Economics Ph.D. Programs

The Iowa State University Ph.D. program has majors in economics and agricultural economics. Students receive a solid foundation in economic theory and statistical methods with the flexibility to pursue broad areas of study. The rigorous training in theoretical and applied economics prepares graduates to compete for research and teaching positions in leading academic institutions, government, and industry.


Classes are taught by engaged faculty who are leading experts in their fields. You can see some of the latest projects that faculty and students are working on, including upcoming seminars on the department home page. Students take core coursework during their first year of the program before becoming more specialized and selecting a major professor. The student and their major professor will work together closely with the rest of the student’s faculty committee and will collaborate on research and paper publications.

Application and Admission

Admission to the Ph.D. program and financial assistance are based on a combination of factors: prior coursework and performance, GRE and TOEFL (international students) results, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. Applications are evaluated both individually and in relation to other applicants to the program.

Assistantships and Scholarships

The Department of Economics offers a competitive compensation package for Ph.D. students who are on assistantship. Students receive a monthly stipend and in most cases, the cost of tuition is fully covered. Other benefits include health insurance, travel to conferences, and potential for summer employment. All applicants are automatically considered for assistantship funding. You do not have to be affiliated with a specific faculty member prior to admission in order to secure an assistantship.

Career Opportunities

Our goal is that students earning their Ph.D. at Iowa State University are equipped with the research experience, tools and professional network necessary to succeed in their desired careers and contribute meaningfully to society.

Over the past years, we've provided strong support to our graduating Ph.D. candidates, who have achieved placement in a vast array of academic jobs in the U.S. and abroad at universities, such as Auburn University, The Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, Kansas State University, Ripon College, and Central University of Finance and Economics (Beijing). Other graduates place at top federal government agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Federal Housing Finance Agency. And many are employed at research organizations and corporations like Freddie Mac, Citigroup, Lyft, Discover and the Lewin Group.


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Ready to join the Department of Economics?

Apply now or review our application process.