What are the typical GRE scores (math and verbal) of competitive candidates?
Our program is typical of many other Ph.D. programs in the U.S. What is very helpful is the American Economic Association (AEA) website on graduate education, which describes GRE scores that are usually necessary to be prepared for graduate education in economics: http://www.aeaweb.org/gradstudents/index.php
The scoring system of GRE scores has recently changed; to compare the old scoring system to the new one, use this concordance table from Education Testing Service (ETS):
What sort of mathematics background does the Program look for in applicants?
Similarly, the AEA also describes here the necessary mathematical preparation for graduate work in economics and divides specific courses in math and statistics into five levels: http://www.aeaweb.org/gradstudents/Mathematical_Preparation.php
Students starting our program have at least completed courses through Level 3, and many have done coursework in real analysis.
What are the various deadlines in the application process?
Our main deadline for being considered for admission for the fall semester is January 1st, at which point all application materials must be submitted. For priority consideration, we strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.
What are the requirements for a complete application?
The documents we look for in an admissions package include the following:
Required: Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended
Required: Statement of Purpose or Essay
Required: GRE scores
Required: Letters of recommendation [at least 2, but 3 or 4 are preferred]
Required if English is not your first language: TOEFL score
Optional: Writing Sample [i.e. MA thesis or past publications]
What is the time frame of the application process, from initial submission to distribution of acceptance or rejection notification letters?
We only consider applications for people who begin the program in the fall semester. Prior to the fall semester one is applying to, a candidate needs to submit all application materials by January 1st. Of course, one must start a number of months before this January deadline preparing this application package: in particular, securing letters of recommendation and preparing for and taking the GRE exam can involve months of planning and preparation.
Once we receive the application, we start reviewing all of them in the month of January. Initial decisions are made in late March and early April depending on our academic calendar. More decisions are made in May. Most applicants will hear from us by the beginning of June.
What are the possible outcomes of my application?
The possible application outcomes are:
i. Accepted with fellowship funding
ii. Accepted with tuition funding only
iii. Accepted with tuition funding and waitlisted for fellowship funding
iv. Accepted without funding
v. Waitlisted for ii or iv
If I am accepted, does the program allow me to defer entry?
We do not allow deferred entry. If an accepted student cannot start in the fall semester to which he or she applied to, he or she has the option of reapplying for the following fall semester. There is then no guarantee that this student will be accepted again.
Will you accept the GMAT instead of the GRE?
Yes, we will accept the GMAT, but we strongly prefer GRE scores.
Is there a minimum TOEFL score required of non-native English speaking applicants?
We have no minimum, but we do look at it to assess a candidate’s ability to speak and use the English language. The great majority of our students do some teaching during their graduate years, and this skill is a must. Potential employers hiring instructors for adjunct teaching positions also look for this. Upon graduation, success in placement is also dependent on English language skills, if the graduate seeks placement in the US.
How many students typically apply to the Program in a given year, and what fractions of those are accepted? We admit close to 18 new students each year, which typically amounts to less than 20% of all applicants.
What are the strengths of the Economics Program?
The Ph.D. Program in Economics emphasizes six applied fields:
- Applied Econometrics
- Development Economics
- Financial Economics
- Economics of Health & Human Resources
- International Economics
- Macro and Monetary Economics
Most students write dissertations in an applied field, and almost all students gain experience teaching undergraduate courses during their time at the Graduate Center. Such teaching experience involves full responsibility for teaching a course, as opposed to working as a teaching assistant.
What is the typical time to completion of the Ph.D.?
It takes the typical graduate student approximately 5 to 6 years to complete the Ph.D. There are of course outliers on either side of 5 to 6 years. Please refer to the Timeline to Degree entry on our website here .
Do you accept part-time Ph.D. candidates?
In the past we have occasionally accepted such candidates, but new admissions policy at the Graduate Center (smaller program, and every entering student receiving some funding) is making this more difficult to do. Please note that part time Ph.D. applicants are considered in the same pool with full-time applicants.
Does the Economics Program admit students towards a terminal M.A. degree?
We do not admit students towards a terminal M.A. degree. We do offer an en route M.A., and details are discussed here .
Does the Program offer joint or dual-degree opportunities?
We do not offer joint degree programs, but a student is free to pursue such a plan and to discuss it in more detail with the Executive Officer.
Is funding available and if so, what types and levels of funding?
There are two levels of funding, either a full fellowship or a tuition fellowship. The full fellowship lasts for 5 years and provides annually full tuition, health insurance, and a stipend of $25,000. The tuition fellowship lasts for 5 years and provides only full tuition coverage.
Does the Graduate Center provide or arrange for health insurance?
Please refer to the Graduate Center website concerning health insurance here .
How many students are typically offered funding each year?
We admit close to 18 students on average each year, and the funding breakdown is close to 40% full fellowships and 60% tuition fellowships.
If I am not offered a fellowship, can I teach part time as an adjunct while taking courses?
If you are not offered a full fellowship and teach one course per semester in CUNY, in addition to your salary, you would have in-state tuition and access to health care coverage. If you pursue part-time teaching opportunities on in the greater New York metropolitan area, you would not have in-state tuition or health care coverage from CUNY. However, the teaching position inside or outside CUNY is not guaranteed, and we also strongly suggest that you do NOT teach your first year in the program because, in terms of course work, this first year is a demanding year.
How large, in terms of current number of graduate students, is the Ph.D. Program in Economics?
We have approximately 100 students in the PhD Program in Economics.
What is the level of student involvement in the direction of the Program?
Graduate students are invited and encouraged to participate actively within the Program. For one, students serve with faculty members as members of almost every committee of the Program. Elections are held annually to determine involvement among these committees.
What are estimated living expenses in the NYC area (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, etc.)?
The costs of pursuing full-time doctoral study are not, of course, restricted to the tuition and fee charges alone. An expense budget for the period September-May, drawn from government data in accordance with both federal and University regulations, appears below.
Single, Independent Student
Books and Supplies - Academic Year $1,179
Housing (including rent/utilities) - Academic Year $14,850
Food - Academic Year $3,000
Transportation - Academic Year $986
Personal - Academic Year $5,031
See more at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Current-Students/Tuition-Fees#sthash.1VIqU7YR.dpuf
How is commuting to the CUNY Graduate Center?
Length and ease of commute depends ultimately on the location of one’s dwelling. The Graduate Center, however, is conveniently located just a few blocks from numerous major subway stations in midtown Manhattan. It is also very close to Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, both major city and interstate rail-transit hubs. So, we are in good proximity to people living in every borough of NYC as well as all of the surrounding counties in NY and NJ.
The Ph.D. Program in Economics at the Graduate Center offers several packages of financial support on a competitive basis. See our Fellowships and Grants page for more information.