Most Graduate Program Applicants in the History of the Econ Department

15 February 2010 12:00AM

This year the department of economics has received the most graduate student applications in its history. More than 1000 applicants sent in their materials to be considered for the Master's or Ph.D. program in 2010.

"Applicants are becoming more aware of the department's serious commitment to expanding research, funding, and career opportunities for graduate students," explained Jennifer Counts, graduate program coordinator. "This is an exciting place to be a graduate student right now."

Master's program applications jumped by 38 percent to nearly 500, and Ph.D. program applications increased by 11 percent to approximately 520.

"Now the big challenge is to sort though these very qualified applicants to determine who is most likely to contribute to and succeed in our graduate programs," said Professor Charles Becker, the master's program director.

"We estimate that about two-thirds of our MA applicant pool will be exceptionally qualified and easily admissible. Unfortunately, we can only admit 60-70 students in order to reach our target class of 40 students," Becker explained.

"The top applicants will be set apart by indications of creativity and energy, a desire to attack an array of important social issues and interesting problems in economics and related fields, and an indication of drive and maturity. Of these traits, curiosity and creativity are the most critical: what we do not want are zombies, even if they are very bright ones."