This economics department page is focused on preparation for academic studies in economics (or closely related disciplines such as finance). Wesleyan’s Gordon Career Center maintains an excellent guide to graduate and professional studies in general, with a particular focus on preparation for non-academic careers. The GCC page will help students who are interested in degrees such as terminal masters degrees, MBAs, and JDs; this page will help only those students who are interested in PhDs.


General advice about graduate studies in economics


Academic research preparation

  • All upper-level electives and Econ 300: have a mandatory substantial research project, which typically is a long research paper.
  • Honors theses: this is an opportunity for students to explore a topic in depth over an extended period of time.
  • Summer: Students may participate in research with professors, not just in economics, through the Quantitative Analysis Center Summer Apprenticeship. Interested students should ask faculty about possible openings in Dec-Feb, and may also want to talk with Professor Kaparakis of the QAC.
  • Academic year: There is no formal listing of such roles. Interested students should ask faculty about opening as far in advance as possible.
  • Post-graduation: PREDOC is the central clearinghouse for pre-doctoral fellowships and the NBER maintains a list of research assistant positions


Math preparation

  • AA guidance on math preparation for graduate studies
  • Wesleyan economics faculty have compiled the following recommendations based on recent alumni who were or were not accepted to PhD programs in economics. We note that some students may be admitted to some graduate programs without these classes but they may then have to play catch-up during the first year of graduate school, a year which is already quite demanding.


WesMaps Course



Very useful


Econ 385





Math 121-122





Math 221 or 223

Vectors and Matrices or Linear Algebra




Math 222

Multivariable Calculus




Math 225

Real Analysis




Math 228

Discrete Mathematics




Math 229

Differential Equations




Math 231





Math 233

Stochastic processes




Math 244





Math 273





Note: each asterisk denotes roughly 3-5 faculty who expressed a particular opinion


Alumni in the profession

This page includes all the alumni whom we know received a masters or PhD in economics (not professional/vocational degrees such as MBAs).

Please notify the department chair or administrative assistant if you know of any omissions.


Programs to support under-represented students

Note: Wesleyan’s Mellon Mays and McNairs programs exclude economics as an eligible field of study.

This is probably a very incomplete list of programs that are operational now. Please notify the department chair or administrative assistant if you know of any omissions.