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.
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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
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
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
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 2015 admission, the average GPA is 3.61;
the average Verbal GRE score is 157; and the average Quantitative GRE score is 166.
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.
Email the department.