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Overview of Graduate Program

The department offers a two-year program leading to a Master of Arts in Economics.  The first year consists of course work and the second year primarily of writing a thesis. The program is purposely small so that students can be given individualized attention by the faculty in both coursework and research projects. 

Our graduate program has an empirical, applied public policy focus with strengths in development and environmental economics. The core coursework focuses on theoretical and empirical tools: microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics.  The heart of each student's program is the design and completion of an empirically oriented thesis that allows them to develop a research project in which they integrate economic theory, empirical data, and quantitative methods. This experience gives our graduates the necessary tools to be successful as professional economists in the private and public sectors.

Some students enter our program in order to prepare for government or private sector jobs as economists.  For these students, our objectives are to give them a solid grounding in economic theory with extensive training in applied econometrics, expand their writing and communication skills, and ultimately help them find employment upon graduation.  Recent graduates of the program have been successfully employed as professional economists with state governments, national and regional consulting firms, as well as several non-profit organizations.

Other students enter our program with the goal of preparing for a Ph.D. program in economics.  For these students, our objectives are to provide a solid grounding in economic theory, solidify their math background, and expose them to the research methods that will eventually help them in their Ph.D. dissertations. We have successfully placed our students in Ph.D. programs at Cornell University, the University of Oregon and Simon Fraser University, among others.

If you are interested in applying for our Master's program, please click on the related links on the right panel for additional information about the program. If you have further questions, please contact Ranjan Shrestha, Graduate Advisor.