Curriculum

The 10-month degree program has been designed to be completed mid-July through mid-May. Students are required to take ten 3-credit courses for a total of 30 credit hours. Courses are offered in a 2-4-4 format, with two courses in the summer semester, four courses in the fall semester, and four courses in the spring semester. No thesis is required. See below for detailed information about course offerings.

The 18-month and 24-month degree programs also begin in mid-July but are completed later. For the July 2016 entering cohort, these programs would end in December 2017 and May 2018, respectively. The degree requirements, including completion of the core courses and 30 graded credit hours, will be the same for all degree tracks. A thesis option is not required (or offered) in any of the degree tracks. A longer degree option can be a good fit for many students, including those looking to: complete the degree at a slower pace; work part-time or pursue an internship while completing the degree, build a stronger profile for PhD applications or private-sector jobs, and/or take additional Economics courses.

The following chart provides a side-by-side comparison of the three program tracks. The program staff will work closely with individual students on their course choices and the progress to degree.

Semester 10-month 18-month 24-month
Summer Math for Economists
Probability & Statistics
Optional: Real Analysis
Math for Economists
Probability & Statistics
Optional: Real Analysis
Math for Economists
Probability & Statistics
Optional: Real Analysis
Fall Microeonomics
Econometrics
Macroeconomics
1 elective
Microeconomics
Econometrics
Macroeconomics or 1 elective
Microeconomics
Econometrics
Macroeconomics or 1 elective
Spring 3-4 electives 2-3 electives
Optional: Internship
1-3 electives
Optional: Internship
Fall Macroeconomics (if not yet taken)
2-3 electives
Optional: Internship
Macroeconomics (if not yet taken)
1-3 electives
Optional: Internship
Spring 1-3 electives
Optional: Internship

 

Rigor

The MA program is highly ranked nationally. The technical level of the MA program has been targeted to be in between the level of intermediate undergraduate courses and first-year doctoral courses. (For example, the Micreconomics course (ECO 394K) will be more advanced than our undergraduate Intermediate Economics (ECO 420K) and less advanced than our doctoral Microeconomics I (ECO 387L.1).) The MA courses have been specially designed for this program and are completely distinct from our PhD courses.

Some sample course syllabi are provided below.

Comparable Programs

The MA curriculum will fully prepare students who wish to apply to economics PhD programs. The curriculum is similar in rigor to the Master’s programs offered at other top departments (Boston University, Duke University, New York University, Columbia University). Please note that the technical level of this program is more advanced than most “Applied Economics” master’s programs. For a list of other terminal master’s programs in the United States, please visit the American Economic Association website.

Courses

Additional details on the MA courses are provided below. Five core courses are offered in the summer and fall semesters combined. Elective courses will be offered in both the fall and spring semesters. In addition to brief course descriptions, we have provided sample textbooks for some of the courses; while these textbooks will not necessarily be adopted by faculty teaching these courses, they do provide a good sense of the level at which the courses will be taught.

Summer Semester (July – August, 6 weeks)

ECO 394C Mathematics for Economists

Short description:  Mathematical tools widely used for economic analysis, including advanced calculus, optimization methods, linear algebra, and dynamic systems.
Sample textbooks:  Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics by Chiang and Wainwright, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis by Sydsaeter and Hammond
Sample syllabus: Summer 2017

ECO 394D Probability and Statistics

Short description:  Probability theory and statistical methods used in economics and econometrics.
Sample textbooks:  Probability and Statistics by DeGroot and Schervish, Mathematical Statistics with Applications by Ramachandran and Tsokos
Sample syllabus: Summer 2017

ECO 395M Real Analysis for Economists (Optional)

Short description: An introduction to real analysis, including coverage of Euclidean spaces, one-variable analysis (continuity, compactness, differentiation, integration), and sequences and series of real-valued functions.
Sample textbooks: Analysis, with an Introduction to Proof, 5th edition by Lay
Sample syllabus: Summer 2017

Fall Semester (August – December)

ECO 394K Microeconomics

Short description:  Rigorous introduction to the methods of microeconomic theory, including consumer and producer theory, decision under uncertainty, markets and competition, and general equilibrium.
Sample textbook:  Advanced Microeconomic Theory by Jehle and Reny
Sample syllabus: Fall 2016

ECO 394L Macroeconomics

Short description:  Dynamic optimization concepts and methods used in modern macroeconomics. General equilibrium applications in the areas of economic growth, business cycles, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy.
Sample textbook: Modern Macroeconomics by Chugh
Sample syllabus: Fall 2017

ECO 394M Econometrics

Short description:  Identification and estimation of linear and nonlinear regression models. Inference and hypothesis testing.
Sample textbooks:  Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach by Wooldridge, Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data by Wooldridge
Sample syllabus: Fall 2016

ECO 395K.1 Game Theory (Optional)

Short description:  Introduction to game theoretic concepts and analyses and their application to study strategic interactions between individuals, firms, and other economic agents.
Sample textbooks:  Games and Information by Rasmussen, Game Theory for Applied Economists by Gibbons
Sample syllabus: Fall 2016

Spring Semester (January – May)

Four advanced topics courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, or quantitative methods. Possible offerings include Industrial Organization, Labor Economics, Financial Economics, Advanced Econometrics, Energy/Environmental Economics, Monetary Economics, and International Economics.

Learn more about our 2017-2018 course lineup here.