Frequently Asked Questions: Master's Degree in Economics

What are your admissions requirements for the online Master of Arts in Economics?
Degree requirements for the MA in Economics include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Students are also expected to have completed Calculus I (or its equivalent) prior to starting coursework in the program and a submission of your GRE test score is required.

Are there any prerequisites?
Calculus I (or its equivalent) or the CLEP exam must be completed prior to starting coursework in the program.

Can I be admitted to the MA in Economics program if I do not have a BA in Economics?
Yes – it is not a requirement to have an undergraduate degree in economics. Many of our students come from other areas of study.

How long does it take to earn a MA in Economics?
The program can be completed in as little as 20 months.

Do you require submission of test scores?
Yes, submission of your GRE test result is required.

Can the GRE be waived with viable work experience?
It is required for all applicants to show proficiency in quantitative skills. However, waivers are considered to those who qualify.

Can I transfer credit for previous graduate work?
We may accept up to six hours of graduate work from another institution that applies directly to the MA in Economics degree.

What are the terms of provisional admission?
Students with a weak academic background may be admitted with provisional status. Students who are admitted provisionally must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 after the completion of the first nine credit hours of graduate study at American University or they will be academically dismissed.

What are the admission requirements for international students?
A TOEFL score of 600 (or 100 on the Internet-based test), a minimum score of 68 on the Pearson Test of English, or a minimum IELTS score of seven (7) is required. Additionally, applicants with international transcripts must have them evaluated course-by-course. For a list of acceptable evaluators, go to

What documents are required when applying for the online Master of Arts in Economics?
The required application documents include:

  • A completed graduate application
  • A $55 application Fee
  • Phone Interview with Admissions Advisor
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework (If a degree was earned outside the U.S., a course-by-course evaluated transcript is required.)
  • GRE scores

When is the deadline for application?
Our application deadline will change depending on which semester you are applying for. Please contact our online admissions staff for a specific timeline your application file needs to be fully submitted.

Is financial aid available?
Graduate students enrolled at least part time in a Master's program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Where do alumni of the MA in economics program find employment?
Students completing our program are likely to find a career in economics in one of the three following categories: Economic Consulting/Private Industry, Government Agencies or Not-For Profits/International Agencies. Learn more about our graduates’ success.

Will I be able to take advantage of the same resources as on-campus students do?
Yes, online students are encouraged to obtain a Student ID and take advantage of all of the same resources as our on-campus students.

Are there scholarships available for the program?
American University is pleased to offer the Online Merit Scholarship to students who demonstrate undergraduate excellence and continue on to graduate studies. Scholarships are available to students who meet the eligibility requirements.

To learn more about American University’s online MA in Economics, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.