Economics - Applied Economics
Our master’s degree in Applied Economics links basic economic theory and statistical techniques to real-world problems faced by decision makers. With emphasis on extensive training in econometrics and forecasting, exposure to working with large and diverse data sets, and a wide range of statistical software, this program gives students the applied skills that employers demand and provides those pursuing advanced degrees an edge in gaining admission to top Ph.D. programs.
The Applied Economics sequence is designed to train students in the quantitative and applied economic skills that will best enhance their future employment opportunities as economists, research analysts, or planners in the private and public sectors. While the curriculum is structured as a terminal degree in applied economics and many graduates have advanced to doctoral-level programs in economics and in related disciplines, the program is also well suited for individuals who wish to return to school to obtain a graduate degree in a business-related discipline for the purpose of career advancement.
The Applied Economics program is a STEM designated degree, which focuses on the systematic study of mathematical and statistical analysis of economic phenomena and problems. STEM designated degree programs offer additional benefits for students, including potential grant funded opportunities and, for international students, extended OPT study options.
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
A student admitted in the program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master’s program. For admission without deficiencies, applicants need to have successfully completed college courses in:
- basic calculus and statistics
- intermediate microeconomic and macroeconomic theory
Students who do not meet these coursework requirements can still be admitted into the program but will have to take additional classes.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Applicants need to have a quantitative GRE score of 150 or better, and a verbal GRE score of 140 or better. Use institutional code 1319 to submit GRE scores.
Alternatively, GMAT scores can be submitted in place of GRE scores.
Applicants submitting GMAT scores must have a GMAT Quantitative Score of 28 or better, and a GMAT Verbal Score of 18 or better for admission consideration.
Letters of Recommendation
This program requires three (3) letters of recommendation. At least two of the letters of recommendation should come from individuals who are familiar with your scholarly record. The third can be an additional academic reference or a professional reference from someone who knows you well and can comment on your potential as a graduate student. After you submit the e-mail addresses of your letter writers in the online application system, they will be automatically e-mailed a link to submit their letters electronically.
A student applying to this sequence must also upload into the online application system:
- a current resume or C.V.
- a two-page statement of purpose explaining your interest in the Applied Economics graduate sequence at Illinois State University, your academic and professional goals, and what you hope to achieve as a graduate student in Economics
In addition to the above requirements, international applicants need to submit:
- Scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- Minimum TOEFL Scores: 79 for internet-based test (iBT)
- Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5 band
- Minimum Duolingo Score: 105
- International Student Requirements
- Fall Term — March 1 - with financial support consideration
- Fall Term — June 15 - financial support consideration is not guaranteed
- Spring Term — October 15
- Summer Term — no applications are accepted for the summer term
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.