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Admission Information for Prospective Students

Academic Preparation for Entry

Prior degrees in economics at the B.A. or M.A. level are not required. There are mathematics requirements. Applicants for admission to the M.A. program must complete a one-semester course in calculus at the University level prior to entry. A second course in calculus is highly recommended. Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program need additional mathematics. We will consider applicants who have completed the equivalent of two three-credit semester courses in calculus prior to entry in the fall semester. However, we strongly recommend the completion of two additional courses prior to entry in any of the following subjects: advanced calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis or related areas.

There are also economics and statistics requirements. All entrants in the M.A. program must have completed three one-semester courses prior to entry in the fall semester: introductory statistics, intermediate microeconomics, and intermediate macroeconomics. Some applicants, at the time they submit their application forms, will not have completed the above requirements. They may be working toward their completion prior to entry in the fall semester. Such applicants may be admitted conditionally. All conditional requirements must be completed prior to starting the M.A. or Ph.D. programs.

How to apply for Admission

The application deadline for both international and domestic applicants is January 15 for the upcoming fall semester.

Master program students may be admitted for Spring admission with a deadline of August 1st of previous year.

You are strongly encouraged to submit your application online at If you are unable to do so, you may download and submit paper forms. These can be obtained from the Graduate Division web site, Mail paper forms to the Graduate Division at the address indicated on the forms.

If you are applying for East-West Center Fellowship support, please see the East-West Center Fellowship page for more information.

The deadline for East-West Center Fellowship applications is December 1.

Documents required by the University's Graduate Division include:

  1. Completed Online Application.
  2. Application fee. The application fee cannot be waived.
  3. Official copies of transcripts directly from the registrar of each post-secondary institution attended. Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations.
  4. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for Ph.D. applicants. GRE scores are required by the Economics Department only for Ph.D. applicants. Applicants should take the general test. The subject test is optional. Information may be obtained directly from the Educational Testing Service at
  5. Official transcripts of the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo for all applicants who either (a) do not speak English as a native language or (b) do not have a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning at which English is the primary medium of instruction.

The GRE should be taken early so that score transcripts can be submitted directly to the University of Hawai'i by the relevant application deadline. The GRE institution code is R4867, and the department code is 1801. The GMAT is not substitutable for the GRE. Experience has shown that the expense, timing, and logistical details of taking the GRE can be a hardship for students in certain countries. It is vital that planning for this element of the application dossier be carried out well in advance of all deadlines. Any difficulties that may prevent timely submission of GRE scores should be communicated to the Graduate Chair as early as practicable.

In addition, you must send the following documents directly to the Department of Economics:

  1. Graduate Program Supplemental Information form and Statement of Objectives form. Please email them to
  2. If you are not applying for Graduate Assistantship, Two Individual Evaluations are required (use the provided form). Evaluators should e-mail confidential letters of recommendation directly to the Economics Department to
  3. If you are applying for Graduate Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship Application is required. The application can be emailed to After you fill out the form, ask each evaluator to email the letter to

The Department of Economics mailing address is:
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department of Economics
2424 Maile Way
Saunders Hall 542,
Honolulu, HI 96822

We strongly encourage you to apply for all fellowships and other financial aid for which you qualify in order to support your graduate education. In particular, be sure to consider the following opportunities:

Frequently Asked Questions about Admission to the Economics Graduate Programs

  1. When is the application deadline? January 15. This applies both to foreign and U.S. resident applicants.
  2. Can I apply for Spring semester admission? All PhD applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for Fall admission because the required core courses are one-year sequences starting in the fall semester. Occasionally we accept Spring admission if the student needs to take remedial courses in the spring semester. For MA applicants, we accept both Fall and Spring admission. The application deadline for Spring admission is August 1 for the following spring semester.
  3. Is the GRE required? Yes, we require that all applicants to the Ph.D. Program submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Applicants should take the general test. The subject test is optional. If you come from a country where the GRE is not offered, please contact us for more information. There are no set minimum GRE scores. A high score in the Quantitative section is normally required. For M.A. Program applicants, GRE scores are not required though we would welcome the applicants to submit their scores.
  4. What are the required minimum scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)? The minimum scores are 500 (PBT) and 61 (iBT).
  5. Can I use IELTS test results instead of the TOEFL? Yes. For the IELTS, the minimum score is 6.00 for the overall band test results. There are somewhat higher requirements for awarding of teaching assistantships. See UHM Graduate Division's website for details.
  6. Are there any exceptions to the TOEFL requirement? Please see UH Manoa Graduate Division's rule on exceptions at
  7. What kind of financial aid does the Department offer? What are other funding sources? Important sources for funding for our graduate students are East-West Center fellowship programs and Asian Development Bank fellowship programs, both administered by the East-West Center here in Honolulu. Their application deadline is December 1 for the following academic year. In our department, we also award a limited number of Graduate (Teaching) Assistantships. These are awarded to continuing and new students on a competitive basis.
  8. Where can I get application forms? You may download all the forms that you need from the department web site at the link above.
  9. Where should I send my application materials? We ask that certain materials go to the Graduate Division of the University and others come directly to the Department. See Application Procedures for details.
  10. Can you tell me my likelihood of being admitted? No. We cannot tell you based only on test scores and grade average your likelihood of being admitted to our program or receiving financial aid. Our admissions committee will consider these along with your letters of recommendation, your Statement of Objectives, and your complete academic record.
  11. I have a Master's degree in Economics from another university. Can I earn another MA in Economics at UH-Mānoa? No. At UH-Mānoa, the Graduate Division's policy is that a student cannot earn two identical degrees on the same subject.
  12. I do not have a Master's degree in Economics. Can I apply directly for the PhD Program instead of the MA Program? Yes. Highly qualified applicants with excellent preparation in mathematics, statistics, and economics who hold only an undergraduate degree, i.e., four-year bachelor's degree or equivalent, are invited to apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
  13. Does the Department offer Graduate Assistantships to MA students? Graduate students in the PhD Program have higher priority for Graduate Assistantship funding.
  14. Can you waive the application fee? Our Department has no authority to collect or waive application fee. Please contact Graduate Division regarding questions about the application fee.