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PhD-prep Master’s Track

The PhD-prep track is for students who will enter a PhD in economics program after graduation. Students may enroll in the track on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students can finish the program in 1 year, 18 months or 2 years, depending on their own pace. 

Core Courses 

Students choosing this track will complete a theory-based core sequence of six courses:

ECG 700: Fundamentals of Microeconomics

ECG 703: Fundamentals of Macroeconomics

ECG 765: Mathematical Methods for Economists

ST 501: Fundamentals of Statistical Inference I

ST 502: Fundamentals of Statistical Inference II

ECG 750: Introduction to Econometric Methods

Elective Courses

An additional four courses (12 credit hours) of electives are required. Students may simply select from courses listed below and other approved courses.  But they also have the opportunity to concentrate their studies on one or multiple fields that match with their own interests.  Finally, students with excellent first-year performance may opt to enter our PhD program in the second year.  

Concentration: Data Analytics

ECG 563: Applied Microeconometrics

ECG 564: Big Data Econometrics 

DSC 495/595: Special Topics in Data Science

Concentration: Economic Policy

ECG 590: Health Economics and Policy

ARE 433: US Agricultural Policy

ARE 590: Food Policy

Concentration:  Natural Resource & Environmental Economics

ECG 515: Environmental and Resource Policy 

ARE 590: Environmental Entrepreneurship and Markets

FOR 519: Forest Economics

Concentration:  Financial Economics

ECG 528: Options and Derivatives Pricing (Asset Pricing)

ARE 590: Introduction to Commodity Futures Markets

ARE 495: Investments, Portfolio Management and Retirement 

Concentration:  International Economics

ECG 548: International Economics

ARE 448: International Agricultural Trade

Other Electives:

ECG 590: Foundations of Capitalism

Additional rules regarding the electives

At least two courses (6 credit hours) must be at the 500 level or above. 

Can take up to two courses (6 credit hours) at the 400 level or above from other departments. 

A minimum of two courses in a given area are required to claim a concentration. 

Cannot use the same course for multiple concentrations.

Certificate of completion of concentration(s):

Upon completion of the Master’s program, students may request an official letter from the DGP. The letter will be on department letterhead, signed by the DGP, and will mention you by name, your degree program, and that you have successfully completed specific concentration(s).

Thesis Option 

A thesis is required for the MS degree (Master of Science in Economics) rather than the MR degree (Master of Economics). Up to 6 credit hours of ECG 695 (Thesis Preparation) may be applied toward the degree as electives (so only need to complete four other elective courses). The thesis requirement is met upon successfully passing a final oral exam. The oral exam consists of an oral defense of the completed written thesis before the student’s thesis advisory committee.

Sample Curriculum

Although it is possible to finish the PhD-prep track within 1 year as the terminal master’s track, most of our students in this track finish in two years. In their second year of study, they either enter our own PhD program or prepare and submit their applications to PhD programs at other universities.

Semester Courses
1st semester ECG 700; ECG 765; ST 501
2nd semester ECG 703; ECG 750; ST 502
3rd semester Elective 1; Elective 2 or enter the PhD program
4th semester

MR: Elective 3; Elective 4

MS: 6 hours of thesis research

Those who entered the PhD program in the 3rd semester: continue in the PhD program