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Admissions & Financial Aid


Students with good credentials in any discipline may apply to the program, but successful applicants will demonstrate ability in economics and/or mathematics. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on math requirements for admission to the program. Applicants to the program should have completed the work required for a baccalaureate degree. All applicants, with the exception of Tufts undergraduate students in Arts and Sciences, must submit the results of the Graduate Record Examination. In addition, applicants must submit an application form, three letters of recommendation from persons capable of assessing the student's potential for graduate study, a personal statement indicating why they wish to earn an advanced degree in Economics, and transcripts from all degree programs in which they have been enrolled.

Applications for fall admission are due by February 15. Applications submitted after these dates will be considered on an individual basis. However, it is strongly recommended that applications for financial aid be submitted by February 15. The department does not admit students at midyear.

Research-Based Master of Science Program in Economics

To be admitted into the Research-Based Master of Science degree Program in the second year, students must demonstrate good standing in the first year of the program. Specifically, in their first year, M.S. students will have to meet one of the following conditions:
    • Receive a GPA of 3.5 or better in the three fall semester courses, EC201, EC203, and EC205 with no grade lower than a B;
    • be enrolled in and successfully complete (B- or better) the remaining three core courses and,
    • obtain a GPA of 3.2 or better in the six core courses.
  1. The Graduate Admission Committee will consider waivers to the first condition based on the following:
    • Receive a final grade of B- or better in all six core courses (EC201-EC206) and,
    • obtain a GPA of 3.2 or better in the six core courses.
  2. Students who are exempt from taking one or more core courses must meet Condition 1 or 2 for the remaining core courses.
Waivers of these requirements may be granted by the graduate committee in exceptional circumstances.

In addition, a student will have to fill out an application with the Department of Economics, providing, among other information, the following:
  1. The provisionary title of the Masters' thesis.
  2. The name of an Economics Department faculty member who has agreed to serve as the primary advisor for the Masters' thesis.
  3. A 1-2 page description of the candidate's proposed thesis topic (including bibliography).
This application can be submitted any time between March 1 and April 15. Students who meet Condition 1a can be (tentatively) admitted into the Research-Based program in Economics before the end of the spring semester. Students, who do not meet Condition 1a, will only be admitted into the Research-Based Program in Economics after spring semester grades have been assigned and no later than May 18.

Note that these are necessary but not sufficient conditions for admission into the Research-Based Program in Economics. The Graduate Admissions Committee's decision will also depend on its assessment of the applicant's promise to be successful in the program.

In addition, to be admitted into the M.S.-Research-Based Program in Economics, a student must fill out an application, providing, among other information:
  1. the provisionary title of the M.S.-Research-Based thesis project, and
  2. the name and signature of the Economics Department faculty member who will be the primary advisor for the Masters' thesis.

Applications can be submitted any time after March 1.

For a full description of the Graduate School's Policies and Procedures with regard to registration, tuition and fees, academic policies, degree requirements, Master's thesis requirements, and more, please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook on the Graduate Admissions website.

Combined B.S./M.S. Degree in Economics

Applicants must apply to the M.S. Degree Program in Economics. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for details on the admission process. Make sure to indicate on the application that you are applying for the combined degree program. Tufts students do NOT have to take the GREs and only two letters of reference are required.

Students normally apply to the program during the spring semester of the junior year (the deadline for the M.S. Degree Program in Economics is February 15). Only in exceptional cases will an application be accepted after the junior year. Therefore, students interested in the program should contact their advisers early in their academic career to facilitate program planning. Students should also discuss their plans to apply to the program with the Director of the Graduate Program in Economics. A student may elect to withdraw from the program at any time by filing the appropriate petition.

Students must have Advanced Standing in order to be accepted into the combined degree program. This is to ensure that students have made enough progress in their undergraduate degree requirements to satisfy the expectation that the combined degree program will be completed in four years. The combined degree program is analytically challenging so students will need to have a strong quantitative background prior to taking the Masters-level courses. This is why we require that students major in Quantitative Economics. An important criterion for acceptance into the combined degree program is strong performances in Math 34 and 70 and Economics 16, 18, and 107. Refer to the Graduate Admissions website website for more information.

Environmental Economics and Urban Planning Interdisciplinary M.S.

Applicants should choose "Urban/Environmental Policy & Planning and Economics" as the program of study. Applications for fall admission are due by January 15. One personal statement addressing interest in the joint degree program should be submitted. Applicants must meet all application guidelines and deadlines set forth by both academic departments. An applicant will be accepted into the joint program only if he/she is accepted by both the UEP and Economics Departments. Applicants who are accepted into only one program can choose to enroll in the graduate degree program in that department. Tuition for the joint degree is the same as tuition for the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning M.A. program. Students accepted into the joint degree program are eligible for financial assistance subject to availability and need.

Tufts graduate students currently enrolled in the M.S. program in Economics or the M.A. program in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning may apply for admission to the joint degree program after discussing this plan with their advisor and submitting a letter to their current program. The letter should include a statement of the student's academic objectives. The application fee is waived for current Tufts graduate students, and the application process is streamlined. Current students need not submit credentials already on file, including transcripts and GRE scores. An updated personal statement addressing interest in the joint degree program should be submitted. The financial aid section of the application should be completed for students requesting a scholarship for the joint degree program, even if a scholarship was previously awarded with admission to the M.S. or M.A. program. Refer to the Graduate Admissions website website for more information.

Financial Aid

Most students receive partial financial aid to cover their tuition expense for the Economics Master of Science degree. In recent years, the average financial aid award has been about one half of the full tuition charge. The two-year Master of Science Research-Based degree carries an additional cost in the second year. Financial aid is available for the second year as well.

Financial aid is limited and is awarded by the department on the basis of the student's qualifications and of his or her potential for continued study. The department does attempt to ensure that continuing students who have maintained good academic performance are given high priority in financial aid decisions.

The primary form of financial aid is a tuition scholarship, which consists of a partial waiver of tuition for the year in which it is granted. Tuition waivers are awarded on a need and/or merit basis.

In addition to tuition waivers, approximately 10-14 students per semester are employed as teaching assistants. Teaching assistantships are usually awarded as 2/3 positions paying approximately $4,500 per semester. This is the only award a teaching assistantship carries. In particular, teaching assistants pay full tuition unless they are also granted a tuition waiver. Students are chosen based on their knowledge of economics and pedagogical skills. A student must demonstrate satisfactory performance to continue to hold the position.

Students not employed as teaching assistants may also seek employment as a l grader, tutor or research assistant. These positions are available each semester contingent upon departmental needs.

More information about Tuition and Financial Aid. All applicants should submit their requests for financial aid by February 15. Students who are employed may also wish to explore the possibility of employer reimbursement for tuition expenses.

Combined-degree students must pay for both the full undergraduate and graduate tuitions. Generally, combined degree students must pay both the full undergraduate and graduate tuitions. However, courses taken as an undergraduate that count for graduate credit and that are not needed for the undergraduate degree, may be used to reduce the graduate tuition expense. Tuition scholarships may be available for the M.S. degree. It is highly recommended that the student apply for financial aid when filling out the application for the M.S. degree.