Everything You Need To Know

Frequently Asked Questions

Qualifications and General Questions

What type of individuals study for the Ph.D.?
The Stern Ph.D. Program seeks to admit students from a diverse range of backgrounds and who have a passion to learn and ask interesting questions, who demonstrate a high level of academic ability, and exhibit the motivation to develop into top quality researchers.

Do you have a part-time program?
We do not have a part-time Ph.D. program. Doctoral students must enroll on a full-time basis and may not hold outside employment. Students must also be in residence for the duration of the program.

How long does the Ph.D. program normally take to complete?
The program typically takes five years to complete.

Will a prior master's degree or MBA reduce the time it takes to complete the Ph.D. program?
Generally not. MBA/masters coursework does not overlap with our Ph.D. courses. However, masters coursework could fulfill some electives a student would need to take. The time it takes to complete a Ph.D. is determined less by completing coursework than by completing the dissertation.

Can I get an MBA while I'm doing my Ph.D.?
No. The Ph.D. and MBA curricula are entirely different and Ph.D. students may not pursue an MBA degree at the same time.

Do I need a Master's degree or prior work experience?
A Master's degree is not a requirement for admission. Students who will have earned a bachelor's degree by the time of Fall semester enrollment may apply. Previous work experience is also not a requirement for admission.

Do I need to satisfy any prerequisites?
All applicants are expected to satisfy prerequisite coursework, including calculus, matrix/linear algebra, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and probability and statistics. In some departments, a course in psychology is also recommended. Applicants must include proof of completion for prerequisite coursework in their application (e.g. through transcripts or certificates). Applicants may receive a pending acceptance prior to the completion of all prerequisites, however, it is expected that the outstanding courses will be completed prior to matriculation. Applicants should satisfy their prerequisites at any regionally accredited college or university that offers the course needed. Online courses will also be accepted, as long as the college or university that is offering the course is accredited by a regional accrediting agency.

Financial Aid

How much does the program cost?
All admitted students who are not funded elsewhere receive a full tuition scholarship, health insurance and a living stipend, for up to five years. Students are only responsible for paying a small portion of their registration fees (currently $275 per semester). Funding is guaranteed for five years provided that the student is in good standing. There is no separate application for financial aid.

Do Ph.D. students have to work to earn a living stipend?
Our living stipend is provided in the form of a fellowship. Students are not expected to secure jobs as teaching assistants or research assistants. However, all students are required to teach one Stern undergraduate class in their fourth year, and some may need to teach again in the fifth year, as part of their funding package. The main criteria for receiving a fellowship is meeting all program requirements and maintaining good academic standing.

Admissions Process

When should I apply?
All application materials are to be submitted through our online application unless otherwise indicated, by our December 31 deadline.

When are admissions decisions made?
We make admissions decisions starting in late February through mid April.

Does every department accept new students each year?
Yes. Each area of study – accounting, economics, finance, information systems, management, marketing, operations management, and statistics – looks to enroll new students each year.

How many people apply, and how many people get in?
We receive anywhere from 900-1300 applications a year, across all areas combined. We admit approximately 50 applicants, and, on average, enroll 20-24 new students each year.

Do you accept transfer Ph.D. students?
Yes. Transfer applicants should apply the same way as other applicants. If you are admitted, depending on your prior coursework, you may be waived out of some courses and the time to complete Stern's Ph.D. program could be reduced. Transfer students must take Stern's comprehensive exams.

Do I need to find a faculty adviser in order to apply?
No. Admission decisions are made by departmental faculty committees and the Doctoral Office based on applicants' potential for academic success and research potential in their field of study. Admission decisions are not made based on fit with one particular professor but rather with the department as a whole. Students work with several different professors on research for the first few years and select an adviser around the third year.

Is the admission process any different for international students?
The admission process is the same for international applicants and U.S. applicants. The only exception is that international students whose native language is not English must also submit the TOEFL score. Our current students come from over 20 different countries. We sponsor international students on the F-1 or J-1 visa after a student has been admitted to our program.

How can I waive the TOEFL requirement?
Please refer to our admissions instructions regarding TOEFL waivers.

How do I re-apply?
People who applied in the past and wish to re-apply should submit an entirely new application, along with supporting documents. Please note that applicants may apply a maximum of three times to the Stern Ph.D. Program.

Can I request feedback on my application if I do not receive an offer of admission?
No. The admission committee cannot offer individual feedback on application decisions.

How much is the application fee? Can the fee be waived?
Our application fee is $100 and is paid online at the time you submit an application.
  • U.S. military members or U.S. veterans who have served active duty are eligible for application fee waivers. Just prior to submitting your application, email your request for an application fee waiver to phd@stern.nyu.edu and include documentation of service.
  • If you are experiencing severe economic hardship and would like to request an application fee waiver, please email phd@stern.nyu.edu. Requests should include a detailed rationale for the application fee waiver and will be considered by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Once an application fee is paid by an applicant, it is non-refundable. Please be sure to contact phd@stern.nyu.edu prior to paying your application fee.

Do you have an interview process?
We do not have a uniform interview process. Some departments may invite finalists for an interview over the phone or in person before making an offer of admission, but this is not always the case. Interviews are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Can I start the program in the spring semester?
We admit for the fall semester only. The application deadline is December 31.

Should I submit the GMAT or GRE?
Either test score is equally fine to submit, except for applications to the Accounting department, which prefers the GMAT. All applicants are required to submit an official GMAT or GRE score report that is less than five years old.

What is the minimum GMAT / GRE requirement?
We do not have a GMAT or GRE cut-off score. Standardized tests are just one of many application components we look at.