The economics MA is noted for its emphasis on comparative institutional analysis and its concentration on the relationships among economic, political, and legal institutions. The specific areas associated with the department include experimental economics, Austrian economics, public choice, constitutional political economy, law and economics, and new institutional economics. The program strengthens students' knowledge of economic theory and improves their skills in applying the theory to economic problems. Graduates are qualified to read and judge other research and conduct their own, either individually or as members of government or business teams. They are also prepared to write policy analyses. Students who plan to pursue a PhD in economics should apply directly to the doctoral program.

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the MA in economics, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP .6 Graduate Policies

Transfer Credits

Students may request to transfer a maximum of 12 credits for prior graduate course work (not applied to a previous graduate degree) subject to approval by the graduate director and dean in accordance with the Program Policies of the department and AP.6.5.3 Transfer of Credit.

Reduction of Credit

This program does not permit a reduction of credit based on a previously conferred graduate degree.

Banner Code: LA-MA-ECON

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

In place of core courses shown below, students admitted to the PhD in economics who have added the MA as a secondary degree to their record must substitute ECON 637 Econometrics I, ECON 811 Microeconomic Theory I, ECON 812 Microeconomic Theory II, ECON 715 Macroeconomic Theory I, and ECON 830 Mathematical Economics I or ECON 831 Mathematical Economics II.

ECON 535Survey of Applied Econometrics3
ECON 611Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 612Microeconomic Theory II3
ECON 615Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 630Mathematical Economics I3
Total Credits15

Electives

Select 15 credits of ECON electives 115
Total Credits15
1

Students may substitute up to a maximum of six credits or two courses outside economics in closely related fields with prior written approval of the MA director.

Students have the option of writing a thesis for six credits in lieu of six credits of electives.

Students admitted to the PhD in economics who have added the MA as a secondary degree to their record must apply ECON 816 Macroeconomic Theory II as one of the five electives applied to the MA degree.

Comprehensive Exam

Students must pass one MA comprehensive exam in applied economic theory. This exam is offered twice each year. Students admitted to the PhD in economics who are seeking the MA as secondary degree must pass both the PhD micro and the PhD macro qualifying exams, which will satisfy the requirement for the MA comprehensive exam.

Thesis (Optional)

Once enrolled in ECON 799 Master's Thesis, students are required to maintain continuous registration until the thesis is submitted to and accepted by the University Library. The continuous registration policy is specified in AP.6.9.3 Master's Thesis.

Students who choose to complete a thesis take six fewer elective credits.

Thesis Option6
Master's Thesis
Total Credits6

Economics, BA or BS/Economics, Accelerated MA

Overview

Highly-qualified Mason economics majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree program. If accepted, students will be able to earn both a BA or BS and a MA in economics after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. Graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for professional school or a PhD program in economics or a related discipline.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MA in economics, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students will be required to complete two master's courses to be applied to the undergraduate degree as upper level credit. These two courses must be selected from the following five courses:

Select two from the following:6
Survey of Applied Econometrics
Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory
Mathematical Economics I
Total Credits6

Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work and earn a grade of B or better (3.00 or higher) in course work applied to their major. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students may take an additional two master's courses as reserve graduate credit. These two additional master's courses must be selected from the following five courses:

Select two from the following:6
Survey of Applied Econometrics
Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory
Mathematical Economics I
Total Credits6

These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.