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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I specialize in a particular field within Economics?
The two elective courses that are part of the program will allow you to focus on a particular area of study.

What is the process for pursuing the joint degree program in Economics and Urban and Environmental Policy?
Students need to apply to both programs and be accepted into both to be in the joint program. Courses in each program would be taken simultaneously. Learn more >

Do you admit students in the spring semester?
We only admit students in the fall semester. Our program consists of three core two-semester sequence classes, and it is not possible to take the second course in the sequence before taking the first course in the sequence, which is offered in the fall semester.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Students generally complete the program within one year.

Can I enroll in the program part-time?
Yes, as long as you design your curriculum to complete the program within two years. However, classes are offered in the mornings and afternoons so it would be difficult for students to work during the day and attend classes.

Are students allowed to take summer courses?
Yes, but core courses are not offered in the summer. You may, however, take courses that count towards your degree or that would satisfy an elective.

How many students are admitted into the master's program each year?
We typically admit between 20-25 students to the master's program each year.

How many people apply to the program each year?
It varies, but on average, 200 students apply each year.

Are there any research assistantships available for graduate students?
Research assistant positions are available on an irregular basis depending on when professors obtain grant funds with which they can hire research assistants. Learn more >

What materials are required for admission?
The materials required for admission are: scanned copies of all college transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, your resume, a personal statement describing your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study, your financial aid application (if you are applying for financial aid), a $85 non-refundable application fee, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores (if you are an international student).

How can I request an application packet?
All applications are processed through the Graduate School. Visit the Graduate Admission to apply.

Where do I send my supporting application material?
Supporting application materials may be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at gradadmissions@tufts.edu.

How can I check whether all my application materials have been received?
You may verify the status of your application by signing onto SLATE online application. It will inform you if your application is complete or if you have outstanding documents.

Do you still accept applications after the February 15 application deadline?
Applications that arrive after the deadline are reviewed on an individual basis. We can offer tuition scholarships to late applicants; however, we cannot offer teaching assistantships or grader positions. Applications from international students cannot be accepted after the deadline, as there is insufficient time to handle visa processing.

When are admission decisions made?
Admission decisions are made in March.

Can I reapply?
Application materials are kept on file for one year. Students who would like to reapply (after being denied admission or after being accepted but not enrolling) should submit a new application form and fee, along with a letter indicating that they would like their file reactivated for review. Students who were accepted into the M.S. Program in Economics but did not enroll are not guaranteed admission if they decide to reapply.

Can I transfer from another graduate institution?
Yes, and you can transfer a maximum of two graduate-level courses from another institution to count for credit towards the Tufts program. You should indicate on your admission application which courses you would like to transfer so they can be reviewed during the admissions process.

How are tuition scholarships awarded?
Our tuition scholarships are offered based on a combination of an applicant's merit and need. In order to be considered for a scholarship, an applicant must complete the financial aid application, which is part of the admissions packet.

Do you only accept letters of recommendation from professors?
We will accept letters of recommendation from an applicant's professors as well as his or her employer(s).

What sort of undergraduate course work is preferred or required for admission?
There are no course work requirements per se, but we are most concerned with an applicant's mathematics background. Applicants who did not major in economics can be successful in the graduate program, but we do expect applicants to have taken a few economics courses.

What math courses do I need for admission to the program?
We require all incoming students to have completed an undergraduate course in multivariate calculus. Such a course covers topics on partial differentiation, total derivatives, integration, and integration over more than one variable. Occasionally we will admit a student without this background on the condition that they complete a multivariate calculus class prior to matriculation. In addition, it is desirable, but not necessary, to have taken classes that expose students to proofs and to the use of vectors and matrices. Linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis, and other higher level classes can be useful in the program but are not necessary for admission.

What are the average GPA and GRE scores of admitted students?
Of the students accepted for Fall 2018 admission, the average GPA is 3.67; the average Verbal GRE score is 156; and the average Quantitative GRE score is 165.

Can I submit other standardized test scores, such as the MCAT or GMAT, instead of the GRE scores?
No, you must submit GRE scores in order for your application to be considered. Other standardized test scores will not be accepted as substitutes. The only exception is made for Tufts undergraduates, who are not required to submit GRE scores.

I haven't taken the GRE before the application deadline. Can I still submit my application and send my scores later?
You should have your GRE scores sent immediately. We will not review applications without the GRE scores, unless the applicants are Tufts undergraduates.

Do I ask the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send my GRE and TOEFL scores to both the Tufts Graduate School and the Department of Economics?
It is only necessary to send your scores to the Graduate School; the ETS code for Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is 3901.

Will you accept a photocopy of TOEFL scores?
The University requires your official TOEFL score. This requirement cannot be waived.

What TOEFL scores are accepted?
The Department of Economics normally accepts a score of 600 or higher on the TOEFL's paper version (or 250 or higher on the TOEFL computer version, or a total minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL iBT with a score of 21 or above in any section strongly recommended).

Would the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score serve as a substitute for the Test of Spoken English (TSE) test score?
Yes, we will accept the IELTS test in lieu of the TSE test for those foreign applicants who are interested in being considered for teaching assistantships.

Are there any waivers for the TOEFL requirement?
The TOEFL requirement can be waived if an applicant satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

  • Citizenship of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean;
  • A college or university degree earned in the United States or in one of the countries listed above prior to submission of the application;
  • Current enrollment as a full-time student in a degree-granting program in the United States or at an English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above. The student must have successfully completed two consecutive full time academic years of college or university work prior to the date of anticipated enrollment at Tufts University.

Other questions?
Email the department.