Fall 2023 Application Process Status
Fall 2023 applications must be submitted by February 1st, 2023.
Reminder: Our PhD program is listed as ECSG, so make sure you are applying for that program within the application.
PhD Program Application Requirements
Graduate School Guidance on official transcripts can be found here. In short, for application purposes, you may submit scanned copies of your official transcripts with your application from institutions where you have earned a degree. Scanned copies of unofficial transcripts or web-based academic records do not satisfy this requirement. If you are offered admission, you will be required to provide an official copy of your transcript(s) to the Graduate School.
Official score reports required. Submit directly from testing agency to Virginia Tech – ETS code 005859 prior to deadline.
The department strongly prefers letters to be submitted through the online system. If it is not possible, paper letters may be mailed to the Economics department (address below).
A resume detailing your experience and education.
Use what space you need, but aim for two full pages.
Minimum Entry Requirements
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for the last two years (60 semester credit hours) of undergraduate studies
155 minimum on Quantitative. No set minimum on Verbal.
International students whose primary language is not English must submit a TOEFL score with the following minimums:
- 90 Minimum to be considered
-100 Total preferred, with no sub score below 21 and at least 25 on the Speaking sub test.
- If your total score is below 100, you are advised to have your recommendation letters explicitly address the issues of your oral and written fluency in English.
250 Total with no Sub score below 22.
600 Total with no Sub score below 55, especially Listening and Writing
ONLY International students who earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language can waive the TOEFL requirement.
The TOEFL is the preferred English Language Proficiency test however, the IELTS can substitute for the TOEFL with an overall Band 6.5 being the required minimum.
All graduate courses presume the student has had an intermediate microeconomic theory class and an intermediate macroeconomic theory class.
Students are assumed to have a working knowledge of basic statistics, differential and integral calculus, and analytic geometry. Our program is very math intensive.
Admission, which includes financial assistance (stipends and tution) for the four year duration of the program, is awarded on a competitive basis. – We typically admit less that 10 students out of approximatley 100 applicants.
The Economics department does NOT offer a free-standing, terminal Master’s degree.
Mail recommendation letters and transcripts to:
Graduate Program Committee
Department of Economics
3016 Pamplin Hall (0316)
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Ready to Apply? Click here.
Application Fee Waivers
The Graduate school provides fee waivers for only the criteria listed here:
The Economics Department is not providing application fee waivers at this time.
Description of PhD Program (Major Code: ECSG)
We provide the standard training in the first year and the first half of the second year (microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics). After the compulsory training, students are mostly choosing courses from our four areas of focus: microeconomic theory, experimental and behavioral economics, labor and development economics, econometrics, and macroeconomics.
Most of our alumni work as economists and analysts in the private sector and NGOs, and some start their career as tenure-track or non-tenure-track faculty members at liberal arts colleges. An increasing number of our alumni get tenure-track positions at research universities in other countries (e.g., China). Occasionally, our more research-oriented alumni manage to get tenure-track positions at universities with a master or Ph.D. program in the US. Have a look at our Job Market page for more details.
i) Microeconomic Theory & Game Theory, ii) Experimental & Behavioral Economics, iii) Applied Microeconomics (Labor, Development, Industrial Organizations, and History), iv) Econometrics, v) Resource & Environmental Economics, and vi) Macroeconomics and Finance. For more information, have a look at our Faculty page.
We emphasize interdisciplinary work with subjects that Virginia Tech is strong at (e.g., Neuroscience, Psychology, Statistics), and we are also developing the field of big data that is also inter-discipline in nature. We also encourage collaboration between faculty members and students, and it is quite often that students have coauthored papers submitted or even published before they graduate.
The Virginia Tech Economics PhD program is a certified STEM program. This allows eligible graduating students to apply for a 24-month OPT extension.
Questions? Comments? Please email us here.