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Master’s of Arts in Economics


The M.A. degree meets the needs of three types of students:

  • Students who, though capable of satisfactory academic performance, decide not to continue their studies toward the Ph.D.
  • Students advised by the department not to continue in the Ph.D. program but who have mastered certain basic segments
  • Students who will continue in the program but need an M.A. degree for summer or part-time jobs

The M.A. is not a degree that students in the Ph.D. program routinely obtain in the course of their Ph.D. work; it is strictly incidental to the program.  The University will not award an M.A. in Economics if one has been awarded by another department or institution in similar fields.


To qualify for the M.A. degree, a student must have been admitted to the Ph.D. program. The requirements for the degree are:

  1. Complete thirty-six credits in upper-division undergraduate or Ph.D. level economics courses with at least twenty-four units from the core first-year Ph.D. sequence (ECON 200, 210, 220). Grades in these courses must be at least a B average.
  2. Complete one of the following:
    1. Receive at least a Master's pass in two core Ph.D. qualifying exams.
    2. Receive at least a Master's pass in one of the core Ph.D. qualifying exams, and a B+ average in the first-year courses in a second core field.
    3. Receive at least a Master's pass or receive a B+ average in one core field and write an independent paper approved by three Economics faculty members (one outside faculty member allowed) as a M.A. thesis.

A minimum of one quarter must elapse between application for candidacy for the M.A. degree and the filing of the final report for the award of the degree.  Forms turned in by the end of second week of the quarter may be conferred at the end of that quarter.