skip navigation

Funding Notes

Aid renewal is not guaranteed. Aid renewal eligibility extends to the end of the fourth year of the program. Assistantships are awarded through a competitive process which seeks to support students entering the program and continuing students most likely to complete successfully our PhD program. All aid is subject to the availability of university funding.

For the purposes of consideration for renewal of financial aid, all PhD-level courses given in the Economics Department will be included in the calculation of GPA, while all language instruction courses will be excluded. Inclusion of other courses in the calculation of GPA for the purpose of awarding financial aid will be at the discretion of the Economics faculty or its designee, the Graduate Studies Committee.

Any students taking a larger number of courses will not be prioritized over students taking fewer, as long as the latter take at least 19 units of credit in their first year and at least 18 units thereafter.

All international students are strongly encouraged to take the SPEAK test. Students on or seeking financial aid must pass the SPEAK test by the end of May in their second year in the program in order to be eligible for continued or new financial aid consideration.


Eligibility for a student entering the second year depends substantially upon performance in the courses taken in the first year of the program, with a 3.5 grade point average (G.P.A.) in course work as the reference point.

Eligibility for a student entering the third year depends substantially upon performance in first-year and second-year courses and passing of preliminary examinations. Again, a 3.5 G.P.A. is the reference point for course grades.

Eligibility for a student entering the fourth year depends substantially upon grades, performance in preliminary and field examinations, selection of a dissertation committee, completion of an acceptable thesis proposal and a satisfactory presentation of a paper on the dissertation topic.

Other Funding Questions

I am an international student and wish to apply for an assistantship. I have no other sources of funds. What shall I do in such a case?

  • All PhD applicants, domestic and international, are considered for admission with aid so long as they meet the February 1st deadline to submit application materials.

Do you have any special forms to apply for financial aid?

  • There is no special form. All applicants who meet the February 1st deadline are automatically considered for merit-based financial aid

I would like to know my possibilities of getting full financial aid (in the form of teaching or research assistantship) in your university because without full financial aid, it is absolutely not possible for me to pursue graduate studies.

  • It is difficult to assess your chances of aid since it is given on a competitive basis. All applications must be formally reviewed before a decision can be made. Please note that there isn’t minimum criteria for admission consideration. Admission and Funding decisions are made based on the applicant pool we receive each year.

How many offers of financial aid do you plan to give?

  • We offer approximately 8-10 first year students financial aid each year.

Is the financial assistantship adequate to support my education?

  • Financial assistantships cover all education-related costs including stipend and tuition. This amount is enough to cover yearly expenses. However, this will depend on your personal living arrangement and living style.

How much is tuition?

  • Up-to-date tuition costs and fees can be found at the UB Student Accounts website.

Do you give financial aid to international students?

  • Financial aid is given regardless of the applicant’s nationality and on a competitive basis.

How do the living expenses in Buffalo compare with those in other cities?

  • Expenses in Buffalo are lower than several other cities in the U.S. where you can enroll into a Ph.D. program in economics. For a comparative view, visit here.

Are there other webpages that can give me more information about funding?

  • Please see UB’s listing of other scholarships and fellowships.