Timeline Details

The M.A. program in Economics is a 12-month program based primarily on intensive and thought-provoking coursework. The program is capped off by an applied economics course and major paper, intended to showcase the skills that have been mastered throughout the year. The following provides a brief description of the standard progression of the M.A. program. For a complete list and description of graduate courses offered by the School, click here.


Prior to coursework in September, students undertake a Mathematics Review that is administered online.

First Semester

From September through December, students take core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, mathematics and statistics, and econometrics (ECON 500, 502, 526, and 527). This comprises 12 credits of coursework.

Second Semester

From January through April, students take four field courses in specializations of their choosing, comprising an additional 12 credits of coursework. These are typically 500-level courses in economics.


During the summer, students enroll in ECON 594 Applied Economics (a six credit course) and ECON 595 Major Essay (a requirement for graduation, but not worth any credits). ECON 594 provides students with experience in combining economic theory with econometric methods in empirical research. Each student undertakes an applied research project and writes a major paper based on that research; successful completion of the research paper constitutes completion of ECON 595.

Upon completion of satisfactory standing in 30 credits of work (and ECON 595), the Master’s degree is earned.

Thesis Alternative

Candidates may choose to complete the M.A. program by obtaining 30 credits of work in the form of 18 credits of coursework, and 12 credits obtained by writing a thesis. The M.A. with Thesis option is available only through prior arrangement with the School.

The topic of the thesis is selected in consultation with a faculty advisor, and the research is done under the supervision of at least one member of the faculty. Candidates normally complete the 18 credits of coursework during the first academic year. Following this, the thesis typically takes an additional 18 months to complete. On completion of the thesis, the candidate must pass an oral examination on the subject of the thesis.

Prior arrangements are necessary to pursue the M.A. with Thesis option, in order to ensure arrangements for proper supervision. Because of this, and the time commitment involved with the thesis option, the School strongly recommends that candidates pursue the standard progression towards the M.A. based on coursework.