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Prospective Graduate Student FAQs

Yes, we offer both a Master’s program and a Ph.D. program.

We admit students into the MA in both Fall and Spring. We have only Fall admission for the PhD.

Yes. We require the GRE General test, all three parts. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of students who do not have a degree earned in the US.

We have no minimum GRE score requirements. However, we use GRE scores as a major factor in determining admission. We look most carefully at the quantitative score in making admissions decisions.

A minimum of 85 on the TOEFL score is required.

Our doctoral program is full-time only.  We admit part-time students into our Master’s program, and even schedule Master’s-level courses in late afternoon and early evening for the convenience of working students.

We receive approximately 200 applications a year to our Master’s program and admit around 100. Our entering MA class is usually between 30 and 40. We receive approximately 90 applications to our Doctoral program and admit about ten. Our entering PhD class is usually between five and ten.

All PhD students are supported with a Teaching Assistantship.  The Assistantship offers tuition, a stipend, and student health insurance.  We offer CSSH Dean’s Scholarships to qualified master’s applicants. CSSH Dean’s Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who apply in advance of the financial aid deadlines.  The Double Husky Scholarship program provides all alumni with a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern a tuition discount of up to 25% when they enroll in an eligible master’s degree program.

PhD admissions and financial aid decisions are made in February for the Fall term.  Master’s admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, generally within a month of the application being placed in committee review. Financial aid decisions on Master’s applicants are made by March for the Fall term.

The Master’s program requires completion of a minimum of eight courses, or 32 semester hours, of graduate credit. These courses must include the four MA core courses. From the Bachelor’s level, the PhD course work entails completion of the four MA core courses, the three PhD core courses, two field courses, and a minimum of three elective courses, for a total of twelve courses or 48 semester hours. Students entering the doctoral program with graduate economics credit may require fewer courses. Doctoral students of course have other requirements besides courses — the qualifying examinations in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, one field/econometrics examination, and a dissertation.

It takes an average of 1-1/2 years (three semesters) for the Master’s, and five years for the PhD

Students may transfer up to nine semester hours toward the degree. Courses submitted for transfer credit must be graduate-level, must not have been applied toward another degree, and must have earned a grade of at least a B. All transfer credit applications must be approved by the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Office.

Yes. Non-degree students are allowed to take up to 9 semester hours (2 courses) without being enrolled in a degree program. International students are not eligible for non-degree status.

Students who wish to take graduate classes in CSSH before applying to a degree program may apply for non-degree special student status. Special students apply through the online application system, ApplyYourself, and enroll on a part-time basis. Special students cannot exceed more than two courses per semester and may not exceed 9 semester hours over time prior to applying to a degree program.

Here is a link to the PhD placement information.

You may email, or call the NU Department of Economics at 617.373.2871.

James Dana, Jr.
Professor and PhD Graduate Program Director
306 Lake Hall

un Ma 
Associate Professor and MA Graduate Program Director
324 Lake Hall

acquaetta Hester, Graduate Program Coordinator
301 Lake Hall