Prospective Students

The graduate program in the Department of Economics is a two-year master’s program leading to a M.A./M.S. degree in Applied Economics. Explore our graduate program website to learn more about the admission requirements, funding opportunities, research resources, and employment and educational outcomes of our graduates. For any additional information or questions, contact our graduate program director Dr. Nikolaou.

Application and Admission

Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in economics, but some substantive preparation in economics covering intermediate microeconomic theory, intermediate macroeconomic theory, calculus, and statistics, is highly desirable. Even though we recommend that prospective graduate students remedy deficiencies in these core background areas in economics and mathematics prior to entering our program, an applicant can still be admitted in the M.S. in Applied Economics without meeting these course requirements. Any deficiencies will be remedied during the first semester by adjusting the plan of study accordingly to complete these core course requirements.

All applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, previous academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae and a brief statement of purpose. In addition, ISU requires foreign applicants from non-native English speaking countries to score at least 79 on the internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. To be considered for any financial support (graduate assistantship, tuition waivers) applications must be received no later than the posted deadlines. For detailed application requirements please visit each of our sequences below, and for details on available sources of financial support carefully examine our separate Funding.

Overview of the M.S. in Applied Economics

The first three semesters of graduate study give a thorough treatment of the fundamentals of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. This is the core of our graduate program, and all students are required to successfully complete these three areas. Depending on the selected sequence of graduate studies (Applied Economics, Financial Economics, Quantitative Economics, Electricity, Natural Gas, and Telecommunications Economics, Applied Community and Economic Development), each student will enroll in additional specialized, field courses relevant to their selected sequence upon consultation with the graduate program director. These field courses allow students to review the relevant literature, examine current research, and develop their research interests. During the second year, students develop a research topic based on their area of specialization and select a faculty member from the Department of Economics who will serve as their research advisor. In combination with exposing all students to research methods across different fields within economics, this process culminates with composing an academic research paper (non-thesis capstone, thesis) during the last semester of studies. During this last year, students are urged to consult with faculty members and the graduate program director to explore internship opportunities, the potential of pursuing further studies (e.g., doctoral degrees), or placement in the labor market.