M.A. Admission Information

M.A. Admission Information

The transcript must show strong background in linear algebra and calculus. All application materials must be electronically submitted via the University online application system, gradschool.psu.edu/apply.

Application Deadline

  • Applications must be received by March 1
  • From March to early April: admission decisions will be made
  • Students will have to notify us of their intention to attend by April 30

GRE scores

We require that applicants take the 3-part general aptitude GRE. There is no minimum requirement for GRE scores. We take into account that different applicants expend different amounts of effort in preparing for the GRE and that there are systematic differences among applicants from different countries.

GRE scores should not be more than five years old. Specifically, if you are applying for admission for the Ph.D. program beginning in the fall of year X, then you should have taken the GRE no earlier than the fall of year X-5.

  • Institution Code: 2660
  • Department Code: 1801


  1. International applicants must hold either (1) a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or (2) a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.
    1. International applicants must submit official or attested university records, with certified translations if the records are not in English. Notarized copies are not sufficient.
  2. The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. Individual graduate programs of study may require higher scores for admission.
    1. TOEFL:
      1. Internet-based test (iBT) – a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).
        1. Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, with Graduate School approval, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Disciplines) and attainment of a grade of B or higher within the first semester of enrollment.
      2. Paper-based test (taken prior to July 2017) – the minimum acceptable score is 550.
      3. Paper-based test (taken July 2017 or later) – a combined total of the 3 sections evaluated must be 60 or greater.
    2. IELTS: The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS Academic Test is 6.5.
    3. International applicants who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree in a country in which standard English is the predominant language and from a college/university/institution at which the language of instruction is English are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Countries that meet this qualification are listed in GCAC-305 Procedures.
  • Institution code: 2660
  • Department code: 84

Minimum Requirements for Admission (by Country)

For Admission Eligibility by Country, please visit the Graduate School link.


Financial aid is not available for this program. Please visit tuition.psu.edu for more information on tuition and fees.

Program Requirements

The M.A. program is a two-year (four-semester) program, which requires a minimum of 30 credits and an MA project. The first year is devoted to 18 credits of the core courses in micro, macro, and econometrics. The second year follows with at least 12 additional credits, 3 credits of which will be in a year–long course for the M.A. project. The M.A. project will provide hands-on experience of small research supervised by our excellent faculty. Grad School Policy Statement

  1. Applicants may apply for admission to only one program at a time.
  2. For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or (2) a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.
  3. Ordinarily, an entering student must have completed in a satisfactory manner a minimum of course work in designated areas, the specific courses and amount of work depending upon the intended field of advanced study.
  4. Admission is granted jointly by the Graduate School and the graduate program in which the student plans to study. The establishment of standards by which applicants are admitted is the responsibility of the graduate program. Individual program requirements for admission are included in the Graduate Bulletin.
  5. Although the Graduate School has no fixed minimum grade-point requirement for admission, an applicant is generally expected to maintain a junior-senior grade-point average of at least 2.50 on Penn State’s grading scale of A (4.00) to D (1.00). Individual graduate programs often establish higher grade-point average requirements and use other criteria to judge candidates for admission.
  6. In exceptional cases, graduate programs may also approve admission by reason of special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.


Applicants should obtain application deadlines by contacting the individual graduate program. Because the admission process is time consuming, applications should be submitted as early as possible.

Further Information

GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students