MA Fellowship FAQs


  1. Is the Mercatus Center MA Fellowship full-time?

    Yes. Fellows have a full course load each semester, are required to attend workshops and readings groups, and are required to spend approximately 20 hours a week working as research assistants for Mercatus Center scholars. For this reason, students who want to maintain a full-time job in addition to the fellowship duties are not eligible.

  2. Can I apply for a Mercatus Center MA Fellowship before my application to GMU is complete?

    Yes. Mercatus accepts and reviews all applications received before our deadlines. However you must ensure that all of your GMU paperwork has been correctly submitted and received by GMU before their deadlines in order to be accepted into the Mercatus Center Fellowship Program.
  3. I have written a paper on X. Is this a good choice for the required writing sample?

    We utilize the writing sample to examine each applicant’s writing style and ability, grasp of language, and clarity of thought. We are not particularly concerned with the specific content of the sample. Therefore you should choose whichever work you feel will give us the best impression of your skills as a writer.
  4. Mercatus was unable to accept me as a MA Fellow this year. Can I apply again?

    Yes. We encourage all interested applicants to apply again for the program the next year.
  5. I have been accepted as a Mercatus Graduate Fellow. Where should I live?

    In general, Mercatus MA Fellows work and attend classes at GMU’s Arlington campus.
  6. What is the typical week like for a Mercatus MA Fellow? What can I expect in terms of class load and workload?

    Most MA fellows take three classes a semester, which meet one day a week per class. Typically, MA fellows are expected to work at the Mercatus Center for around 20 hours a week for a Mercatus scholar or department doing a variety of research-related tasks.
  7. Am I permitted to intern off-site during the summer?

    Mercatus MA fellows are encouraged to seek off-site internships during the summer between their first and second years in the program. Because Mercatus recognizes the benefits of off-site internships to our fellows and hence the MA Fellowship program as a whole, we suspend our 20 hour per week work requirement for fellows working in approved internships. Additionally our policy with paid summer internships is to permit them and to guarantee our fellows their promised amount of summer funds as a minimum. For an unpaid internship a fellow receives their entire summer stipend from Mercatus. For an internship where a fellow earns more from the internship than they were promised from Mercatus that fellow earns and keeps their internship salary, but does not receive fellowship payments via Mercatus for the summer. Finally, fellows with paid internships which pay less than our promised summer funding receive payments from Mercatus to bring their total pay up to the promised amount.
  8. I still have questions about the Mercatus Fellowship Program.

    General questions about the Fellowship – email [email protected]

    Questions about your application status or application materials – email [email protected]

    Questions about the Mercatus Center in general or directions – contact Mercatus at (800) 815-5711

    Questions about your application to GMU – Contact the Economics Department at (703) 993-1135