Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Department of Economics offer a master's/MA/MS program?

The Department of Economics does not offer a master's degree, only the Ph.D.

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Does the Department of Economics admit for the Spring?

No. The Department of Economics only admits for the Fall.

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Does the Department of Economics accept the GMAT for applying to the Ph.D. program?

No. We only accept the GRE.

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How many applications does the department expect to receive?

The Department of Economics receives approximately 800 applications for each admissions cycle.

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How many applicants do you admit and how many accept your offer of admission?

On average, we admit approximately 60-70 applicants for our total application pool. Of the 60-70 admitted, approximately 20-25 accept our offer of admission.

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Do you offer fellowships? Who receives fellowships?

Yes, we do offer competitive fellowship packages that are based on merit and academic achievement to both domestic and international applicants. Over 50% of our new admits receive some form of university or department financial support.

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When is the last possible date I can take the GRE?

We recommend that you take the GRE in October to ensure scores are received in a timely fashion by the department and that your application is complete by the December deadline for receipt of supporting documents. Official GRE score reports must be received by the application deadline. As soon as you have your GRE scores you should report your unofficial scores on your online application and enter the appropriate registration number under the exam requirements section of the application. Each time you take the GRE you will receive a unique registration number so please make sure to use the correct registration number for the score you would like reported on your application. Incorrect registration numbers may result in your application appearing to be incomplete. We must have your official score report on file by the December application deadline - unofficial scores will not be accepted in place of official score reports. 

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How can I qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS exemption?

If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better in residence at a recognized U.S. institution, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must upload an unofficial transcript from the recognized U.S. institution.
 
Applicants may also be exempt from the English language proficiency requirement (TOEFL or IELTS) if they:
  • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.
  • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution, in the United States or abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States regional accrediting* agencies.
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.
 
* Regionally accredited college or university means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations in the United States:
  1. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  2. New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  3. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  4. Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges

If applicants do not meet any of the above criteria, there are two standardized tests you may take: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

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Do letter writers also need to submit letters of recommendation by the official application deadline, or do they have an extended deadline?

Letters of Recommendation must be uploaded to the online application system by the December application deadline. Recommenders do not have an extended deadline to submit letters of recommendation. 

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How will I know if my application is complete?

Only those applicants whose applications are incomplete will be notified via email. Please do not contact us to inquire about the status of your application or to confirm receipt of items sent. Given the number of applications we process it is not possible to respond to such inquiries.

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What GRE dates are no longer valid?

Scores from GRE tests taken before October 2013 are no longer valid.

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Is it possible to transfer credit for graduate level course work in Economics from another institution?

This can only be determined once you have applied, been admitted to the program, AND accept the offer of admission. New students can then submit course syllabi and reading lists to the appropriate faculty for review and a decision on whether or not it is appropriate to waive certain requirements.

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How long does it take to complete the Ph.D. in Economics?

The program typically takes 5 - 6 years with a rare number of students finishing in 4 years or less.

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Is it possible to enroll part-time in the Ph.D. program in Economics?

The Ph.D. program in Economics at U.C. Berkeley is a full-time program and there are no opportunities for part-time study.

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Does the department offer Ph.D. courses online or have distance learning opportunities?

This program is not offered online and we do not offer any Ph.D. courses online or have distance learning opportunities at this time.

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