PhD Admission

In order to be admitted to the PhD program in economics, you must have earned an MA in economics comparable to the MA in Applied Economics offered at UNCG. In order for an MA degree to be considered comparable to the UNCG MA, your graduate coursework should include the following:

  • Two graduate-level courses in microeconomics
  • Two graduate-level courses in econometrics
  • One graduate-level course in macroeconomics

The admission decision is based on an evaluation of four main criteria:

  • GRE scores (quantitative score should fall above the 70th percentile)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Superior performance in graduate economics courses
  • The personal statement of goals.

Your application should include a 1-2 page statement outlining how your academic background has prepared you to pursue graduate work in economics and how receiving a doctoral degree in applied economics will help you achieve your career goals.  Please do not upload a writing sample or previous publication.

If you are lacking some of the required coursework, you may take MA courses during the first year of doctoral study to supplement your previous work.

You may contact Dr. Dennis Leyden, Director of Graduate Studies, to discuss previous graduate work and your prospects for admission to the PhD in Economics. Dr. Leyden can be reached via e-mail at

You are encouraged to visit UNCG to meet current graduate students and faculty. To arrange for a campus visit, contact our graduate programs coordinator, Jean Rosales, at