FAQ For Prospective Students

PREPARING FOR ADMISSION

Do I need a college degree to apply to the program?

I earned a 3-year Bachelor's degree from India or Pakistan.  Am I eligible to apply?

Do I need to have a degree in economics to study for the applied economics master’s degree?

What are the minimum math requirements for entering students?

What are the minimum economics requirements for entering students?

Does the program require the GRE?

Does the program require a minimum GPA?

How many letters of recommendation must I submit and who can submit them?

Do I need to submit a personal statement and a resume?

Are there any exceptions to the admissions requirements?

Will you assess my likelihood of being admitted or of receiving financial support if I send you detailed information about myself?

Do you admit part-time students?

Is it possible to work while I study?

What are the admissions procedures for the PhD in Applied Economics?

 

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

How do I apply to the program?

Who can I ask questions about the application process, including waiving the TOEFL or application fees?

What is the deadline for submitting my application?

Do you admit students in the fall and in the spring?

How do I apply for financial support (funding)?

I am an international student, what are your English language requirements and what credentials do I need to submit to prove my ability?

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROGRAM

How many students are in your MA program and where do they come from?

Do most students start the program immediately after graduating from college or do they work first?

How would you describe a typical graduate student in Applied Economics?

What is a typical class like?

What are the professors like?

What fields of specialization does the program offer?

How is your program structured?

How many credits do I need to complete the MA?

How long does it take to complete the MA?

What is a full course load?

What courses do students take each semester?

Can students take courses in other departments at the University?

Can students take courses at other universities in the Washington, DC area?

Can I transfer course credits to GW from other graduate programs?

What positions do your graduates obtain?

 

COSTS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

What is the cost of the program?

What sort of financial support (funding) is available for Applied MA students?

How many of your MA students receive financial support from the University?

Does the economics department offer funding for applied economics students?

LIVING IN DC

Where can I find more information about living in Washington, DC?

 

CONTACTS AND MORE INFORMATION

May I visit campus to meet professors and find out more details about GW?

Where and how can I get more information?


PREPARING FOR ADMISSION

Do I need a college degree to apply to the program?

All Applicants to GW graduate programs must hold a 4-year U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent.

I earned a 3-year Bachelor's degree from India or Pakistan.  Am I eligible to apply?

For applicants from India/Pakistan, this is a 4-year (Honours) Bachelor's degree, or a 3-year degree plus a postgraduate diploma or at least one year of Master's study. If you are currently completing only a 3-year Bachelor's degree, you are unfortunately not eligible to apply at this time, but we would welcome your application in the future after you have completed at least one year of graduate-level study.

Do I need to have a degree in economics?

A majority of our students enter the Applied MA program with a degree in economics or in business. Many students, however, have studied other subjects and a large number of students have been working for a few years.  Thus, a degree in economics is not essential to be considered for admission. However, students must have the minimum math and economics coursework described below.

What are the minimum math requirements for entering students?

Students must have earned at least a B- in a college-level calculus course.  AP courses do not qualify as a pre-requisite.  Applicants who don’t meet this prerequisite may meet it by taking a course prior to starting the program.

What are the minimum economics requirements for entering students?

Students must earned at least a B in both introductory microeconomics and in introductory macroeconomics.  Students who did not meet these requirements in their introductory courses but did earn at least a B in intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics will be considered to have met the prerequisites. Applicants who don’t meet this requirement may take courses prior to starting the program.

Do you have minimum GRE scores?

We do not require the GRE.  Applicants may submit their GRE scores if they wish.

Do you have a minimum GPA?

Yes. To be considered for admission to the Applied Economics MA program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

Yes, you should submit two letters of recommendation. These letters can be from a professor or an employer and they should address your ability to succeed in the applied economics master’s program.

Do I need to submit a personal statement and a resume?

Yes, you should submit a 500-word essay explaining why you wish to earn a master’s degree in applied economics.  You should also submit your resume.  You submit all of these items as part of the application process. 

Are there any exceptions to the admissions requirements?

Yes.  Candidates who do not meet the admissions requirements are invited to contact the program Director.  Admissions decisions are based on an applicant’s overall package. For example, grades from college are less important for a student with significant work experience while students who are starting the graduate program immediately after college are not expected to have as strong a resume as students who have been out of college for a few years.

Will you assess my likelihood of being admitted or of receiving financial support if I send you detailed information about myself?

Admissions decisions are made by a committee that meets in the spring to review applications.  As for financial support, we really cannot make valid assessments without looking at the complete pool of applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide early, or pre-application, assessments of an applicant’s likelihood of being admitted or of receiving financial support.

Do you admit part-time students? 

Yes.  Many students continue to work while studying for the Applied MA. We offer most courses in the evening to accommodate such students. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services rules do not allow international students to study on a part-time basis unless they already have special (non- F-1) visas.

What are the admissions procedures for the PhD in Applied Economics?

GW does not offer a PhD in Applied Economics at this time.  The Master's degree in Applied Economics is a terminal degree.  If you would like to study for a PhD in Economics please see the PhD Prospective student FAQ HERE.

 


APPLICATION PROCEDURES

How do I apply to the program?

You submit your application online through the Graduate Application Center.  You can find information on materials that you must submit when applying to the Applied MA program in Economics here.

Please note that you should submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to Columbian College Graduate Admissions and not to the Department of Economics.

Who can I ask questions about the application process?

For any questions about the application process or about the status of your application, please contact Columbian College Graduate Admissions by email at [email protected] or by phone at +1 202-994-6210.

You can view the status of your application online through the Graduate Application Center.

You should address questions about waiving the TOEFL or the application fee to Columbian College Graduate Admissions by email at [email protected] or by phone at +1 202-994-6210.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

You should submit your application by February 1 to be considered for financial awards and by April 1 for regular admission in the fall semester.  You should submit your application by October 1 for admission in the spring semester.

Do you admit students in the fall and spring?

We admit students for both the fall and the spring semester. Because students follow their own course of study, there is no difference between starting in the fall or in the spring semester.

How can I be considered for financial support (funding)?

We automatically consider all applicants for financial support so you do not need to provide a separate application. Funding decisions are merit based. We unfortunately cannot offer funding to a large number of qualified applicants.

For additional information, see the section on “Costs and Financial Support” further below.

I am an international student, what are your English language requirements and what credentials do I need to submit?

Please see the University’s webpage for international applicants

The minimum English language test scores are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual band score below 5.0;
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based
  • PTE Academic of 68

 


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROGRAM

How many students are in your Applied MA program and where do they come from?

We have approximately 20 to 25 new students each semester. Students come from around the world and about half of each class completed their undergraduate studies outside of the United States.

Do most students start the program immediately after graduating from college?

About half of the students start the program immediately after college.  However, many students have a decade or more of work experience.  GW graduates may take advantage of the Grad2Grad program and obtain a tuition discount if they start within a certain time period of earning their degree.

How would you describe a typical graduate student in Applied Economics?

We try to create a study body with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. While the characteristics of each class vary, the group tends to be split evenly between men and women, about 40 percent of students are U.S. citizens, and about 25 to 30 percent have significant work experience.  International students come from all around the world.

How would you describe a typical class?

Professors tend to lecture, review homework, and create discussions in class. Many instructors assign students to study groups so students can benefit from each other’s experiences.

What fields of specialization does your program offer?

We offer a range of fields, including:  behavioral economics, development economics, international trade, international finance, urban and regional economics, labor economics, industrial organization, monetary theory and policy, public finance, and environmental and natural resource economics. 

Affiliated faculty are listed near the bottom of the Department’s faculty webpage.

How is your program structured?

Full-time students generally take three courses each semester and one course in the summer.  Under this plan, students who begin the program in the Fall semester will complete the program in the following Fall semester. Students take 6 core courses and 12 credits of electives (generally 4 courses).  Two electives must be in economics while up to six credits may be taken in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the Graduate School of Business, the Milken Institute School of Public Health, and/or the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Students may take electives in other areas subject to approval by the Program Director.

How many credits are needed to complete the Applied MA?

A total of 30 credits are needed to complete the program.  The six 3-credit core courses (Econ 6300, 6301, 6305, 6374, 6375, and 6376) account for 18 credits.  Students take an additional 12 credits of electives. 

 How long do students take to complete the Applied MA?

Students generally take 3 to 4 semesters to complete the program.

What is a full course load?

A full course load is three 3-credit courses per semester, for a total of 9 credit hours per semester.  Students may enroll for one class if they are in their final semester of studies. 

What courses do students take each semester?

In the first semester, students generally take Mathematical Methods for Economics, Probability and Statistics, and Applied Macroeconomic Theory. Students take Applied Microeconomic Theory, Applied Econometrics, and an elective in the second semester. They take Time Series Analysis and two electives in the third semester. Students may take an elective in the summer or take four courses in one semester.

Can students take courses in other departments at the University?

Students can take relevant courses in other departments at GW with the approval of our Department and of the instructor teaching the course. Many students take courses on Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Trachtenberg School, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Geography Department; others have taken courses in the Statistics and Mathematics Departments.

Can students take courses at other universities in the Washington, DC area?

GW is part of a consortium of universities in the Washington, DC area, which makes it straightforward to take courses at nearby universities. With permission of our Department and of the instructor teaching the course, up to 9 credit hours can be taken at other universities. A number of our students have taken courses at Georgetown and the University of Maryland.

Can course credits be transferred to GW from other graduate programs?

Students may request to transfer up to 7.5  credit hours for graduate coursework in economics taken elsewhere, provided the courses were taken no more than five years prior to admission.

In all cases, a grade of B or better is required in a course for credits to transfer, and the course must qualify as a course suitable for our Applied MA students.  More detail is available in the Graduate Student Handbook

Though transferring the maximum number of credits possible may seem desirable, students, especially students who come in with funding, have found that it may not be. It is best to consult the Director before submitting any request to transfer credits.  

What positions do your graduates get?

We have a strong placement record. Our students obtain positions in academic institutions, international organizations, research institutes, government agencies, and the private sector. 

The Career Services Office maintains an active, formal placement service 

 


COSTS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

What is the cost of attending your program?

Information on tuition, fees, and living expenses can be found here (the Economics Department is in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and the standard graduate tuition credit charge applies). The Applied MA program requires completing 30 credit hours.

What sort of financial support (funding) is available for Applied MA students?

We automatically consider all applicants for financial support, so you do not need to submit a separate application.

Applied Economics MA students are not eligible for graduate teaching assistantships, which are designated for PhD students.  Many students provide tutoring to undergraduate students.

How many of your Applied MA students receive financial support from the University?

Approximately one-quarter to one-half of our students receive at least some financial support from the University. 

Does the economics department offer funding for applied economics students?

Yes, we do.  Our applied economics students can be hired by professors to help with their research or with grading in their courses.  We also have some funding for students who work at an unpaid internship.


LIVING IN DC

Where can I find more information about living in Washington, DC?

The Department’s graduate student association, SAGE, offers a host of useful information on its website about living in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (known as DMV for District, Maryland and Virginia).

 


CONTACTS AND MORE INFORMATION

May I visit campus to meet professors and find out more details about GW?

Yes.  We encourage all admitted students to visit us.  In conjunction with the University’s admitted students day, the Economics Department will hold an open house (or visit day) for admitted students in April and will post the precise date on the Department’s website in March.

Potential applicants should participate in one of the regularly-offered Online Information sessions where the Director of the program will describe the program in detail. Participants will be able to ask questions at the end of the session. Details about the online session and a recording of a previous session are on the Applied Economics web page. For slides from a recent online information session please click here.

Where and how can I get more information?

You should direct any questions about the application process or about the status of your application to Columbian College Graduate Admissions by email at [email protected] or by phone at +1 202-994-6210. You can view the status of your application online through the Graduate Application Center.

If you still have questions about our Applied MA program after reviewing these FAQs and visiting the Applied Economics website, please contact the Director of the Applied Economics MA, Professor Joann Weiner at [email protected].