Ph.D. Program in Economics

This Tulane University Economics Department program leads to the degree of Ph.D. in Economics. The program gives students distinctive training designed to make them attractive candidates for employment in universities, government, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and the non-profit sector. This program is relatively new and has graduated two cohorts to date. All of the students in the last two graduating cohorts have all have successfully obtained employment as professional economists in academic institutions, government, or as private sector consultants.

Rigorous STEM field training. The program is small and highly selective. Students will receive extensive training in standard economic theory. The Program is based in the Department of Economics and provides rigorous training in econometrics and economic theory. As a testament to this rigor, the degree is classified as a STEM field by the U.S. Department of Education. This classification also allows international students who graduate from our Ph.D. program to get a total of 29-months for Optional Practical Training.

Applied focus. The program is designed for students who are interested in using economic analysis to investigate real world problems. The program is based in the Department of Economics, but it has an unusually large number of close associations with other organizations in order to foster interdisciplinary outreach in doctoral education. In fact this is the signature characteristic of our program. Through joint faculty appointments, inter-locking directorships, and informal associations, we have built partnerships with other very strong, nationally recognized Tulane University research groups. These include the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Murphy Institute for Political Economy, the Education Research Alliance, the CEQ Institute, the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, the Freeman School of Business, the Computer Science Department’s program in Artificial Intelligence, and RAND’s Gulf States Policy Institute. Once students have successfully navigated the standard economics theory courses and passed Preliminary Examinations, they are encouraged to seek out partnerships with one or more of these groups of scholars. The typical Tulane Ph.D. in Economics is an atypical economist. The typical Tulane graduate has taken courses in one or more of these partner programs, authored and submitted research papers for publication with them, and often also received financial support and faculty dissertation mentorship from them.

Small, highly selective program with a high faculty-to-student ratio. We recruit students only in even-numbered years for admission into the odd-numbered ones. The typical cohort size is between 6 and 12 students, but there are currently 21 regular faculty members in the Department. These numbers facilitate very close interaction of students with faculty members who are dedicated to research at the frontiers of their fields. Importantly, we consider that – as part of their training – students should have the opportunity to undertake joint research projects with faculty members.

Financial support. Tuition waivers and fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, our resources are sufficient to guarantee full funding for the majority of students. This funding is guaranteed for five years, conditional on satisfactory academic progress through the program. The Department also typically awards admitted Ph.D. students a $1,500 research stipend to cover textbooks, software, and conference travel. Graduates make excellent candidates for employment in universities, government, multilateral organizations, and in the private and not-for-profit sectors.

New PhD cohorts enroll every two years. We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2025 enrollment on August 15, 2024, and continue doing so until February 15, 2025. We especially encourage applications from students who are interested in the fields of (i) public economics, (ii) urban economics, (iii) economics of education, (iv) economic development, inequality, and poverty, (v) or health economics. Further information about our Department can be found at: . Applications are to be submitted online. You can find a link to the online application procedure at the bottom of this page:

If you need additional information, please email Professor John Edwards, our Director of Graduate Studies: