Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do you accept GMAT scores?
A: No. The GRE is required.

Q: What are the Institution Code and Department Code for GRE and TOEFL?
A: NIU's institution code for the GRE and TOEFL is 1559. The Economics Department Code for GRE is 1801.

Q: What specialized areas of study are offered?
A: The department's areas of emphasis are Labor, Financial Economics, Public Finance, and Econometrics.

Q: How many students are accepted into the program each year?
A: The total number of applications per year typically ranges from 65 to 100. Approximately 60% of applicants are accepted.

Q: How many students receive assistantships?
A: Approximately 25% of accepted applicants are awarded assistantships.

Q: Are first-year international students eligible for assistantships?
A: Yes.

Q: What are the average GRE and TOEFL scores for students who receive assistantships?
A: Above 650 for the GRE-Quantitative section and above 80 on the internet based TOEFL.

Q: Does the assistantship cover living expenses?
A: Yes. The current estimate of all expenses for a year at NIU is approximately $34,800. A full-time assistantship pays a total stipend of at least $13,400 as well as a full tuition waiver ($18,150).

Q: Does the assistantship cover student fees?
A: No. Students are responsible for expenses including parking fees, textbooks, health insurance, and class-related fees.

Q: Does NIU have an Intensive English Program (IEP)?
A: Yes.  Information available at

Q: I will not be able to enroll for the term that I was admitted for, can I defer admission?
A: If you are unable to enroll for the semester/session you were admitted for, you may petition the Graduate School (by completing an online request) to defer your admission up to but not beyond two years. Such deferment is subject to approval of the Department and the Graduate School.  Your request must be received by the Graduate School no later than the end of the term for which you have been admitted or your admission will be canceled.