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Admission

The admission decision for the Ph.D. program is a rigorous process in which candidates are evaluated on the basis of previous academic work, scores on admissions tests, letters of reference, statement of purpose and other factors. Applicants are encouraged to visit the department and meet with the faculty.

Application for admission to the doctoral program in finance may be made for the upcoming fall semester. All application materials should be received by the Graduate School by January 15. The program committee will begin reviewing files after that date and admission decisions are usually made by mid-March. 

Application Materials:

GMAT/GRE and GPA requirements: The Department ordinarily requires that the candidate take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), but if a candidate has not taken the GMAT but has taken the GRE, the Department will accept the GRE. Since most of our applicants and current students have taken the GMAT, students who have not taken either test are highly encouraged to take the GMAT as it is easier for us to compare students, and this is likely to improve the applicant's chance of admission.

Students recently admitted to the program have an average GMAT over 700 and a masters grade point average of typically greater than 3.5. The average age is 27.

The committee places a heavy emphasis on the applicant's training in quantitative methods needed for graduate level economics and quantitative courses in the first year. Students currently in the program scored an average of the 94th percentile on the quantitative portion of the GMAT or GRE.

TOEFL requirement: We take in students from all over the world and have a diverse program representation. Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 100 for the iBT version of TOEFL is required. This requirement, however, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for meeting the expectations of the faculty with respect to a candidate's command of written and spoken English. Non-native English speaking applicants can expect to have at least a telephone interview. A degree from an English-language university is considered an acceptable substitute for TOEFL but does not assure that language will not be a factor in an admission decision.

All scores (GMAT/GRE, TOEFL) must be sent directly by the examination service to Virginia Tech. Unless specifically requested, copies of scores are not accepted. (Institutional code for reporting of scores is: 5859).

Recommendation Letters: We highly recommend letters from individuals who have a strong track record of publication.

Statement of Purpose: A good indicator of success in research is self-motivated interest.  Thus, you should provide a clean and compelling purpose for pursuing a PhD degree.  Clarifying your research areas and specific research questions you are interested in may facilitate our decision-making on potential admission.