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Information for Prospective Students

Applying to the Graduate Program in the Department of Economics at the University of New Mexico

Applicants

The University of New Mexico (UNM) requires applicants to submit their applications HERE. A complete application consists of:

  • Statement of Intent - must include field of interest and previous math courses that you take over the past years to help you prepare for the Economics Graduate Program
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • CV (curriculum vitae or resume, including current contact information)
  • Transcripts from each institution of higher learning that the applicant has attended.

Note: All official transcripts must be sent directly to the Admissions office or the International Admissions office.

Although not required, UNM has a Supplemental Form we would like to accompany your Letters of Recommendation.  Additionally, you may find our Application Checklist as well as Guidelines for Writing Your Letter of Intent useful tools when completing and putting together your application materials. And Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to many common problems and issues. The Office of Admissions collects the Application Fee, GRE Scores, and, eventually, official transcripts (please see below). Detailed instructions may be found at Office of Admissions website.

As mentioned above, the Department of Economics requires applicants to provide current (within three years) GRE Scores. Results of the GRE should be sent directly to UNM by ETS; Please submit official GRE scores to University of New Mexico code 4845. For testing information, study aids, and other general questions, visit the  ETS website

Previous average GRE scores for past admissions:

2011     154 Verbal     154 Quantitative
2012     155 Verbal     156 Quantitative
2013     151 Verbal     159 Quantitative
2014     152 Verbal     160 Quantitative
2015     149 Verbal     156 Quantitative

It is highly recommended that international applicants carefully read the Graduate Application Procedures section of the Global Education Office, International Admission Website. For more information you may want to refer to the International Graduate application Checklit and International Graduate Application Procedures. Beyond all of the above requirements, international applicants must also submit certified English translations of all of their academic records. Additionally, international applicants must submit their results of the TOEFL, or other acceptable English Proficiency Test. Minimum scores requirements re listed below. Official tst results must be sent directly to the University of New Mexico. The  TOEFL or IELTS code for UNM is 4845.

Graduate TOEFL          550     213    79-80
Graduate IELTS             6.5     6.5      6.5

Deadlines

The Department of Economics admits for the Fall term only. Please do not apply for Spring or Summer because your application will not be reviewed. 

March 1stApplicants seeking financial aid & ALL International Applicants

July 1stDomestic Applicants not seeking financial aid

All domestic students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA form, in order to qualify for any income based scholarships that may be available. The earlier this form is submitted, the greater likelihood of need based aid being awarded. Please visit the FAFSA website for more information. 

The Department of Economics looks forward to reviewing your application. If you should have any questions regarding the required materials, the application process, or for additional information on our graduate program, please do not hesitate to contact our Academic Advisor, Mary Garcia (econgrad@unm.edu, (505) 277-5560, or our Graduate Director, Jennifer Thacher (jthacher@unm.edu, 505-277-1965). 

Financial Support

There are a number of different fellowships and scholarships available on the UNM campus. Information about these sources is available at the Office of Graduate Studies.

The department has several sources of financial support for graduate students: a limited number of graduate assistantships (GA), individual faculty and/or university institutes with research funds to support research assistants (RA), graduate tuition fellowships (tuition waivers for New Mexico residents), and occasionally funds for teaching associates (Part Time Instructor). The department chair and the director of graduate studies can assist in referring students to faculty with research grants. Decisions concerning the appointment of a research assistant reside with the faculty member who is the Principal Investigator for the research grant. The GA stipend received by a graduate student depends on if the award is full-time (20 hours per week), or less, and is normally adjusted on an annual basis. The current stipend levels are available from the main office. Full-time awards also include up to 12 hours of tuition, while half-time awards include 6 hours of tuition. Tuition included in RA awards is determined by the Principal Investigator. Students receiving full time financial aid are required by the department to maintain at least a 9 hour approved course load. Students on half time aid are required to maintain a 6 hour load. Part Time Instructor funding does not normally include tuition.

Financial aid awards in the economics graduate program serve two purposes: (i) to fund the education of quality students who will ultimately become competent professionals in academia or the private or public sector, and (ii) to provide employment opportunities for graduate students to assist in meeting the educational and research goals of the department. These services also constitute an important part of the graduate education and background experience.

It is conceivable that these goals can conflict, and it is the student's responsibility to anticipate potential conflicts and avoid them through appropriate time budgeting. In the event of an unanticipated, unavoidable conflict, the student's first responsibility is to her/his academic responsibilities (e.g., a student should never cut a class to proctor an exam). These situations can usually be avoided with proper planning and discussions with involved faculty members.

New students applying for graduate assistantships are ranked on the basis of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate record (GPA) in economics, mathematics and statistics, the department's assessment of the overall record, and the program fit. These awards may be made for a 9 month period, but in most cases awards will be for only one semester with renewal consideration each subsequent semester. In addition, stipulations may sometimes be added to the contract so that renewal is conditional on specified aspects of student performance. In any case, renewal of the contract is not automatic. At the end of the contract period, the graduate committee evaluates each student's progress and all students requesting funding are ranked. From these rankings, the graduate committee makes contract renewal decisions. The renewal decision is based on the relative ranking of students who have applied for aid. Rankings will be based on all possible evidence, which includes, but is not restricted to, the following:

  • Maintaining full time status in the program a minimum of 9 approved credit hours per semester. This must include at least one graduate level economics course, not including an independent study or dissertation hours.
  • Course work performance typically, the committee looks for a GPA of approximately 3.67 where emphasis is placed on performance in core courses.
  • Involvement in graduate activities attendance at seminars, etc.
  • Teaching performance as indicated by IDEA scores and the assigned faculty member's assessment of the student.
  • Maintaining the appropriate timeline on the core theory and econometrics exam attempts, the performance on those exams, and timely completion of the research requirement. Failure to sit for an exam at the first available time does not constitute normal progress and may result in immediate loss of departmental support through Graduate or Teaching Assistantships. Students who do not successfully complete the exam at the Ph.D. level may still be considered for departmental funding if they petition for a second attempt. Students who fail the exam on their (petitioned) second and final attempt will automatically lose their funding. The same requirements apply to students taking the econometrics exam.
  • Progress on dissertation research.

The above criteria constitute the determinants of what is referred to as normal progress. However, circumstances may differ from student to student, and the graduate committee will evaluate each student's situation independently. In addition, financial support is dependent on the availability of funds.

Maintaining full time status in the program a minimum of 9 approved credit hours per semester. This must include at least one graduate level economics course, not including an independent study or dissertation hours. Course work performance typically, the committee looks for a GPA of approximately 3.67 where emphasis is placed on performance in core courses. Involvement in graduate activities attendance at seminars, etc. Teaching performance as indicated by ICES scores and the assigned faculty member's assessment of the student.

Maintaining the appropriate timeline on the core theory and econometrics exam attempts, the performance on those exams, and timely completion of the research requirement. Failure to sit for an exam at the first available time does not constitute normal progress and may result in immediate loss of departmental support through Graduate or Teaching Assistantships. Students who do not successfully complete the exam at the Ph.D. level may still be considered for departmental funding if they petition for a second attempt. Students who fail the exam on their (petitioned) second and final attempt will automatically lose their funding. The same requirements apply to students taking the econometrics exam. Progress on dissertation research.

The above criteria constitute the determinants of what is referred to as normal progress. However, circumstances may differ from student to student, and the graduate committee will evaluate each student's situation independently. In addition, financial support is dependent on the availability of funds.

Specific guidelines as to limitations on GA funding are as follows:

  • Any baccalaureate student entering the M.A. program has a maximum of the equivalent of four semesters of full-time financial aid (80 support hours).
  • Any baccalaureate student entering the Ph.D. program has a maximum of the equivalent of eight semesters of full-time financial aid (160 support hours).
  • There is a maximum of eight semesters of financial aid available to any Ph.D. student.
  • Students switching from the M.A. program to the Ph.D. program would benefit from making that decision early.
  • Any transfer student entering the program will have maximum limits on financial aid determined by her/his status and merit as of the time of admission to the graduate program.
  • A student is not eligible for GA aid past the maximums stipulated in 1 and 2. In order to receive additional funding, a student must petition the department chair for a part time instructor position or a principal investigator for an RA position.

For more information about funding policies and procedures please refer to the Office Of Graduate Studies

For more information about tuition and fees please refer to the Bursar's Office

New and Current Students/More Funding Opportunities

UNM Health Policy Center

UNM Health Policy Center is a collaborative project between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of New Mexico. The purpose of the Center is to increase the diversity of those with formal training in the fields of economics, political science and sociology who engage in health services and health policy research. Particularly, the Center seeks to become a nationally recognized locus for health policy research at that will support work to inform health policy debates at multiple levels.

Every year UNM Health Policy Center accepts applications for fellowships for both incoming and continuing students. If you have an interest in health policy we encourage you to speak with the Graduate Director and/or Academic Advisor about applying. The Department of Economics relationship to UNM Health Policy has opened up opportunities for many of our students and enriched our program.

2016-2017 UNM Health Policy Doctoral Fellowship

SRAC

The Student Research Allocations Committee (SRAC) grants are the most well known of GPSA funding sources. SRAC funds research related to the completion of a degree as well as other research relevant to the applicant's field. SRAC also funds travel to conferences to present research." More information on these grants can be found at SRAC

IREX

For over 40 years, IREX has been administering research and exchange opportunities in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. In that time, over 6000 American scholars have participated in IREX programs. For over twenty years, IREX has been the recipient of Title VIII funding from the US Department of State. The IREX program portfolio currently includes six opportunities for scholars and professionals to engage in the region.

For More Information on Applying: IREX

Interdepartmental Teaching Assistantships

The Departments English, Spanish and Portuguese and Foreign Languages and Literatures are able to offer teaching assistantships to graduate students outside of their departments. The benefits (health, tuition, salary etc.) that they offer are analogous to those that our department offers. The College of Arts and Sciences coordinates the hiring process. If you believe that you would be qualified to teach in any of these areas please review the material at this link and let the Graduate Director and/or Academic Advisor know of your interest. 

And more...

The Office of Graduate Studies lists many other scholarships and fellowships. Please refer to their web page to research these opportunities. The Department of Economics will offer guidance during the application process. OGS