Master's Admissions Frequently Asked Questions


What are the greatest strengths of the M.A. program in Economics?

A specially tailored, stand-alone degree
We offer a specially tailored, stand-alone master’s program in a top-ten Economics Department. It is “stand-alone” in that it is separate from the PhD program. Indeed, there are not that many specially tailored (i.e. terminal) master’s programs in economics offered in the USA. This type of degree serves the needs for an advanced degree of professional economists, government officials and economic consultants. It can also be used to lay the groundwork for students who wish to pursue a PhD program elsewhere in the US. Many universities offer MA degrees in economics but they are not terminal degrees but rather degrees earned en route to a PhD.

A marketable degree valued by employers
See below on career opportunities for our graduates.

A rigorous preparatory degree for graduate programs elsewhere in the US
Our MA graduates have been admitted into PhD programs at Boston University, the University of Michigan, UC Davis and New School University.

Our students have also been admitted to law schools at Columbia University, Fordham University and the University of Illinois and public policy schools, such as the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Outstanding reputation of faculty, prestigious department and high quality of curriculum
The Economics Department at NYU has an impressive reputation. It has a world-renowned faculty and a high quality curriculum. A recent study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives ranked the Economics Department at NYU as 6th in the nation.

Superb research resources
NYU has one of the largest open-stack research libraries in the nation with a collection of over 4.2 million volumes.

Geographic location
We are located in New York, one of the world’s most dynamic cities. NYU is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, a unique cultural and historic resource. New York City is an international hub for global business, finance, communications, art, science and research. We offer proximity to future career opportunities. New York City is establishing itself as an intellectual center where the action is.

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What are the career opportunities for graduates of the MA program?

Graduates from the MA program currently hold jobs in a variety of fields in the New York area, including investment banking, brokerage, management consulting and the non-profit sector. Our graduates are employed in an impressive array of businesses: AIG, Goldman, Sachs & Company, Bear Stearns, Bloomberg, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Smart Money Magazine, Time Magazine, Citicorp, the Royal Bank of Canada, Credit Suisse, Economy.Com and the IMF.

International students who graduate from the program often return to their home countries to take up important policy advisory positions.


What are the criteria for admission?

Admission to the M.A. program in economics is limited to students of outstanding promise. Our program has become increasingly competitive over the last 5 years, as we seek to emphasize the analytical rigor of our program. First and foremost, we aim to admit students with excellent training in economics and quantitative methods - that is, students with grades of A-, A or A+ in economics and mathematics courses at undergraduate level. More specifically, strong applicants will meet the following requirements:

GRE Quantitative reasoning score > 80th percentile (= 160 on new scale; 750 on old scale)
GRE Analytical writing score > 80th percentile (=  5.0)GRE Verbal reasoning score > 50th percentile (= 150 on new scale; 500 on old scale)
Two undergraduate calculus courses (or one calculus & one linear algebra course)
One statistics course & one course in econometrics
Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics, plus four other undergraduate economics courses
Overall GPA of 3.5 and above at the undergraduate level
TOEFL > 105 (internet-based version) (TOEFL requirement is for international students only—see below*)
A strong application will have ‘A’ grades in most of these courses (i.e. undergraduate economics, calculus, statistics & econometrics).

Please note that we only accept GRE scores. The GRE general test is required for all applicants. No exceptions are granted. GMAT will not be accepted in place of the general GRE.

We evaluate applications on their general merits. What is important is the total picture of an applicant's competence, not performance on an individual criterion. For example, we want to attract applicants who have completed a degree in mathematics, engineering or physics but who may have done only introductory but not necessarily intermediate economics courses. However, such applicants, if admitted into our program, have to complete intermediate economics courses BEFORE enrolling in our program (e.g. at any reputable university during the summer before the start of the fall semester).

All international students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

(See Exceptions to this rule include students who obtained a degree from English-speaking college-level institutions and students from English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

How do I apply for admission?

Applicants are required to submit their applications online.  The online application and all instructions, policies and FAQs about applying are found at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences  Application Resource Center at


What is the deadline for admission?

The deadline for fall admission is January 15th.  There is no spring admission.


When can I find out about the status of my application?

Applications are reviewed after the deadline date and we intend to have decisions on or before April 15th of the fall admissions year. Please direct questions regarding your application to:


Must applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

All applicants must take the general test of the GRE administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540. ( See too

All applicants should be sure that official test scores are sent directly to GSAS from ETS. You should send them to the Graduate School of Arts and Science code 2596.

PLEASE NOTE: GRE general test is required for all applicants. No exceptions. GMAT will not be accepted in place of the general GRE.


Must foreign students take a test of English language proficiency?

Yes, all international students must take such a test. We now accept either the TOEFL or IELTS as a test of English language proficiency. (See and Exceptions to this rule include students who obtained a degree from English-speaking college-level institutions and students from English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Ideally, international students should aim for TOEFL scores of no less than 105 (Internet-based version) or IELTS scores of no less than 7.5. For more information regarding the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences tests requirements please see (

How long will it take to earn the M.A. degree?

The MA degree in economics takes a minimum of three semesters full-time (usually Fall, Spring and Fall the following year). The elapsed time for completion is thus more than one year. At this stage, no master's courses in the Department of Economics are offered over the summer. However, some students choose to take courses in the Stern School of Business over the summer (a maximum of 8 credits can be taken outside the Department of Economics as credit towards the MA).

The time limit for completion of the degree is five years for both full- and part-time students.


How much does the degree cost?

Applicants should refer to in order to see the latest tuition and fee schedule for the Graduate School
of Arts and Science. 

Our MA program requires 32 points/credits. You would then have the cost of the mandatory health insurance, plus the cost of books and your living expenses.

You may find information at, "Admissions,"  "Application Resource Center," "Frequently Asked Questions," "International Students FAQ" useful as well.


What financial aid is available?

While loans may be available, fellowships and assistantships are not available for students in the M.A. program.

However, the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) at NYU is an important source of financial aid for master's students. TIP provides tuition support to recipients of external awards. Students receiving external awards of $13,000 or more from recognized, academic sources of funding outside of the University can apply for matching tuition points up to the amount of their outside award. Students receiving external awards of less than $13,000 may apply for matching tuition points up to 50% of the amount of the external award. The Graduate School typically awards funds to between 20 and 30 students a year. We encourage students to apply.


How many students are admitted to the program?

We do not have a fixed target size for an incoming class. In Fall 2010, we received close to 600 applications and admitted 150 students. In other years, we have had between 60 to 70 incoming students.


Who are our students?

Over the last five years, about half of the incoming students are international students (i.e. non-US citizens). We have a very diverse student body. About 80 percent of incoming students are full-time students. The average age of incoming students is 25 years.


Can students work full-time and pursue this degree?

Yes. Unlike other schools, many of our MA courses begin at 6.20pm and a few begin at 4.20pm. All of the core MA courses are offered in the evening (many are also offered during the day as well). Courses generally meet once a week.


Will I need a 4 year degree in order to apply to the MA Economics program?

As per Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Economics' Department policy you will need a 4 year study in higher education and cannot apply with 3 years or less under GSAS rules. Applicants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Bangladesh must show completion of both the baccalaureate and master's examinations prior to registration in the Graduate School. The examinations for the Bachelor of Engineering and the Bachelor of Technology meet the application requirements. For students holding 3 year degrees from Australia, GSAS also requires a 4 year degree to apply. Applicants must have BA-honors in order to apply for degree through GSAS at NYU. If you have further concerns regarding the 4 year degree requirement, please contact Graduate Enrollment Services 212-998-8050


Do we accept transfer students?

Students from other graduate schools must apply as new students; admitted students may seek permission to transfer up to 8 credits for relevant courses with grades of B or better.


Can students enter the program in the spring semester?

No, there are no longer admissions in spring. There are only admissions in the fall semester of each year.


Are internships available in the program and can internships count toward the degree?

On their own initiative, a small number of our students obtain internships in business and public policy settings. However, internships cannot count towards the MA degree in economics.


Can I take courses in the business school and elsewhere in the University?

Students are allowed to take relevant courses at the NYU business school, which is consistently ranked among the world’s best business schools (see In addition to regular courses in economics, students take courses in finance, accounting, international business and operations research at the Stern School of Business. Highly qualified MA students preparing for a PhD program may also take courses in the Graduate Department of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences which offers balanced training in mathematics and its applications in the broadest sense.


Who teaches the courses?

Courses are taught by both full-time faculty and adjunct professors who combine formal training in economics (PhD) with applied economics experience.


Does the master's program lead to the PhD program in economics at NYU?

The master's program does not lead to the PhD program. The two programs are quite separate and students cannot transfer from the master's program to the PhD program at NYU. However, our master's program can be used to lay the groundwork for students who wish to pursue a PhD program elsewhere, and an increasing number of our students have gone on to do a PhD in economics at other universities in the United States (e.g. Boston University). Indeed, the best qualified master's students sometimes take one or more PhD-level courses within the Department of Economics as credit towards their M.A. degree. In order to improve their math background, some students seeking to pursue a PhD also take graduate math courses. Students can also choose to apply for our Ph.D. program after completing the master's, although admission is very competitive and none of the master's work would transfer toward the PhD.


Do we accept "non degree" students?

The MA Economics program does not admit students who are not registered in a degree or certificate program.