Economics (M.A.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Thesis or scholarly research paper   
    ❱   Final oral examination (thesis option)

Research Specializations

    ❱   Urban economics
    ❱   Labor economics
    ❱   International economics
    ❱   Growth and development

Research Areas & Interests 

Faculty Research Interests

A sampling of research interests

  • Contract theory and household economics
  • Intimate partner violence and economics of crime
  • Impact of unemployment insurance and staying at home on crime
  • Industry dynamics, resource, and environmental economics
  • Urban sprawl, family stability, and gentrification
  • Vulnerable populations and climate change
  • Valuation of weather forecast products and urban renewal programs
  • Labor market conditions and racial/ethnic differences in college enrollment
  • Student debt and labor market outcomes (racial wealth gaps)
  • Dynamics of exports and foreign direct investment to African economies
  • Investment liberalization, credit constraints, and trade volatility
  • Stock return predictability over business cycles
  • Spatial patterns of economic segregation in major U.S. metropolitan areas
  • Economics of Retirement
  • Impediments to adequate health care delivery and health outcomes of underserved populations
  • Racial and ethnic disparities: essential workers and the coronavirus pandemic
  • Barriers to an inclusive economy

Program of Study* 


Up to six (6) credit hours may be transferred from other graduate programs in economics subject to the requirements that (1) the student received a grade of B or better in the course and (2) the Director of Graduate Studies approve the transfer of credit. 

ECOG 200   Microeconomic Theory I

ECOG 202   Macroeconomic Theory I

ECOG 204   History of Economic Analysis

ECOG 207   Workshop in Econ Research

ECOG 210   Advanced Statistics

ECOG 211   Econometrics I

ECOG 213   Mathematics for Economists


Major Field Course (3 CR)*

*Three (3) credit hours must be earned in the student's chosen major subfield area.

ECOG 220   Growth and Development I

ECOG 230   Urban Economics I

ECOG 261   Labor Economics I

ECOG 244   International Economics I

Other Elective Courses (6-9 CR)

A sampling of elective courses 

ECOG 248   Industrial Organization

ECOG 233   Health Economics

ECOG 238   Environmental Economics

ECOG 274   Financial Intermediation

ECOG 315   Empirical Analysis of Topics in Fin. Lit.

ECOG 240   Public Finance

ECOG 250   Cost-Benefit Analysis

ECOG 216   Advanced Topics in Econometric


Students taking the thesis option may replace up to six (6) credit hours of elective courses with an equal number of hours of Thesis Seminar (ECOG-300 and ECOG 301). 

A student may choose to complete a Master's Thesis, taking two thesis courses instead of other electives. A member of the Graduate Faculty is selected to act as thesis advisor and will supervise the student's development of the thesis. A thesis committee overseeing the thesis consists of the thesis advisor and at least two other faculty members. A majority of the members of the thesis committee must be members of the graduate faculty. Final approval of the thesis is the responsibility of the full committee. The candidate must pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis. 


View Economics department course descriptions here.

*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Graduate assistantships are available for full-time M.A. students and carry a stipend. Students receiving such assistantships are required to take at least nine (9) credits per semester. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants).