Graduate ProgramsIn our continuing desire to improve graduate instruction and research at the University of Texas at Austin, we have made program changes that include unique opportunities for incoming students. The first year is an intensive introduction to micro and macro economic theory, probability and statistics, and mathematical economics.
The second year focuses student research in two fields as well as more intensive training in econometrics. Fields include such diverse topics as game theory, labor, industrial organization, international economics, environmental economics, computational economics, as well as many others. These classes are intended to immerse the student in creative research at an early stage in his or her career.
The student's research is evaluated by submitting a single-authored paper in the summer following their second year to a unique within-department refereeing process, much like faculty face when they submit papers to journals. These research topics are then perfected through presentations and more extensive revision processes in third and fourth year writing courses. This process is intended to prepare the student to submit his or her work to outside journals and conferences in their third and fourth years, as well as to prepare them for the job market.
Applying to the University of Texas at Austin
Admission to the Ph.D. program is quite competitive. Our graduate admissions committee reviews approximately 450 applicants per year. Over the past four years an average of 20% of the applicant pool has been admitted, and about 20 new students enroll every Fall. We have a diverse study body, which includes students from the U.S., China, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, India, Iran and Europe. In Fall 2014 our graduate student community will total about 85.
We take a holistic approach when evaluating applications: GRE (and TOEFL) scores, letters of recommendation, grades, statements of purpose and other written materials are all taken into consideration. Although good grades in undergraduate economics courses are important, applicants should also have a very strong math background. Graduate economics programs in top departments are math intensive, and students lacking math training are unprepared for the work. Those with undergraduate degrees in math, engineering, and/or physics as well as double majors in math and economics are among our most successful candidates for admission and aid.
The economics department at the University of Texas at Austin has climbed steadily in ratings of the best programs in the country. A variety of rankings place it between the top 15 to 25 departments in the country (Coupe, KMS, US News & World Report, Times of London). Its active and diverse research environment inspires its graduate program. Graduate students have close relationships with renowned economists.
The department hosts numerous seminars each week by outstanding economists from around the nation and abroad, as well relationships with government research departments like the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. A consequence is that graduate students at the University of Texas have access to positions at leading academic institutions, government agencies, and consulting firms. The level of satisfaction with our graduate program is evidenced by its high ranking in such polls as NAGPS.