Back in May, Noah wrote about the amazingly good deal that is the PhD in economics. Why? Because:
- You get a job.
- You get autonomy.
- You get intellectual fulfillment.
- The risk is low.
- Unlike an MBA, law, or medical degree, you don't have to worry about paying the sticker price for an econ PhD: After the first year, most schools will give you teaching assistant positions that will pay for the next several years of graduate study, and some schools will take care of your tuition and expenses even in the first year.
Of course, such a good deal won't last long now that the story is out, so you need to act fast! Since he wrote his post, Noah has received a large number of emails asking the obvious follow-up question: "How do I get into an econ PhD program?" And Miles has been asked the same thing many times by undergraduates and other students at the University of Michigan. So here, we present together our guide for how to break into the academic Elysium called Econ Ph.D. Land:
(Note: This guide is mainly directed toward native English speakers, or those from countries whose graduate students are typically fluent in English, such as India and most European countries. Almost all highly ranked graduate programs teach economics in English, and we find that students learn the subtle non-mathematical skills in economics better if English is second nature. If your nationality will make admissions committees wonder about your English skills, you can either get your bachelor's degree at a -- possibly foreign -- college or university where almost all classes are taught in English, or you will have to compensate by being better on other dimensions. On the bright side, if you are a native English speaker, or from a country whose graduate students are typically fluent in English, you are already ahead in your quest to get into an economics Ph.D. program.)