The Mercatus MA Fellowship is a two-year, competitive, full-time fellowship program for students pursuing a master’s degree in economics at George Mason University who are interested in gaining an advanced degree in applied economics in preparation for a career in public policy.
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—as researchers, policy analysts, journalists, etc.—are ideal candidates for this fellowship.
The total award of up to $80,000 (over two years) includes a monthly stipend, full tuition support (nine credits per semester), and practical experience conducting and disseminating research with Mercatus scholars and staff on pertinent policy issues.
MA Fellows can pursue one of two general tracks that prepare them for a career in public policy, the policy research track and the strategic communications and outreach track. All fellows are required to take courses toward an MA in economics from George Mason University, and are encouraged to take electives in courses that further their expertise in conducting and communicating economic analysis of public policy issues. In addition, fellows attend theory to practice readings groups and career development workshops, spend at least 20 hours a week working with Mercatus scholars and staff, and complete a Mercatus Graduate Policy Essay (see full requirements).
Policy Research Track
MA Fellows in this track will work as research assistants and coauthors with Mercatus scholars on pertinent policy areas such as regulations, financial markets, technology policy, spending and budget,state and local policy, and the study of American capitalism.
Fellows will work with established scholars that have the academic credentials as well as professional experience that makes them leading experts on public policy issues. By working alongside scholars, such as Jason Fichtner, Matt Mitchell, and Hester Peirce, fellows will learn how to research complex policy issues and communicate sound economic analysis through academic articles, policy publications, congressional testimony, opinion pieces, and blog posts. Fellows in this track are prepared to become policy analysts and researchers at federal and state agencies, congressional committees, and policy institutions.
Strategic Communications and Outreach Track
MA Fellows in this track will work with Mercatus scholars and staff to learn how to promote, disseminate, and translate economic analysis, through policy briefs, op-eds, and other mediums, aimed at policymakers, media, and the public.
Fellows will work with our Communications and Outreach teams to get hands-on experience in preparing scholars and research for promotion and disseminating research through discussions with other organizations and state and federal government officials, as well as editing and submitting op-eds and articles, media training, and video production. Fellows in this track are prepared for careers as public relations and outreach specialists at media organizations, congressional offices, and other institutions.
Acceptance into the fellowship program is dependent on acceptance into the MA program in economics at George Mason University. Please complete the standard application for fall admission to the MA program in Economics at George Mason University, and indicate on the application that you would like to be considered for funding.
In order to apply to the MA Fellowship, please click the “Apply Now” button and complete the online application. The online application includes:
- A cover letter explaining your interest in the program,
- A current resume/CV,
- A 500-1000 word essay on “Why do some societies prosper, while others remain stagnant and poor?”,
- A 10-page writing sample, and
- A few short answer questions.
If you have any questions, please email MAFellowship@mercatus.gmu.edu.