Frequently Asked Admission Questions

Questions commonly asked by prospective DEDP master's students. Please review this list before contacting DEDP or Economics Department staff.

Yes, in order to apply, you must have completed and passed all five courses. You cannot apply to the DEDP Master’s program if you do not hold the full MicroMasters credential. Therefore, you would need to pass all the courses and their proctored exams by December if you intend to apply during that application period (December-January).

The DEDP Master’s application opens in November and closes in mid-January. Acceptances are released by mid March. The cohort of accepted students arrive on campus the following year in January.

Because this program aims to bring in learners from different backgrounds, we want to give students as much time as possible to prepare to come to MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This will allow individuals to secure funding, acquire visas, and make all necessary preparations.

MicroMasters credential holders are eligible to apply to the DEDP master's program at any time, whether you just earned your credential or earned it several years ago.

The DEDP Master’s is a rigorous and competitive program. However, because the program is only open to students who have earned the MicroMasters credential, there are significantly fewer applicants than typically expected for a master’s program. With this in mind, we rely heavily on MicroMasters course scores to inform acceptance decisions. Although the admissions rate varies from year to year, we typically receive around 100 applications from MicroMasters credential-holders and target a cohort of 20 students. 

For the DEDP Master’s program, we do not have a specific grade cut-off for acceptance. However, this is the most important factor in determining admissions and we encourage learners to obtain high scores to make their application as competitive as possible.

No! We want learners from all backgrounds to have an equal chance and opportunity to succeed through the DEDP Master’s. This is why we rely so heavily on the scores from the MicroMasters courses, as it is a way to level the playing field for students coming from different educational backgrounds beyond the DEDP classes. All MicroMasters credential-holders are encouraged to apply to the DEDP master's program, regardless of educational background. For example, you do not necessarily need to have earned a bachelor's degree to apply. 

If you’d like to learn more about the current cohort of the DEDP Master’s program, please the visit the current students page.

No, we do not require GRE scores.

We require TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international students whose university’s language of instruction is not English.

We require transcripts for all past university coursework. Unofficial transcripts are accepted with the application, and official transcripts will be required from students who are admitted to the program.

Yes, students are permitted to defer their admissions by one year.

In order to apply for the DEDP master's International Development track you must complete the MicroMasters credential in the International Development track, and in order to apply for the DEDP master's Public Policy track you must complete the MicroMasters credential in the Public Policy track. If you have completed both MicroMasters credentials, you may apply for both tracks. The two tracks will use the same application and applicants will be able to indicate their track(s) of choice and provide their corresponding MicroMasters grades. 

Students arrive on campus in mid-January for a two-week orientation. The spring semester begins in early February and ends in May. Shortly after this time, students begin their internships (placements may be on or off campus). The summer semester and internship will run until late August.

Students have the option to work up to 10 hours per week during the spring semester. Teaching Assistant positions are often determined by prior enrollment in the course to be TAed, so DEDP students may find Research Assistant positions to be a better fit. Off-campus work up to 10 hours per week is possible for students with US work authorization. International students must work on campus.

Students may choose to live off-campus or apply for on-campus housing. Applications for on-campus housing will open in late October and close in November the fall prior to the on-campus spring semester. Students will typically hear back regarding housing decisions by the end of November/early December.

Students admitted to the program who complete the residential semester and summer capstone project will graduate from MIT with a Master of Applied Science in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy.

The list below provides an example of the course offerings for DEDP students. The list may change slightly from year to year depending on what courses are offered in the spring semester of a particular year.

  • Data Analysis:
    • Econometric Data Science
  • Microeconomics - Select one of the following:
    • Microeconomics Theory and Public Policy
    • Psychology and Economics
    • Economics of Incentives
    • IO and Competitive Strategy
  • Development Economics - Select one of the following:
    • Political Economy and Development
    • Firms, Markets, Trade and Growth
  • Elective - Any of the above courses or select from one of the below (courses outside of these will require the approval of the program director):
    • Energy Policy
    • Energy Economics
  • Seminar in Data, Economics, and Development Policy
  • Capstone: Data, Economics, and Development Policy Summer Internship

Internship placements will range quite a bit student to student. They may be on or off campus, located within the US or abroad (subject to visa requirements). Internship placements may be coordinated with the Program Director or students may coordinate their own internship with final approval from the Program Director. They may be paid or unpaid, depending on the placement.

The MIT Graduate Admissions website provides information on the cost of living (see specifically the "expenses" page). This will give a rough estimate of the cost of living for a student and will be helpful to look over if you are bringing a partner or dependents. You can also view the MIT Medical website to give you an idea of costs for student and partner health insurance.

You can find a detailed breakdown of the estimated tuition costs and fees for the DEDP master's program on the tuition and funding page.

You can certainly choose to submit your confirmation by the enrollment decision deadline without your funding finalized. Your finalized funding sources will only be required when completing the visa application.

Yes, it is possible to pay your tuition bill in installments. The spring semester bill is due on January 1 and will be available for viewing in mid December. The Student Financial Services website provides various resources on payment as well as contact information.

Because of the intensive nature of the program and DEDP students' short time on campus, DEDP students do not participate in funded Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Assistant (TA) positions. DEDP students may secure part-time RA positions for up to 10 hours per week once they are on campus, but these positions are an additional learning opportunity and are typically unpaid. 

As the program does not guarantee funding, it is the expectation that some of our admitted students may have to utilize their own funds or loans, should they decide to enroll with us. We are happy to provide any additional information that might be helpful to make an admissions decision and look into various funding sources.

You can find further information on opportunities for financial support on our tuition and funding page. For more information on the costs of attendance, please visit the Registrar’s Office website. The Student Financial Services website can also provide additional resources on funding your Master’s degree. Finally, we recommend exploring the resources provided through the Office of Graduate Education website.

We will reach out to admitted students the summer before arriving on campus to provide additional information on the visa process and contact information for the International Students Office. We recommend students review the ISO website, which includes information on the visa process.

Unfortunately due to the short duration of the program, students are not eligible for OPT or STEM extension.

Unfortunately, only graduate students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for all US federal and private loan programs. International students may borrow from private sources, but not from U.S. federal programs.