University at Albany

Ph.D. in Economics

The Ph.D. program in economics trains highly qualified professional economists for careers in research and teaching in colleges and universities and careers in research and administration in public and private organizations.

The curriculum is built around a rigorous core of economic theory and econometrics, followed by specialized study in at least two of the following areas of concentration: advanced macroeconomics, advanced microeconomics, applied microeconomics, econometrics, heath economics, industrial organization, international economics, labor and income distribution, and public economics, among others. Following completion of the core and elective coursework, students engage in dissertation research under the close supervision of faculty. Details of the program requirements can be found in the Program Guideline on the left.

The core training of the curriculum focuses on the systematic study of mathematical and statistical analysis of economic phenomena and problems, including studies of economic statistics and econometrics, optimization theory, cost/benefit analysis, price theory, economic modeling, and economic forecasting and evaluation.

Thanks to our location in the capital of New York State, the economics department offers several internship opportunities with government agencies and other institutions to provide practical training and experience. In addition, there are various opportunities to work closely with faculty on funded research projects.

Nearly all graduates of the PhD program have obtained positions as professional economists. Some hold tenure track faculty positions in colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Some work as research economists in government and international agencies. Others work in private industries ranging from banking, finance, consulting, to communications and health care.

Professor Zhongwen Liang, Director of Graduate Studies and Ph.D. Program

University at Albany Economics Department


It is not necessary to have an undergraduate degree in economics to apply to the program. However, applicants are expected to have completed a one year sequence in intermediate economic theory, three semesters of calculus, and one semester of linear algebra. While not required, some training in mathematical statistics is highly recommended. For those whose undergraduate training in economics and mathematics is deficient, courses are available during the summer session prior to entering the program.


All applicants for the doctoral program must present official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical tests. Applicants who are not residents of the United States may be exempted from this requirement by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department if they reside in countries where GRE examinations are not administered. Foreign students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. The University now accepts IELTS scores as a substitute for TOEFL scores. Students enrolled as full-time students for a minimum of two semesters in U.S. colleges do not have to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Each application is evaluated on its individual merits by the Economics Department. The applicant's academic record, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores all weigh heavily in the decision.

To be guaranteed consideration for financial aid, admission and financial aid application forms should be received by February 15. Thereafter, financial aid applications will be considered only as funds become available. Students are normally notified of admission and financial aid decisions by April 15. Applications are made through the Division of Graduate Admissions.

Financial Aid

Most Ph.D. students receive financial support from the University in the form of a graduate assistantship or fellowship for up to four years. For the academic year 2017-18, assistantships and fellowships for first year students provide full tuition relief and a stipend of $16,000. In addition, teaching opportunities are available for senior graduate students.