Economics, PhD

Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: Michael Woodford
Director of Graduate Studies: Navin Kartik
Email Address: [email protected]
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA/MPhil/PhD

The Department of Economics offers a graduate program leading to the PhD in Economics; students earn the MA and the MPhil in the course of earning the PhD degree.

The department has a long and distinguished tradition dating back to the pioneering work of John Bates Clark, Wesley Clair Mitchell, Harold Hotelling, and William Vickrey. This tradition is kept alive by a strong, research-oriented faculty and student body whose interests range from pure theory to a variety of applied subjects.

The department is closely associated with Columbia’s Graduate School of Business and Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.

Graduate education in economics at Columbia provides rigorous training and encourages students to do original and innovative work. All students learn to use the basic economic tools and master two specialized fields. Faculty-student weekly workshops play a key role, providing a forum for new ideas and a free exchange and an opportunity for keeping abreast of the most current issues and research in the field. Workshops are offered in macro/monetary economics, econometrics, labor/applied micro, international economics, economic theory, industrial organization and strategy and development/environment. Students also participate in weekly colloquia and present their own research. Colloquia are offered in micro theory, applied micro, macro, international trade, industrial organization, econometrics, development, and political economy.

Fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of the training of graduate students. Thus, graduate fellowships include some teaching and research apprenticeship.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades from each post-secondary school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a personal statement, three letters of evaluation from academic sources, and a writing sample. The writing sample would normally be a research paper on which the applicant is an author, such as a chapter from an undergraduate or master's thesis or other research.

All students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For more information, refer to Admissions and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.


A joint JD/PhD program is available.

It is strongly recommended that applicants have completed college-level work in probability and statistics, differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, an introduction to mathematical analysis, and econometrics.

Autumn admission only.