Can I apply without an undergraduate degree in Economics?
Yes. Applicants are expected to have strong quantitative skills and some exposure to undergraduate economics courses. Students with degrees in a wide variety of fields (Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, etc.) can succeed in the M.A. program.

Can you tell me whether I’m likely to be admitted before I apply?
No. We can only evaluate complete applications. Please do not email us your GPA and GRE scores and ask if you’re likely to be admitted.

Can I apply to the PhD program and the M.A. program simultaneously?
To avoid complications, please do not apply to both the PhD program and the M.A. program at the same time. Applicants who apply to both programs simultaneously will be billed two separate application fees by the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC), but will not receive a refund for the secondary application fee if applying to the MA program after being denied admission to the PhD program.

If I have been denied admission to the PhD program, can I subsequently apply to the M.A. program?
Yes. You will not be required to pay another application fee, but you will need to submit another application through GIAC. After you have officially been denied admission to the PhD program, contact our applicant hotline for application instructions.


Does the M.A. Economics program qualify as a STEM Designated Degree? 
Yes! As of July 2018, the M.A. curriculum is classified as a STEM designated degree program. Under the STEM OPT Extension, international M.A. Economics program graduates are eligible for an additional 2 years of STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) beyond the standard 1-year OPT authorization already available. Detailed information about the 3-year STEM OPT designation, and STEM OPT eligibility requirements, is available on UT Austin’s International Student and Scholar Services website.

Does the M.A. degree require a thesis or special report?
Though there are opportunities for independent study, we do not offer nor require a thesis or report option. M.A. degree requirements consist of completion of 30 credit hours of approved coursework.

Can M.A. students take other courses at UT-Austin?
M.A. students are permitted to take 2 “cross-listed” elective classes (of the 10 total classes required for the degree) outside of the M.A. Economics curriculum. Classes outside the standard M.A. curriculum include pre-approved Econ PhD classes, select advanced undergrad Econ classes, and graduate-level classes offered in other academic units, such as the Business School, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the School of Engineering, the Law School, and the Math and Computer Science departments. We coordinate with other departments/units to offer a few of these on an ongoing basis, but many are arranged for upon request by individual students through advising consultation with our Program Director (e.g., many cross-listed elective offerings reflect individual student interests). We don’t list cross-listed elective courses on our website because they are not part of the standard M.A. curriculum and they are subject to availability (which varies each semester), as well as instructor/department approval.

Will the M.A. program prepare me for PhD study?
Yes. The program is designed to be a pathway to PhD study for those students wishing to continue their graduate studies. Moreover, you will have grades in six M.A. courses prior to most PhD application deadlines (for the following year).

Can M.A. students transfer directly into the PhD program at UT-Austin?
No. An M.A. student must submit a separate application for admission to the PhD program. Outstanding students will be encouraged to do so.

Tuition and financial aid

Are M.A. students eligible for financial aid?
No. Students are not eligible for University financial aid but may be eligible for student loans. Click the “Tuition” link for additional information.

Can I receive a TA or RA position with admission?
No. Assistantship (TA or RA) positions are not available for M.A. students.