Master of Science in Applied Economics

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The University of Maryland is a public institution, committed to providing excellent education at affordable prices.  Our department does not provide financial aid for professional master’s programs, but instead keeps tuition low for everyone. Our 10-course program’s tuition is currently $4,050 per course. Tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state residents, and considerably lower than the tuition charged by other economics master’s degree programs in the Washington, D.C. area. For example, tuition in Johns Hopkins’ Applied Economics master’s degree program is $5,400 per course.  Over the 10-course degree, that is a difference of more than $13,000. 

As with any program, the total cost of attendance depends on more than just tuition and fees. No matter where a student enrolls, they will also need to pay for housing, food, transportation, books, software, and other expenses including health insurance. Accounting for these additional costs, we estimate the total cost of attendance over 2 academic years to be about $92,000 for a full-time international student with no dependents. This is about $50,050 in the first year (6 courses) and about $41,950 in the second year (4 courses). The estimates assume the student does not need to take any English courses at the Maryland English Institute while enrolled, and that nominal prices rise about 3.5% per year. 

Actual expenses will vary from student to student. The details provided below can be helpful to individual applicants interested in making more specific estimates based on their individual circumstances. 

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

Fees for the 2024/25 academic year: Full-time students on our main campus in College Park pay Graduate Student Fees of $692.50 per semester. Students in our quarter-based program in Washington, D.C. pay $358.00 per quarter. Current tuition and fees are also listed on the University of Maryland’s Extended Studies page website.

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/BE.” 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. 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 2024/25 were: Room & food off campus ($16,372), personal expenses ($1,200), books & supplies ($1,000), and transportation and other costs ($3,058). 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 2024/25 is $2,494.   

International students with dependents will also need to demonstrate resources for supporting their dependents. For the fall of 2024, the required amount was $5,000 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 $6,515 in 2023/24. Other students are required to take a writing course in their 2nd term (UMEI 007) which cost $3,083 in 2023/24. Please visit the Maryland English Institute‘s website for updated information about the cost of their courses.

Our Graduate School offers the free online EnGen-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. Admitted applicants have until July 1st to submit new test scores to place out of UMEI 005 in the fall. Students have until November 29th to submit new test scores to place out of UMEI 007 in their 2nd semester. Additional information about Maryland English Institute Placements is posted on this page of the Graduate School’s website.

The UMD also charges $125 per semester for all full-time students requiring an I-20 or DS-2019. The UMD uses this revenue to enhance support for our international students.  

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 is 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.