Application Guidelines

The deadline to submit your application is December 15, 2023.

For all applicants who wish to be considered for a fellowship, must submit an application by December 15, 2023. 

The University requires that applicants utilize CollegeNet, a web-based electronic application. The advantages to using the on-line application are numerous. You may access your application any number of times until you submit the application to us, and once your application has been submitted, you yourself will be able to check its status and note the receipt of supporting documentation. Applicants can avoid costly long-distance calls. In CollegeNet an applicant can upload all the required documents onto the system.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will now accept an uploaded copy of your unofficial transcript(s) to your on-line application for review purposes. You will only need to mail an official copy directly from your institute if you are accepted to our program. Upon acceptance into our program you must make arrangements to mail the transcripts directly to the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Division, School of Arts and Sciences, 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 322A, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228. Finally, a writing sample is not required, however there is now room for applicants to upload a copy of their writing sample. If you find there is not enough room to upload the writing sample, then you can email it separately to Gina Conway at

For applications fees please check the last information here

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, special instructions apply to you.

  • Applicants from outside the United States should use CollegeNet (electronic application) to expedite the application process.
  • International applicants may pay the application fee by using a MasterCard or Visa credit card. You will see this option in the "CollegeNet" on-line application. If the student wishes to pay by check, then they must send an international postal money order as payment of the application fee. Checks drawn on a foreign bank will be returned and the processing of the application will be delayed. We regret that application fee waivers are not available.
  • International students must submit a TOEFL score unless they have or will receive an undergraduate degree from a college/university in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or Ireland or they have completed, at the time of application, four semesters of graduate study at an institution in the above-mentioned countries.  Admissions Information to the Ph.D. Program in Economics
  • The Office of the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences will provide International Student and Scholar Services (Penn Global) with a list of all international students who have been accepted into the Penn Ph.D. program and who have agreed to join the program, in order that they can provide you with the necessary information to begin the visa process.

PLEASE NOTE:  International students are NOT required to mail official copies of transcripts for evaluation purposes. This should only be done in the event that you are accepted and accept our offer of admission. We accept unofficial copies uploaded to your application. We are aware that the application indicates "official copies are required." Please ignore!

These scores are now received electronically from the testing services. Please use the following codes to identify you as a Penn applicant.

  • The Institution Code for the GRE is 2926. The Economics Department code is 1801.
  • The Institution Code for the TOEFL is 2926. The Economics Department code is 84. Use of the "department code" is no longer critical; we will be able to find your scores by your last name and birthdate.

In the personal statement, all Ph.D. applications within the Graduate Division of Arts & Sciences should address the following: Please describe how your background and academic experiences have influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree and led you to apply to Penn. Your essay should detail your specific research interests and intellectual goals within your chosen field. Please provide information about your educational trajectory, intellectual curiosity and academic ambitions. If you have overcome adversity and/or experienced limited access to resources or opportunities in your field of study, please feel free to share how that has affected the course of your education. We are interested in your lived experiences and how your particular perspective might contribute to the inclusive and dynamic learning community that Penn values and strives to create.

In the Economics Graduate Group, we also ask that applicants discuss their relevant research experience, if any, that make Penn Economics a good fit for what you would like to accomplish in your PhD. Your statement can include specific fields of interests and specific faculty members that you think could be potential advisors.