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Department of Economics
University of Mississippi

Graduate Application

The application to apply to the Economics graduate program can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Please submit all required documents to the graduate school directly and not to the Economics department. Once the graduate school receives your application and documents, they are available to the Economics department for consideration. You can track your application via the Graduate School website.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or about the department in general, please first read carefully the information below.  If any further questions remain, contact our Program Director, Dr. Natalia Kolesnikova.


How do I apply?

Apply through the Graduate School (see the Apply Now button at the Graduate School website).  After verifying the authenticity of your documents, the Graduate School then forwards your application to the Department of Economics. (Please do not send items directly to the Department.)

The Graduate School provides detailed information for prospective students.

What is the application deadline?

You can apply at any time before the deadline of March 1. We typically make offers in early/mid March.

Can students start a program in the Spring semester?

Our M.A. and Ph.D. curricula are designed for a Fall entry. Only in a very special case can a student can start in the Spring semester.

What documents are needed for an application?

  • A statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Recommendation letters (2 for M.A. applicants, 3 for Ph.D. applicants)
  • Official GRE scores (GMAT scores are not an acceptable substitute)
  • For international students, official English language proficiency scores. (See below for more information about language requirements and waivers.)
  • Proof of immunization (submitted to Student Health Services)

Do you provide funding?

All our Ph.D. students receive an assistantship (currently, $20,000 a year), full tuition waiver, and subsidized health insurance. Assistantships require the student to work as a teaching/research assistant to departmental faculty, or as a graduate instructor. The Department offers 20-hr (1/2 time) assistantships. This is the number of hours that the student is expected to work per week.

We do not offer funding to M.A. students.

Do I need to apply for funding separately?

No, all our Ph.D. students receive funding.

Do I need to identify a faculty advisor before applying?


Are your programs classified as STEM?

Yes, both our M.A. and Ph.D. programs are classified as STEM.

What should be contained in a statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should describe your background, your interest in economics, and your interest in the Ph.D. or M.A. program at the University of Mississippi. If you are NOT interested in financial support, please indicate this in your statement. A typical statement is 1-2 pages long, double-spaced with size 12 font. Please avoid spurious information or comments; a statement of purpose should not exceed 2 pages.

What is the minimum GPA? What are the prerequisites or required undergraduate courses or required majors?

The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The Department does not have an additional requirement. When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of an applicant’s transcript, GRE scores, and recommendation letters. There are no specific required prerequisites or majors. We welcome student from any academic background, but we expect entering students to be prepared for the rigors of graduate study in economics. When the Admissions Committee reviews an applicant’s transcript, it looks at the overall performance and specific performance in economics or economics-related courses and quantitative courses (math, statistics, etc.).

What are the minimum GRE scores?

By law, we are not allowed to set minimum GRE scores. When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of an applicant’s transcript, GRE scores and recommendation letters. The typical GRE scores of our entering students are at least 150 Verbal and 155 Quantitative. Ph.D. students with lower GRE scores typically struggle in our program. GRE scores must be transmitted directly to the University of Mississippi from the testing service. GRE scores must be less than 5 years old.

What is the expectation for recommendation letters? How many are required?

When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of an applicant’s transcript, GRE scores and recommendation letters. Recommendation letters are an essential part of the evaluation. Qualified recommenders are anyone who can comment specifically on your ability to handle the rigors of graduate education. Former professors are usually the best, as they know the expectations of graduate school, and they typically have first-hand knowledge of your academic abilities. Other possibilities are former employers or supervisors, or academic advisors. Ph.D. applicants need to submit 3 letters of recommendation. M.A. applicants need to submit 2 letters of recommendation. We prefer that the recommendation letters be submitted electronically to the Graduate School. However, recommendation letters can be sent via surface mail to:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Economics
203 Odom Hall
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677-1848


What are the English language proficiency requirements?

Information about English language proficiency requirements and waivers can be found here:

The Department does not have additional requirements. However, teaching/research  assistants, and especially graduate instructors, are expected to have excellent verbal and written communication skills. The Department places a premium on communication skills, and English proficiency is an important part of the Admissions Committee’s deliberation.

Can I be exempt from submitting English language proficiency scores?

Information about English language proficiency requirements and waivers can be found here:

I am an international applicant. What else should I know?

All international applicants should visit the International Student and Scholar Services website. There is a plethora of useful information there, including information on International Admission criteria, cost of attending, visa requirements, etc.

In particular, information about graduate applications can be found here:

Can I submit unofficial transcripts?

For review purposes only, we accept unofficial transcripts sent to Once admitted, sealed official copies are required. They should be sent to the Graduate School.

The University of Mississippi
Graduate School
P.O. Box 1848
54 Galtney-Lott Plaza
University, MS 38677-1848

Official electronic transcripts from domestic institutions may be sent to

Please note that if you are selected for admission your admission will not be complete and you cannot receive any assistantship awards or register for any classes until the Graduate School has the official documents.

What is some basic information on the Economic Ph.D. and M.A. programs?
Our program is designed to provide individualized attention. A typical lecture class has 5-8 students (graduate students in finance, accounting, etc. also take our courses). The typical Ph.D. student takes 5 years to finish, the typical M.A. student takes 2 years. Our graduate students usually number in the 15-20 range, across all years and both programs. Our entering class is about 4-6 students per year, Ph.D. and M.A. combined.


We do not have a stand-alone M.A. program; our M.A. and Ph.D. students take the same courses. There are three required course sequences (two courses each) in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics.

After three semesters, Ph.D. students must pass three written comprehensive exams to achieve candidacy and write a dissertation.

M.A. students are not required to take these exams. However, all M.A. students must pass an M.A. final comprehensive examination during the last enrollment period.


What is the typical plan of study?


First Year: Prepare for Comprehensive Exams  


Econ 607 Seminar

Econ 609 Math for Economists

Econ 629 Statistics for Economists

Econ 650 Research Colloquium in Economics (1 credit course)


Econ 605 Micro I

Econ 606 Macro I

Econ 630 Econometrics I

Econ 650 Research Colloquium in Economics (1 credit course)


Second Year: Prepare for Comprehensive Exams                                                    


Econ 614 Micro II

Econ 628 Macro II

Econ 631 Econometrics II

Econ 650 Research Colloquium in Economics (1 credit course)

Comprehensive Exams during winter break


Elective Courses

Econ 650 Research Colloquium in Economics (1 credit course)


Third Year:  Write and Defend Dissertation Prospectus 

Econ 797, Econ 650, and Elective Courses.


Fourth and Fifth Years: Write Dissertation and Prepare for Job Market.  

Econ 797 and Econ 650; maybe Elective Courses.