In order to answer as many inquiries as possible in a simple and consistent manner,
here is a list of the most common questions asked along with specific answers.
Can you tell me whether I will get accepted with financial aid?
No, we enter a small number of students each year, so we cannot predict who will
receive financial aid until we have our entire pool of applicants. In addition, we
evaluate the entire application. We do not make decisions based on limited information.
Do you offer a terminal Master's degree?
No. Students from outside UNL are only admitted to the Option III, Ph.D. leading program.
We do not have separate Masters level coursework.
Is there a form for letters of recommendation?
All letters of recommendation must be submitted on-line through the graduate application system.
Can I apply to the doctoral program directly from my undergraduate degree?
Yes. Well qualified students with a 4 year undergraduate degree are encouraged to
apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
For criteria used by our graduate school to evaluate international degrees, see
more information on the UNL Graduate Studies website.
What is the duration of the doctoral program?
The doctoral program is designed to take 4 to 5 years to complete. The typical student
has finished coursework and begun dissertation work during the third year of the
What percentage of your students are international students?
It varies from year to year, but generally between 40% and 60% of our students in
residence are international students.
Do you admit international students?
Yes. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age,
disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national or ethnic
origin, or sexual orientation.
UNL's Office of Graduate Studies Prospective Student Financial Information page
for up to date information on costs.
The department awards three to four assistantships to new students each year. These
appointments are either teaching or research assistantships and carry stipends that
are competitive with those offered by other graduate institutions. Assistantships
provide a full tuition waiver, stipend for up to four years and medical insurance.
We cannot waive tuition for those students not on assistantship. A limited number
of fellowships allow domestic out-of-state students to obtain reduced tuition rates.
Typically 70–80 percent of our new, first-year Ph.D. students receive assistantship
funding. Plus we typically fund all continuing students making good progress up
through the 4th year of the program.
All applicants are considered for assistantships. No separate application for financial
aid is required.
The application fee cannot be waived.
Yes, we consider both M.A. and Ph.D. applicants but give strong preference to Ph.D. applicants.
We are typically able to offer funding to three or four incoming students each year,
but the number varies.
We offer only teaching assistantships through the Economics Department and research
assistantships through the Bureau of Business Research. Teaching assistants will
be required to work, typically assisting professors in the first year and then teaching
classes in subsequent years. Research assistants will work on research contracts
generated by the BBR.
Typically, our incoming Ph.D. students selected for assistantships have verbal scores above
the 70th percentile, quantitative scores above the 80th percentile, and a writing score of
at least 4. These scores should not be interpreted sufficient for financial aid. Again, we
evaluate the entire application.
No, you do not need to submit a TSE score for admission. However, students on assistantship
are not allowed to teach until they have met an English speaking proficiency requirement.
There are a number of alternatives. We accept the oral score on the IELTS exam.
We can also substitute a personal interview or a video recording demonstrating your
oral command of the English language.
Our assistantships provide a full tuition waiver (for up to 12 credit hours of coursework
each fall and spring semester) and pay a competitive stipend. The assistantship
award stipend is more than sufficient to cover on-campus living expenses. In addition,
the Department often has funding for summer research or teaching. All students are
responsible for paying some fees, however. All students are responsible for paying some
fees, however, for current estimates of fees see
Yes, students holding eligible assistantships are provided basic individual student
health insurance coverage at minimal cost to the student. The student health insurance
plan covers accidents and illnesses to a maximum of $50,000 per policy year. Visit the
StudentBlue Health Insurance page
for more information
Ph.D. students are expected to have adequate backgrounds in economics and mathematics.
We require economics through at least intermediate micro and macro economics. We
require a full calculus background. In addition, a course in linear (matrix) algebra,
mathematical statistics and differential equations is highly recommended.
The department does not employ a rigid formula for admission. There is no minimum
score requirement for the GRE, although we do expect applicants to perform well.
The GRE cannot be waived.
No. We do not require the Economics subject test.
Due to the small class size, for reasons of confidentiality, we do not release that
No. The department does not employ a rigid GPA requirement for admission, although
we do expect applicants to have performed well in relevant coursework.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) will report scores for up to 5 years. Because
that's as long as we are able to receive official score reports, your GRE scores
are accepted for five years.
The minimum TOEFL score required is 550 (paper version), 213 (computer-based test)
or 80 (iBT test) or 6.5 on the IELTS. There are no sub-score requirements. The institution
code for the TOEFL is 6877.
The official UNL policy on TOEFL scores is that the exam date must be within two
calendar years of the term of enrollment.