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Econ Ph.D. Admissions


Applicants with a bachelor's degree may apply directly to the Ph.D. program. To be admitted as a regular Ph.D. student, applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better for all undergraduate work completed. Applicants must also complete the general aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and receive a minimum combined score of 300 in the new GRE scale for the verbal and quantitative sections and a minimum score of 3.0 for the analytical writing section. International students must submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or, alternatively, the scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

In addition, applicants are required to complete one semester of each of the following courses:

  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

  • Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

  • Calculus

  • Statistics

Grades in these courses play an important role in admission and assistantship decisions.

The entrance requirements are minimum requirements for regular admission. Since there is limited space in each year's class, meeting these entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Applicants not meeting all entrance requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis, subject to certain performance conditions during their first semester in residence. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to take additional math and statistics courses beyond the required minimum. Only rarely are students admitted without at least the first two courses of the standard calculus sequence. Courses in multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical economics are also particularly useful. We encourage applicants to take advanced undergraduate or masters level courses in economics.

Application Process

Other than academic records (transcripts, etc.), all application materials must be submitted electronically, including letters of reference. Please follow the steps below to complete an application to this program. Prospective students must apply to WVU using 2135 as the major code.

  1. Enter the WVU Application portal (Prospective PhD Economics students must enter 2135 as the application major code.)

  2. Create a username and password.

  3. Once an account has been created, applicants can edit the application at their discretion. Please complete all questions asked.

  4. Upload an up-to-date resume: Your resume should include enough information for the admissions committee to trace your entire academic and professional work history and should indicate any relevant affiliations.

  5. Request three letters of recommendation through the online portal. Individual letters should not exceed one page. We recommend that your reference provide additional information that is not found in the other materials being submitted. We are particularly interested to learn about your preparedness for a rigorous Ph.D. program. Topics with regards to your ability to work with others, your scholarly ambition, etc. are also useful. Your reference letter(s) should cover aptitudes necessary for your success in the program to which you are applying.

  6. Create a Statement of Purpose (not to exceed one page): Your statement of purpose should be a short, one-page essay which describes your interest in the program, why you wish to pursue the program at WVU, how the program will help you reach your academic goals, and any additional information which may be necessary to understanding your candidacy.

  7. Pay application fee.

  8. Submit application.

  9. You may also send other supporting materials you wish to have considered with your application. All of these can now be submitted electronically as part of the online application process. This method is strongly preferred since it assures timely receipt of the documents. If these materials cannot be submitted electronically, they should be sent to the WVU Office of Admissions and Recruitment. In the case of paper submission, letters of recommendation should be completed on letterhead and either sent directly to the Department of Economics by the writer or sealed in an envelope with the writer's signature over the seal and included with the other application materials sent to the Department of Economics by the applicant.

  10. Applicants will then need to send their official transcripts to WVU's Office of Admissions. If the applicants undergraduate school offers "e-script" (an official electronic copy of transcripts), email the transcripts to This will help expedite the admissions process. If they do not offer this service, please have your official transcripts mailed to: 

West Virginia University Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment 

PO Box 6510 

Morgantown, WV 26506-6510


  1.  For applicants submitting GRE scores, the GRE Institution code is 5904, Department code is 1801. Applicants scoring below a combined score of 300 in the verbal and quantitative sections or below a 3.0 in the analytical writing section should consider re-taking the exam to strive for higher scores.

  2.  Students whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 79 on the TOEFL-ibt (213 under the old computer-based exam or 550 under the paper-based exam) or a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS test to be admitted to graduate study. Go to or to register and find out more about the test. This is a University requirement.
    Applicants who have received a high school diploma or an undergraduate degree in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States do not need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Applicants who have only received a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution must still provide acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores.

    For TOEFL, our Institution code is 5904, Department code is 1801.

    Generally, West Virginia University and our department will accept test scores that are no more than five years old as long as the applicant can provide a valid copy of the official score report.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis once all parts of the application are received including official transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation. To be assured of full consideration for admission and financial aid, all materials should reach the WVU Admissions Office by February 1, when we begin our application review. Depending on availability of spaces, we can continue to process applications until May 14.


All completed applications are automatically considered for financial aid. We do not need additional information about the applicant’s financial status. We do not admit PhD students in the Spring semester except under special circumstances.