Degree Requirements for the MA Program Economics

The MA Economics program is 30 hours and is designed to take three semesters to complete. Ambitious full-time students can complete the 30 credit hours required for the MA degree in twelve months. Part-time students typically take two or more years. Part-time students should pay special attention to prerequisites when enrolling in courses and should meet with the graduate coordinator to determine the appropriate sequence of courses.

For new students to the MA program in economics, the graduate coordinator will serve as the advisor. Once a student begins the professional paper, the chair of the student’s professional paper committee will serve as that student’s advisor.

The following items satisfy the minimum degree requirements. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA over the course of their studies. Any course with a grade of less than a B (including a B- as an insufficient grade) will not count toward the credits necessary for graduation with the MA degree in Economics.

Required Courses

Thirty semester credit hours must be completed, of which 24 credits must be taken in the 700-level courses. Twenty-one credits of required courses in economics include:

  • Macroeconomic Theory (ECO 701; 3 credits)
  • Microeconomic Theory (ECO 702; 3 credits)
  • Mathematical Economics (ECO 740; 3 credits)
  • Statistical Modeling (ECO 770; 3 credits)
  • Econometrics (ECO 772; 3 credits)
  • Seminar in Research Methods (ECO 793; 3 credits)
  • Professional Paper (ECO 794; 3 credits)

Elective Courses

Elective course work must include one to three additional courses in economics and may include up to two additional courses in a related discipline. Non-economic electives may include, but are not limited to, MBA courses in accounting, finance, or management information systems; courses in environmental studies; geographic information systems (GIS); or statistics. The graduate coordinator must approve all non-economics electives, and students must meet the prerequisites for these courses. Students interested in taking non-economics courses must get the prior approval of the graduate coordinator before enrolling in non-economics courses. Otherwise, such courses will not count toward their M.A. degree plan.

Professional Paper

In addition to the coursework, students must complete and present a professional paper. The professional paper should demonstrate mastery of economic research methods and must contain an empirical component. The topic of the professional paper is selected by the student in consultation with their advisor, and students should plan on the advisor supervising the completion of their professional paper. Other faculty members may be involved as well.

To facilitate completion of the professional paper, the economics department offers ECO 793 (Seminar in Research Methods) and ECO 794 (Professional Paper) during each semester of the program. During their second semester, full-time students should enroll in ECO 793 and begin their professional papers. During their third semester, full-time students should enroll in ECO 794 and complete and present their professional paper.

Sample Course Plan

Fall - Semester 1

  • ECO 740: Mathematical Economics
  • ECO 702: Microeconomic Theory
  • ECO 770: Statistical Modeling
  • Elective

Spring - Semester 2

  • ECO 772: Econometrics
  • ECO 701: Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECO 793: Research Methods
  • Elective

Fall - Semester 3

  • ECO 794: Professional Paper
  • Elective