Graduate Admissions

Please Note

Admission to the PhD, MA or MS is available for Fall Semester only. Applicants who wish to apply to both the master's and doctoral program must submit separate applications. 

Acceptance Criteria

  • Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from an accredited college or university, or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree. This degree must be obtained prior to beginning the Master’s or PhD program. Applicants should also possess strong analytical skills, a good background in economics and mathematics and a serious commitment to research and/or advanced analysis. Please note: Applicants to the PhD program do not need to hold a master's degree. 
  • The department prefers to accept Economics majors with a strong undergraduate record and a robust quantitative background. Exceptions can be made for those who demonstrate strong quantitative skills despite minimal exposure to economics. On occasion, the department admits applicants who have majored in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, etc. At a minimum, applicants should be familiar with the undergraduate course content of intermediate macro-and microeconomic theory and with statistics.
  • A one-year course in calculus is recommended. For the MS or PhD degree, the department recommends familiarity with multi-variate calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability theory and real analysis.
  • Familiarity with computer programming with MATLAB and SAS is highly valuable but not essential for admission.

Application Deadlines

All deadlines are for the following Fall Semester. 

PhD Applicants

Domestic Applicants: May 1 (Rolling admissions for U.S. applicants continue until Aug. 15)

International Applicants: March 1

The PhD program admits approx. 9-14 students each fall. To be considered for funding, all PhD applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their completed application by Feb. 1. 

Master's Applicants

Applications to the master's program are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants may apply as much as one year in advance. 

The master's program admits approx. 30-40 students each fall. 

All international applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to allow time for the Student Visa process. This process can take anywhere from one to four months, depending on the country of origin. Please submit applications materials as early as possible. 

How to Apply

Applicants should apply to their degree of interest online. Further instructions will be included in the online application. 

Applicants to either master's tracks who reside in New York State are eligible to apply for a Master's Application Fee Waiver courtesy of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, provided they have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and meet the admissions deadlines.

Supplemental Materials

  • Statement of Purpose
    PhD applicants should upload a Statement of Purpose detailing why they wish to pursue Economics study at UB. Further instructions are included in the online application. (A Statement of Purpose is optional for Master's applicants.)
  • Curriculum Vitae
    PhD applicants should upload a current Curriculum Vitae (CV). (A CV is optional for Master's applicants.)
  • Academic Transcripts
    All applicants must upload an unofficial or official transcript or academic record for each institution indicated in the Educational Background section of the online application, even if a degree was not granted. These documents must be uploaded before the application is submitted. If an applicant applies before they have completed an undergraduate degree, transcripts and degree conferral certificates/proof of degree will be required as soon as they become available or upon arrival on campus. Admission will be considered “provisional” until the department receives the final official transcript and proof of degree.
    • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. If possible, ensure the institution has put the applicant's name on the transcript/record. Do not mail in a copy of a transcript or academic record which has been uploaded to the online application, unless requested.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    The online form will ask PhD applicants to submit names of their recommenders, who will then be prompted to submit recommendations through the online system. (Letters of Recommendation are optional for Master's applicants.)
  • General Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    The department requires all applicants to take the general GRE for admission consideration. (Subject tests are not required.) The exam must be taken within two years from the time an applicant wants to begin either the Master's or Phd program. (For example, applicants applying for Fall 2018 admission should submit scores no older than June 2016.) There are no exceptions or waivers. On test day, please make arrangements to submit official scores to the University at Buffalo. University at Buffalo code: 2925. Department of Economics code: 1801.
  • English Proficiency Exams (International Students Only)
    In addition to meeting the standard academic criteria for the program, international applicants must also demonstrate English proficiency. The department accepts the following exams:
Exam Minimum Required Score
TOEFL (IBT) 79
TOEFL (PBT) 550
IELTS 6.5 (no sub-score below 6.0)
PTE Academic 55 (no sub-section score below 50)
Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) Old scale: 60; New scale: 185
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) Old scale: 65; New scale: 185

Exams must be taken within two years from the time an applicant wants to begin either the Master's or Phd program. (For example, applicants applying for Fall 2018 admission should submit scores no older than June 2016.)  Exceptions or waivers are determined by the UB Graduate School. Students may also petition for a waiver based on previous scores. On test day, please make arrangements to submit official scores to the University at Buffalo. University at Buffalo code: 2925. Department of Economics code: 1801

Contact Us

With questions about the graduate application process, please contact Jameson Yu, assistant director to the graduate programs in Economics: