Masters Degrees at Clemson

Tillman Hall Clemson Milton Friedman once described the “Chicago School” of economics as rejecting both theory without evidence and evidence without theory. This is equally true of economics at Clemson. The goal of our Masters degree programs is to help students become adept at using economic theory in order to formulate and test hypotheses about any aspect of social interaction. The wide range of topics investigated by Clemson students testifies to our success in reaching this goal. In recent theses and dissertations, our students have studied the political determinants of the geographical distribution of Canadian federal government spending, the pattern of state spending on African-Americans’ education in South Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century, the relation between education and economic growth in the states of the U.S., the proper pricing of stock options, and the extent to which tort reform has affected health care services.

The Master of Arts in Economics

Many students come to Clemson for the purpose of obtaining a terminal master’s degree. We consider our master’s program an integral part of our overall graduate program and believe that we offer excellent professional preparation for analysis or management positions in business or government. Job placement for Clemson’s MA graduates ranks with the top MBA programs in the region. The program is also an excellent first step toward advanced graduate work in economics or law at other universities. As in the case of the PhD program, the MA curriculum stresses the development of students’ analytical skills, in particular their ability to identify key questions and to use theoretical and empirical tools to answer them.

Students who enroll in the MA program as their terminal degree as well as students with plans to pursue further graduate study elsewhere are required to complete 24 semester hours of course work and submit an acceptable thesis. There is also a non-thesis option in which students substitute more quantitative courses for the thesis.

The Master of Science in Applied Economics and Statistics

Students who earn a MS in Applied Economics and Statistics (AES) learn to apply economic theory, design experiments or surveys, estimate econometric models, and test hypotheses to analyze human behavior, business practice, or government policy. Most graduates use their skills for employment in increasingly valuable niches of data analysis and management in the private or public sector. Other graduates subsequently earn doctorates in economics, agricultural and applied economics, or statistics.

The curriculum of the MS in AES program is relatively flexible. Students must earn 12 credits in four core courses in applied microeconomics, macroeconomics or public-policy economics, econometrics or regression analysis, and statistics or advanced econometrics. Students must also earn at least 18 additional graduate credits from elective courses in economics or statistics. There is a thesis option and a non-thesis option.

Faculty from the John E. Walker Department of Economics, applied economists in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, and statisticians from the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences teach the required and most of the elective courses. The John E. Walker Department of Economics is the administrative home of the program. The graduate coordinator of the program is Scott Templeton, who can be reached at stemple [at] clemson [dot] edu (email) or 864-656-6680 (office). The program is coordinated in cooperation with the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences.