Overview of Course Sequences
An important feature of the MA program in Economics is its flexibility, as there are several themes and numerous course sequences that students can choose from. We recommend that terminal MA students pursue a thesis option of one variety or another. In this option, students acquire theoretical and empirical skills through coursework, and demonstrate competence and creativity in the Masters thesis. The coursework can be completed in two semesters, and the thesis can be developed and finished at a pace of the students’ own choosing. We also offer a non-thesis option for students who wish to take a challenging course sequence emphasizing theoretical skills required for the PhD. Finally, an option which provides students with advanced training in applied economic research is being developed for 2007.
II. Basic requirements within the thesis option
30 hours of coursework, including 6 thesis hours
Two semesters of 4 courses each prepare the student for thesis work
At least 2 of the 8 courses must be in economic theory
At least 1 of the 8 courses must be in econometrics
- Option 1: Econ 605, preferably including Econ 606
- Option 2: The more difficult PhD course sequence both 806 & 807
Up to 6 hours of courses may be taken outside the department
For example. courses in Applied Econ & Stats, Math, Political Science…
Obtain prior approval from the graduate coordinator
III. Four Alternative Themes for the Masters Degree in Economics
The themes listed below are meant to give guidance to students when choosing courses. These built around various combinations of course in economic theory and econometrics. Specialization in a variety of fields is possible within each theme.
A. The Standard Theme
In this theme, students take both micro and macro theory (Econ 801 and Econ 805) in the fall semester, before focusing on to field courses in the second semester. If feasible, we advise students to take at least one field course in the fall semester as well, unless additional work in mathematics is required to succeed in the theory courses.
Sample Course Sequence For Standard Theme
|Fall||Spring||Summer or Fall|
|Econ 801 – Micro I||Econ 606 – Adv Econometrics||Write MA thesis|
|Econ 805 – Macro I||Three field courses|
|Econ 605 – Econometrics|
- MA students with solid quantitative skills can replace the 605/606 sequence in Econometrics with the more challenging and theoretical 806/807 sequence.
- Since 801 & 805 are offered only in the fall semester, entry into the program during the spring semester does not prepare the student to finish within 12 months.
B. Micro or Macro-Focused Theme
Students can specialize by taking a two course sequence in micro theory. Taking an advanced theory course demands very good quantitative skills of the student, hence the Math Econ course is recommended. Students with a strong interest in macroeconomics can replace the field course in the fall with Econ 805, and in the spring move on to Macro II rather than Micro II. We do not advise replacing Econ 801 with a field course.
Sample Course Sequence for Micro-Focused Theme
|Fall||Spring||Summer or Fall|
|Econ 801 – Micro I||Econ 802 – Micro II||Write MA thesis|
|Apec 804 – Math Econ||Econ 606 – Adv Econometrics|
|Econ 605 – Econometrics||Two Field Courses|
|Field course or Math Econ|
C. Quantitative Theme: (Non-thesis option)
The non-thesis option allows students to develop advanced skills in economic theory. It is thus a challenging option. It requires that among the thirty hours of coursework, students pass each course in the PhD core sequence. Currently, the PhD core consists of three-course sequences in Macro, Micro, and Econometrics. MA students with outstanding quantitative skills can this finish this option in three semesters.
D. MA with Certificate in Applied Economic Research (under development)
This program is designed to build high-level skills in applied economic research. In addition to a two course sequence in economic theory, students are required to pass the PhD sequence in Econometrics, and to complete a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The program takes a minimum of three semesters to complete. We anticipate it will be approved by the graduate school for Fall 2007.
IV. Recommended Field Courses for Masters Students
- Econ 610 – Economic Development
- Econ 611 – Economics of Education
- Econ 625 – Antitrust Economics
- Econ 820 – Public Economics I +
- Econ 821 – Public Choice
- Econ 824 – Industrial Organization I
- Econ 826 – Economic Theory of Regulation +
- Econ 827 – Property Rights
- Econ 836 – Research in Economic Education +
- Econ 855 – Financial Economics +
The following courses are pending approval by the graduate curriculum committee
- Econ 602 – Comparative Econ Systems
- Econ 614 – Research in Applied Microeconomics (new course)
- Econ 660 – Cost Benefit Analysis
+ Course with significant quantitative or theoretical content
V. GS2 and Graduate School Deadlines
Students must consult the Graduate School webpage and be aware of all Graduate School requirements and forms. Deadlines for these are listed here.
In particular, students should pay attention to the deadlines for filing the GS2 Form, which is the plan of study. This form lists the courses that the student will count toward the MA degree and also lists the members of the student's committee. The student's committee is comprised of a minimum of three members. The student's thesis advisor is the chairman of this committee. As soon as a student has a thesis advisor, a GS2 should be filed. This form can be amended at any time at the student’s discretion.