Master of Science in Applied Economics

International Students

Students from over 50 countries have enrolled in our program since it was established in 2012, and we are dedicated to providing resources to help them succeed. The University of Maryland has many resources specific to international students, including UMD’s International Student & Scholar Services, and our College Park coordinator is available for program-specific questions for both domestic and international students. Prospective international students should feel free to reach out to with any questions about the international application process.

International applicants who will need the University of Maryland to sponsor an F-1 student visa must apply for fall enrollment to the College Park version of our program. We do not sponsor visas for students in the Washington, D.C. version of our program. International applicants who already reside in the US on existing visas that permit study (G-4 and H-4 visas, for example) may apply to either version of the program.

Any student – international or domestic – whose previous degrees are all from non-English speaking countries must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The list of English-speaking countries for UMD Graduate School admissions purposes is posted along with additional detailed information on the Graduate School’s website.

All applicants must comply with this policy regardless of citizenship status, number of years residing in the United States, and/or language of instruction of their university.

For the PTE (Pearson Test of English) a minimum score of 68 is required for full admission. The TOEFL and IELTS requirements for full admission are listed below. Please note that for TOEFL and IELTS, the requirement in each section as well as the overall score must be met.

iBT TOEFL Requirements for Full Admission:

  • Total: 96
  • Speaking: 22
  • Listening: 24
  • Reading: 26
  • Writing: 24

IELTS Requirements for Full Admission:

  • Total: 7.0
  • Speaking: 6.5
  • Listening: 7.0
  • Reading: 7.0
  • Writing: 7.0

Official copies of your scores must be sent directly to the UMD Graduate School. Our TOEFL reporting code is 5814.

Additionally, we ask that applicants also upload a PDF of their TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE report with their online application. That will permit us to process your application even before the official score report has been processed by our Graduate School. Do not assume that your TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores will be reported to the University promptly simply because you have taken the test. We will not be able to complete our review of your application without your TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.

For more information, read the University of Maryland’s graduate admissions requirements for English proficiency.

In the College Park version of our program, we will consider the possibility of provisional admission for applicants with TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores in the following ranges:

TOEFL: 88-95
IELTS: Score of at least 6.5 on each section of the exam. 
PTE: 61-67

We are only able to work with applicants who need English proficiency provisions if they enroll in the College Park version of our program. In our D.C. location, we can only admit students who meet the full admission standards for English proficiency.

In College Park, we will consider applicants with provisional scores on a case-by-case basis. Our review will include consideration of the sectional scores.

If all sectional scores except the writing score meet the full-admission standards, we may offer full admission with a condition of enrollment that the student complete an English writing course at the Maryland English Institute (MEI) during their 2nd semester of study. Students in this situation also have the option of re-taking the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. If their new scores satisfy all the full admission requirements, the student will be exempted from the MEI English writing course requirement.

If an applicant requires more than just the MEI English writing course, we may offer admission into a “bridge” program rather than our regular degree program. In this case, the applicant will receive a non-degree student I-20 marked “Other-Bridge” and will be enrolled in a semi-intensive English course at the Maryland English Institute (MEI) during their first semester. Students in this situation will take just 2 of our program’s usual courses during their first semester. They will take ECON 641 and ECON 643, in addition to the MEI semi-intensive English course. Students in this situation are also able to submit new TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores up to 30 days before the start of their first semester for reevaluation.

The UMD Graduate School offers a free online resource called the EnGen-UMD Bridge Program, a two-month online course designed to improve the English language skills of applicants who do not meet the full-admission standard for English proficiency. Upon completion of the two-month program, students should retake the IELTS or TOEFL exam (or Pearson Exam) and submit a new score to the Graduate School. The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE needs to be retaken before July 7th. Please visit the program website for more information and to sign up for the program.

Once you receive your score report, please also send a PDF of that directly to our program via email. That will permit us to process your application even before the official score report has been processed by our Graduate School.

International applicants with a 3-year bachelor’s degree should read the information posted on this page of the UMD Graduate School website. Applicants with 3-year degrees from India can be admissible, for example, if their 3-year bachelor’s degree has already been earned at the time of application, and if their degree is in economics or a closely related field, with strong grades.

The terms of F-1 student visas place restrictions on the types of employment and internships that international students can pursue while studying in the US.  Visa compliance issues are handled at the University of Maryland by our Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).  

After completing the first year of our program, international students can be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internships in the US.  CPT authorization allows you to accept a one-semester paid or unpaid internship in your field of study.  The evening classes in our program facilitate the scheduling of internships during the day.  International students can also travel in the United States during the summer and winter breaks – including the summer after they graduate.  Additional details related to permissible employment for students on F-1 visas are posted here. 

International students with an F-1 visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Graduates of our STEM-designated M.S. degree program are eligible for a 2-year extension to the usual 1-year OPT eligibility – for a total of 3 years of OPT after graduation.  We cannot guarantee an OPT placement for every graduate, but we do have well-established relationships with many Washington, D.C. area employers, and we will help students interested in seeking internships. You can see some examples of the work that previous graduates have found on our Alumni Profiles page.

Students with F-1 or J-1 visas must be enrolled full-time (3 courses per semester) for each of the first 3 semesters. The only possible exception that might allow an F-1 or J-1 student to remain in the United States while not being enrolled in 9 credits per semester is being on an approved leave of absence for a serious illness or medical condition. Students are advised to consult with International Student and Scholar Services for more information when considering a leave of absence.