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Department of Economics

Prospective Students


To be considered for admission into the Master of Arts in Economics degree program, please apply to the Graduate School. Applications should be completed by February 1 to guarantee a decision and notification before April 15 for the fall. Applications submitted after February 1 will be reviewed as time permits. Domestic students with inadequate or exceptional backgrounds may submit a completed application by November 1 for the spring semester, but should also notify Graduate Coordinator Scott Templeton. International students who apply for the spring semester should complete their applications no later than September 15, as well as notify Graduate Coordinator Scott Templeton.

An applicant's grades, GRE scores, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, reputation of his or her alma mater, academic background, and relevant work or personal experience are the criteria for an admission decision. There is no minimum grade point average or minimum GRE score. However, admitted students usually have earned an A or B, or equivalent scores, in their courses (particularly those in economics, statistics, and other mathematics). The respective median scores of recently admitted students on the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing parts of the GRE are approximately 164 (87th percentile), 153 (61st percentile), and 4 (60th percentile). Refer to the Graduate School website for more information.

Admitted international students have a cumulative TOEFL score in the range of 90 to 100 with a minimum of 20 for listening and 20 for speaking. Reading and writing scores of admitted applicants are usually higher than 20. Otherwise, successful applicants have earned at least 7.0 on the IELTS if they did not take the TOEFL. An applicant with a low TOEFL or IELTS score can be admitted conditionally upon completing Level 112 of an ELS course and retaking the GRE. International applicants who have studied abroad for at least two years in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries and completed their undergraduate education there are not required to retake the TOEFL or IELTS. However, they should report their most recent scores in the online application.

Admitted students generally have studied univariate and multivariate calculus, introductory probability and statistics, intermediate microeconomics, and intermediate macroeconomics. Students who majored in economics or agricultural economics and took econometrics, or who majored in mathematics or statistics but took intermediate microeconomics and intermediate microeconomics, typically have adequate backgrounds. Exceptional students with inadequate backgrounds may be admitted but are required to take extra, co-requisite economic courses during their first semester. Domestic students with inadequate backgrounds may also apply as non-degree seekers, take co-requisite undergraduate or even core graduate courses, and then apply to the program. The number of applicants who are accepted each year varies.

  • Tuition and Fees

    Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees during their July meeting for the upcoming academic year. The master's program is a Tier 3 program for purposes of tuition. A student must take at least nine credit hours in each of the fall and spring semesters to be full-time. Check for changes in tuition and fees at the Graduate School. Teaching or research assistantships are not offered to students in the economics master's program.

    All graduate students are required to have health insurance. Students who are already covered by policies that meet the University's requirements are eligible for waivers. All others are covered by the Clemson University Student Insurance Plan. A description of the plan is available at Premiums are included with tuition and fees for fall and spring semesters (summer premium is included in the spring semester), and students are automatically enrolled. Fees for the Clemson University Student Insurance Plans are subsidized by the Graduate School. A description of the subsidy is available at

  • Financial Assistance

    Financial assistance is focused on students studying for a Ph.D. in Economics. Apply early if you want funding. Several of the most generous university-wide fellowships are decided in February following nomination by the department. In order to qualify for these awards, applicants must submit all official transcripts and other supporting documents by early January. However, we consider applications from promising students continuously throughout the year.

    The primary source of funding for our graduate students is the department itself. Promising first-year students receive research assistantships that pay direct stipends of $15,000 for the academic year and are accompanied by a reduction in tuition and fees to a nominal level. University-wide and outside fellowship awards supplement this stipend for top applicants. Department stipends are subject to review beginning in the second semester, and their continuation is contingent upon satisfactory performance.

    In addition to the standard stipend, the department awards competitive fellowships funded by our John E. Walker Endowment. Fellowships of up to $6,000 enhance the base stipend for truly gifted students.

    Second-year students are eligible for teaching assistantships as well as research assistantships. Teaching assistants are chosen on the basis of their performance in their first-year classes and their proficiency in spoken English. Those who perform well as teaching assistants in their second year are eligible to teach courses on their own in their third year and beyond. Assistantship awards to students who teach their own courses are quite substantial.

    Our most prestigious awards are the Earhart Fellowship and Koch Dissertation Fellowships. These are awarded for one academic year to students who exhibit exceptional promise. These fellowships pay $20,000 per year and cover all tuition and fees.

    Every effort is made to fund our graduate students. Even in those cases where the stipend may be small, the tuition savings are large. The quality of education and excellent placement record of the department, as well as the very low cost of living here, make it worthwhile to consider Clemson over many other schools that may offer slightly higher initial stipends. We are committed to funding every outstanding student.

  • Application Information

    To complete a formal application for the program, apply online through the Graduate School. Applications should be completed by February 1 for the fall semester and September 15 for the spring semester.

  • Required Documents
John E. Walker Department of Economics
John E. Walker Department of Economics | 320 Wilbur O. and Ann Powers Hall, Clemson, S.C., 29634

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