Economics Department corridor


Have questions about applying? Please check our FAQ page before emailing us at We partner with Harvard Economics to connect prospective students from underrepresented groups with graduate student mentors. See below for details!

Application requirements

The application to our doctoral program is open annually from September 15-December 15 for admission the following September. The application for September 2023 admission is now closed.

Your application is considered complete when you have successfully submitted the following requirements by the December 15 application deadline:

  • Online application
  • $75 application fee
  • Scanned copy of college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL or IELTS test score (either one) for international students whose native language is not English
  • The GRE is NOT required as part of applications for the 2023-2024 cycle (for September 2023 admission)

To request a fee waiver, please complete MIT's application fee waiver form. You should carefully review the eligibility criteria prior to applying. A representative from MIT’s Office of Graduate Education will be in touch about the outcome of your request.

Please upload one copy of each transcript from all universities you have attended. If you're admitted to the program, we'll require you to have an official copy of your transcript(s) sent to us from the university's registrar. Your transcript will be verified upon receipt and any discrepancy between the transcript you uploaded and the official transcript will result in a withdrawal of our offer of admission.

Letters must be submitted/uploaded by the letter writers by December 15. Please send the email request to your letter writers via the 'Letter Status' section in your application.

International students whose first language is not English are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores (MIT prefers IELTS) unless they are a US citizen or permanent resident. The department will also waive the requirement for international non-native speakers of English who have spent three or more years studying in an accredited school or university where English is the language of instruction. (Please note: verification of the institute's language of instruction may be requested.)

If you meet the criteria for a waiver, you can make a request to waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement on the online application, under the "test scores" section.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. Scores that expire while an application is under review will be considered valid.

Submitting your scores

Your online application will prompt you to attach a scanned copy of your test scores. TOEFL or IELTS scores must also be sent directly to MIT from ETS. MIT's school code for the TOEFL is 3514. The TOEFL code for the Department of Economics is 84. IELTS does not require a code. Please enter "Massachusetts Institute of Technology- Graduate Admissions."

Official scores must be received from ETS by December 15. Please take the TOEFL or IELTS by November 30 to allow for proper reporting time. If your score report arrives shortly after the deadline, it will be accepted, but your application may not be reviewed until your scores are received.

Minimum score requirements

The minimum requirement for the TOEFL is PBT: 600, iBT: 100. The minimum requirement for the IELTS is 7.

The department is waiving the GRE requirement for the current application period, but you can report your scores if you wish.

Your online application will give you the option to attach a scanned copy of your test scores or a screenshot of the scores from the ETS website. You can also send a score report directly to MIT from ETS. MIT's school code for the GRE is 3514. The code for the Department of Economics is 1801.

If you would like your scores to be considered as part of your application, you should take the GRE by November 30 to allow for reporting time.

We encourage applicants to include a statement of objectives/personal statement with their application, though it is not required. The statement is an opportunity to explain what makes you a good candidate for the program. You should describe why you wish to attend graduate school, what you would like to study, and any research experience. Describe one or more accomplishments you are particularly proud of that suggest that you will succeed in your chosen area of research. Statements are typically two single-spaced pages.

Application Assistance and Mentoring Program

Many students interested in an economics PhD experience disparate degree of support in the application process. The Application Assistance and Mentoring Program (AAMP) aims to mitigate these gaps by helping students from underrepresented groups connect with a graduate student mentor in MIT or Harvard’s PhD economics programs.

The AAMP aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent in economics PhD programs and welcomes participation from all groups underrepresented in economics, including but not limited to: Black, Hispanic-Latinx, Native American, low-income, LGBTQ+ students, women, students with disabilities, and students who are the first in their families to go to college. The AAMP welcomes participation among students at various stages of their economics studies, including juniors, seniors, and college graduates.

Mentors can provide:

  • Advice on graduate school and fellowship applications, including questions about the application process and feedback on application materials.
  • Information about economics research, life as a PhD student or in an academic career, for students who are deciding whether a PhD in economics is the right choice for them.

Interested in applying?

We are no longer accepting applications for our 2022-2023 cycle. Please direct any questions to

Please note that the MIT / Harvard Economics AAMP is a volunteer-based, student-run program. This program is not considered part of the admissions process for the Economics PhD at MIT or Harvard, nor will any student's participation in the AAMP be considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee at either school.