Master of Science in Economics

The Master of Science in Economics program requires a combination of specific required course work and electives. For more information on graduate program requirements, please visit our MS requirements page.


Please see the University's required application materials for the graduate program in Economics.

Applications are accepted for fall semester admission only. Please see the Columbian College's list of requirements and deadlines for applying. Additionally, you may refer to the University's Graduate Admissions page for information regarding application deadlines and fees (note that while there is a school-wide deadline, the department will review late MS applications space-available basis). The deadline for applications is March 1.

All applicants should have solid training in calculus and in intermediate microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Applicants who have taken multivariate calculus and Linear algebra are strongly preferred.  Please note that the Economics Department requires two and prefers three recommendation letters from Master's candidates.

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants; no Subject Test is necessary. The GMAT may not be substituted for the GRE.

All students who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency by submitting an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score.  English language test scores may not be more than two years old from the time you apply.  More information on the CCAS language proficiency requirements can be found here. The minimum scores for admission consideration are:

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

All applicants for graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) must submit official scores from the TOEFL or academic IELTS. The minimum scores required to be considered for a GTA are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based.

For more information about the University's guidelines for English Language Requirements, visit the Columbian College's page on English Language Requirements for graduate students. International applicants should also refer to the University's International Admissions Guidelines.

Apply online! Please note that all application materials, including transcripts, should be submitted directly to Columbian College Graduate Admissions.

For questions about admissions requirements or the status of your application, please Contact Columbian College Graduate Admissions at or call 202-994-6210. If you applied online, you may also check the status of your application through the online application program.

Financial Aid

All degree candidates may apply for financial aid, but awards go to students in the Ph.D program, where they are awarded on the basis of merit. Most aid is in the form of teaching assistantships, which includes a stipend plus tuition. Some endowed fellowships and University fellowship aid are also available. There are opportunities for research assistantships either on campus or with the many economic research institutions adjacent to campus. For more information on available aid and application procedures, please go to the University's Graduate Admissions Funding and Resources page or contact the Office of Student Assistantships and Fellowships.

Cost of Study

See the university's information about tuition costs and other expenses and fees, as well as opportunities for funding your graduate education.


The Foggy Bottom area of Washington, DC is a diverse neighborhood, where fashionable residences share the surroundings with the Department of State, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Trade Commission, the Urban Institute, the Office of Management and Budget, and the George Washington University. The University is within easy walking distance of the Mall and many cultural facilities. For more information on getting to and around D.C. see our D.C. Transportation page.

Living and Housing Costs

There is limited space for graduate students in University-owned apartment buildings. For more information about on-campus graduate housing check out GW Housing. The Foggy Bottom-GWU subway stop is on campus, which makes the University very accessible to the large number of students who live off campus in privately owned apartments. The University's Off-Campus Housing Resource Center helps students find adequate housing.

Student Body

There are approximately 100 graduate degree candidates in economics, with roughly three-quarters in the Ph.D. program. While a majority of students are from the United States, there are international students from many parts of the world. Approximately 40 percent of the graduate students are women. Most students plan careers with government, international agencies, or consulting firms located in the Washington, DC area. The department maintains an active placement service, which aids in these career aspirations. See the University's Student Services, Organizations and Groups page for more information.

Correspondence and Information

To receive an application for admission and related graduate program information, please go to the University's Graduate Admissions page. The application is also available online.

For more specific questions regarding the MS program in Economics, please contact the MS program graduate advisor, Professor Pamela Labadie, at