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Graduate School in Other Disciplines​

Graduate Education for Economics Majors

Graduating with a degree in economics opens the doors for various graduate schools, with many students pursuing graduate degrees in fields such as economics, finance, law, public administration, and more. Explore the links on the sidebar to learn more about some of the most common graduate programs that economics students choose to pursue. Listed below are some helpful tips to prepare for graduate school.

Tips for Graduate School Applications

​No matter what graduate program you apply for, there are various steps you can take now as an undergrad to stand out on your application.

  1. ​Get t​​o know your professors – become a teaching or a research assistant
  2. Do internships! Look for internships in companies that you are interested in. Visit our internship page​​
  3. Study three months to one year in advance for the graduate school entrance exams (GRE, GMAT, MCAT,LSAT, etc.)
  4. Take prep classes to help you improve your score.
  5. Be involved! Get to know your classmates, join clubs, and build your network. Join and use Link​edIn​
  6. Regularly volunteer for projects and other things of general interest. Whatever you choose, focus on fields ​that will help you in your graduate pursuits.
  7. Perform well in your classes, especially the core classes that will be used in your graduate studies to help you stand out.
  8. Develop good writing skills.

Letters of Recommendation

Asking for a letter of recommendation can be awkward. Here are some tips to help you know who to contact and when:

  1. Chose professors who know what you can do: don't settle for just "good enough,"​but someone who is familiar with your critical thinking and communication skills.
  2. Give the courtesy of time: your professors need time to think and compose a letter. Ask a few months in advance so they don't feel pressured.
  3. Talk with your professor about why graduate school is important to you: this will help them get to know you better so they can write an insightful, well-balanced letter.
  4. Share a brief resume of your activities and achievements: this will help your professors see the bigger picture outside of the classroom.
  5. Simplify the process: p​rovide a list of your application deadlines and include appropriate forms. If the process is not electronic, include pre-addressed stamped envelopes for each of the programs to which you are applying.
  6. Send thank you letters: professors take time and effort to write a letter for you. Be courteous and let them know that you appreciate it.

What to Consider

Sending out grad school applications is time-consuming and expensive. Skip the blitz method and don't apply to every program in your field. Instead, focus your energy and attention on carefully chosen schools. Here are some tips on what things to consider when selecting a graduate program:

  1. Doing a graduate program is an investment in your future. Thoroughly research the program and make qualitative considerations, e.g. program focus, your needs, faculty involvement—don't just focus on quantitative statistics and rankings.
  2. It is a lot more difficult to find funding​ for a graduate program. Research financial aid packages that will help ​you meet your needs for both schooling and living expenses. Make sure the cost of the program matches the quality of the education—do a cost-benefit analysis. Research the financial rankings of the programs you are interested in and talk to alumni about their experience if possible. Don't let finances prevent you too much from going to grad school. The payoff is usually worth it.
  3. The graduate program is as good as the faculty members that teach there. Research the professors and the quality of the education to see what best fits your needs.
  4. Determine what career planning and job search assistance is available through the grad program. Is internship placement available? Is there recruitment? Where do the graduates typically go? Are graduates of this program successful? Does this program make you employable?
  5. If you hope to develop a relationship with industry leaders, select a school that prides itself on real-world orientation and opportunity to network. A school with a well-developed alumni relations office is a good sign.
  6. Overall, it is most important to find a program that meets your needs and brings your ambition to life. When you have clearly-defined goals, you tend to remain committed, persist through your studies, and enjoy your graduate program.
  7. Be aware of the number of available spots and acceptance rates of applicants. Princeton Review suggests selecting two schools that you know that you can get into, two schools that are more of a stretch, and an "if lightning strikes" school as a backup plan.