The George Washington University
Dept. of Economics

PhD Program

Spring 2012 Ph.D. Advising

Unit I & Prospective Students
Prof. Pelzman
Office Hours: W 1:30 - 4:30p & by appt.
Monroe 319

Unit II
Prof. Mullin
Office Hours: Th 3:30 - 5p & by appt.
Monroe 369

Programs of Study

As part of the Columbian College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Economics offers a PhD degree program in economics. The PhD program is divided into a first unit in which the student completes general examinations in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and two fields chosen from those listed above. Students are awarded the M.Phil. degree upon completion of the first unit. The second unit includes participation in a dissertation seminar, completion of the written dissertation, and an oral defense. The PhD program usually takes four to five years of full-time study. Most courses are offered in the evening and students must enroll for at least two courses per semester. Class sizes are generally small, and there is substantial opportunity for working with faculty members on an individual basis. For more information on graduate program requirements, please visit our PhD requirements page.

Click here to see the current Course Listings.

For questions regarding the program of study for the PhD program in Economics, please contact the PhD Unit I Chair, Professor Joseph Pelzman, at


Please see the University's required application materials for the graduate program in Economics.

Applications are accepted for fall semester admission only.Please see the Columbian College's list of requirements and deadlines for applying. Additionally, you may refer to the University's Graduate Admissions page for information regarding application deadlines and fees (note that while there is a school-wide deadline, the Department will review late Ph.D. applications space-available basis). The deadline for applications is Jan 15. PLEASE NOTE that the application for fellowships and assistantships is Jan 15 for the fall semester. All admission materials are due by this deadline, even if this is earlier than the stated deadline for your program of interest. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for these awards only if funds remain available.

All applicants should have solid training in calculus and in intermediate microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Please note that the Economics Department requires three recommendation letters from Ph.D. candidates.

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants; no Subject Test is necessary.The GMAT may not be substituted for the GRE.

For all applicants from non-English-speaking countries whose university education was not primarily in English, a language test is required. The minimum scores for admission consideration are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based test.

All applicants for graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) must submit official scores from the TOEFL or academic IELTS. The minimum scores required to be considered for a GTA are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based.

For more information about the University's guidelines for English Language Requirements, visit the Columbian College's page on English Language Requirements for graduate students . International applicants should also refer to the University's International Admissions Guidelines.

To begin an application online, click here. Please note that all application materials, including transcripts, should be submitted directly to Columbian College Graduate Admissions.

For questions about admissions requirements or the status of your application, please Contact Columbian College Graduate Admissions at or call 202-994-6210. If you applied online, you may also check the status of your application through the online application program.

Financial Aid

All PhD candidates may apply for financial aid, which is awarded on the basis of merit. Most aid is in the form of teaching assistantships, which includes a stipend plus tuition. Some endowed fellowships and University fellowship aid are also available. There are opportunities for research assistantships either on campus or with the many economic research institutions adjacent to campus. For more information on available aid and application procedures, please go to the University's Graduate Admissions page. For more information on available aid and application procedures, please go to the University's Office of Student Assistantships and Fellowships.

Cost of Study

See the university's information about tuition costs and other expenses and fees, as well as opportunities for funding your graduate education.


The Foggy Bottom area of Washington, DC is a diverse neighborhood, where fashionable residences share the surroundings with the Department of State, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Trade Commission, the Urban Institute, the Office of Management and Budget, and the George Washington University. The University is within easy walking distance of the Mall and many cultural facilities. Please click here for more information on getting to and around D.C.

Living and Housing Costs

There is limited space for graduate students in University-owned apartment buildings.For more information about on-campus graduate housing, click here. The Foggy Bottom-GWU subway stop is on campus, which makes the University very accessible to the large number of students who live off campus in privately owned apartments. The University's Off-Campus Housing Resource Center (202 994-7221) helps students find adequate housing.

Student Groups

There are approximately 75 PhD candidates in economics. While a majority of students are from the United States, there are international students from many parts of the world. For recent information on international student enrollment at GWU, click here. Approximately 40 percent of the graduate students are women. Most students plan careers with international agencies, academic institutions, the government or consulting firms located in the Washington, DC area. The department maintains an active placement service, which aids in these career aspirations. See the University's Student Services, Organizations and Groups page for more information.

Correspondence and Information

To receive an application for admission and related graduate program information, please go to the University's Graduate Admissions page. The application is also available online by following the directions on that page. You may also contact the Graduate Admissions office at:

Graduate Admissions
Columbian School of Arts and Sciences
Phillips Hall, Room 107
801 22nd Street, NW
The George Washington University
Washington, D.C. 20052
Telephone: (202) 994-6210
FAX: (202) 994-6213

For more information about the Department of Economics, please contact:

Department of Economics
Monroe Hall 340
2115 G Street, NW
The George Washington University
Washington, D.C. 20052
Telephone: (202) 994-6150
FAX: (202) 994-6147

University Policy on Equal Opportunity

The George Washington University does not unlawfully discriminate against any person on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation. This policy covers all programs, services, policies, and procedures of the University, including admission to education programs and employment. The University is subject to the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.

Inquires concerning the application of this policy and federal laws and regulations concerning discrimination in education or employment programs and activities may be addressed to Susan B. Kaplan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052, (202) 994-4433, to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, or to the Director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Washington Field Office.

To request disability accommodations, students should contact the Office of Disability Support Services, (202) 994-8250 (TDD/voice), and employees should contact the Office of Equal Employment Activities, (202) 994-9656 (voice) or 9650 (TDD).