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Admission Criteria

Admission to the master's degree program in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics is based on a careful evaluation of an applicant's potential to successfully complete the degree program.

It is also based on our ability to offer an effective program to the applicant. Because our faculty and resources are limited, not all qualified applicants can be admitted. The number of applicants who are admitted varies from one semester to another.

A four-year American baccalaureate degree or equivalent is required for admission to a graduate program at Penn State.

Our course work and grade-point average (GPA) expectations for admission to the M.S. program are as follows:

  • At least 9 credits in economics, including intermediate undergraduate microeconomic theory and intermediate undergraduate macroeconomic theory.
  • Introductory statistics and two semesters of calculus.
  • A minimum 3.00 junior/senior GPA (on a 4.00 scale). Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 GPA may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

For the M.S. program, we often admit students with course work deficiencies. We try to offer promising applicants the opportunity to acquire the necessary background skills in economics, mathematics and statistics once they join our program.

Graduate Record Examination

We require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) and have an official report of their test scores sent to us. See How to Apply for more information.

We do not have any minimum required GRE scores. However, experience has taught us that a student with quantitative GRE score of less than 148 or an analytical writing GRE score of less than 4.0 should not apply unless there are mitigating factors or the application is particularly strong in some other respect (e.g., grades).

Factors in our admission and financial aid decisions include grades in economics courses, grades in mathematics and statistics courses, overall grades, educational background, GRE scores, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (if applicable), letters of recommendation, occupational history, and the applicant's statement of objectives.