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Department of Economics
University of Mississippi


How do I apply?

Apply through the Graduate School (see the Apply Now button at the Graduate School website).  After verifying the authenticity of your documents, the Graduate School then forwards your application to the Department of Economics. (Please do not send items directly to the Department.) You can track your application via the Graduate School website.

What is the application deadline?

We typically make our financial aid offers in early/mid March. Students who wish to be considered for financial aid should have their applications completed by March 1.

Can students start a program in the Spring semester?

Our M.A. and Ph.D. curricula are designed for a Fall entry, but yes, in a special case, a student can start in the Spring semester. Students who apply for Spring admission are unlikely to get financial aid from the Department for that semester (our funds are typically all committed by then).

What documents are needed for an application?

  • A statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Recommendation letters (2 for M.A. applicants, 3 for Ph.D. applicants)
  • Official GRE scores (GMAT scores are not an acceptable substitute)
  • For international students, official TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Proof of immunization (submitted to Student Health Services)

Additional information is provided in other FAQs below. More detailed information can found at the Graduate School website.

What should be contained in a statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should describe your background, your interest in economics, and your interest in the Ph.D. or M.A. program here at the University of Mississippi. If you are interested in financial support, please indicate this in your statement. A typical statement is 1-2 pages long, double-spaced with size 12 font. Please avoid spurious information or comments; a statement of purpose should not exceed 2 pages.

What is the minimum GPA? What are the prerequisites or required undergraduate courses, or required majors?

The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The Department does not have an additional requirement. When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of applicant’s transcript, GRE scores, and recommendation letters.There are no specific required prerequisites or majors. We welcome student from any academic background, but we expect entering students to be prepared for the rigors of graduate economics.When the Admissions Committee reviews an applicant’s transcript, it looks at the overall performance (especially the last 60 hours), and specific performance in economics or economics-related courses and quantitative courses (math, statistics, etc.). Science-related, logic/philosophy, and business courses can also be helpful.If a student is deficient in one or more areas, s/he can take undergraduate courses while enrolled in the graduate program or in the summer prior to starting the graduate program. Members of the graduate faculty can provide guidance on which preparatory courses to take.

What are the minimum GRE scores?

By law, we are not allowed to set minimum GRE scores. When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of applicant’s transcript, GRE scores and recommendation letters.The typical GRE scores of our entering students are at least 150 Verbal and 155 Quantitative. Ph.D. students with lower GRE scores typically struggle in our program.GRE scores must be transmitted directly to the University of Mississippi from the testing service. GRE scores must be less than 5 years old.

What is the expectation for recommendation letters? How many are required?

When evaluating applications, the Admissions Committee considers the combination of applicant’s transcript, GRE scores and recommendation letters. Recommendation letter are an essential part of the evaluation.Qualified recommenders are anyone who can comment specifically on your ability to handle the rigors of graduate education. Former professors are usually the best, as they know the expectations of graduate school, and they typically have first-hand knowledge of your academic abilities. Other possibilities are former employers or supervisors, or academic advisors. Ph.D. applicants need to submit 3 letters of recommendation. M.A. applicants need to submit 2 letters of recommendation.We prefer that the recommendation letters be submitted electronically (for more information, see the Graduate School website; under the Prospective Students button, choose the Application Process option.) However, recommendation letters can be sent via surface mail to:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Economics
203 Odom Hall
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677-1848

What is the minimum TOEFL score?

All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. Scores must be transmitted directly to the University of Mississippi from the testing service, and cannot be more than two years old.The University requires the (for full admission) the following minimum TOEFL score: Internet Based (IB) 79-80, Computer Based (CB) 213, or Paper Based (PB) 550. The Department does not have additional higher requirements. However, assistantship duties especially graduate instructors are expected to have excellent verbal and written communication skills. The Department places a premium on communication skills, and TOEFL scores are an important part of the Admissions Committee’s deliberation. Students with deficient skills will be advised to take courses in the English As A Second Language Program (run by the Department of Modern Languages). All international applicants should visit the Office of International Programs website. There is a plethora of useful information there, including information on International Admission criteria, cost of attending, visa requirements, etc. In particular, see “Apply” and choose “Grad School Info”.

What types of financial assistance are available? How do I apply?

If you wish to be considered for financial aid, it is best to explicitly say so in your statement of purpose. We typically assume that most or all students are willing to accept financial aid if it is offered to them. The Department offers 9-month assistantships to qualified students. These are awarded on a competitive basis; both the number of the awards and the amounts of the awards are based on the available funds. Assistantships require the student to work as a teaching/research assistant to departmental faculty, or as a graduate instructor. The Department offers 20-hr (1/2 time) assistantships. This is the number of hours that the student is expected to work per week. Students on a 20-hour assistantship also receive (from the Graduate School) a 100% tuition waiver and a 100% non-resident fee waiver.

The assistantships are generally reserved for Ph.D. students.

What is some basic information on the Economic Ph.D. and M.A. programs?

Our program is designed to provide individualized attention. A typical lecture class has 8-10 students (graduate students from finance, accounting, etc. also take our courses). The typical Ph.D. student takes 5 years to finish, the typical M.A. student takes 2 years. Our graduate students usually number in the 15-20 range, across all years and both programs. Our entering class is about 3-5 students per year, Ph.D and M.A. combined.