Admission is highly competitive. About 20 outstanding students with a potential to distinguish themselves in research enter the doctoral program each autumn.
Reviewers evaluate the applicant’s essays, academic background and performance, research interest and potential, prior exposure to academic research, strength of recommendations, and standardized test scores.
The application deadline is December 15 of each year. The application for Fall 2021 will be available by early September 2020. International applicants are encouraged to submit their information earlier. Applicants will be notified of their admissions decision by email no later than early March. Admitted students enroll the following autumn.
Applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (or expect to receive one by the time they enter the program). Non-US residents should consult the International Applicants page for a list of degrees recognized by the University of Chicago as acceptable equivalents.
GMAT and GRE
Applicants must also complete the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). For most areas of study, applicants may take either the GMAT or GRE. Exceptions are:
- For Economics - GRE is required
- For Finance - GRE is preferred; GMAT is acceptable
- For the Joint Program in Financial Economics - GRE is required
- For the Joint Program in Business and Psychology - GRE is preferred; GMAT is acceptable
Applicants must indicate the correct institution codes when taking the tests to have scores sent directly to the Chicago Booth PhD Program. For the GMAT, the PhD Program institution code is H9X-9F-05. For the GRE, the PhD Program code is 1501. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that test scores are submitted to Chicago Booth's doctoral program before December 15. To meet the application deadline, we recommend applicants take the required tests by early October. GMAT and GRE Scores are valid for five years; older scores will not be considered. Prior coursework or degrees at the graduate level (e.g., MBA or master's degrees) do not exempt you from submitting either the GRE or GMAT as part of your application.
Fluency in English
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of international applicants whose native language is not English. For details on the test and our waiver policy, please see International Applicants information.
Chicago Booth prides itself on a fair and impartial selection process. To find out more, read the Non-discrimination Statement.
Admission to Joint PhD Program in Financial Economics
Admission to the Joint PhD Program in Financial Economics requires admission to both the doctoral program in the Department of Economics and to the doctoral program at Chicago Booth, but interested parties need only apply to one or the other program. Students may enter the joint program at the beginning of their doctoral studies. Those seeking admission to the joint program should apply online to either the PhD program in the Department of Economics or Chicago Booth. The GRE is required for all applicants to this program.
Students enrolled in doctoral studies in either the Department of Economics or Chicago Booth may apply to the joint program at any time within their first two years in residence. Such students will still have to meet all of the requirements of both programs.
Enrollment and financial aid throughout a student's matriculation in the joint program will be administered by either the Division of the Social Sciences or Chicago Booth, as arranged by the two units. This designation will be for administrative purposes only and will not have programmatic implications. If a student's interests change, the director of the PhD Program at Chicago Booth and the dean of students for the social sciences will facilitate transfers out of the joint program and into the doctoral program in economics or business.
Admission to Joint PhD Program in Business and Psychology
Students interested in applying to the Joint Program in Psychology and Business through Chicago Booth should apply online for admission to the behavioral science dissertation area. Once admitted, students seek a faculty research sponsor in the Department of Psychology. After a faculty sponsor in psychology has been identified, admission to the Joint Program is generally automatic. Entry into the Joint Program normally occurs during the first year of study. Applicants should state their interest in the Joint Program as part of the application process so they can be given advice in making the connection to faculty in the Department of Psychology. Although the GRE is preferred for applicants to this program, the GMAT is accepted.
Admissions Policies Relevant to U.S. Military Personnel
A student who is admitted to Chicago Booth who is called to active duty prior to matriculation will be granted a deferral of her/his admission to the following year. Deferrals will be reviewed/extended on an annual basis.
Chicago Booth financial assistance also will be deferred to the following year and reviewed/extended on an annual basis.
The PhD Program at Chicago Booth accepts up to three courses for transfer credits from other approved institutions. These credits can only be used toward the coordinated sequence requirement. The PhD Program does not grant credit for experiential learning or online courses. An evaluated educational plan will be provided after a student is admitted.
Information about readmission, taking a leave of absence, resuming studies, academic grievance policies, and add/drop requirements may be found in the PhD Program Guidebook (PDF).
2019-20 Admitted Student Profile
The average GMAT score of students admitted for Fall 2019 was 753 with an average quantitative score of 49. The average GRE quantitative score was 168 and the average GPA was 3.83. The average age was 24.25, and 54.2 percent of admitted applicants had an advanced degree. Students from 17 countries (including the United States) were offered admission for the 2019-20 academic year.