The department of Economics at Harvard University is committed to seeking out and mentoring scholars who wish to pursue a rigorous and rewarding career in economic research. Our graduates are trailblazers in their fields and contribute to a diverse alumni community in both the academic and non-academic sectors. We invite you to learn more and apply to the PhD program in Economics.
- Completed online application form (Must be completed by September 1st)
- Statement of Purpose
Transcripts for all college/university degrees and courses
Self-reported transcripts are accepted for both all programs at the application stage. Applicants must upload copies of his/her transcripts to the online application system. Hard copy transcripts will only be required if admitted to a program, prior to enrollment.
- Current GRE scores (see details below)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (non-native English speakers see details below)
- Three letters of recommendation (at least one from an academic source). Recommendation letters must be submitted online through the online application system. Hard copy recommendation letters will not be accepted.
- $105 application fee via credit card
- Writing sample (at least 15 pages in length)
All applicants are required to take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Submitted test scores must not be older than five years, and must be from a test taken between December 1, 2015 and December 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 enrollment. Applicants are, however, advised to take the exam no later than mid-November. There is no minimum test score requirement. A department code is not required for score submission.
Institution Codes for PhD Programs
All admitted students are awarded a financial package which includes tuition, single-person health insurance, living stipend for the first two years, teaching and research assistant stipends and a completion fellowship in the final year of the program.
Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
Submitted scores must not be older than two years, and must be from a test taken between December 1, 2018 and December 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 enrollment. The committee prefers scores of at least 100 on the internet-based test.
Institution Codes for Toefl score reports
PhD programs: 3451
Applicants who applied last year are considered reapplicants. Those reapplying must submit a completely new application. The new application must include all required documents to be provided by the applicant - we will not re-use material previously submitted. These materials include an updated statement of purpose, transcripts, test score reports, updated letters of recommendation, the application fee, and any other supporting materials
Please note, Harvard University will accept no more than three applications from any one individual over the course of his/her lifetime.
Applying to more than one Program
Harvard has several PhD programs that may also be of interest to students considering applying to the PhD program in economics. These include Business Economics, Political Economy and Government, Public Policy, and Health Policy. Many students in these programs have considerable overlap in their coursework with courses offered to PhD students in economics. Many also have dissertation committees that include faculty members of the economics department. Please refer to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for applicable program deadlines. (Deadlines have already passed for some programs this year but not for others.)
We encourage those with interest in any of those programs to also apply to those programs. The economics department will make admissions decisions independently, so application to or admission to other programs will not adversely affect admissions decisions within the Economics department. If you opt to apply, please note, the Graduate School will not accept more than three applications from any individual during the course of his or her academic career.