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Frequently Asked Questions- Prospective Students


What is the MA in Economics?

The MA in Economics is an intensive master’s program that fosters analytical and quantitative skills as they apply in an economic framework. The program emphasizes applying economic theory using statistical methods and quantitative skills through hands on research. Students complete 30 units of coursework and defend a research paper developed from a seminar course. Depending on their interests, students have the option of focusing on development, environment & natural resources, or transportation economics. Back to questions.

What are the professional uses of the MA in Economics?

The program is designed to prepare students for careers in economics in the public or private sector. It also provides a solid foundation for those students planning to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. Back to questions.

What fields of study are offered at CSULB?

Graduate-level electives and seminars are offered in development, environmental and natural resource economics, and transportation economics. Back to questions.

When are courses held?

Some electives are held during the day, however, all required courses are offered in the evenings (starting at 5:30 p.m.) to allow students to work during the day and attend classes at night. Back to questions.

Can I apply for spring admission?

We do not accept any spring admits. All admitted students will begin the program in the fall semester. Back to questions.

When do classes start?

Courses for the fall semester typically begin either the last week of August or the first week of September. Back to questions.

When will I graduate?

Assuming you take 10 units per semester (a full course load), you can graduate in 3 semesters. For those who enroll in 6 to 7 units per semester, it will take between two and three years to graduate. Back to questions.

Is a bachelor’s degree in Economics required?

A bachelor’s degree in economics is preferred. A candidate who minored in economics or took extensive coursework in economics is acceptable. Admission to the program requires successful completion of principles of microeconomics, principles of macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, statistics, and calculus. Those students without the equivalent economics coursework will not be admitted to the program. Applicants will be encouraged to take the necessary coursework and then re-apply to the program. Back to questions.

What is the minimum GPA required for admission?

The minimum undergraduate GPA is 2.75, with at least a 3.0 GPA in intermediate macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics, statistics, and calculus (or their equivalent classes).  Back to questions.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Yes. The GRE is required. The institution code for CSULB is 4389 and the department code for economics is 1801. Back to questions.

Is there a minimum score for admission?

No. The admissions committee considers the entire application packet (GPA, undergraduate coursework, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and the personal statement) when making admissions decisions. Back to questions.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

The TOEFL is required for all applicants who do not have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. accredited institution (please see the Center for International Education’s website for exempted countries). CSULB accepts the following official test results:

  • 550- paper based
  • 80- internet based

Back to questions.

What are the degree requirements?

Complete 30 units of graduate coursework of the MA program, including defense of a seminar research paper. Complete the University Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) requirements. Satisfy the general requirements of the University for Advancement to Candidacy. Back to questions.

When are applications accepted and when is the deadline?

The fall application period runs from October 1-March 15. Applications will not be accepted past March 15. Back to questions.

How many students are admitted?

We generally aim to admit 25 students to keep class sizes at a reasonable level. Back to questions.

What will the program cost?

Full-time students take 10 units per semester. Tuition fees per semester can be found HERE. Back to questions.

How do I apply?

Visit our Admissions page for application materials and checklist. Please note that all applications to CSULB require the candidate to apply to the university as well as the department. Please refer to the webpage for complete instructions and links to both the university application process and department application materials. International applicants also apply online (be sure to choose the application for international students). For more information on international applications, please see International Education at CSULB. Back to questions.

Is Financial Aid available?

Yes, please contact the Financial Aid Office at CSULB for an application. Or call 562-985-8403. Back to questions.

Are there employment opportunities in the Department for graduate students?

Yes. The department hires graduate assistants (GAs) and teaching assistants (TAs) each year. TA positions involve teaching the lab sections of intermediate statistics. The others involve providing grading support for the faculty or tutoring. Positions involve 5-20 hours of work per week. Back to questions.

How do I apply for a Graduate Assistant position?

To apply for these positions, please indicate your interest in the department application. Back to questions.

I am an International Student. Am I eligible to apply for an Assistantship position?

Yes. All applicants are encouraged to apply. In order to work as a GA you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. This can take 6-8 weeks to process, so you will need to apply for one as soon as you are notified that you will be working for the department. TAs will also need to provide an official transcript. Back to questions.

Whom should I contact for additional information?

Our website should have all the information you require.  However, in the event that you have a more specific question, please contact Dr. Chen Ng at Back to questions.