The admission of each applicant rests upon his/her academic record (with particular emphasis on economics and mathematics courses), recommendations of scholars and instructors, test scores, and other pertinent information including the match between the research interests of the applicant and the faculty. The department also performs Zoom interviews for shortlisted candidates. Admission to the program is limited to outstanding candidates who have strong preparatory background; 7-10 students are admitted each year. All admitted students receive an offer of financial support.

A typical candidate will have a comprehensive understanding of economic theory, mathematics, and statistics. All students in the program enter with at least multivariate calculus and one semester of linear algebra, and there is a preference for applicants with exposure to higher level mathematics, such as real analysis. In admissions decisions, we prefer applicants who have some research experience, such as working as a research assistant or having completed a well-written undergraduate thesis (preferably on a topic in economics).


To apply for admission, an applicant must submit three letters of recommendation and transcripts for all academic work post-secondary school. Recommendations should come from individuals who can comment on your scholarly skills. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted with the application but official transcripts are required before enrollment in the program. In normal times, all applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination. Foreign applicants must also demonstrate their fluency in English by taking the TOEFL or IELTS exams. For the TOEFL, the department typically requires a minimum score of 90 (internet based), 600 (paper based) or 250 (computer based). For the IELTS, the department typically requires a minimum band score of 7. However, depending on the rest of the application package, exceptions can be made to these score requirements with the approval of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Important Notes:

  • No application fees required.
  • The deadline for requesting admission is December 15th.
  • All admitted students receive an offer of financial support. See more here.
  • Students must start the program in the fall semester.
  • Applicants who are offered admission must provide the department with an official transcript within 30 days from the date of the offer letter.

GRE and English Fluency Exams

Although some departments do not require the GRE, the Economics department does require the GRE. Please be advised that we do not waive the GRE. See Admissions FAQ for further details.

Applicants should take the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams by November, so that the results are available by the deadline. To make arrangements to take these exams, please correspond with:

Graduate Record Examinations
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
(Rice University GRE School Code: 6609, Department Code: 1801)

TOEFL/TSE Publications
(Rice University TOEFL Institution Code: 6609, Department Code: 84)


If you have any questions, you may contact:

Lexi Phillips, Program Coordinator- Academics

(Before contacting, please review the Admissions FAQ page for answers to common questions and further information)