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Admission to our STEM designated Master’s Programs 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 MA level; this indicator is neither necessary nor sufficient for admission, however, as the candidate’s full dossier is taken into account.

Students applying for entry into the master’s programs should have—or be expecting—a bachelor’s degree in economics, economics and mathematics, or a closely related discipline (from an institution recognized by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences). They 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.

Any well-qualified individual with a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university (or with equivalent education) may apply for admission to graduate economics programs. Our master’s programs are open for both fall and spring admissions.

Applying to the MA/MBA program? Please visit the program page for specific requirements.

GRE Requirement

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. We do not accept the GMAT for the MA, MAEP, or MAGDE programs.

GRE scores are valid for two years. Thus, for Fall 2025 applicants, GRE scores taken in 2024 and 2023 are valid. The ETS Institution Code for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is 3087. You do not need to specify a Department Code when requesting test scores be sent to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Official scores are due by the application deadline.

English Proficiency Language Requirement

All international applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English, typically through English proficiency scores: International Master’s Applicants

Accepted standardized tests include Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), TOEFL iBT Home Edition, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Cambridge English Qualifications, and Duolingo. Please note, the TOEFL ITP exam will not be accepted as proof of English proficiency.

Minimum English proficiency testing requirements:

  • TOEFL:  100 Overall Score (25 recommended in each section). Internet-based Test (iBT) only. We do not accept “MyBest Scores.”
  • IELTS 7.0 Overall Band Score
  • CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH QUALIFICATIONS: 185 Overall Score on B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency exams
  • DUOLINGO 130 Overall Score

Applicants will not need to submit these official scores if they: 

  • are a citizen of the United States (including permanent residents), (including permanent residents), Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada (except Quebec and Nunavut), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe.
  • are currently enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting program at a university in one of the countries listed above for at least two consecutive years by the time of graduation
  • have received, or expect to receive, an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in one of the countries listed above, after at least two consecutive years of academic study
  • have received, or expect to receive, a graduate degree from an accredited institution in one of the countries listed above. Dual-enrollment and satellite programs may not qualify
  • will have completed at least two consecutive years of academic study in a country not listed above, at an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English, up to two years prior to pursuing studies at Boston University. An acknowledgment that English is the primary language of instruction must be on the transcript, or provided on a letterhead by your home institution when submitting your application
  • are currently a resident, or have been pursuing post-graduate work in one of the countries listed above, for at least two years immediately prior to starting at Boston University

Applicants will need to submit English proficiency official scores if they do not satisfy any of the conditions outlined above, or if they: 

  • were enrolled remotely (excluding those adhering to the COVID-19 policies of their home institution) in an institution referenced above
  • have received, or expect to receive, their undergraduate degree in a country referenced above via a partnership or dual degree program that did not require at least two consecutive years of academic study at an institution in said country
  • have received, or expect to receive their undergraduate degree in a country different to those listed above, via a partnership or dual degree program that did not require at least two consecutive years of academic study at an institution where the language of instruction is English
  • earned their degree at a foreign satellite campus affiliated with an institution in one of the countries referenced above
  • have only studied as an exchange student in an English-speaking country

Applicants who are unsure if they need to submit English proficiency scores should email the GRS Admissions Team.

For more information on these requirements, please visit the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website.

Applicants are urged to take the test at the earliest possible date, and at least one month before the application deadline; international applicants should sit for the TOEFL at least one month before the application date so that it arrives before the application deadline date. 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.

Apply

For the MA/MBA, please see specific requirements on the program page.

For the MA, MAEP, and MAGDE, please note that we will not review or evaluate incomplete applications, and we will not review or evaluate applications for candidates who did not pay the application fee. Applications must include all components. No component will be waived for any applicant. Such applications will be withdrawn and no admission decision will be made. We do not do pre-evaluations by email. Additionally, we do not accept late applications. There are no exceptions to these policies.

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Materials to Submit

Please do not send any materials directly to the Economics Department.

All application inquiries should be directed to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at GRS, Master’s Admissions <grsmams@bu.edu> or 617-353-2696. A complete GRS Application Checklist can be found here.

Deadlines

Expenses & Financial Aid

Questions? Visit our Master’s Admissions FAQs or visit Request More Information.