Preparation for Graduate Study

Students come to our program from a variety of academic backgrounds.  A Bachelor's degree or its equivalent is required and some students have already earned Master's degrees as well. Some previous study of economics, including at least intermediate-level courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics is essential, but students need not have majored in economics. We are less concerned with the number of economics courses an applicant has taken than with his or her demonstrated ability to excel in demanding analytical courses and to become an innovative researcher.

Training in mathematics and quantitative methods is necessary for graduate economics work. A year of calculus (including multivariate), a semester of statistics, and a semester of linear algebra are required. Additional background in math and econometrics is very helpful.

Financial Aid

We provide financial support in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships to many graduate students. All applicants are considered for an aid package that includes a first-year fellowship and teaching assistantships in subsequent years. The first-year fellowship carries a stipend, tuition remission and health insurance and require no duties outside of course work and research. These fellowship packages are the only form of financial support we offer for entering students and are merit-based; we do not offer need-based assistance.

After the first year, many Ph.D. students (including those who did not enter with a first-year fellowship) receive teaching assistantships (TAs). TAs receive stipends, health insurance, and tuition remission. TA duties may include grading papers, holding office hours, and leading discussion and problem solving sections in undergraduate courses. Criteria for awarding TAs can be found in our Doctoral Program Handbook.

Cost of Study

For the current tuition amounts, please see the School of Graduate Studies Tuition & Fees link (

Expected tuition and fee costs should be based on at least 72 credits (the number of credits required for the PhD) less any tuition remission associated with TA positions and other financial aid. By the fourth year, many students have completed enough credits that they only need to pay for one credit (plus fees) each Fall and Spring semester.

Research Facilities


Rutgers' library system, with holdings of over 3.7 million bound volumes, ranks among the top thirty research libraries in North America. As part of its Digital Library initiative, Rutgers is actively expanding electronic access to journals, bibliographic databases and quantitative data. The Department of Economics works closely with the economics reference librarian on acquisitions and electronic information sources.

Computer facilities and networks are available for scientific word processing, statistical and econometrics analyses, and simulation. Graduate students have access to a computer lab adjoining the department library. Most databases and software commonly used in economics are available, including SAS, GAUSS, Matlab, STATA, Eviews, Excel, and more. Computer support is available provided. Students have access to printing, copying, and scanning facilities in the department.
New Jersey Hall
The department is located in New Jersey Hall, a central location on the College Avenue Campus. Graduate students have lounge space and computer labs in New Jersey Hall, as well as shared offices if they teach. Most graduate classes are either in New Jersey Hall or nearby. New Jersey Hall is located in downtown New Brunswick, a block from the train station and near many restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstores.

Student Group

Approximately 70 graduate students are in residence.  Our students are from undergraduate institutions around the country and the world. Approximately 10 - 20 new students enter the program each year.

Students and Faculty

Graduate students plan their studies in consultation with the faculty. Our program is small enough that advising and planning can be handled on a personal and largely informal basis. We host an active program of seminars and workshops (averaging more than 30 seminars per semester), with presentations of current research by invited guest speakers and our own graduate students and faculty.

The Area

New Brunswick is a city of about 45,000 surrounded by suburban towns. In addition to New Brunswick's two professional theaters, ballet and symphony, there are numerous educational and other cultural facilities in New York and Philadelphia less than one hour away by train or bus. Rutgers attracts many distinguished visitors, lecturers, and performing artists to its campus, enabling students to enjoy a broad cultural experience. Please see our interactive maps for directions to Rutgers and directions to New Jersey Hall, College Ave Campus.

The University

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is the only university in the United States with a colonial background that is also a land-grant college and a state university. The 20th largest university in the nation, it has an enrollment of more than 49,000 students. Approximately 12,800 students participate in the various graduate and professional programs at Rutgers; about 5,200 of these students are matriculated in the School of Graduate Studies, which includes our program.

The Market for Our Graduates

The variety of jobs are available to graduates of our programs is broad, including positions in universities and colleges, business and government.

Rutgers economists have fared well in the job market. Information on our placements in recent years can be found pdf here (76 KB) .

For Further Information

Applications for admission must be submitted through the Graduate Admissions page, which offers general information on application procedures to the School of Graduate Studies. For information about the Graduate Program in Economics in particular, please contact:

Director of Graduate Program
Department of Economics
Rutgers University
75 Hamilton Street, NJ Hall
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1248
Telephone: (848) 932-7451
E-mail: Graduate Advisor

Although a personal interview is not part of our application process, we are happy to meet prospective students. Please contact us if you would like to plan a visit.

For further information read the Prospective Graduate Students FAQs page.