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The Simple Steps to Becoming EIU

Students may begin the program in either the Fall or Spring semester. The department accepts applications to the graduate program throughout the year.

However, we begin considering applications for each Fall semester on January 14. Applications will not be considered until they are complete. Applications completed on, or before, January 14 will be considered in the initial group of admission decisions and applicants are encouraged to submit application materials before this date.

We also admit graduate students for the Spring semester. We begin considering applications for each Spring semester on September 30 of the previous calendar year. Applications will not be considered until they are complete. Applications completed on, or before, September 30, will be considered in the initial group of admission decisions and applicants are encouraged to submit application materials before this date.

Students awarded teaching assistantships usually begin in the Fall semester and complete the department's new teacher orientation program before the semester begins and the department’s new teacher training program during their first semester. It is rare for the department to have the ability to offer assistantships beginning in the spring semester. However, if assistantships are available beginning in the spring, applicants will be considered. Please contact the graduate coordinator to inquire about the availability of spring assistantship opportunities.

Sign Up for MyEIU and Learn More about Eastern

Your MyEIU account is free and easy; all it takes is an email address to get started. You can even sign up via Facebook! Once you've logged into MyEIU, you can learn everything there is to know about Eastern and get information about everything the university has to offer — all tailored to your unique set of interests!

Apply to the Graduate School

All students can apply to the graduate school through MyEIU. The graduate school requires:

  1. A complete online application
  2. A copy of your official transcripts
  3. A $30 application fee

Learn more about the Graduate School admissions process.

Apply to the Program

For full admission, we use the GPA cutoff of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. If you fall slightly short, we can admit you on a provisional basis. Once enrolled, if you achieve a GPA of 3.0 in the first 12 semester hours of credit, your admission status will change to “full” upon request.

Please send the following to the graduate coordinator:

  1. Letters of recommendation from three of your professors. The letters should discuss your class performance, aptitude for learning/economics, and any other skills. If you worked for some time after or during your undergraduate or later studies, you may submit one of those letters from your supervisor. The letters should be printed on their institutional letterheads. You may collect them from your references in sealed envelopes and put together with other documents, such as your admission application, in one packet before mailing. Alternatively, you may ask your references to write their letter and attach it electronically to an email to the graduate advisor: mpupadhyay@eiu.edu
  2. Your Statement of Purpose (SOP). This is your personal essay that describes your academic background, your interests, and how an economics graduate degree will help you achieve your career goals. If you are also applying for a graduate assistantship, give a brief explanation for why you need one. The SOP can also be attached to an email to the graduate advisor.

If you are going to be an international applicant, the OISS may ask you to send a Financial Affidavit. You may contact that office at international@eiu.edu for any related questions.

Please mail all materials for the departmental application to:
Mukti Upadhyay, Ph.D.
Department of Economics
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Please note that the program admission requirements are different than the Graduate School requirements. You may also send the appropriate items above via email to the graduate coordinator: Mukti Upadhyay, Ph.D. at mpupadhyay@eiu.edu.

Keep an Eye on Your Admission Status

You'll be able to keep tabs on the status of your application through MyEIU; you'll receive a message when you have been officially admitted to EIU!

Apply for an Assistantship

If you are interested in a graduate assistantship, you also need to submit a graduate assistantship application.

Graduate assistantships are typically awarded in accordance with the academic year. Assistantship applications are normally accepted through the middle of February; a decision for the next academic year comes within a month. For more information about graduate assistantships, please click here.

Join Us in Charleston!

Now you're ready for your first semester at Eastern! Welcome to the EIU family! We're glad to have you, and we're confident you'll be glad you came!


    Is it possible to get admission to the M.A. in Economics if my undergraduate major was not economics?

    Yes. We recommend 18 hours of economics at the undergraduate level before you start the M.A. program. However, we can relax that requirement if you have strong preparation in mathematics or statistics, or if we find there is something significant in your background that will help you succeed in Economics. Without appropriate background, you may still gain a status of "admission with undergraduate deficiency," or a "provisional admission." In that case, you are expected to start graduate education with Intermediate Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and astatistics course that includes regression analysis.

    Do I need to take the GRE for admission or graduation?

    No, it is not required. If you do not have enough econ/maths/stats background, a high GRE score on the quantitative portion of the test can also gain you full admission.

    How long does it take to complete the Master of Arts in Economics degree?

    That depends mainly on the student’s academic preparation. With a good background in micro theory, macro theory, and a statistics course that includes the basics of regression analysis, students can complete the requirement in three semesters. Seven or eight courses in the first two semesters and one or two courses plus the thesis in the third may be optimal for most people. In some cases, students have actually completed all the requirements in one calendar year with courses in Fall, Spring and Summer. But that is not the best strategy for most students. Planning to take two years to finish the requirements and get a good grounding on research works the best for most people.

    I have taken some M.A. economics classes elsewhere. Can I have my credit hours from there transferred?

    There is a Graduate School limit of 11 hours. The transfer may be available only if you are requesting for a transfer of courses that were not counted toward your degree at your former school. But you will need to have a prior approval for such a transfer after admission and before enrollment on campus. This is generally not requested also because of differences in curriculum. Check with the graduate advisor at mpupadhyay@eiu.edu if you want to pursue this option. Transfer credits can be approved by the Graduate School after the Department has given its own approval. The form to be filled is available here: http://www.eiu.edu/graduate/pdf/transfercredit.pdf