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 December 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.
Application Assistance and Mentoring Program
Many students interested in an economics PhD experience disparate degrees of support in the application process. The Application Assistance and Mentoring Program (AAMP) aims to mitigate these gaps by helping students from underrepresented groups connect with a graduate student mentor in MIT or Harvard’s PhD economics programs. These mentors can provide:
- Advice on graduate school and fellowship applications, including questions about the application process and feedback on application materials.
- Information about economics research, life as a PhD student or in an academic career, for students who are deciding whether a PhD in economics is the right choice for them.
The AAMP aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent in economics PhD programs and welcomes participation from all groups underrepresented in economics, including but not limited to: Black, Hispanic-Latinx, Native American, low-income, and LGBTQ+ students, women, students with disabilities, and students who are the first in their families to go to college. The AAMP welcomes participation among students at various stages of their economics studies, including juniors, seniors, and college graduates.
Interested participants should fill out the application linked below. We will accept applications until July 9, 2021. Mentorship will begin over the summer and continue through Fall 2021. Mentees who prefer to meet for a single “coffee chat” may indicate their preference on the form. We will do our best to match all interested applicants with a mentor; however, demand may exceed the availability of mentors.
Please note that the MIT / Harvard Economics AAMP is a volunteer-based, student-run program. This program is not considered part of the admissions process for the Economics PhD at MIT or Harvard, nor will any student's participation in the AAMP be considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee at either school.
Please direct any questions to email@example.com. To join the program, please click the link below to fill out the form.