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Ph.D. Program in Economics and Public Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

Must applicants submit a GRE score report?
Yes. You can register online at www.gre.org, and the Tufts University code number is 3901. Student copies or photocopies of GRE scores are not accepted, so please remember to designate Tufts as one of your score recipients. To ensure timely score reporting, we suggest that you take the GRE at least one month prior to the application deadline.

What happens if my official test scores or letters of recommendation arrive after the deadline?
Since graduate admissions are both limited and competitive, it is to your advantage to apply early and to ensure that all required materials are received before the deadline. Late applications will be reviewed only when openings remain after all on-time applications have been considered.

Must international applicants submit a TOEFL score report?
Yes, with some exemptions.

Applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). You can register for the TOEFL online, and the Tufts University code is 3901. Please note: student copies or photocopies of TOEFL scores are not accepted.

If an applicant satisfies one or more of the following conditions, s/he is not required to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score, unless stated otherwise by the department:

  1. Citizenship of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean.
  2. A college or university degree earned in the United States or in one of the countries listed above prior to submission of this application
  3. Current enrollment as a full-time student in a degree-granting program in the United States or at an English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above. The student must have successfully completed two consecutive full-time academic years of college or university work prior to the date of anticipated enrollment at Tufts University.

Do applicants need to send a transcript from every school attended?
Yes. the admissions committee requires official academic transcripts from all accredited universities and/or colleges attended.

If the transcript is in a language other than English, please provide an official translation. If you are offered admission, you will be required to request that official hard copy transcripts from all of your degree granting institutions be sent directly to Tufts.

Do applicants need to submit a writing sample.
Yes. Please upload the document in the appropriate section of the online application. Single authored writing samples are preferred; the goal of the writing sample is to show your ability to communicate effectively.

Can I submit letters of recommendation letters from employers instead of faculty?
The strongest letters of recommendation are written by people who have earned a Ph.D. in economics and are thus familiar with the rigors of the doctoral program. The letter writer should provide their judgment of your ability to be successful in a doctoral program. Employers who satisfy these criteria can often provide unique and valuable references.

How can I verify whether supporting documents have arrived?
You can check the status of application materials via the application portal. All materials (with the exception of test scores) should be submitted electronically; there is no need to submit a duplicate hard copy.

What is the likelihood of receiving financial support?
Thanks to generous support from the Neubauer Family Foundation, all of our doctoral students receive five years of funding contingent on satisfactory performance. The funding covers tuition, a stipend, health insurance and research support. In some cases, graduate level coursework in economics may be accepted for credit enabling students to complete the program in a shorter period.

How much is the application fee?
The application fee is $85. It is payable through the online application by credit card or e-check (drawn on a US bank). The application fee is not refundable. Your credit card or e-check statement is your receipt. No action can be taken on your application until this fee has been received.

The application fee is waived for: current Tufts undergraduate and graduate students; students in Tufts certificate programs applying to a degree program; Project 1000 applicants; AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers and alumni; City Year and Teach For America Corp members and alumni; GEM fellows; Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), Leadership Alliance, and McNair Scholars. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers an application fee waiver for current seniors at NESCAC schools: Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.

If the application fee will present a financial hardship, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Can I schedule a campus visit during the application process?
Campus visits are only scheduled once students have been admitted to the program.

Do you have a preview day?
Yes. We hold our preview day in mid to late March by invitation only.

Can I transfer credit from another graduate program?
In some cases, graduate level coursework in economics may be accepted for credit enabling students to complete the program in a shorter period.

If students have completed a Tufts MS in Economics, they are exempt from the six core methods courses. If students have taken courses that fulfill their field course requirements as a part of either the Fletcher MALD program or the Tufts MS in Economics program, they may be exempt from part or all of the field course requirement.

If students have completed an external MA/MS, they may request exemption from each of the core methods courses. The program Director will grant to deny such exemptions on a case-by-case basis after consulting with the relevant Tufts faculty and following review of the student's prior course work

Can admitted students be deferred?
Students may defer admission for a maximum of one year upon approval by the admissions committee.

How long is my personal statement?
Please limit your personal statement/statement of purpose to a maximum of five pages (2,500 words).

What's the process for re‐applying?
Application materials will be kept for one year. You can reactivate your application within that time by submitting a new application form and fee online. Re-application must occur by the deadline dates provided for new applicants. We encourage students to update their application with new materials when appropriate.

Who oversees the admissions process?
Admission to the program is overseen by a joint admissions committee, which is made up of Economics and Fletcher faculty, and chaired by a member of the program's steering committee.

Can I enroll in the PhD program on a less than full‐time status?
Not at this time.

Other questions?
Email the department.