MSc admissions FAQs

Information on the process of application and admission to MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics - 2024/5 entry.

Applications are processed centrally through the Graduate Admissions Office.

All applicants are advised to read the prospectus pages for our individual MSc programmes starting in 2024/5; these can be accessed via Available programmes – please click on the relevant programme title/s. 

On this webpage, you will find information about Entry Requirements, the Application Process, what happens After Submitting the Application, Funding and Accommodation, About the Programme, After Completing the MSc Programme and Other Useful Information.

Entry Requirements

1. What are the entry requirements for the MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics?

Please consult the LSE Graduate Prospectus on the Available Programmes page and identify your intended programme. See the “Entry Requirements” section on each prospectus page. You should also consult the general LSE Minimum Entry Requirements for graduate study.

The programme prospectus for each Taught Masters programme offered by the Department of Economics:

Meeting the minimum entry requirements will not, in itself, guarantee an offer of admission. Please see further guidance below.

2. Am I eligible to apply? 

We advise prospective applicants who have questions about their eligibility to consult the Graduate Prospectus via the Available Programmes page. See also LSE Minimum Entry Requirements.  We regret that we cannot assess candidates prior to receiving a complete formal application which should be submitted to the LSE Graduate Admissions Office

It is worth noting that candidates are permitted two programme choices per application; each choice is considered sequentially (not simultaneously) – see FAQ 16 (iv).

3. Which programme is most suitable for my profile?

Applicants should self-assess and are encouraged to read the website and prospectus pages before addressing questions to the Department. If you are unable to find the answer to a specific question after reading the website, you are welcome to contact the Department of Economics graduate admissions team. Note, however, that while our team may offer broad guidance, we will not be able to assess candidate profiles or comment on individual chances of admission.

We expect candidates for the 1-year MSc Economics programme to have previously majored in Economics (or a joint degree with a substantial economics content), having achieved very good grades in economics-relevant modules and demonstrating a solid quantitative background. The 2-year MSc Economics programme is designed for students who have a strong quantitative background but lack the depth of knowledge in economic theory and quantitative techniques which are essential for undertaking the 1-year MSc Economics [see also FAQ 4]. 

The MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics is a technically rigorous programme suited to candidates with strong results in a quantitative degree. It is primarily aimed at (for example) mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists, engineers as well as graduate economists.   

See some of the Department of Economics MSc student profiles.  

4. How do I know if I have enough maths for the Department’s MSc programmes?

The Department of Economics MSc programmes are all highly quantitative in content, hence our selectors will be looking for proven strength in quantitative subjects. Applicants to the 1-year MSc Economics are expected to hold a First class honours degree in Economics or equivalent, with a concentration in economics and quantitative subjects. Successful 1-year MSc Economics entrants will typically have achieved very good examination results in university-level two-semester length courses in [a] mathematics (both advanced calculus and linear algebra), [b] econometrics and statistics, [c] intermediate macro and microeconomics.

LSE’s BSc Economics programme regulations provide some indication of the typical academic background of candidates who are admitted to our 1-year MSc Economics; you can also see the Maths and Statistics modules taken by our current LSE BSc Economics students. It is not just a case of having taken some Economics, Maths and Statistics courses; successful entrants will have studied, been examined in, and achieved at least First Class results (at least 70%) in core economics courses that are part of a quantitative-based Economics degree structure, i.e. with standard courses in Intermediate Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Econometrics which then become the foundation to study - and obtain strong results - in a number of advanced courses.

Candidates who have an insufficient economics background for our 1-year MSc Economics often apply to our 2-year MSc Economics for which the entry requirement is a first class degree, or equivalent, with at least two semesters of university level maths equivalent to that taken by LSE BSc Economics students. Strong results in all quantitative modules will be expected. 

LSE’s BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics programme regulations provide some indication of the typical academic profile of candidates who, having achieved First Class results, are admitted to our MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics.


Application Process                                                             

5. How do I apply?

We have a formal application process, which is centrally administered by the LSE Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants must submit a complete formal application to the Graduate Admissions Office via the online form.

Please read Graduate Admissions’ description of The Admissions Process.

The online application form and links to other required application information are on the Prospective Students page. See How To Apply and guidance on Supporting Documents.

6. Where can I get help with the application process?

We encourage you to explore the full range of Graduate Admissions guidance on their Graduate Knowledge Base - if you do not find the answer to your question there, please follow the “I Need Help” link which allows you to contact the Graduate Admissions Office by email or Live Chat.   

Please note that questions about the mechanics of the application process should be submitted to the LSE central Graduate Admissions Office (rather than to the Department of Economics). See how you can Contact Graduate Admissions.  

7. When should I submit my application?

Early application is always advised. See When to Apply / Deadlines.

On Graduate Admissions' Available Programmes webpage, the availability status of individual programmes - i.e. Open / Limited Availability / Closed - will be displayed throughout the admissions cycle.

For MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics, we operate a rolling admissions process, i.e. there is no specific application deadline and each MSc programme will close when it becomes full (NB: there may be a brief window of time as a programme begins to approach capacity, when the programme status may show as “Limited Availability” but sometimes a programme may transition directly from “Open” to “Closed” status). We regret that it is not possible to predict exactly when a programme will close, hence early application is always advisable. 

8. What should my application include?

Our academic selectors wish to get a full picture of your academic profile when they read your application. They will want to see all the modules you have studied/ are studying (in your main degree as well as any other courses such as exchange programmes/summer courses/non-degree courses). 

The selectors will want to see your modules with results as well as modules where results are still pending.  If any module results are still pending, you should still include those module names in your application - either listed within the transcript or in a separate university-generated document (e.g. screen-shot of your university account). 

Along with your degree results, other relevant elements of your application will also be considered by our academic selectors, using a holistic and contextual approach.

Your formal application should consist of:

-   Transcripts for all (degree and non-degree) study which makes up your academic profile. This includes relevant exchange / summer-school / non-degree transcripts.
[UoLIP students please see note below**]

-   A list of all Pending modules (if any);  if pending modules are not listed on your transcript, please include (for e.g) a screen-shot of your university account listing those pending modules.

-   Statement of academic purpose

-   Two academic references [also see FAQ 9]

-   CV

-   GRE scores (see advice further below)

-   Evidence of your command of English, if required. See English language requirements

-   The appropriate application/administrative assessment fee

** Students or graduates of the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP) should state "UoLIP" (and not the host institution) as their Institution in the application form. This is irrespective of whether their degree is studied online or at a local teaching centre. This includes UoLIP students undertaking study under LSE academic direction. 

All UoLIP students should submit transcripts issued only by UoLIP - please use this guidance. We are unable to accept transcripts issued by local host institutions. 

All applicants should read Graduate Admissions’ detailed guidance regarding Supporting Documents.

9. Can I submit a third reference?

 The LSE online application system is set up to accept only two references, and we typically do not allow a candidate to submit a third reference unless the academic selectors request it. 

We encourage candidates to use their good judgement to approach two referees who will write the most detailed and relevant letters, to support their candidacy.

If you have exceptional reason for submitting a third reference please consult the admissions team at

10. Do I need a GRE (Graduate Record Examination)?

See the prospectus “Entry Requirements” for each MSc programme offered by the Department of Economics: 

Note that each programme has its own particular GRE requirements.

Applicants may be exempt from submitting GRE scores if they meet very specific criteria - for more details on programme-specific criteria for GRE exemption, see  Graduate Admissions guidance on GRE, including section on “Exceptions”. Where an applicant may claim exemption from submitting GRE scores, the Department reserves the right to request such scores if our academic selectors deem it necessary to make a final decision on the application. 

11. What else can you tell me about the GRE?

-  You should take the GRE General Test (you are not required to take the GRE Subject Test).

-   You should arrange for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send official scores to the LSE Graduate Admissions Office. See GRE > How to send us your scores.

-   Your test scores should be less than five years old on 1 October 2024. 

-   MSc Economics (1-year and 2-year programme): we typically expect candidates to score at least 161 in the quantitative section of the test.

-   MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics: we typically expect candidates to score over 163 in the quantitative section of the test.

-   A higher score will count in your favour, but other information, such as examination results and references will also matter in the overall evaluation. We recognise that if your first language is not English, the verbal test will be more demanding and we view your score on that basis.

-   The Department cannot accept GMAT scores in substitute for the GRE.

-   For details of how to take the GRE General Test, see the ETS website.

-   The Department of Economics will accept scores from the GRE General Test taken at home. If you cannot access a test centre, you shoud consider taking this Home test rather than claiming a GRE exemption. 

-   The GRE has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical. You should include your test scores in the relevant section of the application form, stating the full and percentile scores obtained for all three sections of the test. Scores submitted for each section must be from the test taken in one sitting, ie: not across multiple test dates.

-   You are unlikely to score well if you take the test without preparing for it. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the format of the test and the type of questions it asks, and practise answering sample GRE test questions within the time allowed before you take the test. See the section on how to prepare for the GRE General Test

12. Do I need to submit an English Language test? What score is required?

You are not required to submit English test scores at the point of application (although it is strongly recommended that you do so). If you are offered admission to an LSE programme, then proof of your English proficiency may be requested at that point. See Graduate Admissions’ detailed guidance on English Language Requirements for clarification on accepted tests and required scores.

13. If I am still undertaking a degree, can I apply to your MSc? Do I need to submit a transcript?

Many of our candidates are in the final year of a degree programme when they apply so can only supply an interim transcript. This is acceptable, although applicants must be in a position to supply final results (for individual modules as well as overall degree result) and proof of their degree award by the date of MSc registration.

When reviewing your application, the Department’s academic selectors expect to see a transcript showing the full list of modules which will contribute to the award of your final qualification. Occasionally, if making an offer, selectors may sometimes set specific grade conditions on certain pending modules.

In case you have no transcript available for an ongoing course of study when submitting your application, the LSE online system allows you to upload a document where you may state that no transcript is yet available. It is, however, important, even in such cases, that you upload a list of all modules – past, current and future – which will contribute to the award of your current qualification.  The information should include full module titles and module codes. Where module results are already available, a transcript with the results must be included with the application. Where module exams are yet to be taken or results are still pending, a list of those modules showing full titles and codes should be submitted - the Department may accept a screen-shot/scan from your university account for application review purposes.

Applicants undertaking summer/exchange programmes at another university should include a separate transcript for such programmes/courses.

14. Some module titles on my transcript may not accurately reflect the actual content of the module I am studying. Can I submit additional clarification?

Yes. Candidates may include relevant syllabi and/or an additional note highlighting their coverage of the Economics core subjects and/or their study of quantitative topics. Candidates may combine this extra information into a single pdf and upload it with their main application. NB: Multiple document uploads are not technically permitted. 

It is worth remembering that academic referees often provide useful detail about individual courses - and the student's performance in the same - in their reference letters (candidates may wish to discuss this with their referees). All applications will be reviewed contextually; our academic selectors will review all the information on file to assess every applicant’s quantitative skills and potential to cope with the technical rigour of the specific MSc course/s to which the candidate has applied.

15. Should my application include a diversity statement?

LSE is committed to building a diverse, equitable and truly inclusive university, a vision the Department of Economics fully supports. We believe strongly in expanding the diversity of our graduate student body and invite you to share your experiences, values, perspectives, and/or activities that shape you as a Masters candidate and align with these commitments, as part of your statement of academic purpose.

Should a candidate submit diversity considerations as part of their statement of academic purpose the information provided will help our academic selectors to contextualise the application; however, it will not play a part in assessing a candidate’s suitability for our Masters programmes.


After submitting the Application

16. What happens when I press “Submit”?

(i) Your application will be received by the central Graduate Admissions Office, who provide the School’s admissions service.

At this point, your application will be checked by central Graduate Admissions to ensure all necessary components have been supplied. Neglecting to send complete information with your application will result in delays. If any missing information is identified, you will be contacted and requested to submit the requested material. Upon all items being checked and approved by central Graduate Admissions, your application will be released to the Department of Economics for academic review.

(ii) Receipt of application to the Department of Economics

When the Department receives your complete application, the contents of your application will be checked again by the Department of Economics’ admissions team to ensure that all items on file meet the specific requirements of our academic selectors, for reviewing purposes. If the team identify missing/contradictory information – eg. no transcript to account for a qualification listed in your application form or a missing Exchange programme transcript – your file will be sent back to central Graduate Admissions who may contact you to request clarification/any missing information.  

(iii) Academic review and consideration for choice(s)

Once the Department deems that your file is ready for academic review, we will send your application to our academic selectors. Our selectors are highly experienced in screening applications from all over the world; we have regional specialists who are familiar with international academic assessment systems. They will consider all factors when reviewing an application. Applicants who wish to provide relevant background information/commentary for the attention of our selectors may do so via their Statement of Purpose or an additional note submitted with their application (see FAQs 14 and 15).

We endeavour to make decisions within eight weeks of the Department receiving your application. However, in busy periods the decision period may be longer.

(iv) Decision

All decisions are communicated to the applicant by central Graduate Admissions.  Departmental offer recommendations are subject to mandatory checks by the Graduate Admissions Office before the formal offer can be communicated to the applicant.

The decision will be visible in the applicant's tracker via their Graduate Applicant Portal (GAP) account. However, the decision is normally deemed final only when formal notification of the decision is sent by email from Graduate Admissions - see also FAQ 18. 

Applicants are offered places at LSE based on a fair and equitable assessment of what they have achieved academically, compared with their peers, and on their own merit.

Applications are considered sequentially not simultaneously. If you submitted your application listing two programme choices, you will initially receive a decision for your first programme choice. Applicants are only considered for their second programme choice if unsuccessful for their first choice. In exceptional cases, applicants holding an offer for their first programme choice, may request to be considered for their second choice, including reasons for their request. 

17. How can I check on the progress of my application?

Use the Graduate Applicant Portal (GAP). Applicants should also check Graduate Admissions’ current processing times

18. How will I get the final decision on my application?

The Graduate Admissions Office will write to you. A decision will be visible in your Graduate Applicant Portal (GAP) account once it is entered in the LSE system; however, offers go through a further manual double-check before becoming absolutely final. Hence a decision is authoritative and official only if it has been sent to you in writing - by email - from the Graduate Admissions Office. 

See The Admissions Process.

19. What happens if I do not meet the conditions of my offer?

You will not be rejected automatically!  If your academic results do not meet the specified offer conditions, you may submit all relevant documents to the Graduate Admissions Office – this includes your final transcripts and – if you wish - a supporting letter from your teacher and/or an official university letter detailing any mitigating circumstances.  Your results and all supporting documents will be sent to our Department for a final review by our academic selectors – the final decision lies with them and cannot, obviously be guaranteed.  The Graduate Admissions Office will then advise you of the final decision, in writing, by email. 

If the condition you have not met is the English language requirement, you should arrange to re-take the test as soon as possible before registration. 


Funding and Accommodation

20. What does it cost to study at LSE?

See the Graduate Admissions’ Fees and Funding page for information on tuition fee amounts, fee status classification, fee reductions as well as living costs. This page also provides guidance on funding for Taught Master’s programmes.

Tuition fee amounts for individual programmes are stated in the Table of Fees – please ensure you check the relevant academic year.

21. Can I get funding?

See the Graduate Admissions’ Fees and Funding page for advice on funding for MSc programmes. 

After you submit your application, you will be allocated your Graduate Applicant Portal (GAP) account which will include a link to the online application form for the LSE Graduate Support Scheme.

Please note that MSc funding is decided centrally and does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Department.

22. How do I apply for accommodation?

Visit the Accommodation office web pages for information on types and availability of accommodation as well as guidance on how to apply for a place in LSE halls of residence.


About the Programme

23. Where can I see the structure and courses of each programme? What about the teaching delivery?

See the individual prospectus page for each MSc programme – section “Programme structure and courses”.

Also see the LSE Academic Calendar for all Taught Masters at LSE, where clicking on “Programme Regulations” and “Graduate Course Guides” will give you detailed insight into the topics covered in each programme of study.

See also LSE's Teaching Methods.

24. Can I study the MSc part-time?

Our MSc programmes are offered only on a full-time basis.

Applicants are welcome to identify suitable part-time LSE programmes via the Search Courses page. Also see the University of London International Programmes as well as details about LSE Executive Education programmes and the LSE Summer School.  LSE also offers short Online Certificate Courses

25. Is it possible to transfer credit from graduate level courses in Economics at my institution to the LSE MSc programmes?

LSE is unable to accept credit transfers to its graduate programmes, from any other institutions. There is no possibility for your formative studies to be mapped on to the courses of any of our taught graduate programmes. Please refer to the current LSE Programme Regulations. Also see information about the “Bologna Process” under “Types of Study”.

26. Is it possible for MSc students to work as research assistant to Economics faculty or in research centres?

Research Assistant (RA) roles may be available in the Department on an ad-hoc basis but tend to be allocated primarily to our PhD students. RA opportunities are, however, sometimes circulated in the Department by the MSc Tutor. Additionally, MSc students may get in direct contact with faculty who are working in their specific field of interest to find out whether there are research opportunities. If/when considering taking up a RA role, students should remember that the MSc programme is intensive, fast-paced and challenging, with a demanding timetable of taught courses.

See our Faculty Research pages and information about Economics Research Centres

27. Are there any compulsory Pre- or Post- sessional courses as part of the MSc Programmes?

Yes.  Each MSc programme has different compulsory course requirements at the start and/or end of the academic year.  These pre/post sessional courses aim to equip students with the key concepts and techniques required to prepare them for their next phase of MSc study.   

  • MSc Economics students take EC400: Introductory course in Mathematics and Statistics, starting in late August/early September.  This is a 3-week non-credit course of teaching, followed by exams.
  • MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics students take EC451: a special Introductory course for MSc EME, covering core Economics topics.  Starts in late August/early September.  This is a 3-week non-credit course of teaching, followed by exams.
  • MSc Economics (2-year) students will be required to take the pre-sessional non-credit course - EC2A0: Introductory Course in Microeconomic Principles in early September before the main first year teaching programme starts. Additionally, at the end of their Preliminary Year (in late August/early September), they undertake a post-sessional course -  EC400: Introductory course in Mathematics and Statistics - a 3-week non-credit course of teaching, followed by exams.  

28. I have a question about the programme content/structure which is not answered on the website. Who can I contact with my query?

Applicants are encouraged to do detailed research on our website in order to find the required information. If you still have a specific question about the actual programme content or structure, you may contact the Department of Economics programmes team. If you have already been allocated an Applicant ID number by that time, please state it - along with your full name - in the subject header of your email. 


After completing the MSc programme

29. Where do the Department’s MSc students go after graduation?

Our MSc is a long-standing and prestigious degree, highly regarded by employers and by academic departments across the world. In recent years, our graduates have gained employment in leading investment banks (like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America etc), consulting firms (like McKinsey, BCG etc), international organisations (like the IMF, World Bank etc) as well as in the public sector. The overriding reason for our strong placement record is that we train our MSc students to think deeply and rigorously about economic problems, imparting technical skills that are highly prized by employers across the board.

The advanced and technically rigorous nature of the MSc programmes also serves as an excellent foundation for PhD programmes and other research-focused roles.

See some of the Department of Economics MSc Alumni Profiles as well as the LSE’s Careers Service website. In exploring “What do LSE graduates do?” you can filter on Department and Degree to obtain more specific information on graduate destinations of our MSc students. You can also explore learning opportunities beyond the classroom with LSE Student Futures

30. Are the Department’s MSc programmes a suitable route to top PhD programmes?

Yes, the advanced and technically rigorous nature of all the Department’s MSc programmes mean that our graduates have excellent preparation for progressing on to top PhD programmes, in the US and across the world, e.g. MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago to name but a few. Our MSc programmes are also designed to prepare students for LSE’s own MRes/PhD in Economics.

31. Can I progress from the MSc Economics or MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics to the MRes/PhD Economics programme?

There will no longer be automatic and direct progression from any LSE programme into our MRes/PhD Economics from the 2024/5 academic cycle.  Students registering on an MSc in our Department of Economics, who wish to continue on to our MRes/PhD Economics after MSc graduation, will need to submit a standard full application package by the deadline published in the MRes/PhD Economics prospectus.  All applicants - including LSE students - will be given equal consideration, as part of the MRes/PhD Economics' standard process for admission as well as funding. 


Other useful information

32. Where can I find information for international students?

See LSE information for International Students which provides “Country-specific information” as well as advice on Visas & Immigration and guidance for applicants who are Refugees, Forced Migrants or Displaced Students.

33. Can I contact faculty or current students during the application process?

We regret that LSE faculty members and current students are unable to answer queries from prospective applicants. Instead we ask applicants to contact the Department of Economics admissions team with specific concerns which may not be addressed by our webpages. Applicants who receive an offer from LSE will have some opportunity to communicate with nominated student ambassadors within the Department during the period leading up to MSc registration.

34. What if I need further information and advice?

In the first instance, please read the above FAQs and/or the Department of Economics webpages. If you cannot find the answer…