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MS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Memorial UnionWhy should employers sponsor employees for this MS degree in Economics? Many employers provide educational benefits in the form of tuition reimbursement.  Such employers are essentially using educational institutions to improve the skills of their employees. With expanding access to extensive datasets, both public and proprietary, there is increased value to individuals who have the tools to analyze and interpret economic and business data. Our MS porgram in Economics is designed to improve the decision making skills of an employee by applying the theoretical and applied methods to various business settings. Our training in Economics, Econometrics, and Business/Data Analytics provides the employee with sophisticated tools to analyze and interpret data that are common to business and public policy environments. A key advantage for the employer of our part-time, online format is that employees can continue as a full-time employees while developing these skills.

Are courses asynchronous? All course material is accessible online, and thus the student has flexibility in determining specific times for reviewing class material. The timing of exams, especially final exams, and the completion of homework assignments are typically synchronized. 

Can I switch from the online version to the fully residential version of the MS degree program (hybrid version of MS program)? We offer a hybrid option for students with an Advanced Theory concentration area. Students take online courses in the first year and have the opportunity to take classes on campus in their second year. The second year requires residency on the Purdue main campus during the second academic year. The decision to enroll in the hybrid version has to be made before March of the first year in the program.

Can I take additional courses if I spend the second year on campus (hybrid MS program)?  Yes.  In fact, international students who come to Purdue to complete the hybrid MS degree in the second year will enroll as full-time students in the second year (8 or more credit hours per semester) and qualify for a F-1 Student Visa.  Students can take courses beyond the required set of courses and thesis requirement in their MS Degree program that they find attractive, although at additional expense. For example, one could take additional Economics courses offered on campus. Or, one could take courses that allow the student to complete a certificate program, such as the Applied Statistics Certificate Program.  The following link provides a complete list of graduate certificate programs at Purdue: Purdue Graduate Certificate Programs,

How do the costs of your program compare with other online economics programs?  Online economics MS programs are not common, especially among Tier I Research Universities, so direct comparisons with costs of other online economics programs are limited. The cost ($1,075 per credit hour) is similar to the online Engineering MS degree programs offered by Purdue.  On a per-credit basis, our fees are similar to existing MS degrees programs in Economics offered on campus at top Research Universities.  Admitted applicants who are highly qualified can obtain scholarships that range up to $5,000.

Does completion of your MS program raise the chances of being accepted into your resident PhD program for economics?  Yes, we will seriously consider students completing the MS program for our PhD program, particularly students who have completed the advanced theory concentration area.  Given we have good information on such students, students who perform well in the MS program will have significantly higher chances of being accepted into our resident (and fully-funded) PhD program.

Is a GRE/GMAT required?  A GRE or GMAT test is not required.  Students with good credentials in any discipline may apply to the master’s program. We expect students to have demonstrated good performance in mathematics and statistics courses during their previous studies. Students are expected to complete an application and provide undergraduate transcripts (minimum GPA 2.7). Applicants are evaluated by a committee. 

How much is the application fee, and can it be waived?  A nonrefundable application fee of $60 (U.S. Dollars) for domestic applicants and $75 (U.S. Dollars) for international applicants is required when applying to graduate programs at Purdue University. The application fee must be paid by credit card at the end of the application process.  If the web application has already been submitted, you may go to the "Check Status of Submitted Application" and select the "Pay Via Credit Card" button. The Graduate School of Purdue University has information concerning application fee waivers on the following site:

Is a TOEFL test required?  A TOEFL test is not required. However, evidence of fluency in English is required of applicants whose native language is not English. Online interviews will be conducted by our administrators to verify that these requirements are met.