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Graduate Catalog 2014-15


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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
For domestic classified status, the deadline is approximately a month before the start of classes (Definite dates are on the application itself). International students, please see the FAQs #16 for your deadline. NOTE: If you are a new graduate student and you intend to apply for a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), the deadline for having all of your application materials turned in moves up to January 15th. If you apply for the CGA but your SIUE application is incomplete, your application for the Competitive Graduate Award will be removed from consideration.



The Department of Economics and Finance offers two programs of study, one leading to the Master of Arts (MA) degree in Economics and Finance and the other leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Economics and Finance. Both degree programs require a common core curriculum followed by emphasis in either Applied Economics or Finance. The MA degree program is intended for the student who wishes to continue with academic work leading to an advanced degree, such as a PhD, MBA, law or other professional degree, or to pursue a career in teaching at the community college level. This program provides a firm understanding of theory, research methodology, concepts and principles in economics and finance; such preparation is essential to successful doctoral studies. The MA curriculum also provides a solid foundation for students interested in attending law school, especially in tax, antitrust, corporate (mergers and acquisitions), or securities law specialties.

The MS degree program is designed for those students who plan to pursue a professional career in business or government upon graduation. The emphasis of this program is on the development of expertise in the application of concepts and methodology. The program's flexibility enables the student to acquire the specialized skills required of professionals in business, industry, government, or other public service. Graduates of this program are prepared for career opportunities offered in financial analysis and services, business economics, or in many areas of government service. Financial analysts work in commercial and investment banks, brokerage houses, mutual funds, life and health insurance companies, real estate investment trusts, pension funds, and corporate finance departments of non-financial firms. Business economists prepare forecasts, perform cost analysis and market studies, develop and evaluate pricing strategies, and assist in corporate planning. Students also find that this degree prepares them well for many positions with government agencies, particularly those offices addressing budget, revenues, debt management, forecasting, economic development, or regulatory issues.


Applicants for admission to the MA or MS program are required to meet the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School and to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. An applicant's academic record should reflect proficiency in intermediate economic theory and statistics within seven years prior to admission. Knowledge of the fundamentals of calculus is highly recommended. Applications for admission must include official scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in fields other than economics and finance or with deficiencies in economic theory or statistics are encouraged to complete the following courses or their equivalents: intermediate microeconomic theory (ECON 301), intermediate macroeconomic theory (ECON 302), and statistics (MS 251 or 502). Credit earned to remove such deficiencies will not be applied to the graduate degree program.

For admission, applicants should meet the following criteria:

  1. four-year undergraduate GPA meeting or exceeding B-;

  2. percentile for overall score on GMAT (Program code: 3T9CD19) or GRE equal to or greater than 30;

  3. percentile for verbal score on GMAT (Program code: 3T9CD19)or GRE equal to or greater than 20;

  4. percentile for quantitative score on on GMAT (Program code: 3T9CD19)or GRE equal to or greater than 30.

Admission to the program is competitive. The program's graduate admissions committee review all applications. The committee makes recommendations about admission to the Graduate Program Director, whose decision is final.

Decisions regarding financial assistance will be made primarily on the basis of undergraduate performance and test scores. In addition, applicants are encouraged to submit up to three letters of recommendation. All inquiries about admissions should be directed to the Graduate Program Director.


Within the graduate student's first term of enrollment, the graduate admissions committee will oversee and direct each student's program in accordance with Graduate School policies. This committee will be responsible for monitoring the student's progress in the program.

Candidates for the MA and MS degrees must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate course work. Students must maintain a "B" average (3.0) overall and attain at least a "B" in each core course. Required courses for either degree include ECON 501 and 502, FIN 501 and 502, and ECON/FIN 515 and 517. All candidates must complete at least 21 hours of program courses at the 500 level. Up to 9 hours of electives may be taken at the 400 level. Courses that count as electives toward the MA or MS in Economics and Finance are listed in the graduate catalog.

Candidates for both MA and MS degrees must complete an emphasis in either Applied Economics or Finance. An emphasis in Applied Economics requires at least six hours of electives in economics. An emphasis in finance requires at least six hours of electives in finance. Candidates for the MA degree also must complete a thesis in economics or finance for six semester hours. The graduate program director must approve all elective courses in the student's program.


Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in economics and finance program courses. In addition, each candidate must submit to the Graduate Program Director a prescribed portfolio of work appropriate to the candidate's curriculum. Typically this portfolio contains final examinations from the core courses and a writing sample specific to the candidate's curriculum (paper, thesis, or FIN 596 project report). Candidates for the Applied Economics emphasis must also include a final examination from a graduate course in finance.

Candidates for the MA degree must prepare and successfully defend a thesis for 6 hours of credit. Upon or before completion of 21 hours, a student selects a thesis chairperson and a thesis committee of at least two additional members of the graduate faculty in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. This committee and its chairperson assume responsibility for overseeing the student's satisfactory completion of the remaining thesis requirements.

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