PhD Program Overview

A Letter from the Director of Graduate Studies test

Thank you for your interest in our PhD program. (Please note: UVa does not offer a terminal M.A. degree in economics. The AEA provides a list of U.S. programs in economics for those seeking a master's degree.)

The Economics Department is one of over 30 programs within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Ph.D. program in Economics provides training for careers in both teaching and research by emphasizing theory, quantitative methods, and early involvement in research.

The success of the program is reflected in our graduates' job placements, which include highly ranked universities, such as Chicago, Columbia, UCLA, Cornell, Penn State, as well as excellent undergraduate institutions, such as Carleton and Brandeis. In a recent survey, UVA ranked fourteenth among graduate programs in academic placement. Many students also find summer or permanent employment in the nearby Washington area, e.g., at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Congressional Budget Office.

About twenty students enter our program each year. At any given time there are approximately 80-90 students in residence. Classes are small and students are able to work closely with faculty. Graduate students are provided with two computer labs, both equipped with up-to-date PCs and a wide selection of software.

In addition to taking the core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, doctoral students choose two fields of specialization from: Industrial Organization, International Economics, Macroeconomics, Public Economics, Econometrics, Theory, Development, and Labor. Virtually all graded courses can be completed by the end of the second year, so that students can begin dissertation research at an early stage (in the summer after the second year).

During the third and fourth years, students are active in one or more of the regularly scheduled workshops: Theory, Applied Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Public Economics, Econometrics, Development, and International Economics.

Applications and all credentials must be submitted through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' online application. The non-refundable application fee must be paid online via credit card. If you are eligible for an application fee waiver, please contact the Graduate School when you are ready to apply. The School's Dean of Admissions may waive the fee to members of certain organizations. However, you should contact me directly if you think that your application may arrive later than the January 15th deadline.

All students who are admitted are offered the same aid package. Financial need will not affect your chances for admission.

Financial assistance to students admitted for Fall 2020 includes $30,000 per year ($24,000 during the academic year, and $6,000 during the summer), along with full tuition remission, and health insurance coverage. The offer is guaranteed for 5 years, conditional on maintaining good standing in the program. Full details are available in the Financial Aid section of our admission instructions.

In addition, the Graduate School administers a competitive fellowship program to support a sixth year of study for doctoral students who are poised to complete distinguished dissertations and enter the job market. In 2016-17, twenty-five such fellowships will be offered, and the Graduate School plans to increase this number significantly in the coming years.

Your application and all supporting documents should reach the Graduate Admissions Office by January 15. (We admit students only for the fall semester.) Please note that you will need to present scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), but the advanced test in economics is not required. Complete details on our admission requirements are provided in the Admission section of this web site. If your question is not answered in the following pages, please e-mail Kristina Johnson, the Graduate Program Coordinator.

James Harrigan, Director of Graduate Studies