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Master of Arts in Economics



Graduate Program in Economics

The MA program in economics is designed to train students in the quantitative and applied economic skills that will best enhance their future employment opportunities in the private and public sectors, or their pursuit of PhD studies in economics or related fields.

The Emphasis of the Program

Our MA program emphasizes extensive training in mathematical and quantitative analysis, including the provision of substantial exposure to econometrics and forecasting, working with large and diverse data sets, and a wide range of statistical software. This gives students the applied skills that employers demand, provides those pursuing advanced degrees an edge in gaining admission to top-flight PhD programsand enhances the likelihood of the student's ultimate success.

Evidence of our success in this area can be seen in part through the placements of our students. In recent years, a number of our graduates have gone on to top-ranked PhD programs including Harvard, Stanford, UC-San Diego, Illinois, Michigan State and University of North Carolina. Others have gone to work as economists in various federal, state and local government offices. Most of our graduates move into the private sector, working as economists or quantitative analysts for local, national and multinational corporations.

The program offers a great deal of flexibility to meet each student's career goals. In addition to courses in economics, students have the option (with graduate advisor approval) of taking mathematical and quantitative courses in the Department of Mathematics and graduate courses in the College of Business and Administration. Moreover, the program can be completed in as few as three semesters if the student enrolls in the fall semester.

Program Duration

The Economics MA can be completed in as few as three semesters by students who begin the program in the fall, although students who are working full time typically take four or five semesters to complete the program. The dual-degree program in Economics and Finance requires a minimum of five semesters. The department typically offers a small number of courses during the summer term, which can speed completion of the program.

Dual Degree in Economics and Finance

For students interested in combining the quantitative skills of an economics degree with the specific applications of a business degree, we offer an MA Economics/MS Finance dual degree. This 42 credit-hour program is offered jointly with the Graduate School of Business. It is a "dual" degree, meaning that students who complete the program earn two Masters degrees: an MA in economics and an MS in finance. Students must be admitted separately to both the MA program in Economics and MS program in Finance. Students may apply to the Economics program first and then to the Finance program at the end of their first semester, or vice versa. Students may also apply to both programs at the same time. Further information about this program can be obtained from either the Department of Economics or the Graduate School of Business.

The dual degree program is intended to create research professionals with considerable econometric skill as well as familiarity with their chosen financial institutions. Given the similarity in course work within the two programs there can be considerable time savings for the student. Essentially the program allows students to complete the two programs that separately would require 60 hours of coursework with 42 hours of combined coursework.