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Applied Economics

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Applied economics is the use of economic theories, models, and data to solve real-world issues. Students in the Master of Arts in Applied Economics program develop skills in macro- and microeconomics and learn to analyze and forecast economic trends in areas including (but not limited to) budgetary and fiscal policy, international trade, labor and urban economics. Graduates are prepared for positions as economic analysts in government, private consulting firms, financial institutions, international organizations, and applied policy research institutions.

GW’s MA in Applied Economics provides students with the tools to succeed as economists in today’s data-driven world. Thanks to a location within walking distance of the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, and numerous other influential entities related to economics, students find ample opportunity for hands-on experience and internships.

Additionally, students benefit from one-on-one advising and mentorship from a faculty of internationally-recognized experts and practitioners. Graduates enter the job market with a competitive advantage, especially at the institutions and government agencies in Washington, DC.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1 (February 1 for applicants who wish to be considered for a fellowship)

Spring - October 1

Applications received after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Prerequisite requirements:

Successful completion (with a grade of B or better) of Introductory Macroeconomics and Introductory Microeconomics courses, and one semester of college level calculus.

Standardized Test Scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

Applicants to the M.A. program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program. 

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations required.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
askccas@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday