The Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a doctoral and master's program. The department offers seven fields of study. The majority of students finish the program in five years. It is not uncommon, however, for students to complete the program in six years.

After graduation our students successively apply the knowledge and skills gained in our program to a wide range of economic problems in a broad array of institutional settings. Our success in this is evidenced by our strong national reputation and our placement record.


Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, which must be completed before entering the program. You do not need to have a Bachelor's Degree in Economics to receive admission to the program. Applicants have Bachelor's Degrees in Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, and other disciplines.

Mathematics preparation should include multivariate calculus, elementary probability, and regression analysis. Graduate work in economics demands mathematical sophistication of a higher order than the requirements of most U.S. undergraduate economics programs would suggest. Students entering the graduate program are required to have taken a three-course sequence in calculus, a course in linear algebra, and a course in mathematical statistics. These prerequisites are a bare minimum, and additional background in mathematics and in graduate-level economics courses can ease the transition into the program. A detailed description of the department's expectations about students' mathematics preparation, both upon entry to the program and upon completion of first-year coursework, can be found on the Math Requirements for Incoming Graduate Students page.


The admission to the doctoral program in Economics is a shared process at UW-Madison. The admissions and aid committee at the Department of Economics will evaluate your application and make a recommendation to the Graduate School regarding admission. The Economic program's admission committee will inform you of their decision in March.

When applicants receive an admission packet from the Economics Department indicating that they have been recommended for admissions, this recommendation does NOT mean that they have been fully admitted. The applicant will have to finish the last steps of the admission process with the Graduate School. The Economics Admission and Aid Committee will forward admissions recommendations to the Graduate School with supporting materials. The Graduate School's Office of Admissions and Academic Services will review the application and materials to ensure that the Graduate School minimum requirements are met (including financial support requirements for International Students).


1. Fill out the Graduate School Online Electronic Application at You will select the "Economics PhD program" from the drop down program list. To complete the application, you will need to submit the following materials (in PDF format):
    1. Statement of Purpose
    2. Transcripts: Please scan all transcripts or academic records from all your degree-granting institutions and any other institution where you have been enrolled and upload the pdf file(s) to your application. The transcript uploaded must match the official transcript and there should be no changes or edits made to it.
    3. Math Preparation Form: Please complete the Math Preparation (pdf; word) form and submit it in PDF format. Here is a link to the math preparation requirements.
    4. Writing Sample: All applicants must submit a writing sample in English. The writing sample can be a research paper or an article demonstrating your ability to do research and present your research in a written form. Please upload your writing sample in PDF format.
    5. Resume or CV: Please upload a copy of your resume or CV in PDF format.
    6. Graduate school application fee: This fee is required to complete the application. Information on the fee is available here:
2. Three letters of recommendation: The application will require that you enter information for your recommenders and an email will be sent to them. Letters must be submitted electronically by your recommenders no later than December 31. Please do NOT send paper letters by mail.

3. Have ETS send your TOEFL scores or IELTS (if required) and GRE scores to the Graduate School. The UW-Madison institutional and department code is 1846. Follow this link to see if you are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.

Please see the Admissions FAQ section if you have further questions.


   Where to submit/send
 Funding Consideration*
No Funding Consideration
Online Application Graduate School Electronic Application  5-Dec  1-Feb
Application Fee Payment
Graduate School Electronic Application
 5-Dec  1-Feb
Transcript(s) scanned
Graduate School Electronic Application
3 Letters of Recommendation
Link provided by graduate school to recommenders. Contact information for recommenders must be entered by December 5th.
 31-Dec  1-Feb
Statement of Purpose
Graduate School Electronic Application
 5-Dec  1-Feb
Math Preparation Form
Graduate School Electronic Application
 5-Dec  1-Feb
Writing Sample
Graduate School Electronic Application
 5-Dec  1-Feb
TOEFL Have ETS send to UW-Madison (Code is 1846 for both institution and department)
 31-Dec  1-Feb
GRE Have ETS send to UW-Madison (Code is 1846 for both institution and department)
 31-Dec  1-Feb
*We will start processing applications after the December 5th due date, so admissions materials need to be in, in order to guarantee consideration for funding.

For all the above, it is very important for applicants to continue monitoring their admission progress. For this purpose, each applicant has his/her own personalized web address in OASIS (online application information system).


All paid applications from both domestic and international students received by December 5th will be considered for funding if official transcripts are also received by December 5th. Funding is awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. For detailed information on department and University Fellowship information, please see our funding web page.

Tuition and fee information is available online at the UW Office of the Registrar web page. Students employed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at least one-third time as a project assistant or a teaching assistant receive a tuition waiver, a stipend, and health benefits.


More information is available at the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) web page. If you have additional questions, please contact us: Department of Economics, 7470 Social Science, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706,