PhD-bound option

The pool of applicants to our Ph.D. program is extremely competitive. About 95% of them have a Master’s degree in Economics from top US universities, high GPAs (above 3.6), high GRE scores (above 164 points in the quantitative section and above 4.5 in the analytical section), high TOEFL scores (above 97 points), research experience, and strong letters of recommendation.

Strong applicants who still fail to be admitted into our Ph.D. program (especially those without a Master’s degree) may be admitted into our PhD-bound program. In this program, students take Master-level courses for one academic year and, provided good academic performance, they can be promoted to our PhD program the following academic year with a full funding offer. Funding continues for a total of 4 years, conditional on good academic progress, and can be extended one more year depending on funds availability. The student is not funded while taking Master-level courses, although we may offer scholarships of up to $4,000.

From our experience, this option helps students transition more smoothly to the PhD program and has been followed by some of our best PhD students. If you are interested in this option, please mention it in your PhD application materials.

You can find answers to some of your questions below.

  1. Which type of student takes this program?
    • Students without a Master’s degree. It is also a good preparation for students who completed undergraduate degrees in fields such as Engineering or Mathematics, and generally for applicants who did not have Intermediate- or Advanced-level courses in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics.
    • This route helps students transition more smoothly to PhD-level courses and has been followed by some of our best PhD students.
  2. How long do I need to take Master-level courses?
    • For one academic year. In the Fall semester, you will take courses in Mathematics for Economists, Masters Microeconomics, and Masters Macroeconomics. In the Spring semester, you will take courses in Masters Econometrics and at least two elective courses.
  3. How do I transition to the PhD program?
    • Successful students who attain top grades and show potential for high-quality research will gain admission to our Ph.D. program with a full funding offer from our School (a graduate assistantship, which includes tuition waiver and a 9-month stipend). This funding continues for a total of 4 years, conditional on good academic progress, and can be extended one more year depending on funds availability.
  4. Do you offer scholarships or assistantships?
    • The student is not funded while taking Master-level courses, although we may offer scholarships of up to $4,000.
  5. Will I earn a Masters degree, a PhD degree, or both?
    • If you make good academic progress, you can expect earning both degrees. If you do not transition to our Ph.D., then you can receive a Masters degree but won’t be able to continue into our PhD program.
  6. How long is the program?
    • The student must take Master courses for one year and most PhD students need 4-5 years to complete their degree, implying a total of 5-6 years.
  7. Do I apply to the Masters or the PhD program?
    • Please apply to the PhD program, but mention in your cover letter that you are interested in the Masters-to-PhD program option.

 

Washington State University