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Coursework

Economics Classes

  • Advanced Coursework such as 4211, 4213 or 4412 or even 6000 level courses
  • Other courses listed in Sample Programs for students interested in a PhD
  • Look for elective classes offered by research active faculty
  • Choose classes that you are interested in!
  • Get to know your professors – it is not enough to just do well in a class
  • Go to Office Hours

Non- economics classes

  • Calculus I, 2, 3 and linear algebra are required
  • Upper level statistics (esp a year-long prob/stats sequence) is strongly recommended
  • Mathematical analysis course is strongly recommended
  • Programming skills are strongly recommended (but need not be from coursework)

Research Experience

  • Research experience is strongly recommended/required
  • Start by reading the Opportunities page on the website
    • Academic year positions – advertised via the listserv and the WIKI
    • Summer internships – primarily for rising seniors but some are open to rising juniors
    • Full-Time positions after graduation – 1-2 year positions
  • Check the WIKI page regularly for updated positions
  • If you have followed the advice above about getting to know your faculty then you can speak with him or her about a possible position.

Honors Thesis

  • Writing an Honors Thesis is the most rewarding/demanding experience of the major
  • Not a requirement for PhD admissions but highly recommended
  • Start thinking and talking to faculty about your ideas early – hopefully you are taking economics classes that interest you and are going to faculty office hours
  • See the Honors and Prizes page on the website for details about the process, tips for finding a topic and adviser as well as examples of past theses

Masters’ Programs

  • Increasing number of people entering PhD programs with a M.A. degree
  • Look for schools that have good placement records (such as Duke, LSE, Columbia)
  • Look for a program with regular faculty teaching the M.A. classes
  • Need to do very well if you want the M.A. degree to help you get into a PhD program

 AEA Website

The American Economic Association’s Preparing for graduate school  has links to resources online including information on:

  • Graduate Degrees in Economics
  • AEA Summer Training Program
  • Math Preparation for Graduate School
  • Program Rankings
  • Considerations for Prospective Graduate Students

Advice ranging from how to determine whether or not a PhD is a good option for you to how to prepare for a PhD to how to be successful in a PhD program can be found on the Considerations for Prospective Graduate Students.   Here are three highlights from that page:

CSWEP newsletter Getting Into and Finishing a PhD Program

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
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Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
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1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.