Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of interest, official transcript(s) delivered and/or mailed in a sealed envelope by the Registrar of the college/university attended, and the most recent Graduate Record Examination scores.

All students admitted to the M.A. program must have at least a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent, a cumulative GPA of B or better, a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in economics, plus a course in differential calculus or mathematics for economists. The economics credits should include 6 credits of statistics and 6 credits of intermediate economic theory. Special admission with some conditions will be considered on individual basis.

To apply to our graduate programs, please click here then click on GradCAS.

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Residence Requirements

A student must be physically in residence in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for at least two semesters in order to be recommended for the MA degree. The residency requirement implies a student complete two semesters of full-time course work (see also the Graduate School requirements).

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Financial Assistance

Graduate assistantships are available for full-time M.A. students and carry a stipend. Students receiving such assistantships are required to take at least 9 credits per semester. Applications for assistantships should be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics.

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General Requirements

English Competency and Expository Writing

All graduate students must demonstrate their competency in the English language as evidenced by earning a passing score on the English Proficiency Examination administered by the Graduate School. Students who do not pass the examination must successfully complete a course on expository writing, "Writing Workshop in Exposition for Graduate Students." All graduate students, both part-time and full-time, must satisfy this requirement during their first year of enrollment. Students will not be allowed to advance to candidacy without having satisfied this requirement.

Responsible Conduct of Research

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Workshop is intended to provide students with information on pertinent federal and University guidelines and regulations pertaining to the responsible conduct of research as well as to instruct them in a method of utilizing moral reasoning skills in responding to ethical dilemmas in research. Workshop topics include intellectual property, data sharing and understanding of Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies and procedures, data acquisition and management, and mentoring. The RCR training workshop is a requirement for admission to candidacy. To receive the RCR certificate, students must complete all required training sessions and successfully complete a learning assessment exercise at the end of the workshop.

Language Requirement

There is no language requirement.

More details about these Graduate School requirements may be found on the Graduate School website:

GS.Howard.edu/admissions/admission-requirements

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General Program Requirements

Students must complete a total of 30 credit-hours, of which 18 credit-hours must be devoted to core course requirements. Each of the following courses is a 3-credit course:

  • Microeconomic Theory I (ECOG-200)
  • Macroeconomic Theory I (ECOG-202)
  • History of Economic Analysis (ECOG-204)
  • Workshop in Economic Research (ECOG-207)
  • Econometrics I (ECOG-211)
  • Mathematics for Economists (ECOG-213)


Up to six (6) credit hours may be transferred from other graduate programs in economics subject to the requirements that (1) the student received a grade of B or better in the course and (2) the Director of Graduate Studies approve the transfer of credit. Three (3) credit-hours must be earned in the student's area of concentration. Nine (9) credit-hours must be earned by taking additional elective courses in the Economics Department. Students taking the thesis option may replace up to six (6) credit hours of elective courses with equal number of hours of Thesis Seminar (ECOG-300 and ECOG 301).

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Areas of Specialization

The Department offers four specializations: Growth and Development Economics, Urban Economics, Labor Economics and International Economics. The required course for each of the stated specializations is:

  • Growth and Development I (ECOG-220)
  • Urban Economics I (ECOG-230)
  • Labor Economics I (ECOG-261)
  • International Economics I (ECOG-244)
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Comprehensive Examinations

Students must pass three (3) comprehensive examinations to graduate. The examinations are offered twice yearly in the following three areas: microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and an area of specialization. The student may elect to take examinations in all three areas in one semester, or take the microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory examinations during one semester and the field of specialization during a later semester. If the student chooses the latter process, he or she must pass the two theory examinations before taking the field of specialization. The student may substitute a Master's Thesis as described above for the third comprehensive examination in a field of specialization.

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Master's Thesis

The student may choose to complete a Master's Thesis, taking two thesis courses instead of other electives. A member of the Graduate Faculty is selected to act as thesis advisor and will supervise the student's development of the thesis. A thesis committee overseeing the thesis consists of the thesis advisor and at least two other faculty members. A majority of the members of the thesis committee must be members of the graduate faculty. Final approval of the thesis is the responsibility of the full committee. The candidate is required to pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis. A candidate who fails such an examination on the first try may sit for a second examination. The second examination, in such a circumstance, shall be administered at least two months after the first attempt.

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