Graduate FAQs

Application and Admissions Questions

What items are needed to be considered for admission into the graduate field of Applied Economics and Management?

  • Official GRE scores (sent by ETS to institution code 2098).  Applicants can choose any department code they wish as long as the institution code is correct.
  • Official TOEFL scores (sent by ETS to institution code 2098).  Applicants can choose any department code they wish as long as the institution code is correct.  The TOEFL is required for applicants whose native language is not English. Exceptions to this requirement are described here.
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts uploaded into the graduate school application.
  • 2 letters of recommendation (additional letters are accepted. Applicants should ask recommenders to send a pdf copy of their letter to Bridget Cristelli, graduate field assistant, at and she will upload additional letters into your application.

What materials do I need to send by mail?

Hard copy materials do not need to be sent at the time of application. If admitted into the graduate program, applicants will receive correspondence indicating what items are required and by what dates they need to be submitted.

Will I be considered for financial support?

All PhD applicants will be considered for financial support. Financial support may be in the form of a teaching assistantship (TA), fellowship, graduate research assistantship (GRA), or a combination of these three. MS applicants may be considered for financial support, though the majority are admitted without a guarantee of support. Even if they are not admitted with a guarantee of support, many MS students do obtain funding for the MS degree program through TA (at the Dyson School or in other departments at Cornell) or GRA support generally through the Chair of their Special Committee. MPS students are not considered for financial support.

What is the final deadline to be considered for admission into the program?

MS and PhD: December 15 (applications should be complete on this date)

If I have obtained a full scholarship for graduate studies, should I upload this information into the application?

Yes, financial support information should be included in the application. External scholarships of support can enhance your chances of admission.

May I apply with a 3-year bachelor’s degree?

We accept all bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited institutions in the United States, even those that are completed in 3 years. For international degrees, we follow the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers when considering which degrees are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree obtained in the United States. This usually means that 4 years of study are required, though some 3-year degrees can be accepted. International degree equivalencies are provided here.

What scores are needed to be considered for admission into your program?

Admitted applicants usually have a GPA in excess of 3.50 (4.00 scale), and generally score above the 85th percentile in each category of the GRE. Grades in mathematics and economics classes are considered much more carefully, as is the quantitative portion of the GRE. It is crucial that applicants write a well-defined statement of purpose that clearly identifies their research interests and how their interests relate to current research being conducted by members of the graduate field faculty.

If I apply directly to the PhD program and am not accepted, will I still be considered for admission into the MS program?

Yes, all applicants rejected from the PhD program are automatically considered for admission to the MS.  No separate application is needed.

What academic background do I need to be considered for admission into the PhD program?

Incoming PhD applicants are required to have a thorough knowledge of microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and quantitative methods. All applicants must have a thorough knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, and at least two semesters of advanced mathematics, including a course in real analysis. Math classes, such as differential equations, mathematical probability and statistics, optimization, and stochastic differential equations, are also good preparation for the PhD program. All of these classes should have a grade of B or better at the time of matriculation. Applicants who do not have this academic background are unlikely to be admitted into the PhD program, but will be considered for admission to the MS degree program.

What academic background do I need to be considered for admission into the MS program?

Incoming MS applicants should have taken classes in intermediate-level microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, calculus, econometrics, and statistics.

How many students are accepted each year?

On average, 9 PhD, 15 MS, and 25 MPS students are accepted each year.

When will I receive the admission decision?

All applicants should be notified by e-mail at the end of February or beginning of March.

When do I need to notify you of my decision to attend this program?

April 15.

Do you have an open house for admitted students?

Yes, this is typically held in mid-to-late March each year. We encourage applicants to visit during this time. If admitted students are unable to visit during this time, please schedule a separate visit with Bridget Cristelli.  Please allow a minimum of two weeks' notification of your plans to visit.

Career Questions

What positions do MPS, MS, and PhD students take upon successful completion of their programs?

The most recent positions taken by our graduate student alumni are listed on the Dyson website.

Degree Completion Questions

If accepted into the program, how do I identify the Chair of my Special Committee?

All new PhD students need to identify the chair of their Special Committee by the end of the first year. MS students will need to identify their chair before the end of their first semester. The director of the graduate program facilitates this process by organizing times for faculty to meet informally with admitted students and discuss their research interests.

What is the length of time to complete the PhD program?

On average, most students finish the PhD program in 5 years.

What is the length of time to complete the MS program?

Most students typically complete the MS degree in 2 years, although students can finish within one year.

Student Spotlight

Jianwei Xing

Jianwei (Jerry) Xing

Home Country


Anticipated degree and concentration

PhD, Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics, with a focus on empirical industrial organization

Current research focus

I am working on research projects on electric vehicles (EVs). The electrification of the transportation sector through the diffusion of plug-in electric vehicles offers a drastic pathway to reduce local air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the dependence on foreign oil. However, as a new technology, EVs still face significant barriers to wider adoption, including high purchase cost, limited driving range, long charging time, and the lack of charging stations. My research mainly studies the interdependence between EV adoption and the charging station deployment, and how we can more effectively subsidize the EV market (through tax credits, rebates and other non-monetary incentives) to overcome those barriers and speed up the diffusion process.