G International and Development Economics


Who are the Program Co-Directors?

Professor Elizabeth Katz and Professor Bruce Wydick are Co-Directors. Watch the video and meet the Co-Director, Professor Bruce Wydick at: . Meet some of our alumni:

Who may apply to the M.S. in International and Development Economics?

Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), preferably in Economics, from an accredited university-level institution. Some IDEC students have undergraduate degrees in a subject other than Economics and, therefore, may need to take a few required undergraduate courses before enrolling in the core graduate requirements of the program. It is possible to be admitted before completing these undergraduate courses, but a student may be required need to complete the necessary courses in the first semester at USF prior to starting the core coursework.

Is there a GPA Requirement for the IDEC Program?

A GPA of 3.0 or higher strengthens an application. In reviewing applications, the admission committee takes all supporting documentation into consideration, giving particular attention to academic performance in courses taken in economics, statistics, calculus, and finance. Generally speaking, most accepted students typically have a GPA or 3.4 or higher.

What does the Review Committee look for in reviewing applications for admission?

The committee looks for at least a B grade or better in math courses, statistics, and calculus course(s). It helps strengthen an application if a student has already taken an intermediate micro and macro course with a grade of B or better. It also strengthens an application if a student is proficient in another language that is spoken in a developing country. Strong letters of recommendation (two are required) also strengthen an application in addition to a well written statement of purpose that explains why an applicant is interested in this particular focus of economics.

Is there a GRE Requirement?

The GRE is not required. However, you may submit GRE scores as extra supporting documentation, if you feel it strengthens your application. Other test requirements can be found here:

Does the IDEC program offer scholarships?

The IDEC Program offers a limited number of partial scholarships on a competitive basis. Scholarships are conditional upon maintaining a 3.2 GPA each semester while in the program. The scholarships can range anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 total. All applicants to the program – both U.S. and international – are considered for these scholarships at the time of admission review. There is no separate application for scholarship consideration. If a student is awarded a scholarship, it is noted in her or his acceptance letter.

What is the application deadline?

The priority deadline for fall admission consideration is March 1. Completed applications on file at this time are reviewed for admission and for the limited number of scholarships. Fall applications completed after the March 1 deadline are considered for admission on a space-available basis.

What are the estimated costs of the program?

The two-year IDEC Program consists of 36 units. For information on tuition costs, financial aid, living costs, USF payment policies and health insurance, click here.

How many units per semester do students usually take?

Full-time graduate students typically take 6 to 9 units per semester. Each class is 3 units which results into two or three classes per semester. The length of time required to complete the program varies from 3-5 semesters depending on the workload the student wishes to undertake.

Is it possible to do the IDEC program as a part-time student or take classes in the evening?

Many of the core IDEC classes are offered in the evening, making it possible to structure your studies in a part-time way. Sample programs: However, it is important to note that there is a mandatory 2-3 month summer field research period which is done in the summer following a student’s first year in the program.

Is it possible to begin the IDEC Program in Spring rather than Fall?

The program only begins in Fall.

Can graduate courses from another university be transferred to the program?

Courses taken from another university would need to be evaluated by the Program Advisor. This process of evaluation would take place after a student is accepted into the program and has his/her first advising session with the Program Advisor. Depending on the syllabus, the course may or may not be credited.

What type of companies do graduates of the IDEC program typically work for?

Some graduates pursue Ph.D. programs. Students have been accepted to top doctoral programs including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Davis, Cornell, University of Wisconsin, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz. Other graduates work for NGOs and nonprofits in policy-oriented positions, and in international agencies as development researchers, policy makers and statisticians. In addition, some graduates work in the field in developing countries in projects such as microcredit, microfinance and macroeconomics, using skill sets that include program/policy assessment, development research and econometrics.

How do I apply and where do I send my supporting documentation?

Apply online at: You will also need to upload your supporting documents via the online application system.  Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts will be required only if an applicant is offered an acceptance.

When are admission decisions made?

The Admission Committee begins the review of completed applications shortly after the first priority deadline of March 1. Admission decisions are generally finalized within approximately four weeks. After that period, completed applications are reviewed on a space-available basis.

How does an admitted student guarantee their space in the upcoming Fall program?

Students submit a $600 non-refundable deposit (that is applied to your Fall tuition) by the deadline indicated in the acceptance letter. If the deposit is not submitted by that deadline, the space in the Fall program is not guaranteed and the admission may be canceled.

How many students start in the IDEC program each year and how many applications are received?

Each year, 20 to 25 students start in the program. In general, the IDEC program receives approximately 125 applications each year.

Are Teaching Assistantships available in the Department of Economics?

Teaching Assistantships are limited and awarded based on GPAs. At the beginning of the 2nd semester, a list of Economics graduate students in the top 10% is generated and dispersed to the Economics faculty. Faculty may choose to pick a Teaching Assistant from this list but are not obligated to do so.

What is the difference between the M.A. Economics program and the M.S. International Development and Economics program?

The difference between the two Master's programs is that the M.A. in Economics is more theoretically oriented, and includes comprehensive examinations in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory in order to graduate. The M.S. IDEC program, in contrast, is oriented towards empirical field research, and culminates in a 30-40 page Thesis paper based on the required summer field research. All students are required to deliver their thesis as a presentation in front of faculty and students in their last semester.

What are the profiles of the faculty members?

Can you tell me more about the required overseas field-study internship?

A unique and key feature of the program is the overseas field-study internship. This internship is coordinated with the help of an Economics Department faculty advisor. The internship takes place in the summer between semesters of study at USF. Research collected during the field study can be applied toward the graduate research project. While the department and its faculty have developed relations with partner universities in the Philippines, El Salvador and Guatemala, students are not limited to these partnerships. Students can identify and set up an internship at sites in other countries with the approval of their advisor.

Does the program cover the cost of students’ overseas field-study internship?

A limited number of travel stipends are available from the University to help cover the costs of the summer internship, but are not guaranteed for every internship. Follow this link for examples of field-study research projects: Typically, in past years the graduate program has assisted in partially covering airfare cost and some reimbursement for living expenses. However, each year the program's contribution varies. Students are advised to factor the costs of their overseas field study internship into the total cost of their program.

How much should a student anticipate to budget for overseas field-study internship?

The amount depends entirely in what country the student does their summer field research. For example, Latin America is generally much less expense than parts of Europe or Africa, etc.

I am an international student, but received my degree from an English-speaking University, do I need to submit a TOEFL score?

No. Your TOEFL would automatically be waived. Test requirements:

When would I receive my I-20?

Accepted students will receive their I-20 along with their acceptance letter. If the I-20 is not with the acceptance letter, it will come under separate mail within approximately 15 business days.

Are there any outside resources for international student grants?