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Please read through this AND our FAQ page carefully before contacting the department with questions. We are using a new online application system and have some new policies in place so information here may change as we learn more about the system and hear from applicants.

Steps in the Admission Process  

Complete instructions for applying to any UH graduate program can be found here :

Apply Online

Information about our online application process can be found at UH Graduate School Application. Follow all instructions at  to fill out an online application. In addition, be sure to list your three recommenders names and email addresses on the online application.  They will be contacted directly by and asked to upload their letters of recommendation to ApplyWeb

Please make sure that you apply for the correct program and the correct term. In addition, it is very important that you list a currently active email address that you check regularly. We will use the email address that you list on your application to communicate with you.

The application for the Ph.D. “Economics” program is available ONLY under the FALL term. Make sure to use that application if a Ph.D. is your ultimate goal. Students applying to the Masters in Applied Economics program should select the “Applied Economics” application. The application for the M.A. Applied program is also available ONLY under the FALL term.

Note that the Ph.D. Economics and M.A. Applied Economics are completely separate. Admission into one program does not imply admission to the other. In addition, courses from one program will not be transferable to the other program.

If you are interested in applying for both programs, you must must complete 2 applications.

Submit Your Application Materials

You will be asked to submit the following documents.

Application Fee

Currently, there is a $50 application fee for domestic students.  The fee for International Students is $80. Do NOT send any money to the department. This fee needs to be paid at the time of submitting the CollegeNet/Applyweb application. If you are an International student, please follow the instructions on the Graduate School’s International Admissions page. All applicants must pay the required application fees at the time of submission of the CollegeNet application. Without the payment of fees, it will not be possible to successfully submit the application. You may find more information regarding fees here:

Official Transcripts

Applicants may wait until they are accepted to our programs before they submit official transcripts.  Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to the ApplyWeb application.  These transcripts must reflect at least the last 60 semester credit hours of course work or the equivalent. Evidence of award of degree, if applicable, must be reflected as well.

Once accepted, final official transcripts should be sent electronically.  If the institution does not allow for electronically-formatted requests, one official transcript from each institution previously attended is required. Official Transcripts must be sent in a sealed, signed envelope directly to:

Regular Mail Address Express Mail Address
University of Houston
Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 3947
Houston, Texas 77253-3947
University of Houston
Graduate Admissions
4302 University Dr. Room 102
Houston, Texas 77204-2012

Test Scores

For PhD admission for Fall 2024, submission of GRE score is optional, but recommended.

For MA Applied Economics admission submission of GRE score is optional.  The GRE may be helpful for applicants with weaknesses in other areas, but is not required for the application to be considered complete.

You should arrange to have ETS send score reports of GRE and TOEFL scores directly to the University of Houston. The University does accept GRE at home [see] and TOEFL [] at home submissions. The institution code for the University of Houston is 6870. The GRE is required for all Ph.D. program applicants and cannot be waived.  The department will not accept the GMAT. TOEFL can be waived for foreign students who have a degree from a U.S. university. Check the FAQs for more details.

Reference Letters

References should be from individuals who can describe your aptitude and potential for graduate study based on their knowledge of your work.  Three (3) letters of reference are required.  At least one (two preferred) letter must be from a faculty member at the university you last attended or are currently attending.  The online application will request 3 email addresses for these recommenders and you will be required to supply them in order to submit the application.  Once the application is submitted, the system will automatically generate an email request for your recommendations. 

Personal Statement

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement. Your statement should be 1-2 pages and include information regarding your career plans and explanation of why you feel the program will help you achieve your goals.  Feel free to include any other information that you think will be helpful to the admissions committee. 


Applicants are required to submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.

Additional Materials

Unofficial transcript copies can be uploaded as a PDF file.   Please be advised, copies of transcripts are unofficial and official transcripts are required upon admission.  If a degree has not yet been completed at the time of application, we ask that the applicant upload an unofficial transcript copy.  If admitted to the program, the applicant will be required to submit all official transcripts in order to fully complete the process.  

International Applicant Documents.  In addition to the above documents, International applicants are required to present the following :

  • Evidence of satisfactory English Proficiency on the TOEFL or IELTS standardized exams as required by your graduate program.
  • If admitted to the program, International Students on student visas will be required to present the following. I-20s cannot be issued until all of these documents have been uploaded so it is to your benefit to have them ready.


Ph.D. Program – The department only accepts applications for the Fall semester. The department does not admit new students in the spring or summer sessions. The deadline to be considered for fall admission and graduate assistantship is JANUARY 15. There is no separate form to be considered for an assistantship; it is automatic as long as your application materials are received by JANUARY 15.

M.A. in Applied Economics Program – This degree is not part of the Ph.D. program. If your goal is a Ph.D. in Economics, be sure to apply for that program. Courses in the M.A. in Applied Economics program are not transferrable to the Ph.D. program (and vice versa).

The department only accepts applications for the M.A. in Applied Economics for the Fall semester. The department does not admit new students in the spring or summer sessions. The department will begin reviewing completed application packages on February 1 with a final application deadline of June 1 (domestic) and May 1 (for international applicants). Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis, so getting your application materials in early benefits you!  Please be aware that space is limited. Submitting your application materials early will increase your chances of acceptance.  

Please note that M.A. Applied Economics candidates are not eligible for fellowships or assistantships. There are funds available for Texas residents with financial need through the "Graduate School Fund".  You may find more information here:  All you need to do is fill out FAFSA by the listed deadline and ACCEPT any offer of admission by 4/15.  Most students who submitted FAFSA typically qualified for $6500-7500/yr from this fund.

In addition, there are a small number of $1000 annual masters program scholarships available to highly-qualified applicants. Selection criteria include quality of previous academic record, GRE scores (if submitted), and potential for excellence in the field. These will be awarded on a rolling basis.  There is no need to submit additional materials, but due to the limited quantity the odds of obtaining one will be higher the earlier the application is submitted.

Verification of Receipt of Materials

Please do not contact the department to ask if your materials have been received. If you are having problems with the online process, you should contact the ApplyWeb (CollegeNet) Help Desk.

Admissions Decisions

Ph.D. Economics Program The department Ph.D. program admissions committee begins review of applications in mid-February. Students being offered department assistantships will be contacted by email from early-March to mid-April. Once decisions have been reached on all other applicants, official admission (or rejection) letters from the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will be processed.

M.A. Applied Economics Program - The department M.A. Applied Economics admissions committee begins review of applications in mid-March. Students will be contacted by email once a decision has been made. Decisions will continue to be made in this manner through the summer. Applicants may receive decision notification as early as March. Conversely, applicants who are wait-listed may receive a decision notification as late as July.  All masters applications submitted will be considered for one of our limited $1000 annual scholarships, but applying early (typically by early March) will increase your chances of obtaining an award.