M.S. APEF Admissions

M.S. APEF 2023 students and Dr. Galina Hale, M.S. Program Director

Master of Science in Applied Economics and Finance

Improve your data analysis and finance skills using applied economics and econometrics. One year program.

General Application Requirements

You need:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics*
  • Minimum GPA requirement for UC graduate admissions is 3.0.
  • Online application
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal history and statement of purpose 
  • TOEFL or IELTS, if you are international
  •  Application fee $135 for domestic students and 155 for international students. Application fee waiver available, see information below.

*Note: Graduates in political science or business with minors in economics may be admitted if they can demonstrate sufficient analytical aptitude and training. If the degree is in another discipline, applicants must have completed courses in intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, and economic statistics. They must also have adequate preparation in mathematics, including at least two quarters of calculus and one of linear algebra. Basic computer skills are also expected. 

The GRE or GMAT is not required.


M.S. APEF program applications will open in October 2023 for admission in Fall 2024

A complete application consists of:

    1.    Submitted online application
    2.    Application fee paid through online application
    ($135 for domestic applicants and $155 for international applicants) 
    3.    Unofficial transcripts from each college-level institution attended (official transcripts required upon accepting)
    4.    Three letters of recommendation (submitted online)
    5.    TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants 
    6.    Personal History and Statement of Purpose essays

Tips for Applying

*Use a consistent email address for open communication.
*Submit ALL application materials before the deadline.
*Start your application now!  

More Information on Applying

  • Upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts to your online application. This can either be a scanned version of your official transcript, or, if available, a downloaded PDF from your institution's online portal.
    • See the Document Scanning Guidelines for information about scanning and uploading your unofficial transcripts to the admissions application.
  • Once admitted, one official transcripts from the Registrar of each institution listed (including university correspondence or extension divisions), or a statement of good standing, if work was not completed, is required. (Request that your transcripts be sent to you.) Each transcript should be in an envelope sealed and signed by the Registrar. To expedite the processing of your application, send your transcripts (leaving each sealed envelope intact) and other required hard-copy materials together in the same envelope to:

U.C. Santa Cruz
Graduate Application Processing
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

  • If you attended UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate, you must also request and pay to have an official transcript sent to Graduate Application Processing from the Registrar's Office. Transcripts submitted to UC Santa Cruz will not be returned to the applicant, nor will copies be forwarded to any other persons or agency.
  • To qualify for graduate study at UC Santa Cruz, you must present official evidence that you have received a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education. (However, verification of UC Santa Cruz bachelor's degrees can usually be accomplished electronically.)
  • Application fee waivers are available on the online application for Graduate Opportunity Program applicants and for hardship cases. The university does not waive the application fee for international applicants. However, International applicants to the M.S. APEF program and other applicants who do not qualify for the  UC Santa Cruz Graduate Division application fee waiver or exemption may request one from the Economics Department through this form no later than two weeks before the application deadline. A limited number of waivers will be granted on a first come first served basis with priority given to applicants who are first in their family to attend college. The statement of purpose, the personal statement, the financial statement, and the resume must have been submitted to be considered for the waiver.
  • Minimum GPA requirement for UC graduate admissions is 3.0. International applicants need not convert their international GPA to the U.S. GPA scale.
  • International applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 220 (computer-based), or 83 (iBT) is required for admission. If your TOEFL score is older than two years, you will need to re-take the exam. For those choosing to take the IELTS, a minimum overall score of 7 from the IELTS test is required for admission. Applicants who have completed a degree from an English-speaking university, may request a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS by following the instructions in the application. The requests will be evaluated during the application review. 
  • Any students who wish to be considered for Teaching Assistant opportunities and do not have English as their first language must score a 26 or higher on the Spoken Word portion of the TOEFL iBT; an overall score of 8 from the IELTS test is required for all new international students who may serve as a Teaching Assistant at any time during their graduate career.
  • Departmental financial support is based on merit. The university does not offer need-based financial aid to international applicants. The evaluation process depends on a review of your completed application, the strength of the overall applicant pool, and our target enrollment number. Some amount of funding may be available to M.S. applicants. We let you know if you have been given financial support at the same time we notify you of an admissions decision.


Deadline to apply is either February 28, or April 15, 2024. 

Purpose: To provide students with additional flexibility in their curricular and financial planning for graduate studies in economics, the UCSC Economics Department provides two application deadlines for the masters program in applied economics and finance.  Students will be judged by the same criteria irrespective of which application period they use.

Early Decision

  • Applications due by February 28th ,2024.
  • UCSC acceptance decision March 30th, 2024.
  • Response acceptance by student, due by April 15th, 2024.
  • Students should use this application period if applying to other schools with an April 15th deadline.
  • International students are encouraged to apply within this period to allow sufficient time for Visa processing.


Late Decision

  • Applications due by April 15th, 2024.
  • UC Santa Cruz acceptance decision May 1st, 2024.
  • Response acceptance by student, due by May 15th, 2024
  • Students frequently use this application period when taking additional preparatory classes before applying, or arranging finances/financial aid before applying to graduate school. 


Please contact econ_grad_coor@ucsc.edu for further information.

Graduate Programs Coordinator
University of California, Santa Cruz
Department of Economics
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Phone: (831) 459-2466
Fax: (831) 459-5077
Email: econ_grad_coor@ucsc.edu

Looking for a Ph.D.?

Click here for admissions info to our Ph.D. in Economics program.