Students who earn the Master of Arts in Economics learn to apply economic theory, collect and manage data, estimate econometric models, and test hypotheses with inferential statistics to answer questions about human behavior, markets and other institutions or government policy. The behavior, institutions or policy might relate to anti-trust law, banks, credit markets, economic growth, environmental or natural resource management, healthcare, insurance, labor markets, property rights, regulation, stock markets and sports businesses.
Students in the master's program are well prepared for jobs in economic and business analysis, management, law, and government regulation. Graduates of the program have used their skills to fill increasingly valuable positions in data analysis and management. Other graduates subsequently earn doctorates in economics or statistics.
The curriculum is flexible and students may choose any one of a number of possible sequences of courses. Graduate students for whom the masters is a terminal or professional degree are strongly encouraged to choose the thesis option, which enables students to acquire theoretical and empirical skills through coursework and to demonstrate their competence and creativity. The coursework can be completed in two semesters, and ambitious students can complete the thesis and their degree within a 12 month period. A non-thesis option with a more challenging set of core courses is also available.