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Ph.D/Master of Arts in Economics

Application Requirements

Prerequisites

Applicants with a bachelor's degree may apply directly to the Ph.D. program. To be admitted as a regular M.A. or Ph.D. student, applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better for all undergraduate work completed. Applicants must also complete the general aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and receive a minimum combined score of 300 in the new GRE scale for the verbal and quantitative sections and a minimum score of 3.0 for the analytical writing section. International students must submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or, alternatively, the scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

In addition, applicants are required to complete one semester of each of the following courses: intermediate microeconomic theory, intermediate macroeconomic theory, calculus, and statistics. Grades in these courses play an important role in admission and assistantship decisions.

The entrance requirements are minimum requirements for regular admission. Since there is limited space in each year's class, meeting these entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Applicants not meeting all entrance requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis, subject to certain performance conditions during their first semester in residence. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take additional math courses beyond the required minimum. Only rarely are students admitted without at least the first two courses of the standard calculus sequence. Courses in multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical economics are also particularly useful.

GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS)

Applicants must take the general aptitude portion of the GRE and have official scores reported directly to West Virginia University. Currently, we accept the new version (August 1, 2011) or the old version. See the web site at www.gre.org for dates and locations of tests. This useful web site also includes sample tests and other preparation materials. (For additional practice materials check www.testprepreview.com). The GRE must be taken by February 10 to be assured of its reaching West Virginia University by March 1. You can also obtain the GRE's Registration and Information Bulletin by contacting:
Graduate Record Examinations
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000k
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Tel. # (609) 771-7670

Students whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 79 on the TOEFL-ibt (213 under the old computer-based exam or 550 under the paper-based exam) or a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS test to be admitted to graduate study. Go to www.toefl.org or www.ielts.org to register and find out more about the test. This is a university requirement.

Applicants who have received a high school diploma or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, the United Kingdom, or other predominately English-speaking country usually are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. However, applicants only having a master's degree from one of these countries must still provide acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For the GRE and the TOEFL, our Institution code is 5904 and our Department Code is 1801.

Generally, West Virginia University and our department will accept test scores that are no more than five years old as long as the applicant can provide a valid copy of the official score report.

Letters of Recommendation, Résumé, and Statement of Goals

Three letters of recommendation, a résumé, and a statement of goals are required. You may also send other supporting materials you wish to have considered with your application. All of these can now be submitted electronically as part of the online application process. This method is strongly preferred since it assures timely receipt of the documents. If these materials cannot be submitted electronically, they should be sent to the address provided on the Application Checklist page. In the case of paper submission, letters of recommendation should be completed on letterhead and either sent directly to the Department of Economics by the writer or sealed in an envelope with the writer's signature over the seal and included with the other application materials sent to the Department of Economics by the applicant.

Economics Supplemental Application

The Economics Supplemental Application provides us with a concise summary of important applicant information at an early stage of the application process, often well before we would otherwise have access to the information from transcripts and test score reports. While the information may seem redundant, it is very helpful for the committee to get this information at an early stage of the process. Download the Economics Supplemental Application, type in your responses, and save your completed form. When you fill out the online WVU application, you will have an opportunity to upload supplemental application materials.

Application Checklist

The Application Checklist page contains a concise summary of all materials required by the department and university as part of the application to our graduate program. Make sure that you have submitted all required materials. Though we continue to accept applications until we have filled our entering class, to be assured for full consideration for admission and financial aid, all materials should reach the department by March 1, when we begin our application review.