All entering Ph.D. students must have completed one semester each of intermediate micro theory, intermediate macro theory, linear algebra, and statistics, plus one year of calculus.

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test.  We do not require a minimum GRE score for admission, however the quantitative score for entering students is usually 151 (650 on the old scoring scale) or above.

All applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores from one of the tests approved by the Graduate School (  The proficiency test requirement is waived if an applicant satisfies one or more of these conditions:


  • Citizenship of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Guyana, Ireland, New Zealand, United States, 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.
  • A degree earned from the American University in Beirut, American University in Bulgaria, American College in Greece or from Boğaziçi University.
  • Current enrollment as a full-time student who will have completed two academic years of college/university work in the United States prior to the date of anticipated entrance at the University of Massachusetts.

The Economics Department expects scores higher than the minimums required by our Graduate School.  The following tests are accepted:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), for Economics we expect a minimum score of 100 on the iBT version.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS), minimum overall band score of 7.

Duolingo English Test, minimum overall score of 130.

Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic), minimum overall score of 68.

Applicants interested in earning both a Masters and Ph.D. should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. 

Each year the Economics graduate program receives about 130 to 170 applicants and has room for about 10 to12 new students.  Admission is based on previous academic record, letters of recommendation, GRE general test scores (particularly the quantitative score), and personal statement.


The deadline for applications is January 15.

New students are admitted only for the fall semester.

Online applications are available on the Graduate School website at:

The department is able to offer a limited number of waivers of the application fee for admissions to the graduate program. Students with a serious interest in the UMass Amherst PhD Program and who can demonstrate that the application fee represents a substantial barrier are welcome to apply for a waiver. The award of a waiver bears no relation to admissions or funding decisions. Please complete this form to apply for application fee waiver. Deadline: 15th December 2023.  All fee waiver applications will be reviewed after December 15.  If your request is approved you will be notified and will be able to file your application before our January 15, 2024, deadline.

The Economics Graduate Program does not process admissions paperwork. Please contact our Graduate School with any questions pertaining to applications you have submitted to the University.

Financial Assistance

Departmental Teaching Assistantships are available to most graduate students, including international students with fluency in English. In 2023-2024, a new teaching assistant receives a stipend between approximately $20,600 and $24,800 for the academic year to help cover a graduate student's normal living expenses in this area. Teaching assistantships provide individual health insurance, as well as a waiver of tuition.  The Graduate Assistantship Office can provide additional information at

No separate forms are required to apply for an assistantship. Applicants only need to check the appropriate boxes in the Financial Aid section of the graduate application form. The application fee must accompany an application. The University does not waive this fee.

Assistantships normally continue for four or five years if the candidate remains in good standing in the department. A limited number of Graduate Fellowships and Diversity Assistantships are also available. These fellowships include a waiver of tuition and most of the mandatory fees plus individual health insurance.

The Graduate School provides information on resources for financial assistance at:

Tuition and Fees

Information on tuition for Massachusetts residents, non-residents, those in the New England Regional program and those enrolled in a Graduate off-campus program is available from the Office of the Bursar. A version of this information of particular interest to teaching assistants may be found at the Graduate Assistantship Office (see Graduate Student Fee Schedule).  International students may be interested in reviewing the Graduate Degree Expense Estimate published by the International Programs Office.


There is a limited amount of University-owned graduate student housing on campus; applications should be made as early as possible for this housing. The majority of graduate students live off campus. For information about University housing, visit Residential Life Student Services, 235 Whitmore Administration Building, (413) 545-2100. 

Information regarding off campus housing is provided by the Off Campus Student Services office.

4+1 MA Degree

Please note:  the 4+1 program is undergoing departmental review and is not accepting new applications at this time.

The 4+1 MA Degree program is open only to 5-College students.  Five College juniors should apply by March 15 using the Graduate School’s online application: A complete application includes the online application form including a personal statement, at least two letters of recommendation, your official transcript(s), and GRE General Test scores. All entering 4+1 MA students must have completed one semester each of intermediate micro theory, intermediate macro theory, linear algebra, and statistics, plus one year of calculus.