Mercatus Master's Fellowship

The Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship Program is a competitive fellowship program for students in George Mason University’s MA economics program who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in applied economics in preparation for a career in public policy. Our MA fellows take specialized courses which provide analytic training in applying economic ideas to solve problems in the world.


The Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship program is targeted toward students with an interest in gaining advanced training in economics, but who do not anticipate a career in academia. Students who anticipate working in public policy are ideal candidates for this fellowship.

Master’s Fellows are fully funded with an award that is valued at up to $40,000 per academic year and includes:

- Monthly stipend
- Full tuition support (9 credits per semester)
- Practical experience as a research assistant with the Mercatus Center
- Laptop computer

Program Requirements
- Enroll full time in the GMU economics program.
- Write and defend a Master’s thesis.
- Enroll in 9 credits each semester and maintain a 3.5 GPA.
- Attend the bi-weekly readings group in applied economics.
- Work approximately 20 hours each week with Mercatus Center staff and faculty mentors throughout the year.
- Work with a faculty mentor, and begin the Master’s thesis during the summer following the second semester.
- Spend one week during the summer participating in an advanced graduate workshop administered by the Institute for Humane Studies.
- Participate in quarterly workshops during the year immediately following your graduation from the MA economics program.
- Take specialized applied coursework.

To apply for our Master's Fellowship, please complete the standard application for admission to George Mason University Department of Economics' Master's program. Please indicate on that form that you would like to be considered for the Mercatus Master's Fellowship.

In addition to completing the general application, please submit an additional 500- to 1,000-word essay on "Why do some societies prosper while others remain stagnant and poor?" and a 10 page writing sample. Please send your additional essay and writing sample, along with a cover letter to graduatefellowships@mercatus.org

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