Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Economics is competitive, requiring sufficient undergraduate training in economics. Highly qualified applicants who receive an offer of admission are generously funded for up to six years through teaching assistantships and instructorships.

Admission Information

Admission to the Ph.D. program in economics requires undergraduate training that includes satisfactory course work in intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, econometrics, and calculus.

As a general policy, the CSU Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The department of economics seeks applicants with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3.

GRE scores are required for consideration for admission. Successful applicants will have a combined Verbal + Quantitative score of at least 305, with no lower than 155 on the quantitative score (1150 and 700, respectively, in the old scoring system).

In addition, the admissions committee will evaluate each applicant’s personal statement for alignment with the department’s program fields and strengths.

Regardless of citizenship, university policy requires that applicants demonstrate proof of English language proficiency if they do not have a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction. In some circumstances, admission may be granted conditionally on achieving English proficiency.

Conditional Admission

In exceedingly rare circumstances, we may offer conditional admission to exceptional applicants who are missing prerequisite undergraduate coursework, have a GPA below a 3.3, or have not quite met the threshold for English proficiency. We do not make exceptions or grant conditional admission for GRE requirements.

Financial Support

The economics department offers financial support in the form of a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) to highly qualified applicants. Funding includes a full tuition scholarship and monthly stipend for the 9-month academic year, with the possibility of occasional summer funding. If offered a GTA, you can expect support to continue through the normal duration of the degree program, up to six years, provided you are making satisfactory academic progress.

All domestic applicants who meet the deadline are automatically considered for a GTA. Because effective classroom teaching will require fluency in spoken English, international applicants who wish to be considered for a GTA should address their English language proficiency in their personal statement.

Students already admitted to the program who have not previously received funding but wish to be considered for funding in an upcoming semester should inform the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in writing by February 1 of spring semester and October 1 of fall semester.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (Years 1-3)

Most GTA positions assist a faculty member or instructor in one of the large sections of ECON 101 (Economics of Social Issues), ECON 202 (Principles of Microeconomics), or ECON 204 (Principles of Macroeconomics). Primary responsibilities including teaching recitation sections and preparing, proctoring, and grading exams. All new GTAs enroll for one semester in ECON 784, Supervised College Teaching, a seminar in which GTAs discuss teaching methods and techniques.

Graduate Teaching Instructorships (Years 4-5)

As a Ph.D. student acquires teaching experience and proves their competence in the classroom, they typically transition to teaching classes independently as Graduate Teaching Instructors (GTIs). Evidence of teaching ability and suitable background for the teaching of certain specific courses will be determining factors in these appointments. A student must have passed the QE and completed their advanced field courses to serve as a GTI.

How to Apply

The department of economics only admits new Ph.D. students in the fall semester. Applications must go through the CSU Graduate school. The deadlines for consideration for Fall 2022 are as follows:

  • February 15, 2024 for any applicant wanting to be considered for financial support in the form of a graduate teaching assistantship
  • April 1, 2024 for all other international applicants*
  • May 1, 2024 for all other domestic applicants

*Important Note for International Applicants: Colorado State University’s Ph.D. and master’s programs in economics are STEM-classified (CIP Code 45.0603). International students with a F-1 visa earning a degree in a STEM field can qualify for the OPT STEM Extension. For more questions about the OPT STEM Extension, please contact the CSU Office of International Programs.