Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Master of Science
Program in Applied Economics

Dr. John Straub, Program Director

College Park location
1102 Morrill Hall
Program Coordinator:
Hardeep Chowdhary
(301) 405-3557

Washington, DC location
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20036
Program Coordinator:
Breana Dinh
(202) 525-4308

Tuition and Financial Aid

Cost of Attendance

All applicants must pay a one-time and non-refundable graduate application fee of $75.

Our program's tuition has been fixed at $3,250 per course since the fall of 2017.  Despite receiving approval to raise our tuition, we've chosen to keep it at $3,250 per course for the 2020-21 academic year. However, we expect our tuition to increase to $3,400 per course starting in fall 2021. Tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state residents, and considerably lower than the tuition charged by other professional economics master's degree programs in the Washington, DC area.  For example, fall 2021 tuition in Johns Hopkins' Applied Economics master's degree program is $4,866 per course.  Over the 10-course degree, that is a difference of more than $14,000.  

Fees for the 2021/22 academic year: Full time students on our main campus in College Park pay Graduate Student Fees of $817.50 per semester.  Students in our quarter-based program in Washington, DC pay a UMD Technology Fee of $76.50 per quarter.   

Students also need to buy textbooks and computer software.  We use the same statistical software (Stata) in all of our core empirical courses so students only need to buy it once, and do not need to purchase a different statistical software package for each course.  Most of our students purchase a perpetual license for "Stata IC."  The license costs $225 and never expires. 

Most of our courses require students to have a laptop computer (not a notebook or tablet!) with at least 1 GB of RAM and at least 5 GB of free space available on the hard drive.  The cheapest laptop computers that meet these minimum specifications can be purchased for under $300.  Of course more durable computers with more than the bare minimum specifications will be more expensive.  It should not be difficult to find a laptop that is more than adequate in the $500-$1,000 range.

The University of Maryland's Office of Student Financial Aid has published some general information about the total cost of attendance at the University of Maryland for the 9-month academic year (Sept-May).  The estimated additional costs for graduate students in 2020/21 were: Room & food off campus ($14,434), personal expenses ($1,144), books & supplies ($624), and transportation and other costs ($3,278).  Of course these are just estimates.  The actual costs will vary from student to student.  Admitted students who completed the FAFSA can find their student-specific estimates in the UMD's student financial aid portal under the Cost of Attendance section. 

Graduate students at the University of Maryland are also required to have health insurance.  Students can either demonstrate that they have their own insurance, or they can enroll in the University of Maryland's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).  The annual cost of the UMD's Student Health Insurance Plan in 2020/21 was $1,555 (August 1, 2020 - July 31, 2021).   

International students with dependents will also need to demonstrate resources for supporting their dependents.  For the fall of 2021, the required amount was $4,500 per dependent. 

Graduate students can be required to take English courses at the Maryland English Institute if their TOEFL or IELTS scores do not meet our Graduate School's criteria for full admission.  Some students can be required to take an intensive English course in their first term (UMEI 005) which cost $6,165 in 2020/21.  Other students are required to take a writing course in their 2nd term (UMEI 007) which cost $3,083 in 2020/21. Please visit the Maryland English Institute's website for updated information about the cost of their courses.

Our Graduate School offers the online VOXY-UMD Bridge Program, which is a 2-month online course designed to improve the English language skills of newly admitted applicants.  Upon completion of the two month program students should retake the TOEFL/IELTS and submit a new score to our Graduate School to determine if MEI course requirements can be waived.  The TOEFL/IELTS needs to be retaken before June 21st. 

The UMD also charges $125 per semester for all newly enrolled full-time students who are neither US citizens nor US permanent residents.  The UMD uses this revenue to enhance support for our international students.  

Financial Aid

Our department does not offer fellowships or graduate assistantships to any of the students in our professional master's degree program.  As with any professional program, like law school or medical school, the time and money spent obtaining our program's STEM-designated Master of Science degree is an investment from a student's point of view.  The return on the investment comes through enhanced career prospects.  Students are welcome to seek graduate assistantships outside our department.  Information about graduate assistantships at the University of Maryland are posted on our University Career Center's website.
Domestic students in our program are eligible for federal loans through the US Department of Education.  These include subsidized and unsubsidized loans.  Some students also take a Graduate PLUS loan.  Some of our students also have their tuition paid, at least in part, by an employer or other 3rd party.  The University's Financial Services Center provides Third Party Billing when the third party requires a bill from the university.  More information about financial aid is available from the University of Maryland's Office of Student Financial Aid.  
After submitting their completed application, international applicants who require a student visa will be asked to complete a "Certificate of Finances" form.  The form is designed to verify that international applicants have the resources necessary to finance their pursuit of our degree if they are accepted and choose to enroll.  More information about financial aid for international students is posted here: