Financial Aid

Financial aid may be awarded in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Research Assistantships. First consideration for financial aid is given to applications received before February 1. To be considered for GTAs, international students must include a score from the Test of Spoken English or a TOEFL-iBT examination that includes a speech component. A minimum iBT speaking score of 24 or an IELTS speaking score of 8 or a score of 50 on the TSE or SPEAK tests.

Visit the Graduate Studies website for information about funding opportunities for graduate students at KU.

Financial Aid and Scholarships administers grants, loans, and need-based financial aid.

Facilities and Services

In addition to KU computing and library facilities, students in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs may use the department’s computer laboratory, which provides access to a variety of databases and econometric software packages useful for economics research.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Applicants to the Ph.D. program should have taken 3 courses in calculus (12 to 15 semester hours) and a course in linear algebra.

Applications submitted before February 1 receive first consideration for financial aid for fall admission. Applications may continue to be submitted until May 1 for fall admission. Applications submitted before November 1 receive first consideration for spring admission.

Submit your graduate application online. Send all other requested application materials to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Economics
Graduate Secretary
Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 415
Lawrence, KS 66045-7514

Students whose native language is not English usually have difficulty in the program unless their English is excellent. The university accepts TOEFL and IELTS scores. The required scores are listed below.

All part scores at least 53All part scores at least 20Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores at least 20Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

In addition to meeting general requirements, the Ph.D. candidate in economics must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours of course work, at least 48 of which must be in economics.

  1. All Ph.D. candidates must complete these core courses in economic theory and quantitative methods
    ECON 800Optimization Techniques I3
    ECON 801Microeconomics I3
    ECON 802Microeconomics II3
    ECON 809Optimization Techniques II3
    ECON 810Macroeconomics I3
    ECON 811Macroeconomics II3
    ECON 817Econometrics I3
    ECON 818Econometrics II3
    MATH 727Probability Theory3
    MATH 728Statistical Theory3
  2. Course work beyond these required core courses is a matter of choice for the student in consultation with his or her graduate advisor. The graduate advisor develops a program to assist the student in specialized interests. Each program must include a sufficiently broad range of topics in economics to prepare the student for comprehensive examinations.

Qualifying Examinations

Ph.D. degree aspirants must pass written qualifying examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics after completion of the core courses in these areas, ordinarily at the beginning of the fourth semester of full-time study. A student who does not pass a qualifying examination may be permitted 1 retake, ordinarily at the end of the fourth semester of full-time study

Fields of Specialization

Each student must demonstrate competence in at least 2 fields of specialization in economics by completing 2 courses in each of these areas. Current fields of specialization include financial economics, economic development, industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, econometrics, economic history, economic theory, and macroeconomics.

Seminar-Workshops and Responsible Scholarship

Beginning in the third year of the program, each student must enroll in ECON 910 and attend the weekly department seminars for 6 continuous semesters. Every doctoral student is required to have training in responsible scholarship pertinent to economics research. Each semester there will be 1 90-minute seminar on this topic led by either a faculty member or a visiting speaker.

Third-Year Paper

Each student must complete a third-year seminar paper. This would typically be in one of the fields of specialization. Usually the third-year paper becomes part of the student’s doctoral dissertation.

Comprehensive Oral Examination

Upon completion of most of the course work and other requirements for the doctoral degree, inclusive of research skills and residence requirements, the student must prepare a dissertation proposal under the direction of a thesis advisor and pass a comprehensive oral examination related to the dissertation proposal.


Following the comprehensive oral examinations, the candidate must organize and write a dissertation on his or her chosen topic under the supervision of a dissertation committee.

Final Oral Examination

The candidate must defend the dissertation successfully in a final oral examination.

Plan of Study

Year 1
ECON 8003ECON 8093
ECON 8013ECON 8103
MATH 7273MATH 7283
 9 9
Year 2
ECON 8023ECON 8183
ECON 8113Specialization3
ECON 8173Specialization3
 9 9
Year 3
ECON 9101-3ECON 9101-3
 7-9 7-9
Year 4
ECON 9101-3Elective/Specialization13
Elective/Specialization13ECON 9996-9
ECON 9993-6 
 7-12 9-12
Total Hours: 66-78


If needed.