Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions which are frequently asked  by prospective students. If your query is not on this list,  please email for more information.

Can I apply to the IDE Program without being an economics major?

To apply to the IDE program, an undergraduate economics major, while preferred, is not absolutely necessary. However, as the IDE Program is purely a master’s in economics, we take people with exceptional analytical and economics backgrounds. Therefore we accept students who have taken microeconomics, econometrics, and macroeconomics.  Additionally they have taken courses in multivariate calculus, probability and statistics, and we give preference to people who have had linear (matrix) algebra. Upon admission to the program, it may be required that a student take the “Math for Economists” course during the summer prior to beginning the program.

What economics classes should I take during my undergraduate years to prepare for the program?

The IDE program requires a strong analytical background, so it is strongly suggested that prospective students take Microeconomics, with an analytical perspective if possible, then Econometrics, then Macroeconomics.

What math classes should I take during my undergraduate years to prepare for the program? 

We admit students who have courses in multivariate calculus, probability and statistics. We give preference to people who have had linear (matrix) algebra.

Can I take the GMATs instead of the GREs? 

No. You must take the GRE General Test; this is a requirement for admission to the Graduate School and cannot be waived. If you have taken the GRE’s five or more years ago, then you must re-take them. If you have not taken the GRE’s by the application deadline, please write a note in the Personal Statement portion of the application and give the date on which you will take the exam.

What is the minimum GRE score? 

There is no minimum for the GRE.  We will look at your GRE scores, your transcripts, your personal statement, and your letters of recommendation to evaluate your ability to succeed in our program.  The average GREs for the past few years were: Verbal 560 (or 157 for the revised test), Quantitative 780 (or 163 for the revised test),  and Analytical  4.5.

Do I take the GRE General Test or the GRE Subject Test?

The GRE General Test is required, not the GRE Subject Test.

Can the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) be waived? 

The TOEFL exam, administered in foreign countries by the Educational Testing Service, is required of all applicants whose native language is not English.  This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received  a bachelor’s degree, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. 

Is a writing sample required as part of the application? 

No writing sample is required as part of the application for IDE.

How many students are usually accepted into the program?

Each IDE class averages about 25-30 students a year.

Does Yale University have any financial aid funds for this program? 

Unfortunately, there are no financial aid funds for this program. Generally, students come to the IDE program with sponsorship from their employer or from their government, or by securing loans from either banking institutions or from their family. International applicants may apply for the Yale International Loan or any loan of their choice.  For information, contact the Graduate School Financial Aid Office at or 203-432-2739.

Since there is no funding through the school, what are other options to funding this program?

Many governments have regular fellowship programs for graduate training of public officials. Alternatively, candidates for admission may be eligible for support from the World Bank, Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, the Asia Foundation, or a number of other foundations. Yale’s Graduate School website gives a list of online databases for fellowships and grants. These databases provide direct access to several hundred grant and fellowship opportunities around the world. Another website that might be helpful is; this site gives a list of graduate fellowship opportunities for those entering graduate programs.

What is the cost of tuition and living expenses? 

The cost of tuition for 2016-2017 is $40,800; living expenses for New Haven are approximately $23,000 per single student.  Every year the tuition increases by approximately 4%.

What is our admission rate?  

In 2017 there were 265 applications and have admitted about 59 students for an incoming class of 29 students.

What is the composition of the students in the IDE program? 

While the majority of IDE students are from non-developed countries, students from the U.S. and the developed countries who have a strong interest in international and development economics have contributed to and benefited from the program. We encourage applications from all countries and from all post-baccalaureate backgrounds.

Is it necessary that applicants have after-college work experience?

In the past, many of the students entering the IDE program were early career professionals in the public or private sectors in developing countries. Today, however, under its new director Michael Boozer, the IDE program has taken on a more academic focus. About 80% of each IDE class come directly from their undergraduate studies with little or no work experience. The remaining 20% of students have some graduate training and/or early career experience.

Is it possible to choose elective courses from other disciplines besides economics?

IDE students are free to choose any elective courses they want, besides art or drama. Courses from Yale’s School of Management, the Law School, Forestry School, Epidemiology and Public Health, International Relations, and the Political Science Department are popular choices.

Where have students gone after graduating from the IDE Program?

Graduates of the IDE program in the past few years have gone on to Ph.D. programs at Berkeley, Yale, School of Forestry, and Georgia Tech, as well as Law School at Georgetown, research positions at IFPRI, the United Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank, and field research in India. Some students, such as those from Singapore and Japan, have returned to their home countries to work for their sponsoring agencies.

What is the application deadline for the IDE Program? Is it the same as the Department of Economics Ph.D. Program? 

The deadline for submitting your application is January 2 for consideration for admission to the fall term.  The Department of Economics has a different application deadline for their Ph.D. Program.

What constitutes evidence of  a strong interest in the fields of international and development economics? 

Applicants to the IDE program who have taken several economics courses or are economics majors, they have done some work in a developing country, or they have worked or interned at the World Bank, IMF, UN or other international agencies.

Is distance or internet-learning an option? 

No. The IDE program is a one-year, full-time residential program.

Do IDE students work on campus? 

Yes, many IDE students find employment on campus either as research assistants, teaching assistants, or in offices throughout the university.  Students find their own jobs once they arrive on campus.

If you are interested in applying for the program, please visit the Yale University Office of Graduate Admissions website. All questions specific to the admissions process should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.