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PhD Application Process

The PhD program offers admission for the fall term only. Our application process is handled centrally through the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School. Your application must be submitted with the Rackham Graduate School application process by 11:59pm EST on December 1.

All admissions materials (application and supplemental materials) must be received by the Rackham Graduate School by the December 1st deadline. This includes the application, all official transcripts, test scores (TOEFL, IELTS), and all three letters of recommendation. There are no exceptions to this deadline.

There is no separate application form for financial aid. Access to the online application is at the Rackham Graduate School's Admissions Website

All applicants must submit the following material: 

  1. Application Form (including Academic Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and CV) 
  2. Application Fee
  3. Transcripts for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. The Admissions Committee will review uploaded transcripts with university logs during the application process. The Rackham Graduate School requires applicants to submit an official transcript after an offer of recommendation of admission is made. Check the Rackham Graduate School website at for further details.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. Ideally, letter writers should be able to attest to your capacities to flourish in a top PhD program in economics and to your capacity to do independent research. If you are currently attending a graduate program, we recommend submitting at least one letter from a faculty member in that graduate program. All three letters must be submitted through the online application system by 11:59pm EST on December 1. 
  5. Valid, official score reports of TOEFL (if applicable) sent by ETS to code 1839 - no departmental code is needed.

Do NOT submit the following material to the Economics Department specifically:

  • Unofficial transcript(s) printed from your institution’s student portal (a screen print of a transcript)
  • List of textbooks from your coursework
  • List of economics, mathematics, and statistics courses and grades
  • Writing sample other than your Academic Statement of Purpose and your Personal Statement
  • Paper copy of TOEFL score reports

The application evaluation process for the doctoral program in economics is done online.

NOTE: The doctoral admissions committee reviews applications for admissions electronically.

  • ALL documents must be uploaded through the Rackham Graduate School application. 
  • Do not send any hard-copy transcripts or materials to the Economics department either by postal mail or email.

For current U-M PhD students interested in setting up an Individually Interdepartmental Degree program (IIDP), also known as the Student Initiated Degree Program (SIDP), and adding Economics as a dual degree with your home program, please see our joint programs page or the Rackham Website regarding this unique program.

For questions regarding admissions please send an email to

For questions regarding your specific application status or which application materials have arrived, please check your Wolverine Access Friend Account under "New and Prospective Student Business." Instructions on setting up your Friend Account and how to check your status are here.