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Department of Economics

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Requirements
2. The Application Process
3. Completing the Application
4. International Applications
5. Funding
6. General Questions

1. Requirements

What are the minimum requirements for admission to the graduate programs (Ph.D. and M.A.)?

The requirements for graduate school admissions can be found here and the specific requirements for our MA and PhD admissions can be found here.

The minimum English requirements can be found at the Graduate School's International Students webpage.

Note that these are minimum requirements and we rarely admit students who barely meet the minimum requirements.

What is the typical length of graduate studies in your department?

Most M.A. students finish between one and a half years and two years. Most Ph.D. students take four or five years to finish the degree.

Do I have to have a master’s degree before I can apply for your Ph.D. program?

No. Applicants with bachelor degrees can apply for the Ph.D. program.

2. The Application Process

What is the general application process?

Kansas State University does not accept paper applications for admission. You should submit your online application and pay the application fee at the same time. Make sure you keep a copy of the confirmations of your online application and payment. The online application allow you to submit all required documentation via the application form.

Can I email you my transcript/TOEFL/GRE so that you can provide an assessment of my chance being admitted/funded before I formally apply for your program?

Sorry, no. The Graduate Committee only evaluates submitted online applications that are complete. This includes an online application (and the application fee), official academic transcripts (college and beyond), three letters of recommendation, a statement of objectives, a TOEFL/IELTS report (international application only), and a completed copy of the affidavit of financial support (international application only). General GRE is not required but highly recommended. Almost all funded Ph.D. students in the past few years submitted their GRE scores. Note that only the official IELTS/TOEFL/GRE reports directly sent to us from the test agencies are considered valid.

What are the average GPA/TOEFL/IELTS/GRE scores of past admitted students?

The Graduate Committee evaluates all supporting documents in every application as a whole package. We do not rely on a numerical formula to evaluate applications. We simply do not keep track of the said statistics.

When will you notify me of my application outcome?

Usually we notify the applicants of the fall admissions around early March. The early communications are usually through email and phone calls (so it is important to make sure your email address and phone number are reachable). The official admission letter (and I-20 for international students) will arrive in mail from the Graduate School.

Is there a way I can check the status of my application online?

Yes, once you have submitted your online application you can track/edit your references by following the link:https://www.applyweb.com/kstateg and clicking "review your activity."

3. Completing the Application

What are the deadlines for applications?

The application deadline set by the graduate school is January 8 for fall (August) enrollment and August 1 for spring (January) enrollment. While we accept applications at any time, only those students applying before the deadline are guaranteed to be considered for funding. Applications received after the deadline are considered for funding until all resources are committed.

What mailing address, phone number and email address should I leave on the online application form?

When you fill out the application, make sure your phone number, email address, and mailing address are correct and are valid until the first few weeks here on campus. This means that they should be valid until the end of August if you apply for fall admission and until the end of January if you apply for spring admission.

What supporting documents do I need?

Graduate applicants need to upload a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official academic transcripts (college and beyond), three letters of recommendation, a statement of objectives, a TOEFL/IELTS report (international application only), and a completed copy of the affidavit of financial support form (international application only) and corresponding supporting documents. In addition, while not required, the general Graduate Record Examination is very helpful in evaluating an application and submission of this exam’s results is encouraged. You need to ask the IELTS/TOEFL/GRE test agency to send us your official report directly. Without the official report it is not possible for the Graduate School to process your application. It is usually helpful to include a photocopy of your IELTS/TOEFL/GRE report with your supporting documents. Should you need to send any required supporting documents, send them directly to our department:

The Graduate Committee
Attn: Ms. Crystal Strauss
Department of Economics
Room 327 Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-4001
U.S.A.

The Graduate Committee only evaluates complete applications – that means all the required supporting documents, including the financial affidavit, have to be uploaded before we can evaluate your application.

Can I email you the supporting documents?

No. Supporting documents should be uploaded when you fill out the online application. Please do not email the Director of Graduate Studies large attachments (more than 1M) unless prior arrangements have been made. In general you should fill out the online application and upload your supporting documents.

The online application form asks for names and contact information of the three references. Will they be contacted to get the letters of recommendation?

Yes. If you enter in the email addresses of your references, they will be contacted to upload their recommendation letter and/or recommendation form via a secure web link. Please remember to hit "submit recommendation request" on the application so your recommenders are notified.

Letters of recommendation can be tracked by students online. Click Review Your Activity to display the names of your recommenders. You can edit recommenders, send reminders and see where each recommender is in the process. Please remember to hit "submit recommendation request" on the application so your recommenders are notified.

What are the institution/dept codes for TOEFL/GRE?

Currently, for those who provide their official TOEFL/GRE reports, the Kansas State University institution code is 6334. The department code is 84 for TOEFL and 1801 for GRE. Because ETS does change the codes from time to time, you may wish to double check these codes with ETS. International applicants who have received degrees in the last two years from a United States (or United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, but not French Canadian) college or university are not required to submit a TOEFL score but must take an English Proficiency Test upon arrival to Kansas State University. If s/he fails the EPT test, s/he must take some ESL courses. 

4. International Applications

Where can I find the affidavit of financial support form for international applicants?

The affidavit of financial support (for international students only) can be found at Graduate School International Students webpage. More information about how to fill out this form can be found below. Completion of this form is necessary for admission to the Graduate School and eligibility for a graduate assistantship.

Should I send in my financial affidavit after I am admitted?

No, you should upload it together with your supporting documents. Completion of this form is necessary for admission to the Graduate School and eligibility for a graduate assistantship. Since it does not adversely affect your chance of being funded by the department, there is really no reason to wait. Because the financial affidavit is a required document for all international applications, not sending it in by the deadline will result in either delay of our evaluation of your application or not reviewing your application at all.

How do I fill out the affidavit of financial support?

For the affidavit of financial support (international applications only), applicants providing their own support must complete Section B and have it signed by their provider and must complete Section C and have it signed by a bank official (foreign banks may be reluctant to sign the document – in this case just send in a separate bank balance statement and leave Section C blank). The bank balance does not have to be "frozen" or in time deposit. The bank balance can be in foreign currencies in most cases – you just convert them to US dollars according to the prevailing exchange rate and write it on the margin of the affidavit. For applicants who are supported by fellowships, grants or similar sources, an original copy of the award letter dated no more than six months prior to admission is required. We strongly encourage applicants to send in the affidavit together with the application. Generally if you send in your affidavit one month after the application deadlines (i.e., after March 1 for fall admissions and after September 1 for spring admissions), you should plan for the possibility that your admission might be delayed one semester and thus you should not make travel arrangements until you receive your official admission letter and I-20 from the Graduate School. The Affidavit and supporting documentation MUST BE DATED WITHIN NINE (9) MONTHS OF THE INTENDED DATE OF ENROLLMENT.

I do not have enough personal/family funding for the financial affidavit, should I still send in the affidavit?

Yes, absolutely. An international application is considered incomplete without this form. Completion of this form is necessary for admission to the Graduate School and eligibility for a graduate assistantship.

  1. If you absolutely have no money at all, you may not wish to continue the application process. Because the full assistantship from the department, including a stipend and a tuition waiver, is usually below the minimum requirement for visa purpose.
    For example, for the academic year 2014-2015, the required amount for visa purpose was $32,146 (this amount changes every year; check the affidavit form for the most recent figure); the assistantship offered to students in 2014-2015, including a stipend and a tuition waiver, was about $1,200 short of the required amount. So, even if we do offer you full funding, you still need to show $1,200 to be able to get I-20. If you cannot show $1,200 in the 2014/2015 academic year, it is not meaningful to continue the application process.

  2. Because both the required amount on the affidavit and our assistantship package vary over time, it is "safer" to send in an affidavit with personal/family fund of at least $2,000, and possibly more to be safe, if you can only attend the program with the departmental funding.

  3. If you have enough personal/family funds to cover the entire required amount ($33,711 for 2016-2017; see the affidavit form for the most recent figure) on the financial affidavit, you should send in the affidavit that shows your personal/family funds. This is the best option for all international applicants. It will not adversely affect your chance of being funded by the department. But it would significantly increase your chance of being able to enroll in time because we can send your file to the Graduate School much earlier in the process – that would put you at the beginning of the applications at the Graduate School.

Note that these are not funds that must be paid to the university. Rather, this is a requirement for the issuance of the I-20 form leading to a visa. Nor would it obligate you to come to our program by filling out the affidavit form.

How long does it take from the time I receive the admission email from the department and the time I receive the official admission letter and I-20?

We send an email to an applicant to notify him/her of our recommendation of admission/rejection as soon as we make a decision, usually in early March. However, our email is only a recommendation to the Graduate School. You should wait for the official admission letter and I-20 before you make travel plans. It generally takes twelve weeks between the time we send you the email and the time the Graduate Schools sends out the official admission letter and I-20. You should also add at least another week or two for the mail to arrive at your address. If your financial affidavit is not on file when we notify you of our recommendation, you should count the twelve weeks from the time we receive your affidavit.

Because it takes time for me to make visa appointments and such, can you ask the Graduate School to process my admission letter and I-20 first?

The Graduate School processes the admission letters and I-20s strictly on a first-come-first-serve basis. It takes twelve weeks to process your application. If you want your application to be processed first, make sure you submit all your supporting documents, especially the financial affidavit, by February 1. Some applicants wait until we make the admission decision (in March) to send in their affidavits – this usually leads to delay of their admission letters and I-20s.

Do I have to buy health insurance while attending Kansas State?

Yes, health insurance is mandatory for all international students.  

K-State requires that all international students be covered by health insurance. If insurance is not supplied by a sponsor or agency, it can be purchased upon arrival. Health insurance should be maintained during your entire stay at K-State.  You can find more information on health insurance here.

5. Funding

Is there a separate form to apply for departmental funding?

There is no separate form. Just ask for it in your statement of objectives. Generally we consider everybody for departmental funding unless you are already being funded by a government agency.

If I send in the affidavit of financial support with my own or family funding, will it decrease my chance of being funded by the department?

No, it will not. We usually do not consider somebody for departmental funding if the applicant is already being funded by a government agency. Otherwise, if you submit a financial affidavit with your personal/family fund, we will still consider you for departmental funding.

6. General Questions

What more information you can provide about the department and the university?

You are encouraged to browse the following web pages about the department, the graduate school, and the university (You should especially check out the first two web pages):

http://www.k-state.edu/economics

http://www.k-state.edu/grad

http://www.k-state.edu

How much will tuition and fees cost?

Read the details about Tuition and Fee Schedules from the Division of Financial Services.

Our fully funded graduate students receive a tuition waiver of up to ten credit hours per semester (the normal load for a typical graduate student is nine credit hours per semester).

In the admission letter I received from the Graduate School, it says that you (the Director of Graduate Studies) will be my advisor. Does that mean I will work on my dissertation under your supervision?

No. That is a common misunderstanding. The Graduate School appoints the Director of Graduate Studies as the advisor for all incoming graduate students in our department. The DGS will advise you on courses to take etc. upon your arrival. However, by the end of your second semester (see the Graduate Handbook for Master's Students and the Graduate Handbook for PhD Students), you should choose your major professor and file the program of study. You will work on your dissertation under the supervision of your major professor from then on.

Can I contact the Director of Graduate Studies if I have more questions?

Certainly. You can find contact information for the current DGS on the department website. If you have submitted the online application, please quote your full name that you put on your application, your date of birth, and your application ID in all correspondence.