Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't find the information you need, please contact us at [email protected]

Is the program STEM designated?
Yes. Both the MS and PhD program are STEM designated programs with CIP code 45.0603.

Are GRE scores required?
Yes, GRE General Test scores are required for admission to the Applied Economics Graduate Program. Enter your test scores in the online application system and request official scores be sent to the University of Minnesota electronically (do not send paper copies). A GRE subject test is not required. GMAT scores are not accepted in place of GRE scores.

What is the institution code for the GRE?
The University of Minnesota institution code is 6874.  Scores submitted electronically do not require a program code.

Can I submit an application after December 10?
Yes, but only applications submitted by December 10 will receive consideration for departmental funding. Even if you do not need funding, it is best to apply by mid-December for Fall admission.

What if my scores arrive after December 10?
That’s okay. Test scores and letters of recommendation that arrive after December 10 will be accepted, within reason. Reviews of applications received by December 10 are conducted in late December and January. If possible, however, please arrange to take your tests in October or earlier.

I took the GRE two years ago. Do I need to retake it?
GRE scores are good for five years. You do not need to retake the GRE even if your scores use the older scoring system, as long as they were taken within the past five years (from your application date).

Can you review my transcripts and scores before I apply?
No, we are unable to provide preliminary evaluations of any applicant’s credentials.

Do you accept applications for Spring Admission?
Rarely. The required courses typically start in the Fall semester so we usually prefer new students start in the Fall semester. Under some circumstances, we will consider Spring admission (without funding). Please apply no later than October 1 for Spring semester admission.

Can I upload additional materials after submitting my application?
No. You must upload all your documents before you submit your application. Be sure to review the table of required materials prior to submission.

What if I am unable to apply electronically or am unable to upload documents or my transcripts?
We strongly encourage you to apply electronically, including the upload of your unofficial transcripts. Most U.S. universities offer free downloads of unofficial transcripts to current students and alumni. If you have a paper copy of your transcripts, office supply stores offer scanning service for a nominal fee. When absolutely necessary, applicants may still be allowed to submit paper materials. In this case, the applicant must submit official transcripts to the Graduate School Admissions Office well in advance (one month or more) of the program deadline to allow time for scanning and uploading. Do not wait to the last minute to submit your application if you are unable to submit electronically.

How do I check on the status of my application?
Log in using your credentials at Applicants that apply by the December 10 deadline will typically have a decision late February/early March. 

How do I check if my official GRE or TOEFL scores have been received?
You can check the status of your application and materials through the online application system. Official GRE scores are automatically uploaded into your application after you apply, but it can take time as this is a manual matching process with Graduate Admissions.

Do I need to take the TOEFL exam if I am an international student?
The TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS is generally required of all applicants whose native language is not English, regardless of U.S. citizenship status. Applicants who have completed at least 16 semester credits (within the past 24 months) in residence as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States or another English-speaking country before entering the University of Minnesota do not need to submit scores. However, you may be required to have your English proficiency tested before you enroll, especially if you want to be a teaching assistant.

Visit the Graduate School for more information on English Language Proficiency Options.

What are the characteristics of students admitted to the Applied Economics Graduate Program?
Data on admitted students and other program statistics is available and includes information on the percentage of male, female, international, and minority students who are admitted and the distribution of GRE scores of admitted students.

What are the chances that I will get admitted?
Graduate Committee members independently evaluate the application materials considering the applicant's personal statement, academic preparation and prerequisites, past academic performance, test scores, and letters of recommendation. Failure to meet the preferred GPA and lack of prerequisites are the most common reasons for rejection of applications. Please do not email us with your GRE scores or transcript and ask if you will be admitted. We are unable to provide preliminary evaluations of any applicant’s credentials before they complete the application process.

What if I don’t have an undergraduate degree in economics?
Applicants to the M.S. program are expected to have completed intermediate-level economic theory classes in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Further education in economics and economic theory is helpful, but is not required.

What if I am missing one or more math or statistics courses?
It is recommended that applicants to the M.S. program have completed at least two semesters of calculus. Some knowledge of statistics and elementary probability, as well as introductory linear algebra, is helpful. Students interested in advanced graduate work in economics are expected to have completed a three-course sequence in calculus, including multivariate calculus, a course in linear algebra and differential equations, and a course in mathematical statistics prior to starting the Ph.D. program. Additional math classes such as real analysis are helpful.

Do I need to contact individual professors or identify an advisor before I apply?
No. Individual faculty members do not make admissions or funding decisions. You may want to read faculty web pages and identify faculty with whom you would be interested in working, but there is no need to contact them prior to your admission to the Graduate Program.

What resources are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are students of color?
The Office of Diversity in Graduate Education is here to serve you. It coordinates and leads the University's initiatives in the recruitment, funding, retention, and graduation of a diverse graduate and professional student body. Check out their website for information on scholarships, resources, and helpful information.

What resources are available for international graduate students?
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is dedicated to serving the University of Minnesota's international community. Its primary mission is to assist international students and scholars in successfully accomplishing the goals that brought them to the University, by using all available resources.

What are the topics of the Applicant Statements?
The applicant statements are your chance to describe your interests and why you want to get a graduate degree from the Applied Economics Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota. The specific topics are:

  1. Please provide a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to your chosen field and your areas of interest within Applied Economics. Describe any relevant research experience, internships, or other experiences you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in your chosen field. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, please give that person's name and explain why you want to study with that person. (You do not need to contact that person.)
  2. Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota (Please do not exceed one page in length.)