELTS. The TOEFL is preferred by our department. A strong speaking score (25 or higher) is particularly important for funding through a teaching assistantship. For details about the English Proficiency requirement, including approved non-examination demonstrations of proficiency, please visit this page

We recommend completing all TOEFL exams by December 15. To ensure that scores reach Admissions in a timely manner, please provide ETS with the following codes:
University of Utah: 4853
Department of Economics: 1801

More information about University of Utah International Graduate Admissions can be found here.  

Application Deadline: February 1st

The Fall application deadline is February 1st. Applicants will hear back between early March and mid-May.

The PhD program is scheduled so that the first-year core courses are offered in a sequence; therefore, it is only possible to begin the PhD program in the fall.

Application Procedure

Applications to our PhD program are made online through the Slate application system.

  • Please upload all materials directly to Slate.
  • Letters of recommendation are completed online and submitted directly through Slate. Please confirm with your recommendation providers before submitting your application that they have e-mail and Internet access and will be able to complete the process online. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommendation provider by the February 1st deadline to be considered. 
  • Please send official documents directly to the Office of Admissions, not the Economics Department.
  • The Economics Department cannot waive the application fee
  • Access the application at After an application is submitted, applicants can login to their application status portal to track letters of recommendations, submit additional transcripts and other materials, withdraw their application, and view their decision. 


Admissions Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Application Fee: We are unable to waive the application fee under any circumstances. New PhD students are offered $1,000 to help cover the admissions fee and moving expenses. This is disbursed as a reimbursement following the start of the program. 
  • Late Submissions: Our Admissions Committee meets very soon after the February 1 deadline. Please complete your application by that date and ensure that your letters of recommendation arrive by that date. Late applications will not be accepted. If any materials are missing from your application on February 2nd, you will not receive full consideration.
  • Letters of Recommendation: are completed online and submitted directly into the Slate system. Before beginning your application, please confirm with your recommendation providers that they have access to e-mail and the Internet and will be able to complete the process online. If a recommendation provider is having trouble completing their recommendation, they should reach out to Slate technical support. 
  • Sending Materials: Please upload all materials directly into the Slate application system.  We cannot add emailed or mailed materials to your application. Official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Admissions as explained here
  • Application Updates and Status: After an application is submitted, you can login to the application status portal at to track letters of recommendations, submit additional transcripts and other materials, withdraw your application, and view your admissions decision.
  • University of Utah Office of Admissions: The Office of Admissions and the Economics Department are separate offices. If you need to check on receipt of materials you have sent to the Office of Admissions, please contact them directly. The best email for Graduate Admissions in the Office of Admissions is The best email for International Admissions in the Office of Admissions is
  • Acceptance Rates: We receive around 140-160 applications each year and admit a cohort of 4-8 students. Four to six are fully funded with a teaching assistantship. The Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review that incorporates academic history (including completion of prerequisite courses and math preparation), recommendation letters, the personal statement, research interests and fit with the department's areas of research, and cohort make-up. 
  • Financial Assistance:  All applicants are considered for a teaching assistantship alongside their application review. No additional information is required to apply for a teaching assistantship. The Department of Economics offers a teaching assistantship to 4-6 incoming students per year. This teaching assistantship is compensated with a stipend of $25,000 (for the 2023-2024 academic year) and participation in the University's Tuition Benefit Program, which offers full tuition and health insurance (per the policies found here and here). More details about Financial Assistance and Tuition Costs can be found here
  • Re-Applying: If you unsuccessfully applied to the program in a previous term and wish to apply again, you may do so.  You will need to submit all new materials. 
  • Decision Notifications: Initial offers are made in early March, and additional offers (when available) are made on a rolling basis through early May. You will receive your notification by e-mail. We strive to have admissions decisions available to all applicants by May 15th. 
  • Faculty Mentor/Advisor: Applicants do not need to identify a faculty mentor or advisor to support their application. Applications are reviewed by a central admissions committee within the Department of Economics. Faculty mentor/advisor relationships are developed during the program. 
  • Part-Time or Full-Time: The PhD program is designed to be a full-time program of study with classes and research workshops scheduled for daytime hours. In limited circumstances, a student may be able to pursue a part-time program from their second-year onward. Prospective students wishing to pursue this option are encouraged to consult with the Graduate Student Coordinator before applying. Financial Assistance is only available to full-time students. 
  • Transcripts: You may upload unofficial transcripts to the application system, and if you are accepted you will be then be asked to have all official transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions as explained here
  • GPA: This varies from year to year, but over the past 10 admission cycles, the average GPA of accepted students is 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Statement of Purpose: The Statement of Purpose is an important part of your application.  Take the time to write a great one.  A page or two is a good length. Include information about your background, career goals, and research interests. Explain why you feel that our PhD program would be a good fit for you and what you would like to contribute.
  • GRE: Our department no longer requires the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) for admission. You do not need to submit a GRE score.
  • TOEFL/English Tests (International Students): The University accepts several English Proficiency tests for international students and several non-examination ways to prove proficiency. Please read this page thoroughly here to determine if you need to take an English Proficiency exam. Take the TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo test early enough so that your scores arrive before the February 1 deadline.  Test scores should be sent from the examination service directly to the Office of Admissions (not to the Economics Department) for the quickest processing. The ETS code (for TOEFL scores) is 4853. If you wish to receive financial aid from our department, a strong TOEFL speaking score (around 25) is important and we would encourage you to take the TOEFL even if it is waived.
  • International Admissions: Please see this page for more information on International Application Documents.  
  • I-20:  I-20s for international students are processed and mailed by the Office of Admissions after a student has been admitted into the PhD program. Processing times will vary. Students must have their I-20 documents sent to the Office of Admissions as early as possible, but no later than June 1st. To learn more about the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility required to apply for or maintain an F-1 Student Visa, please see this Office of Admissions page
Last Updated: 8/23/23