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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions which are frequently asked by prospective students. 

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 at

The Program

How many students are usually accepted into the program?

Each IDE class averages about 30-35 students a year.

What is our admission rate?

In the past few years, we have received approximately 500 applications and have admitted about 50-60 students for an incoming class of 30-35 students.

Is IDE a STEM program?

Yes. IDE is fully registered as a STEM subject. International Students who have F-1 status are eligible for 12 months of OPT and additional 24 months of STEM extension that allow them to work in the US in order to apply what they learned in a practical training setting.

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 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 recent years have gone on to Ph.D. programs at various programs, taken up research positions at IFPRI, the United Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank, J-PAL, IPA, EPoD or IDInsight. Some students went into Consulting or Banking. Some students, such as those from Singapore and Japan, have returned to their home countries to work for their sponsoring agencies.

Generalized Tests

Can I take the GMATs instead of the GREs? No. You must take the GRE General Test; this is a requirement for the IDE Program. If you have taken the GREs five or more years ago, then you must re-take them. If you have not taken the GREs 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 in recent years were: Verbal 159, Quantitative 165, and Analytical 4.2.

Can I submit updated GRE scores after the application deadline? Yes. Submit the new scores in the same manner as the original scores. When Yale receives them, they will be added to your application for the admissions committee to view.
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. Applicants must have studied in residence at the baccalaureate institution for at least three (3) years to receive the waiver. The waiver is automatically determined based on these above factors once your application has been submitted.

You may alternatively take the IELTS exam.

Applicant Background

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

Yes- you can and should! IDE prides itself to be open to any background as long as it is very analytical and you have the necessary mathematical ability. 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 always take people with exceptional analytical and usually economics backgrounds. Most students we accept are 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 computational 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 computational linear (matrix) algebra.

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. More recently, however, under its 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.

Are three-year undergraduate degrees acceptable?

Yes. Many of our students are out of the UK or India where this is the normal length of degree. While you can apply without having completed your studies you must have completed an undergraduate degree prior to starting at Yale.

Application Questions

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.

Some of my application materials (e.g. grades) are only available after the application deadline. Is that ok?

Test scores, official transcripts and other supporting documents will be accepted after the deadline.  However, you must upload whatever transcript you have available before the deadline. The application cannot be submitted without a transcript.  Once you have the final official transcript you can return to your application and replace the original with the final transcript. It is best to have your final documents added no later than January 31 or early February. 

Further questions can be directed to

Is a writing sample required as part of the application?

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

Is an interview required as part of the application?

An interview is not required as part of the application for IDE.

What letters of recommendation are acceptable and would strengthen my application?

For most applicants we would expect three academic reference letters. For applicants that apply not immediately following the undergraduate education or for candidates whose applications have a major non-academic component, one of the referees may be a professional reference. 

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.

Other Questions

What support do you offer for employment search?

Firstly, IDE students have access to the full breadth of Yale Employment support that ranges from the Office of Career Strategy who provide workshops, career fairs, one-on-one CV support and many other services to the the access to the Yale Alumni Association who gladly put in touch students with alumni in a related field. In addition, the close contact to faculty will allow these potential references to provide more detailed and meaningful letters. Finally, IDE alumni very much are involved in the program, return to campus for presentations on their jobs and are always are happy to advise current students. 

Does Yale University have any 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 of Arts and Sciences' Financial Aid Office at or 203-432-2739.

Beginning with the 2022-23 application cycle, the Economic Growth Center and the IDE Program are launching a new scholarship program for applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of providing new opportunities for excellent students from a region central to development economics, and encouraging further diversity in the IDE program.

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 financial aid 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 2024-25 is $50,500 and tuition increases yearly by approximately 4%. Yearly living expenses for New Haven are approximately $29,778 per single student. For updated costs and estimates, please visit the GSAS Tuition, Funding & Living Costs site.

Is distance or internet-learning an option?

No. The one-year IDE program is a full-time, in-person 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. You may consult our work opportunities page for more information.