Economics MA

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate major in economics is not required for acceptance into the program. Application for admission may be submitted at any time, although class work formally begins in late August, mid-January, and mid-June. Candidates must meet the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, submit GRE scores (Advanced Economics optional), and submit two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the candidate's potential for success in the program.

The admissions decision is based on the applicant's academic transcript, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal narrative on the application form.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Economics requires 30 credit hours; at least 21 hours must be completed in residence.

Candidates need not have an undergraduate degree in economics. However, students are expected to have taken intermediate micro- and macro-economics, mathematical economics, and introductory econometrics prior to the beginning of the core curriculum. Students that do not have these courses will take these courses first; credits earned in these courses do not count towards the 30 hours required for the MA.

Required Core Courses

The following courses or their equivalents are required for the M.A. in Economics. Students with previous education in economics or business may waive some of these courses.

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


Candidates must complete at least 21 hours of electives. A maximum of 6 hours of economics electives may be taken at the 4000 level. With the approval of the graduate coordinator, students may take up to 9 hours of graduate courses outside the Department of Economics. In particular, students interested in business economics may take up to three approved graduate business courses for their electives.

Departmental Honors

A student may earn departmental honors with a GPA of 3.75 in all required courses for the M.A. degree and the recommendation of the department.

Complementary Areas of Study

Students with a public policy focus can complete the M.A. in Economics and the Public Policy Administration (PPA) Graduate Certificate in Policy and Program Evaluation (PPE). It is possible to earn the Certificate without any additional coursework beyond what is required for the M.A. alone.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Interpret and analyze economic models and assess their validity.
  • Use theoretical and empirical tools to design effective business and government policies.
  • Use econometric methods to interpret and analyze economic data, to assess the empirical validity of economic propositions, to evaluate policies, and to help inform business decisions.
  • Develop at least one topic area of expertise through familiarity with the relevant scholarly and professional literatures, policy issues, institutions, and current data trends.
  • Develop at least one methodological area of expertise through the acquisition of the theoretical and empirical tools needed to understand scholarly and professional contributions to the literature to facilitate lifelong professional development and refinement of expertise.
  • Write a professional quality research paper.
  • Develop sufficient proficiency in the use of theoretical and empirical tools and in understanding of economic institutions to excel in a Ph.D. program.