Graduate Program


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The current Ph.D. program has been in existence since 2006, and emphasizes rigorous, analytical, and quantitative methods. The first year of studies is devoted to acquiring a thorough knowledge of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, econometrics, and quantitative methods. In the second year, students research a topic of their own choosing and write a paper that reports the results of this research.

The nature of this material demands that entering students be adept with multivariate calculus, linear algebra, probability, and mathematical statistics.  Applicants should be able to demonstrate past success in courses on these topics and perhaps other advanced math courses (for example, real analysis, optimization, or differential equations).  A good score on the quantitative section of the GRE is also an important part of the application.  In a recent admissions cycle, the department admitted or waitlisted 46 students out of an applicant pool of 272 applicants.  Among admitted students, aggregate GPAs ranged from about 3.5 to 4.0 (on a 4.0 scale) with a mean of about 3.8, and quantitative GRE scores ranged from the 86th percentile to the (maximum possible) 98th percentile, with a mean score in the 94th percentile.

Our program is distinguished by several features. First, the Ph.D. program utilizes course offerings that promote comparatively small class sizes and frequent interactions with faculty. Students receive substantial attention from the faculty both in the classroom and at the research stage. Traditionally, entering classes have consisted of between 6 and 10 students. With recent expansions in our faculty, we hope to maintain or even increase this class size while still promoting a distinct culture of high-quality faculty/student interaction. For this reason, we encourage applications from all qualified applicants.

Second, in accordance with the Catholic identity of Notre Dame, the doctoral program in economics offers special opportunities for students interested in policy-relevant research that contributes to improving the human condition. Prospective students interested in research addressing these problems should find our program especially attractive. The University fosters interdisciplinary collaboration through a variety of centers and institutes, including the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic OpportunitiesKellogg Institute for International Studies, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Energy Center, the Center for Children and Families, GLOBES and the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity.

Finally, our program has a history of successful job placement for graduating students. 

Our Program Handbook describes the requirements, policies, and procedures of our Ph.D. program in further detail. Click one of the following links to learn more about Program Requirements, Courses and Graduate Training Events.

Our students on the job market will be available for this year’s ASSA meetings. To see former students who have received their degree, visit our Placement Record.

Director of Graduate Studies

Ethan Lieber
3112 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Graduate Studies Coordinator

Anna Poltrack
3060 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-2776