Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

SnowWhat is the degree?
Williams College offers a Master of Arts in Policy Economics. The MA program is housed in the Williams Center for Development Economics, often referred to as “the CDE.” The CDE program has existed since 1960 and has trained economists from 110 nations.

How long is the program?
10 months, beginning each year in early August and ending in early June.

Are scholarships available?
Yes, there are both international scholarships and scholarships arranged by Williams College. In most years, all participants in the MA in Policy Economics will receive at least a partial scholarship funding from Williams College or other international funders.

How can I qualify for a scholarship?
First, a candidate must apply and be selected for admission to the MA program. The admissions process is highly selective. Then, CDE staff work with admitted candidates to identify available scholarships.

What are the strengths of the MA in Policy Economics?
• Professors – With a student to faculty ratio of 7:1, there is close contact with professors on a daily basis. Moreover, the faculty combine practical experience with academic strengths.
• Curriculum – Every course focuses on public sector challenges for developing nations.
• CDE Fellows – The thirty or so CDE Fellows each year come from responsible work backgrounds in many developing nations.
• Funding – We are very pro-active in working with admitted candidates on scholarship funding.

How can I apply?
To apply, visit the following page on our website and follow the directions:

699ab5ee-668f-4100-88e5-8ec1a299673eWhat is the application deadline?
Applications must be received by December 1 December 17, 2021 to receive full consideration for entry into the program the following August. Late applications may be considered if the space remains in the incoming class.

Is there an application fee?
No, there is not an application fee.

Can I apply online?
The “Application: Part 1” form must be completed and submitted online, and supporting documents must be uploaded within the online application.

What are the academic prerequisites for the program?
At least a bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field (and including core economics courses).

Is work experience required?
Work experience is highly valued in our admissions process. Students enrolled in the CDE have an average of about five years of professional work experience, primarily in the public sector or an NGO. We rarely admit candidates whose experience is exclusively in the private sector.

Do you require scores from the GRE?
It is strongly recommended (but not required) that you take the GRE if it is offered as a computer based exam in your country. We will also accept scores from the GMAT. For info on testing, please see


Do I have to take the TOEFL?
We require a high level of English proficiency. It is strongly recommended (but not required) that you take the TOEFL or IELTS exam if English is not your primary language, or the sole language of instruction for your univesity degree. For instructions on sending scores, see

Do I need to have my foreign documents translated?
Your CV and your application form must be submitted in English. Academic transcripts may be submitted in English, French, or Spanish. Transcripts in other languages should be submitted along with a translation (this does not need to be an “official” translation). Additional documents may be submitted as you have them – if there is a need for translation, we will contact you.

When do you make admissions decisions ?
Decisions are normally made starting in late February or early March.