Graduate Admissions

(*This link contains application material for both doctoral and master’s programs. You will need to download ALL documents.)

Our admissions process is highly selective. However, in keeping with our international character, we recognize that students from different backgrounds demonstrate high potential in a variety of ways. A quantitative score above the eightieth percentile on the Graduate Record Exam is a good indicator of ability at the M.A. level, and a score above the ninetieth percentile provides similar evidence of Ph.D. level ability. Neither indicator is necessary nor sufficient for admission, however, as the candidate’s full dossier is taken into account.

Any well-qualified individual with a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university or with equivalent education may apply for graduate admission to the Economics Department.

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test at least one month before the application deadline. The GRE Subject Tests are not required. The GRE is a major component in the admission decision and is especially crucial for PhD Applicants applying for financial aid from the University. GRE scores are valid for two years. Thus, for Fall 2015 applicants, GRE scores taken in 2014 and 2013 are valid. The ETS Institution Code for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is 3087. You do not need to specify a Department Code when requesting test scores be sent to the Graduate School or Arts and Sciences, GRS.

Proof of English proficiency is required of all international applicants by submitting official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) by the application deadline.   This requirement is waived only if you have received, or expect to receive, an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university in any of the following countries prior to enrollment in GRS: the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland.  This waiver does not include undergraduate or graduate degrees earned from an institution in a country listed above while enrolled in a “dual degree” program with an institution in another country.  Studying in the medium of English in a country other than the ones previously listed or studying as an exchange student in an English-speaking country without completing a degree program is not sufficient to waive the English proficiency requirement.

If an applicant has taken the internet-based test, the scores on each individual section should be, at a minimum, the following:

Reading 21
Listening 18
Speaking 23
Writing 22
Total Score 84

TOEFL paper-based test: 550 minimum score requirement.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Policy requires that applicants meet the minimum requirements of each section on the internet – based test.  The ETS Institution Code for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is 3087.  In addition to the TOEFL, the IELTS is also accepted as proof of English proficiency. The IELTS minimum band score required is 7.0. [U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents do not have to submit the TOEFL or IELTS]  Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements of English proficiency are not eligible for admission.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

All Applicants are urged to take the test at the earliest possible date in order to verify their level of English competence, and at least one month before the application deadline. Retaking the exam after further language training is acceptable, and later results will be substituted for earlier ones in the admissions dossier. TOEFL scores over two years old will not be accepted.

Students applying for entry into the Master’s Programs are normally expected to have passed some advanced undergraduate preparation in economics that includes one year of intermediate macro and microeconomic analysis and courses in statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Students applying for entry into the M.A.P.E./Ph.D. Program are normally expected to have passed some advanced undergraduate or graduate courses or seminars in economic theory, and to have had extensive training in mathematics, statistics, and econometrics, as well as a working knowledge of computer programming. Admission standards for all degree programs are rigorous.

We only accept online applications.  Only supporting credentials, such as transcripts, should be mailed to GRS Admissions:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Admissions Office
Boston University
705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112
Boston, MA 02215 U.S.A.

Also see Frequently Asked Questions for the MA application

Also see Frequently Asked Questions for the PhD application