Graduate programs begin Fall semester only. In order to guarantee your application is reviewed for admission, the complete application (including all supplemental materials) needs to be submitted to Iowa State no later than January 31 prior to the fall semester of planned enrollment.

In order to save you the time, effort, and expense of mailing official copies of supplemental application materials such as transcripts and test scores, you are allowed to upload unofficial copies of supplemental materials at the time that you apply. The unofficial copies will be used to make the admission and funding decision. If you are offered admission to Iowa State you will be required to submit official academic records. Please only provide the supplemental materials that are listed below.

If you wish to provide official academic records during the application process, please note which documents should be sent to the Admissions Office and which documents should be sent to the Economics Department. During high traffic times (December-February), it will take the Office of Admissions several weeks to process your application documents. Therefore, if you are going to provide official copies with your application, we strongly recommend you request all materials no later than December 15 in order to guarantee we have received them by the January 31 deadline. Early submission of applications is especially important for international applicants.

The Office of Admissions website includes detailed instructions for graduate applications for both U.S. citizens and international students.

The following is a summary and checklist of application requirements. As stated above, unofficial test scores and transcripts can be uploaded during the application process. If you are admitted to Iowa State you will be required to provide official academic documentation at that time.

  1. Iowa State University Graduate College Application Form and Statement of Purpose. Submit online at the Office of Admissions website. Select the application for "U.S. Graduate" or "International Graduate" as appropriate, and follow the instructions provided. The nonrefundable fee ($60 for U.S. citizens, $100 for international) must be paid by credit card at the time of application. The online application form includes a space for you to provide a statement of purpose. Please do not send an additional copy by postal mail or e-mail. Here are some items to address in your statement of purpose:
    • What led you to choose economics or agricultural economics as a field of study?
    • How has your background prepared you for graduate study in economics?
    • What are your career plans?
    • For Ph.D. applicants: What are your choices of fields of specialization?
      • Agricultural Economics
      • Applied Econometrics
      • Environmental and Resource Economics
      • Financial Economics
      • Human Resources
      • Industrial Organization
      • International Economics
      • Macroeconomics
  2. Transcripts of ALL previous undergraduate and graduate coursework. You can upload unofficial copies or you can arrange for official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework to be sent to the Office of Admissions (address at right of this page).
  3. GRE Scores. You can upload an unofficial copy of your scores or you can request that official scores be sent to Iowa State University. Institution code is R6306; GRE Department Code: Econ 1801 (social sciences) or Ag Econ 0101 (natural sciences). More information about the GRE is available on the GRE website.
  4. TOEFL Scores. The TOEFL exam is required of applicants whose native language is not English, unless the applicant has a bachelor's or master's degree from a university in the United States or in a country in which the only official language is English. You can upload an unofficial copy of your scores or you can request that official scores be sent to Iowa State University. (Institution Code: Iowa State University R6306; Department Code: 84). More information about the TOEFL exam is available on the TOEFL website.
  5. Three letters of recommendation. We strongly encourage you to use the online letter of recommendation process. When you include your references' names and e-mail addresses on your application form, they will automatically receive instructions on how to submit their letters electronically, and you will receive a confirmation as each letter is submitted. If your references prefer to submit a letter on paper, you should provide them with a copy of the recommendation form and either upload it into your application portal or ask that they mail it directly to the Department of Economics Graduate Programs Office (address at right of this page).
  6. Resume or CV (optional)

Making Changes

Please double-check to be sure that the information on your application is correct and complete BEFORE you submit it. We cannot guarantee that changes made after submission will be recorded.

Supplemental Application Materials

Due to the large number of applications we receive each year, we ask that applicants do not send any supplemental materials other than those listed in the checklist above. This includes writing samples, internship certificates, academic awards, etc. Any materials submitted become property of Iowa State University and cannot be returned to the applicant.

Admission Decision Timeline

The admissions committee takes time to thoroughly review applications. All applicants will be contacted by email once a decision on their application is complete. These notification emails are typically sent to applicants in late March or early April.

As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, Iowa State University abides by the Council's Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants.  Offers of a graduate assistantship will be considered valid until April 15 unless declined at a prior time.  If no reply to an outstanding offer is received by April 15, the Department of Economics may rescind the offer.