The application deadline for those seeking full consideration for financial aid is December 15. The deadline for admission to the PhD program without consideration for funding is March 1.
Overview of Ph.D. Admissions at Texas A&M
Our admissions decisions are based on a combination of prior preparation in economics, mathematics, statistics, and other technical courses, grade point averages in these topics, overall grade point average, perceived quality of undergraduate and, if applicable, masters training, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and so on. We do not have minimum thresholds for GPA, GRE scores, or courses taken. Admission is only granted for students entering in the fall semester; we do not admit students entering in the spring semester.
Each year we receive around 200 applications to the PhD program. We admit 10 to 15 percent of those applicants. Of the admitted applicants, an average of 15 begin our PhD program each year. The average GRE scores of those students is 156 in verbal, 164 in quantitative, and 4.0 in analytical writing.
The Department awards an average of 10 assistantships to each first-year PhD class. These assistantships include a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver, and a health insurance package. Assistantships are renewable each year for five years so long as students remain in good standing in the department.
How to Apply to the PhD Program
- Submit an application online at www.applytexas.org. Note that while you enter the names of your letter writers on this application, this application does not request letters from those individuals.
- Upload the required materials into the TAMU Application Information System (AIS) at applicant.tamu.edu. After you submit the ApplyTexas application, you will receive an email from the university containing your University Identification Number and asking you to upload your information to the AIS. It is also at this stage that you will (again) enter the names and email addresses of your recommenders, who will then receive emails asking them to upload their letters into the system.Keep in mind that when you select your Net ID (i.e., your TAMU username) you should pick something professional and appropriate (e.g., Jane.Doe@tamu.edu), since it becomes your email address if and when you enroll at Texas A&M.
Required Application Materials
- Program Application
Apply on-line at www.applytexas.org.
- Personal Statement/Essay
The Economics Department does not have any specific requirements for the essay. This essay is simply a way for applicants to share information about themselves that the admission committee might not otherwise see when looking at other application materials. This essay is uploaded via the AIS website at applicant.tamu.edu.
- All transcripts from prior institutions/colleges (International applicants: one transcript in your native language and one translation in English)
Scanned copies of your transcripts should be uploaded to the AIS website at https://applicant.tamu.edu/. These scanned copies are sufficient for the department to review your application and make admission and funding decisions. While it is also possible for you to instead submit paper copies to the address below, we strongly discourage submission of paper copies as part of your application since it will slow down the processing time for your application significantly and may cause you to miss out on funding opportunities. Instead, please upload scanned copies to the AIS website. However, in order for you to ultimately enroll at Texas A&M University, you must submit official copies of the transcripts. The preferred way is to submit “official” versions of electronic transcripts via the one of the university-approved vendors which includes AVOW, SPEEDE, eScrip-SAFE or National Student Clearinghouse. Electronic transcripts from other vendors will not be accepted by the university (similarly, the university does not consider copies you scan of your “official transcripts” to be official). The less-preferred (but still acceptable) way of submitting official transcripts is to mail them directly to the registrar at:
Graduate Admissions Processing
Office of Admissions
Texas A&M University
P.O. Box 40001
College Station, TX 77842-4001
To summarize, while you will eventually need to submit either official paper copies or university-sanctioned electronic copies of your transcripts to the Office of Admissions before enrolling at Texas A&M University, to avoid lengthy delays in the processing of your application you should upload electronic copies to AIS when applying. If you would like to additionally submit official transcripts to the address above, you are welcome to do so, even though it is not necessary unless you are accepted and enroll.
- Official degree statements or diplomas for any degrees awarded (International applicants: one in your Native language and one English translation)
These statements should be submitted in the same manner as your transcripts. That is, scanned copies should be uploaded to the AIS website at https://applicant.tamu.edu/ in order for your application to be reviewed. If you decide to enroll at Texas A&M, you will need to submit official copies of degree statements, just as you do for transcripts. Directions for doing so are the same as for transcripts, as described above.
- GRE scores
These scores should be sent directly from Educational Testing Service. The scores must be from a test date within five years of the date of your application. For information on test dates and locations, please visit www.gre.org. The institution code for Texas A&M University is 6003.
- TOEFL scores
This test is required only if your GRE verbal score is below 146, and if you come from a country where English is not the native language. These scores should be sent directly from the testing service, and must be from a test date within two years of the date of your application.
- Three Letters of Recommendation
Letters should be from people who are familiar with your academic background (i.e., professors or advisors), and should preferably be written on letterhead. Professional references (i.e., employers) are acceptable if academic references are unavailable. The names and email addresses of your letter writers should be entered into AIS via https://applicant.tamu.edu/. Once you enter the names and email addresses of your professors into that AIS website and complete that part of the application, the system will email them asking for them to upload their letters for you.
Optional Application Materials
- Optional Writing Sample
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit an original writing sample. It should be sole-authored and written in English. For example, applicants may choose to submit a research paper written for a prior course. Submission of a writing sample is recommended but not required for consideration for admission and funding. If you would like to submit a writing sample, you should upload it as a “supporting document” to the to the AIS website at applicant.tamu.edu.
For information on current tuition rates, please visit http://sbs.tamu.edu/accounts-billing/tuition-fees/cost-attendance/.
Qualified applicants will be considered for financial aid in the form of assistantships and fellowships. The application for admission also serves as the application for financial aid. There is no separate application form for financial aid.
To be considered for funding, applications and the supporting materials should be submitted no later than December 15. The department will continue to accept applications until March 1, though applications received after December 15 are not guaranteed full consideration for financial aid. That means while we will attempt to consider applications received after December 15 for financial aid (the sooner we receive the materials the better your chances), we do not guarantee full consideration.
The department primarily funds PhD students via research or teaching assistantships. In general, research and teaching assistants devote up to 20 hours per week helping faculty members with their research projects or teaching. Most assistantships also include tuition waivers. The Department has also been able to fund additional assistantships from external research grants and awards. All applicants, including those who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, are eligible for assistantships.
- Merit and Diversity Fellowships
Applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are also eligible for fellowships. Texas A&M offers Merit Fellowships and Diversity Fellowships, both of which are awarded on a competitive basis among applicants nominated by individual departments across the university. The evaluation criteria for the Merit Fellowship include evidence of superior academic achievement (class rank, GPA, GRE scores, quality of the undergraduate program, letters of recommendation, etc.) and relevant experiences outside of the classroom such as research or leadership experiences. Recipients of the Merit Fellowship receive $25,000 in the first year, and department assistantships in the remaining years. The Economics Department typically wins one or two of these fellowships each year. The evaluation criteria for the Diversity Fellowship also include evidence of superior academic achievement and relevant experiences outside the classroom. In addition, reviewers consider how the applicant can contribute to diversity in the Economics Department and the economics profession. This includes groups that have historically been underrepresented in economics (e.g., women, Hispanics, African-Americans) as well as those who have overcome disadvantages. This would include those who have overcome socioeconomic or educational disadvantages (e.g., first-generation college graduates) or persons of disabilities. Recipients of the Diversity Fellowship receive $25,600 per year for the first three years, and a department assistantship in the fourth and fifth years. We strongly encourage applicants who would contribute to diversity in any of these ways to apply to our program. The Economics Department has also been successful in winning several of these fellowships each year. Importantly, there is not a separate application form for these fellowships; eligible applicants to our programs will automatically be considered.