- About Lerner
- Faculty & Staff
- News & Events
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Which program is best for me?
B. Time to completion of degree
C. Distinctive features of your program
E. Limited background in Economics
F. GRE Scores
G. Three-year foreign undergraduate degrees
H. Financial Aid
Q. What is the main difference between the MA in Economics and the MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics?
A.The MA degree is designed for students interested in a more applied, less technical graduate degree that offers a maximum of electives. This degree is also ideal for students with a relatively more limited undergraduate background in Economics. For example, students who took Economics courses as an undergraduate but majored in Political Science, Finance, and Public Affairs will find this program especially attractive. The MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics is more focused with fewer electives. Students take more mathematically oriented theory courses and are required to take at least three econometrics courses out of the five offered. The MS degree is ideal for students who majored in Economics as undergraduates and who want a more specialized applied background in econometric methods. Note: all students who earn a PhD in Economics without prior graduate work in Economics will earn the MS degree as well as the PhD. As a result, the MS degree is also a solid foundation for a PhD not only at UD but at another university.
Q. I am trying to decide between the MA and MS degrees. I want a PhD eventually, but I am concerned that my background is not strong enough to start with the PhD program.What should I do?
A: You can apply to either program and still complete all coursework for the PhD within three years. Regardless of which program you choose, you can switch between programs once at UD if approved by the Graduate Committee. The path to the PhD degree is more direct for MS students, since PhD students and MS students take the same three courses during their first semester (ECON810, ECON811, and ECON822). MA students typically take the less mathematically demanding ECON801, ECON802, and ECON803 during their first semester. If you have had two-semesters of multivariate calculus and statistics and an intermediate-level (calculus-based) course in Microeconomic Theory, you have met the minimum requirements for taking the MS/PhD courses. If you still want to start with the MA program but have had a two-course sequence in statistics, you should consider taking ECON822 instead of ECON803. ECON801 and ECON803 cannot be used to meet the requirements of the MS or PhD degree.
Q. What is the difference between a PhD in Economics and a PhD in Economic Education?
A. The PhD in Economics at the University of Delaware is just what it sounds like – a program designed to develop professional research skills in economics, including advanced economic theory and econometrics. Virtually all the coursework is taken in the Department of Economics. Details of that program are available on the web pages here. The PhD in Economic Education is a joint program between the Department of Economics and the School of Education that trains professionals in the growing field of Economic Education. That field focuses on the learning and teaching of economics, especially at the K-12 level, but also at college and universities, and through general public service education programs at banks, Federal Reserve Banks, etc. This program has a substantial education course component in addition to graduate training in economics. Coursework in the program is evenly divided between the two areas. It is less quantitative than the PhD in Economics, but the courses in Education are very reading and writing intensive. The PhD in Economic Education is not intended as a substitute for the PhD degree in Economics and we expect that employers would not regard it that way. It is a distinct program of study leading to a different professional career path.
Q. What’s the difference between the PhD in Economic Education and the MA degree in Economics and Entrepreneurship for Educators (MAEEE)?
A. The MAEEE degree is designed for individuals currently working in the education field who want to strengthen their economics skills. It is a professional degree. Instruction in Economics is similar to courses that might be taken by economics majors and is combined with courses on pedagogy and with implementation projects. The degree is offered in two summer sessions in consecutive years. More information is available here. The PhD program in Economic Education combines graduate level coursework in Economics and Education. It is a research degree and, as such, places greater emphasis on research methods, including statistics, mathematics, and advanced economics. This full-time residential program can be completed in three to four years. More information on this program is available here.
Q.How long does it take to finish the different degrees?
A.Both the MA in Economics and the MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics are three-semester degrees. Students can take three courses each semester and register for ECON868, Research paper, in any of the three semesters. Students often work on the research project during the summer between the second and third semesters. MS students may take a tenth course instead of ECON868. We advise students to do this during their third semester. PhD students need three years to finish their coursework and an additional year to complete the dissertation.
Q. What is distinctive about your programs?
A. First, we take a personalized approach to our students. Our program is small enough that each student receives personal attention. As a result, students finish their degrees at a faster rate than is typical elsewhere. Second, we focus on the application of Economics to the real world and offer a wide array of Econometrics courses designed to train students for jobs that emphasize the practical application of Economics. As a result, we have been highly successful in placing our graduates in meaningful jobs that demand such skills. Third, a large number of our funded students teach either Economics courses for our department or Statistics labs for the Department of Mathematics. As a result, these students gain valuable experience that translates well not only to academia but to the business world, which places a premium on the ability to communicate effectively.
Q: What do you mean by "equivalency" ?
A: Although a student cannot use credit earned for another degree to earn a Master's degree in Economics at the University of Delaware, some of these credits may reduce the overall number of credits needed to complete the PhD degree. Students without prior graduate work in Economics must complete the requirements of our MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics (30 credits) in addition to satisfying the requirements for the PhD (29 credits). Students will be awarded both degrees upon completion of the requirements. If you have completed a Master’s degree in Economics at another comparable university, it is possible that you may only need to complete the remaining 29 credits (including 9-credit thesis) at the University of Delaware. However, since Master’s degrees do not always include comparable courses at a comparable level of rigor, the Graduate Committee must evaluate each student’s record on an individual basis. Students must supply information concerning course content (for example, copies of course syllabi and exams) to support their request for equivalency. You will find copies of our course syllabi at our website.
Q: If I have completed a MBA recently, how many more courses will I have to take to complete the PhD?
A: This depends on exactly what courses you took for your MBA degree. Generally, there is little overlap between coursework for a traditional MBA and a Master’s degree in Economics. The Graduate Committee evaluates each student’s record on an individual basis. Students must supply information concerning course content (for example, copies of course syllabi and exams) to support their request for equivalency.
Q: I'm applying for the PhD Program in Economics; I currently hold a MBA degree. You stipulate that I must eventually meet the requirements of the MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics in addition to the requirements for the PhD program. Do I submit my application for the MS or the PhD program?
A: You can apply directly to the Ph.D. with a MBA degree. You will be required to complete the MS equivalency at UD as part of your Ph.D. program (30 credits for the MS degree plus the 29 credits for PhD). If you receive equivalency for any coursework taken for the MBA, you will not be able to use those credits for the MS degree. However, those credits would reduce the total number of credits needed for the PhD degree.Students who receive equivalency for coursework will receive only a PhD degree.
Q: I have a limited background in Economics but, as an undergraduate, I took two-semester courses in calculus and statistics. Should I get a MA degree prior to switching to the PhD program?
A: You would benefit from a calculus-based Intermediate Microeconomics course. You should consider taking the course prior to starting graduate work in Economics. If your background in mathematics and statistics is especially strong, you could still succeed in either the MS or PhD program. The Graduate Committee would have to evaluate your record once you have applied and advise you as to which program is the most appropriate. Once at UD, you can change programs at any time as long as the Graduate Committee approves.
Q: What can I do to increase my chances of being admitted to the MS or PhD program?
A: We have found that students do better if they have a stronger background in Mathematics. The minimum mathematics requirement is a two-course undergraduate sequence in Calculus that includes multivariate Calculus (that is, partial differentiation). We offer a self-contained course in Mathematics for Economists (ECON810) in the fall semester. Also recommended are courses in linear algebra and differential equations.
Q: What is the minimum requirement (such as TOEFL and GRE scores) if I want to apply for a TA or RA?
A: The minimum TOEFL for admission to the PhD is 600 and the minimum GRE score is 1100 (verbal + quantitative).
Q: Does the University of Delaware treat a 3-year Bachelors' (Honors) degree from another country as equivalent to its U.S. counterpart and accept the applicant for direct admission to the Graduate program?
A: No, a three-year degree is not acceptable for admission to UD. One more year of post-graduate studies at your University would be acceptable and then you may apply for admission to graduate studies at UD.
Q: I have already received the official letter of admission from the University of Delaware but I was not given financial aid. Do I have any chance of obtaining financial aid?
A: We realize that money is a problem and it is very difficult for you to come without aid. However, we have limited aid awards. It is our experience that it is very difficult for foreign students to cope financially in the United States without the help of a sponsor from outside the University.
Q: When do you make your funding decisions for the fall semester? Can you tell me what my chances are in advance?
A: We do fund a limited number of new students. Funding is highly competitive. We make the funding decisions for the fall semester in either March of April once we have reviewed all of the applicants' records. The committee looks at all applicants at the same time and uses the criteria listed on our website. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make more specific statements about an individual student's situation until we see the completed application.
Q: If I do well in my first year, will I be funded during the remaining time that I will need to finish the PhD?
A: While continued funding is based on student performance, PhD students who receive funding after the first year are normally required to teach in the undergraduate program. Funding is highly competitive. We make the funding decisions for the fall semester in either March of April once we have reviewed all of the applicants' records.
Q: Am I more likely to receive funding if I apply to the PhD program than a Master’s program?
A: While we fund a small number of new Master’s and PhD students, applying for the Master’s or PhD program does not affect the funding or admission decision. Funding beyond the first year is dependent on success in the first year.
Q: I am interested in Finance. I see that your College offers a MS in Finance as well as concentrations in Finance as a part of the MBA and PhD in Economics. What is the difference among these three degrees?
A: The MS in Finance is 30-credit degree with courses offered also to MBA and Economics graduate students. The MBA Finance courses are mostly managerial and institutional in nature, while the courses open to Economics students are research-oriented and have a graduate course in Econometrics as a prerequisite. The PhD in Economics offers a Concentration in Financial Economics in collaboration with the Finance Department. Students interested in the PhD in Economics with a Concentration in Financial Economics can earn either a MS in Finance or a MS in Economics and Applied Econometrics while doing coursework for the PhD. In either case students can complete all coursework within three years with a fourth year dedicated to completing the dissertation. The website provides the details concerning courses and total number of credits for each degree. PhD students take the same three research courses offered to the MS in Finance students, must pass a comprehensive examination in Finance, and do their thesis in Financial Economics with faculty advisors from both departments.