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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.  Our MS degree in Economics, specifically the program that includes a concentration in Applied Economics/Business, does just that. In particular, the program is designed to improve the decision making skills of an employee by applying the theoretical framework offered by Economics to various business settings, and combining this with training in Econometrics that provides the employee sophisticated tools to analyze and interpret data, including large datasets that are common to business enterprises. 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 on line, and thus the student has substantially flexibility in determining specific times for reviewing class material prior to exams.   However, the timing of exams, especially final exams, and the completion of homework assignments are typically synchronized to the extent this is feasible. 

Is it easy to switch from the hybrid MS degree program to the fully online MS degree program? Yes, prior to the summer following the first year, it is easy to switch to the fully online program. 

Is it easy to switch from the fully online MS program to the hybrid MS degree program? Yes, as long as the decision is made before March of the first year in the program. The hybrid program requires residency on the Purdue main campus during the second academic year. 

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 it possible for the GRE/GMAT requirement to be waived?  A GRE or GMAT score is typically expected.  However, an applicant can request a waiver.  Such a waiver is likely to be granted if the individual has demonstrated good performance in mathematics and statistics courses, and such courses are comparable to the level and content of the mathematics and statistics courses typically required of STEM majors at U.S. Research Universities.

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:

What are the requirements for TOEFL scores, including minimum TOEFL scores?  A sufficiently high TOEFL score, or equivalent evidence of fluency in English, is required of applicants whose native language is not English.   TOEFL score reports must be official from Educational Testing Service (ETS) - photocopies of the TOEFL are not accepted. A sufficiently high TOEFL score is 575 for paper-based and 233 for computer-based.  The minimum acceptable TOEFLiBT scores (Internet based TOEFL) are: Writing 18, Speaking 18, Listening 14, Reading 19, and Total 77.  One example of evidence of fluency in English other than a high TOEFL score is the successful completion of a bachelor's or master's degree at an English-language university.

Can the TOEFL be waived?  There are three ways the TOEFL can be waived: a) if the applicant received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the past 24 months, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country where English is the native language, b) if the applicant is currently in a program (and will receive a degree before the following fall semester) at a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country where English is the native language, or c) if the applicant has taken the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and received a minimum score of 6.5.  For more information on the IELTS, please refer to  To officially request a TOEFL waiver, please send your request via email to at the time you submit your application.  Please make certain your email request has your full name, date of birth, and program. Please contact our office if you have further questions.