Ph.D. in Economics admissions

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires an undergraduate honor point average of at least 3.0 (B). Scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be submitted to the department as part of the application for admission. Applicants from countries in which English is not the principal language must attain either a score of 550 on the TOEFL examination or a score of 85 on the Michigan Test (MELAB).

We welcome applications from students who have majored in disciplines other than economics. Economics issues address a wide range of social behaviors, so the Ph.D. student will find it an advantage in a career as an economist to have a broad intellectual background. However, students beginning the program are expected to arrive with the following preparation:

  • At least two courses in mathematical calculus. Additional courses in calculus (including multivariate calculus and integration), as well as linear algebra, will strengthen students' preparation for Ph.D. work
  • A course in intermediate microeconomics
  • A course in intermediate macroeconomics
  • One or more courses in statistics


The Ph.D. program has moved to "alternative year" admissions. The next group of Ph.D. students will begin the program in fall semester 2025. The deadline for full consideration for fall 2025 admission is Jan.1, 2025. Applications received after that date will be considered on a space-available basis. The application fee has been waived.

Apply for admission


A limited number of teaching and research assistantships providing tuition, stipends and health insurance are available each year to new Ph.D. students.

International students

We urge international students to submit their applications early and follow all procedures regarding application requests and transcripts to allow sufficient time for correspondence, the TOEFL examination, obtaining a visa and evaluation of transcripts and financial aid awards.

Processing international applications, including translation and verification of transcripts and recommendations, may take two or more months. Moreover, once accepted, international students may require several months to make appropriate financial and travel plans. International students should also consult the Wayne State Graduate School for international students.