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Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. The minimum requirement is a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent (preferably with a major in economics) and a grade average of B or equivalent.  Applications from international students with three-year bachelor’s degrees will also be considered.

Students whose native language is not English, or who have not attended an institution where English is the language of instruction, must present proof of proficiency in English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is strongly recommended. Students must score a 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 88 (Internet-Based) in order to qualify for admission. The TOEFL institution code is 1871. The department code is 84. 

The TOEFL requirement is waived for international students who have studied for at least one year in the United States or other nations where English is an official language. 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a requirement for admission to the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. All students applying to the GPED must take the GRE general test. There is no fixed requirement for GRE scores.  Students who apply to the GPED usually score between 153 and 170 on the Quantitative section. The GRE institution code is 1871. The department code is 1801. 

Application Requirements
The following are required for online application for admission:

  • Completed online application form:
  • Unofficial copy of transcripts from all universities previously attended
  • Copy of undergraduate diploma (and graduate diploma if applicable)*
  • Official GRE and TOEFL scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation (academic references preferred)

* Copy of diploma is not needed if degree conferral date is showing on the transcript. 

Students who have been admitted and find they cannot enroll at that time may defer their admission to the following year. Students who defer are not required to resubmit an application.

Preparatory Programs
Students who have been admitted to the Graduate Program in Economic Development may wish to attend a preparatory program in English and/or Math during the semester prior to enrollment in the Master's program. The following programs are offered at Vanderbilt and the GPED.

English programs: Vanderbilt's English Language Center offers a variety of courses in English for international students at all levels in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Courses are offered each semester.  For detailed information regarding course offerings and information on how to apply, visit the English Language Center web site at:

Math Workshop: GPED offers a 5-day Math Workshop to the incoming class in mid-August to help students brush up on their math skills. It is free but not compulsory.