ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
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Contact: Graduate Program Director
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.
MASTER OF ARTS
MASTER OF SCIENCE
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 one of the following admission standards:
a) Students with an undergraduate degree in Business from an AACSB accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.5 (A=4.0) or better: Applicants meeting these requirements must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School and have the option not to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Instead, they must submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members at their prior institutions. Nevertheless, the applicants can always choose to submit the GMAT (Program code: 3T9CD19) or GRE scores along with their application, even if they meet the above requirement. Students in the final year of their undergraduate programs can apply to the graduate program any time after the start of the final semester of their undergraduate business program;
b) All students not in category (a) above: Applicants for admission to the MA or MS program must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School and must submit GMAT (Program code: 3T9CD19) or GRE scores. In addition, they must also submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members at their prior institutions. A typical applicant admitted to the MA or MS program has at least 50% and 60% on the verbal and quantitative portions of the examination, respectively.
International students from a country where English is not the first language, must send official TOEFL scores. We require a score of at least 550 (paper) or 79 (internet).
Applicants with undergraduate degrees in fields other than economics and finance or with deficiencies in economics, finance or statistics are encouraged to complete the following courses or their equivalents: intermediate microeconomic theory (ECON 301), intermediate macroeconomic theory (ECON 302), financial management (FIN 320) and statistics (MS 251 or MS 502). Credit earned to remove such deficiencies will not be applied to the graduate degree program.
Admission to the program is competitive. The program’s graduate admissions committee reviews 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 academic merit. All inquiries about admissions should be directed to the graduate program director.
PROGRAM OF STUDY
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 and maintain a “B” average (3.0) overall in the program. Additionally, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) in core courses with no more than one “C” in core courses. 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.
All candidates for graduation with an MS or MA in Economics and Finance must have completed the required core courses ECON 501 and 502, FIN 501 and 502, and ECON/FIN 515 and 517 with at least a “B” (3.0) average with no more than one “C” in these core courses. Additionally, candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) or higher in the economics and finance program courses overall. In addition, each candidate must give an oral presentation in order to satisfy the exit requirement. Typically, one of the research projects from an eligible course in the student’s curriculum is used in the exit presentation. The choice of the project for the exit presentation is subject to final approval by the graduate program director. Used as a program assessment, the exit presentations will take place towards the end of spring semester and faculty members will evaluate students in several aspects including hypothesis testing through data analysis, ability to communicate the results of the empirical analysis to other business professionals, etc. As a general rule, at least 2/3 of the course work must be completed before the exit presentation can be made.
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.
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
SPECIALIZATION IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS
MS students in Economics and Finance may opt for a specialization in Business Analytics. To complete the specialization, MS students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate course work as outlined in the “Program of Study” in the graduate catalog and satisfy the following Business Analytics requirements:
ECON/FIN 515 – Quantitative Methods (3)
ECON/FIN 517 – Information Fundamentals (3)
CMIS 566 – Introduction to Business Intelligence and Analytics
CMIS 567 – Business Analytics Capstone (3) and
Two (2) electives from FIN 525, FIN 528, or ECON 581. (Electives must be approved by the graduate program director.