The Graduate College requires a four year undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission for all programs. [Please note that applicants from countries that offer three year undergraduate degrees (e.g. India and Pakistan) should be aware that a three year undergraduate degree is not sufficient for admission. Normally applicants from these countries need to have completed a master's degree in addition to their bachelor's degree.]
We recommend that applicants to our program have at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. The Graduate College will not allow admission of applicants who have a GPA below a 2.75/4.0 based on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study (typically the last two years).
Applicants to the M.A. in Applied Economics program should have completed one semester each of calculus and statistics, and introductory-level courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as a course in intermediate-level microeconomics.
Applicants to the Ph.D. or M.A. in Economics programs should have good quantitative and analytical skills. Although an undergraduate degree in economics is not required, a good background in economics and mathematics is necessary. At a minimum, in order to perform well in the program, entering students need three semesters of calculus, a semester in linear algebra, one semester of statistics or econometrics, and coursework through the intermediate level in both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Undergraduate courses in mathematical economics and econometrics are also recommended. Strong writing and communication skills are also necessary for success in the Ph.D. program.
The department considers a number of factors in its admission decisions, including the applicant’s previous academic record, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation. The department does not have a minimum GRE “cutoff” score for applicants. Average GRE scores of PhD applicants accepted for a recent academic year were 154 – Verbal, 162 – Quantitative, and 4.0 – Analytical Writing. These scores are given for reference only. Since test scores are only one of the factors considered by the admissions committee, applicants with scores slightly lower than the averages shown above should not necessarily be discouraged from applying, nor are applicants with higher scores guaranteed acceptance.
International students must provide proof of English proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. The University Office of Admissions requires all applicants to meet minimum sub-score levels for either exam, which are listed on their website. The average TOEFL sub-score levels for students admitted to the Ph.D. program are: Speaking – 25, Listening – 26, Reading – 27, Writing – 26, with a total average score of 103. For IELTS, the average total score for students admitted to the Ph.D. program is 8. Waiver options are available for students who have completed a degree in the U.S. or other English-speaking country; please see the Office of Admissions site.
Economics Graduate Students
The Ph.D. in Economics program admits an average of 10 students each year. The stock of students is approximately 60 in the Ph.D. program. The program is large enough to allow specialization in a number of different areas but small enough to allow close faculty-student interaction.
Our graduate students come from all over the globe. In past years we have had graduate students from 23 countries, including Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Phillipines, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. Approximately half of all entering students are from the U.S. and half are from abroad.
There are a large number of student organizations at UIC, including 30 international student organizations, as well as arts, religious, leisure time and sports organizations. The Economics Graduate Students have their own association which organizes seminars, study groups, social events and serves as a liason between graduate students and faculty. The Department of Economics annually awards the Oscar Miller Teaching Award to the best graduate student teacher. The Department also awards annually the Winnifred Geldard Award and the Bassett, Chiswick, Kosobud and Stokes Award for academic excellence. All three awards include a cash prize.