MS Applied Economics


Program Description

Program Details

The Master of Arts in Economics consists of a foundation program (waived for students who have completed equivalent coursework), economics core, a research project in your chosen concentration area, a master’s thesis, and opportunities for internships.

Full-time students complete the program in two years. A flexible format is available to meet the needs of part-time students.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand modern micro and macroeconomic theories and their applications to contemporary economic problems including decision-making in conditions of risk and uncertainty, and the role of information; open economy macroeconomics and its application to exchange rate movements and financial crises; efficiency wage models, real business cycles; and endogenous growth.
  • Conduct original quantitative empirical analysis of a relevant economic problem specifically, students should be able to express an economic theory in terms of an observable model; formulate a strategy for collecting the data necessary to estimate a well-specified empirical model; determine the appropriate estimation method for the empirical model; utilize statistical software to conduct such estimation; and meaningfully interpret the results.
  • Carry out independent economic research including development of an original research question, a compilation of a professional literature review, the specification of a theoretical and testable empirical model; econometric analysis; and effective communication of the study's principal findings and policy implications.


Courses are drawn from the Department of Economics but also include related courses taught in the School of Management and the departments of computer science and mathematics.


Concentration options provide a framework by which graduate students may organize their program to achieve individual goals.

  • General Economics
    Students collaborate with a graduate adviser to design a plan of study. Some students use this option to prepare for Ph.D. studies; others prepare for careers as economists in government or the private sector. Opportunities exist for directed research, a master's thesis, study/research abroad, and internships.
  • Financial Economics
    Students have the opportunity to study domestic and international financial markets, as well as the principles of financial decision-making in the banking, investment management, and corporate financial management professions. Students may also enroll in MBA courses and will complete a research project in the field of financial economics.
  • International Economics
    Students take courses in International trade and International finance and select three electives from such courses as Economic Development, Development Microeconomics, Development Macroeconomics, Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy, and International Political Economy. Students also complete a research project in international economics.


The master's degree requires that all students undertake a research project in their area of concentration. You’ll confer with a faculty adviser with whom you share a specific research or geographical interest to develop practical and relevant ideas for research. Your adviser supervises the writing of the research paper, which involves a command of relevant economic theory, statistical methods, and field-research methodology.

The master's thesis option requires previous outstanding research and coursework and includes an oral examination. A copy of the thesis will be made available to the public in USF's Gleeson Library.

Overseas Study and Internships

Graduate students may spend a summer at a university abroad and earn six credits (as electives) toward their degree at USF. The overseas study requires approval by the graduate adviser and coordinator of the area of concentration. Students might also pursue an internship, which would substitute for an elective course upon approval by the graduate adviser.

Last updated Apr 2019

About the School

As one of the country’s premier Jesuit Catholic universities, the College of Arts and Sciences pairs a rigorous academic curriculum with an urban, global perspective. The college's vision of success i ... Read More

As one of the country’s premier Jesuit Catholic universities, the College of Arts and Sciences pairs a rigorous academic curriculum with an urban, global perspective. The college's vision of success involves both the head and the heart, with outstanding faculty members giving students the skills and compassion to fashion a more just and humane world. Read less
San Francisco , Buenavista , Orange + 2 More Less