The Graduate College requires a four year undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission. Applicants from countries that offer three year undergraduate degrees (e.g. India and Pakistan) should be aware that a three year undergraduate degree is not sufficient for admission. Normally applicants from these countries need to have completed a two-year master's degree in addition to their bachelor's degree. The Graduate College requires at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study. International students must score at least 550 on the paper based TOEFL exam, or 80 on the TOEFL IBT, with minimum subscores of Reading 19, Speaking 20, Listening 17 and Writing 21.
Applicants to the economics program should have good quantitative and analytical skills. Although an undergraduate degree in economics is not required, a good background in economics and mathematics is necessary. At a minimum, in order to perform well in the program, entering students need one year of calculus, one semester of statistics and courses in intermediate macro-economics and roeconomics. Undergraduate courses in mathematical economics and conometrics are also recommended. Deficiencies in the above areas can be remedied while enrolled in the program although this may lengthen the time needed to complete the degree. Strong writing and communication skills are also necessary for success in the graduate program, particularly for the Ph.D. degree. International students must demonstrate fluency in English in order to gain admittance.
The department considers a number of factors in its admission decisions, including the applicant's previous academic
record, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation. The department does not have a minimum GRE "cutoff" score for applicants.
Average GRE scores of PhD applicants accepted for a recent academic year were 156 verbal and 159 quantitative.
The above scores are given for reference only. Since test scores are only one of the factors considered by the admissions committee, applicants with scores lower than the averages shown above should not necessarily be discouraged from applying, nor are applicants with higher scores guaranteed acceptance.
Economics Graduate Students
The number of entering students in all the graduate economics degree programs is usually around 20. The stock of students is approximately 60 in the Ph.D. program and 35 in the master's program. The program is large enough to allow specialization in a number of different areas but small enough to allow close faculty-student interaction.
Our graduate students come from all over the globe. Last year we had graduate students from 23 countries, including Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Napal, Peru, Phillipines, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. Approximately half of all entering students are from the U.S. and half are from abroad.
There are a large number of student organizations at UIC, including 30 international student organizations, as well as arts, religious, leisure time and sports organizations. The Economics Graduate Students have their own association which organizes seminars, study groups, social events and serves as a liason between graduate students and faculty. The Department of Economics annually awards the Oscar Miller Teaching Award to the best graduate student teacher. The Department also awards annually the Winnifried Geldard Award and the Bassett, Chiswick, Kosobud and Stokes Award for academic excellence. All three awards include a cash prize.
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