Interested in our graduate program?

I regularly receive email from prospective graduate students making requests related to our graduate program. Please read through this information before sending an email.

1. I would like more information about the MA program/PhD program.

We have a website with detailed information about our graduate programs. You will find contact information for the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) there for questions that are not answered on the website. Please forward any questions to the DGS. I am not in a position to answer questions about the graduate program.

All admissions decisions are made by a departmental committee after you have submitted a complete application. I am not able to offer you admission or funding. I cannot estimate the likelihood that you will be admitted or given funding.

2. I'm interested in your research. Are you willing to serve as my advisor if I enter the PhD program?

Maybe. Graduate students find an advisor after completing the core theory and econometrics courses. If you pass the qualifying examinations and you still have an interest in my research at that time, let's talk. You really don't know what you want to do until you familiarize yourself with research in different fields of economics. You should choose a graduate program on the overall strength of the department, not based on a desire to work with one faculty member. There is no guarantee that any individual faculty member will even be working at K-State in a couple of years.

Whether I will agree to advise a dissertation depends on several factors:

  • The topic has to be sufficiently close to my areas of expertise.
  • The topic has to be one that interests me.
  • There has to be room in my schedule to properly advise another dissertation. If I overload myself with too many advisees, I will be doing a poor job advising all of them.

3. I'm interested in your research. Will you talk to the admissions committee to tell them to give me admission and funding?

Any information that is relevant to the admissions decision should be included with your application. It will not help your chances of admission to send me an email claiming to be interested in my research. I have never talked to the admissions committee about an applicant after receiving an unsolicited email.

4. I'm interested in your research. Will you hire me to work in your research lab/research group?

Admission and funding decisions are made at the department level. I do not have a research lab or a research group, and I do not hire research assistants using grant money. You may be looking for the College of Engineering instead.

If you are sending an email asking this question to a faculty member in a U.S. economics department, and I receive many such inquiries each year, I strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with PhD programs in economics in the United States. You clearly have a background in engineering or science, and are assuming economics is the same. That is almost certain to make it harder for you to get admitted with funding. I would definitely be more skeptical of an applicant that did not appear to have any familiarity with U.S. economics departments. You might want to read through this guide to get some background.

Last Update: 2016/03/31