Economics MA Accelerated Master's Degree

The Department of Economics offers an Accelerated MA degree program that allows students to simultaneously earn their BS and their MA in Economics in as few as 10 semesters. Students in the Accelerated MA program will complete the MA through coursework. 

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credit hours. Students accepted to the Accelerated MA degree program will be permitted to count up to 12 credit hours at the 4000-level or higher toward both the BS and MA degrees. The remaining 18 credit hours must be earned while in graduate status (after formal acceptance).

Any courses taken before provisional admission to the Accelerated MA program will apply to the undergraduate requirements only. Students are encouraged to work closely with the Undergraduate and MA Program Directors to ensure that required courses are timed appropriately. 


Students will need to have fulfilled the core curriculum requirements prior to applying for the Accelerated MA program. The Department recommends applying during the student’s Junior year (at about 90 credit hours toward the BS).

Admission Requirements

Provisional Admission

Applicants are considered for provisional admission if they meet the following criteria:

  • Earned 75 hours as an undergraduate
  • Completed MATH 1100 or MATH 1800 (preferred)
  • Completed the at least twelve hours at the 3000-level including:
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0; likewise, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Economics courses is required.

The Department also recommends that the student complete or be enrolled in ECON 4100, Introduction to Econometrics before applying.

The MA Program Director, in consultation with the Undergraduate Director, will determine whether the student can apply for provisional status. Graduate courses completed by undergraduate students who have been provisionally admitted to Accelerated Master’s program will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate; however, these courses will count toward the master’s degree. These courses must be approved before the semester starts. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for provisional status as a junior, preferably in the first semester of junior year.

Graduate Admission

Students are considered for admission to the graduate school in their final semester as an undergraduate. Students should meet with the MA Program Director each semester. Applicants are considered for graduate admission if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are in their final semester in undergraduate status
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 since being granted provisional status
  • Have submitted at least one letter of recommendation from an UMSL Economics professor

The MA Program Director will determine whether the student can apply for graduate admission.  Final decisions concerning graduate admission are made by the Graduate School in consultation with the Program Director. Students admitted at this stage are conferred graduate status and must continue taking courses with graduate status until the completion of the MA degree. 

Program Requirements

The MA in Economics requires 30 credit hours (10 courses); at least 21 credit hours must be completed in residence.

The following 3 courses (9 credit hours) are required:

ECON 5001Microeconomic Analysis3
ECON 5002Macroeconomic Analysis3
ECON 5100Econometric Theory and Methods3

In addition, 21 credit hours of electives must be completed; up to nine credit hours may be outside of Economics with the approval of the Graduate Program Director. At most, six of these credit hours may be economics courses at the 4000 level (excluding ECON 4100ECON 4150 and ECON 4550 which cannot be utilized as part of the MA degree); all other electives must be at the 5000 level or higher.

Typically, the student will complete ECON 5001 and three electives while still in provisional status.  The final year (in grad status) will be comprised of ECON 5002, ECON 5100 and four electives.

Awarding of Degrees

The student may apply for and receive the bachelor’s degree in the semester when all the undergraduate requirements are completed. In their final semester in undergraduate status, the student must apply and be admitted to the graduate program, to begin the following semester. The student will apply to receive the master’s degree in the semester that the requirements for the graduate degree will be completed.

If the student fails to enroll for more than one year after receiving the bachelor's degree, the student can still earn the master’s degree, but the graduate-level credits earned as an undergraduate cannot be used for the graduate degree.