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How to Apply - MRes/PhD Admissions Information

Applications are processed through the Graduate Admissions Office. All applicants are advised to read the 2015 Graduate Prospectus| (for entry in 2015) at the Graduate Admissions| pages.

Entry Requirements

For Entry in 2015

Entry requirements are outlined in the Graduate Prospectus at the Graduate Study| pages both in the Entry Requirements| and in the departmental prospectus pages at Research Programmes: Economics|.

For direct entry to the MRes/PhD programme there is an application deadline of 15 December 2014. Complete applications must be received by the LSE Graduate Admissions Office by 15 December 2014. We will not be able to accept any materials that arrive after the deadline, and only complete applications supplied with all required supporting information by 15 December 2014 will be considered. Admissions decisions will be made by a committee in the Economics Department. Applicants will be informed of the decision during March 2015. If your application is successful, we expect you to let us know by 15 April 2015 whether you are planning to enrol. Programme details can be found in the prospectus at Research Programmes: Economics| and on the Economics Department page about the Research Programmes| in Economics.

Applicants are advised to consider their programme selection carefully. For example, a place on the MSc Economics| or the MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics|, will include a conditional offer of progression to the MRes/PhD, subject to the attainment of a Distinction grade in the MSc. If you are listing an MSc programme as your second choice on your application form see also How to Apply: MSc Admissions|. MSc applications are considered on a rolling basis until the programmes are full.

What should your application include?

Your application (paper or online) should include the following:

  • An application form with a personal statement
  • The appropriate application fee
  • Transcripts
  • A list of all the courses you are taking or will be taking this year under your current degree programme
  • Two academic references
  • GRE scores (see advice below)
  • Evidence of your command of English: if English is not your first language or if the language of instruction of your entire previous degree is not English. See the Information for International Students
  • A research proposal

For a full explanation of what you need to supply, please see How to Apply| and Completing Your Application|.

Our selectors consider your whole application. All the pieces of evidence and information you supply are important. The prospectus| describes the type of academic background and grades we look for in our applicants. We expect high GRE scores but these alone cannot compensate for an insufficient academic background or less than excellent grades. For the content of your personal statement and research proposal, see the online Application Form Guide at How to Apply|. Your research proposal is an indication of your research interests, how you developed and how you intend to pursue them. We recognise that your research interests will continue to develop while you complete our taught courses, so the proposal does not entail a commitment and you will be able to refocus and redefine your proposal later on in the programme before you begin work on the first chapter of your PhD thesis. The admission committee will judge the proposal purely on its potential to produce high quality research, regardless of the field or topic.

Do you need a Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

All applicants must have taken the GRE General Test| and must include the test score with their application. This must show full and percentile scores for all three sections. The test scores should be less than five years old on 1 October 2015. Most successful MRes/PhD applicants have scores of 166/800 or more in the quantitative section.

How to take the GRE test

For details of how to take the test, see the ETS |website. The GRE has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical. High GRE scores, especially in the Quantitative section, will further strengthen a good application. It is essential to familiarise yourself with the format of the test and the type of questions it asks. You are unlikely to score well if you take the test without preparing for it. So it is important to practise answering sample GRE test questions within the time allowed before you take the test. See the section on test preparation on the GRE| website.

Financial aid

For information on potential forms of financial aid from the Department see PhD Costs and Financial Aid|. The Department will consider successful applicants for funding but as we are unable to offer funding to all students, applicants are strongly advised to apply to all potential funding sources. The School's Financial Support Office| webpage has information on sources of funds for prospective graduate students. Admissions decisions are made on the basis of academic merit alone, without any reference to a student's financial situation. Students who are able to fund themselves or succeed in securing a scholarship or sponsorship from any source will be considered for entry to the programme in exactly the same way as students who have no funding in place. The same procedures and standards apply to all students competing for entry.


Students seeking to transfer from PhD programmes at other universities are required to submit an application through the Graduate Admissions Office in the same way as other candidates. Decisions are made on a case by case basis, depending on the design of the programme and the student's academic history and performance. In most cases, students granted transfers from other PhD programmes will be required to enter our MRes/PhD programme from the beginning and complete the taught course elements of the programme before proceeding to PhD registration.

Any questions?

Answers to most questions can be found on the Graduate Admissions| website; please go to the LSE website index for graduate applicants| or the Admissions Enquiries| page. The "How do I...|" page explains, for example, how to amend the information you have supplied, obtain certificates, apply for scholarships or accommodation and carry out the most common tasks and enquiries on line.

To find out the status of your application you should use the Track Your Application| webpage.

For remaining questions please contact the Graduate Admissions Office|.

To email Graduate Admissions you must first try to find the answer to your question by running a search on the Admissions Enquiries| page. You will then be offered the option, via a box at the bottom of the screen (headed 'To send a written enquiry') to email Graduate Admissions direct.

Details of the coursework requirements for the MRes/PhD programme can be found at the Research Programmes| page.

Further information and advice

The administrators for graduate admissions in the Department of Economics are Kathy Watts (Graduate Economics Admissions Manager) and Shubhra Mitra (Graduate Economics Admissions Administrator). If you have a query about our postgraduate economics programmes that is not addressed on the departmental website, contact Kathy and Shubhra|. All enquiries about the application process must be addressed to the School's central Graduate Admissions Office|.

Information for students with disabilities, for international students and on accommodation can be found at Graduate Admissions|.

Applicants may also refer to the Study at LSE| webpage.