Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship

The WashU Olin Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows program is a non-degree program intended to prepare select students to apply to PhD programs in business.

Opportunities for Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows include the following:

  • Taking doctoral-level courses in business, economics, statistics, math, or related fields
  • Working closely with faculty on mentored research experiences
  • Attending research seminars

The program seeks to promote a diverse, scholarly environment. It is designed for individuals wanting to gain necessary training and experience toward a career in academic research before applying to a PhD program in business or a related field. Fellows receive exposure to the various fields of study at WashU Olin, including accounting, business economics, finance, marketing, operations & manufacturing management, organizational behavior, and strategy.

The program will be quantitatively focused but individually designed to fit each fellow’s background. Over the course of the program, each fellow should gain a thorough grounding in calculus, matrix algebra, basic and intermediate statistics, and basic and intermediate economics. Fellows will also have the opportunity to assist faculty with research to become familiar with what research involves. Pre-Doctoral Fellows will enroll in up to 9 credits of course work per semester.

Pre-Doctoral Program Summary

The WashU Olin Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program is a one-year, full-time program. Fellows will begin their program in July. The fellowship offers tuition and a living stipend ($29,000 for 2023-24). As non-matriculated, non-degree students at Washington University in St. Louis, Fellows have access to the rich resources that the university offers. Fellows will be provided with a workspace that is co-located with WashU Olin PhD students.

Fellows are expected to fully participate in the intellectual life at WashU Olin and the university.

Research Assistantship

Olin faculty conduct research on a wide variety of topics. Fellows participate in research projects and assist with research papers initiated by Olin faculty members. Projects are assigned based on interest and faculty/project availability. Fellows can expect to work closely with Olin faculty members and receive individual instruction on the techniques required.


Fellows may take up to 9 credits of doctoral-level courses in business, economics, statistics, math, or another related field each semester. Course selection is made in consultation with faculty.


Fellows are expected to attend department seminars. Faculty members, doctoral students, and visiting speakers may present at these sessions, which consist of an interchange of research ideas.


This is a full-time, in-residence, non-degree program. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (or complete one by the time the program starts) and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to apply.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The university does not discriminate regarding access to or treatment or employment in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability, or genetic information.

High GMAT/GRE Test Score: Although there is no minimum score requirement, a good performance is weighted by the Admissions Committee. Successful applicants tend to have overall scores in the 90th percentile or higher. The GMAT institution code for the Olin PhD in Business is R4T-WG-45. The GRE institution code is 6929.

Letters of Recommendation: We require two letters of recommendation. Recommenders may be either academic or professional; however, considerable weight is given to letters of recommendation from faculty members that highlight a candidate's research potential, past academic achievements, and commitment to scholarly endeavor. Letters of recommendation are submitted online; we do not accept paper letters of recommendation. If this presents a problem, please contact us.

Statement of Purpose: The applicant's statement of purpose should include details regarding why they want to pursue an academic career, any experience they have conducting or assisting with any research or teaching activities, and their own evaluations of their strengths and weaknesses as related to their pursuit of the Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows program.

Curriculum Vitae: All applicants are required to upload a copy of their CV or résumé as part of the application process.

Transcripts: Applicants will need to upload unofficial transcripts from each college-level institution attended. Scanned copies of transcripts may be too dark and difficult to read, so scanner settings should be adjusted accordingly. Photographs of transcripts are not acceptable. If the transcript is in a language other than English, applicants must provide an official translation issued by the university or by a certified member of the American Translators Association. Applicants who have already graduated must show a transcript with the degree and the date it was conferred, unless a copy of their diploma/degree certificate is required. Official transcripts of all college-level work must be submitted to the program office upon admission to Olin Business School. Updates to transcripts after applications are submitted are not necessary and will not be uploaded by Olin.

To Apply

Please visit the Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program page on the Olin Business School website for application information. 

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