Considerations for prospective graduate students in economics

Students from a wide variety of backgrounds earn graduate degrees in economics. This includes economics and non-economics majors, those with and without prior graduate training, and those with and without prior economics employment experience.

To decide which program is the best fit, potential students should examine their own qualifications (including their GRE scores, their GPA, and their mathematical preparation) as well as the methodological approach, fields of specialization, predominant ideology, size of program, program culture (cooperative, competitive, etc.), typical time-to-degree, required examinations, financial aid, emphasis on mathematics, job prospects, and location of the programs to which they apply.

For those who wish to pursue academic careers, the availability of training in teaching methods during graduate school may also be a consideration.

Some applicants find it useful to contact students at their target programs to find out about current students' perceptions and experiences. Keep in mind that faculty tend to be fairly mobile throughout their careers, so it may be risky to choose a program out of a desire to work with one specific faculty member.

Further reading for students considering graduate study in economics