The Department of Economics offers a two-year program leading to a Master of Arts degree. The program's strength is that it allows students to work closely with faculty members throughout their studies. Classes are small and stress attention to students' research interests and career development needs. While faculty members have a wide range of interests, the department's strongest fields are environmental economics, development economics and regional development. In addition, students may take electives from other departments on campus and many of our students have benefited from mathematics, forestry and environmental studies courses.
The program has two objectives: (1) to train students in the advanced theoretical and empirical tools of economic analysis relevant to policy issues in a complex, modern economy, which provides the foundation for both further graduate study and a critical, problem solving orientation required for research; and, (2) to meet the increasing demands for competent professional economists at the master's level in industry, commerce, government and education.
In order to meet these objectives students take a series of core courses, electives and write a thesis. The core courses are designed to provide the student with a strong background in microeconomics, macroeconomics and applied econometrics. Students specialize by taking approved elective courses and writing a thesis that allows them to refine their research skills. Students' theses are usually applied works often dealing with local or regional data. Upon completion of the thesis, many students go to doctoral programs while others find employment in state government and private firms.
Thesis, 30 credits.
1. Application Materials and Deadline
Applicants should apply at least two months before the term they expect to enter.
In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, the Department of Economics also requires:
A statement of purpose (100-300 words) describing your background and goals.
Three letters of recommendation (We prefer electronic submission through the Admission Application. If the electronic method is used there is no need to send paper copies of the letters to the department.)
2. Program Requirements for Admission
Evidence of a distinguished undergraduate record, such as a grade point average of at least 3.0 for all college work.
Satisfactory knowledge of intermediate-level microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, calculus and statistics.
GRE scores - there is no specific cutoff established but GRE scores are used as additional evidence of suitability for the program. Low scores hurt admission chances.
The Economics Department does not accept GRE scores that are more than 5 years old.
3. Assistantship Application
Complete application packet must be received by April 1 to be considered for a teaching assistantship.
For additional information about financial assistance, see the Financial Information section on this web site.
The Department of Economics has a limited number of teaching assistantships available each year. Graduate students in these positions assist faculty with the large introductory classes. Teaching assistants do not teach the courses. They lead help sessions, hold office hours, attend lectures, assist with grading and other tasks as needed. Teaching assistants are selected based upon their background, preparation and academic record. Both incoming and current graduate students may apply for assistantships. Teaching assistants are required to register for at least 9 credits each semester.
From time to time, faculty members have grants from various sources that allow them to hire graduate students as research assistants. This presents incoming or current graduate students the opportunity to get valuable research experience while assisting the faculty member with the research grant. Research assistantships do not carry fee waivers. Research assistants are required to register for 9 credits each semester.