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The University of Notre Dame Ph.D. in Economics Distinguished faculty • Scholarship that matters • Excellent placement record

Small Classes, Personal Focus

Notre Dame’s graduate program in economics features small class sizes and a high level of collaboration between students and faculty. Students receive substantial attention both in the classroom and at the research stage. As a result, many recent students have graduated with prestigious publications to their names.

“When I came to Notre Dame for a visit as a prospective student, I could tell that the program was collegial and that the faculty were really going to take an interest in me and my research. It was a huge draw for me. While I was a student, faculty were so generous with their time either to talk about class materials, current research projects, or even just to bounce research ideas off of. Now that I’m a faculty member in my own right, I still feel that support and that I was amply prepared to take on the challenges of being a professor”
—Kathryn Wagner, Ph.D. ’15 Assistant Professor of Economics Marquette University
Notre Dame's Ph.D. program provides an academic and professional home for students who want to understand how economics can help make the world a better place. During my first visit to the Department, I saw faculty who engaged with problems that mattered to the global community, graduate students who received unique opportunities to grow and contribute, and an overarching sense of purpose which drove everything forward. It was clear to me then, as now, that Notre Dame would be a special place, and the best fit for my interest and goals.”
— Henry Downes, 2nd year grad student
One of the biggest benefits of Notre Dame’s Economics program is not only the excellence and expertise of the faculty but also its relatively small scale, which allows individual, flexible and customized support. No matter, whether I asked for a field course, or recommendation letters, the faculty and staff were always very supportive. On top of that, the faculty always has an open-door policy to bounce off research ideas or ask questions.”
— Isabel Hanisch, 5th year grad student

Focus on Real-World Relevance

Inspired by the Catholic identity of Notre Dame, the doctoral program in economics blends a rigorous, quantitative, neoclassical-economics focus with special opportunities for students interested in policy-relevant research that contributes to improving the human condition. Prospective students interested in research that addresses real-world problems should find our program especially attractive.

Distinguished Faculty

Notre Dame boasts outstanding faculty. After establishing our Ph.D. program in 2006, the economics faculty has more than tripled, with many genuinely excellent scholars joining the department. We offer fields of concentration in labor economics, public economics, macroeconomics, international economics, and development. Notre Dame economists have published in all major journals in the discipline and are members of editorial boards for a variety of prestigious journals.

Excellent Placement Record

The department has a truly outstanding record of job placement for graduates. All students completing their Ph.D. in recent years have found attractive employment opportunities, including positions in academia (University of Georgia, Colby College), government and public institutions (Federal Reserve Board of Governors, World Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission, IMF), and the private sector (Goldman Sachs, Amazon). Visit for our full placement history.

Strong Support

  • Full funding for at least five years
  • Competitive stipends
  • Funding to support graduate student travel and research
  • Small class sizes and close faculty/student interaction
  • Notre Dame also provides support through well-known institutions, including: Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities – Kellogg Institute for International Studies – The Institute for Educational Initiatives– The Energy Center – The Shaw Center for Children and Families – The Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity