How to Apply to the Graduate Program

campanileApplication Deadline

Department of Economics graduate programs begin fall semester only.

Ph.D. Applicants: In order to guarantee your application is reviewed for admission, the complete application (including all supplemental materials) needs to be submitted to Iowa State no later than January 15 prior to the fall semester of planned enrollment.

MS Applicants: There is no formal deadline for application; however, applications received by February 15 are prioritized for scholarship consideration. Please refer to Admission Guidelines for MS students.

Before You Apply

The Office of Admissions provides detailed information for graduate applicants regarding application processing, letters of recommendation, test scores, english proficiency, and transcripts. They also have a website that covers Frequently Asked Questions which may arise during the application process. Please read these over carefully to ensure you are submitting the correct documentation. 

Application Requirements

  1. Iowa State University Graduate College Application Form and Statement of Purpose: Submit online through the Office of Admissions website. The online application form includes a space for you to provide a statement of purpose. Here are some items to address in your statement of purpose:
    • What led you to choose economics or agricultural economics as a field of study?
    • How has your background prepared you for graduate study in economics?
    • What are your career plans?
    • For Ph.D. applicants: What are your choices of fields of specialization?
      • Agricultural Economics
      • Applied Econometrics
      • Environmental and Resource Economics
      • Financial Economics
      • Labor-Public Economics
      • Industrial Organization
      • International Economics
      • Macroeconomics
  2. Transcripts of ALL previous undergraduate and graduate coursework 
  3. GRE Scores (Iowa State school code is 6306. No department codes are required.).
    * GRE scores are required for all Ph.D. applicants. For fall 2023 M.S. applicants, GRE scores are strongly recommended but not required.
  4. TOEFL Scores (international students, if required)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Resume or CV (optional)

You may upload unofficial copies of supplemental materials at the time that you apply. The unofficial copies will be used to make the admission and funding decision. If you are offered admission to Iowa State you will be required to submit official academic records. Please do not submit any supplemental materials other than those listed above. 

Double-check to be sure that the information on your application is correct and complete BEFORE you submit it.

Ph.D. Admission Decision Timeline

  • All Ph.D. applicants will be contacted by email once a decision on their application is complete, usually in late March or early April.
  • As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, Iowa State University abides by the Council's Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants.  Offers of a graduate assistantship will be considered valid until April 15 unless declined at a prior time.  If no reply to an outstanding offer is received by April 15, the Department of Economics may rescind the offer.

Please refer to Admission Guidelines for MS students.