Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need a background in Economics or Social Sciences to apply?

Although a background in Economics would be useful, the program is designed to accommodate students of all backgrounds.

What is your cohort size each year?

Our historical data indicates an average enrollment of 20-30 students annually from a pool of hundreds of applicants. We anticipate that the program will grow to accommodate about 40 students per year.


What are the prerequisites for your program?

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited or internationally recognized institution. While there are no formal prerequisites in terms of coursework, an advanced degree in a STEM field relies on a mathematical toolkit. As such, it is useful to have completed courses in algebra, calculus and probability. Undergraduate courses in economics are also helpful. We provide resources to entering students in the form of a math “boot camp”, which reviews the basic mathematical tools that will be used in the program. In addition, there is an ELP (English Language Program) course that students coming from abroad may need to take upon arrival.

What are the mathematics and statistics prerequisites?

Students are expected to be familiar with basic calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics. Students who do not have a sufficient background in mathematics and statistics can still apply to the program but may have to adjust their coursework to fulfill formal requirements.
For examples of formal course prerequisites, you can look at the course descriptions of Math 132 (Calc II), Math 2200 (Probability and Statistics), and Econ 493. Students in the AM program can take Econ 493 in their first semester of residence.


I have some relevant coursework that, could it count against required courses?

Incoming students are allowed to transfer up to 6 credits of previous graduate or qualifying undergraduate work.

Financial Support

Do students receive financial support?

Financial support is extremely limited. Typically, master students do not receive financial support.  

Do you offer teaching assistant(TA) or research assistant (RA) opportunities?

There are opportunities to provide partial funding during the program. In particular, we do offer some of our qualified master’s students teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA) opportunities following their first semester in the program. Students can also seek TA or RA opportunities outside of the department or school. It is important to note that these positions are compensated, they do not directly provide funding for tuition. 

Curriculum and Opportunities

There are different tracks and fields of specialization listed on the website. How are they determined? Are students free to choose their fields in the program?

The tracks are designed to allow each student to focus their advanced coursework in a way that maximizes the impact of the degree. The tracks are applicable to many of the most important quickly growing career paths in today’s market. Each student is free to choose their field. Students can take up to 9 credit hours towards their degrees from outside the Economics Department in School of Arts and Sciences. In special cases, they may also be able to take relevant courses from outside the School of Arts and Sciences.

What is the mentorship system and how are students matched with advisors?

Our master’s students have access to the full academic faculty at WashU. Our teachers are experts in their respective fields and many are world-renowned scholars. There is no formal system of matching students with faculty, but they will be assigned to an advisor who can assist them with course selections and provide answers to any questions they may have regarding the program. There are myriad opportunities for our students to form relationships with our faculty and seek advice and support outside of the classroom.

Does your master’s (AM) degree have a STEM designation?

Yes. With the STEM designation, our F-1 students are eligible for a 24-month OPT STEM Extension (beyond their standard 12-month OPT) upon graduation. Please refer to 
F-1 STEM OPT Extension Sponsored by WashU - Students ( for more information. 

Can completing your master's program lead to enrollment in your Ph.D. program?

Our master’s program and PhD program are two distinct programs. Master’s students are eligible to apply to the PhD program at WashU, but acceptance is competitive. Master’s students are eligible to take PhD-level classes during their studies here, and our master’s program can prepare students well for continuing their higher education in the form of a PhD. In fact, some of our master’s students have gone on to competitive PhD programs in the United States.

What are the placements for your recent graduates?

Our alumni are employed in diverse sectors, holding roles in banking, management consulting, equity funds, as well as other industry positions. Our most recent graduates have also gained acceptance into graduate programs in economics or finance at institutions like Purdue University and University of North Carolina, or have pursued a law degree at WashU.

If your question was not answered or have additional questions, please contact Shauna McCann.