The Master of Arts in Economics 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.

The MA in Economics is offered as an on-campus delivery format or as a fully online delivery format. Separate application processes are used for each delivery format and students must matriculate though only one delivery format for the entire completion of degree. Students must complete the MA in Economics degree within six years from time of first admission.

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

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.00 in coursework applied to the degree. No more than two courses with a grade of 2.00 may be applied toward the degree.

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

Students complete 15 credits of electives.

On-Campus Students
Select 15 credits of ECON electives 115
Online Students
Select 12 credits of restricted electives 212
ECON 690MA Economics Capstone3

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 - On-campus Students

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.

Capstone Course - Online Students

Online students must successfully complete ECON 690 MA Economics Capstone in lieu of the comprehensive exam.

Thesis (Optional) - On-campus Students only

Students must complete a minimum of six credits of ECON 799 Master's Thesis. Once enrolled in 799, students in the economics master's program must maintain continuous registration each semester (excluding summers) until the thesis is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries, as specified in AP.6.9.3 Master's Thesis. Because of the continuous registration policy, more than six ECON 799 credits may be required for thesis completion. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least one credit of 799.

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

Thesis Option6
Master's Thesis
Total Credits6

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Economics, Accelerated MA

Overview

Highly qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a BA/BS in a chosen major and an MA in Economics in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 138 credits.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

 BAM Pathway Admission 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 Polices and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies. For information specific to this accelerated program, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, and a grade of B or better in coursework applied to the major.

The following courses are recommended as preparation for the graduate-level courses students will be able to take for advanced standing:

  • ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 311 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • At least one semester of calculus with analytic geometry
  • Two-semester sequence of statistics
  • ECON 345 Introduction to Econometrics

Students who are accepted in the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits.

Accelerated Master's Admission Requirements

Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the MA in economics program if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form:

  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.25
  • Minimum grade of B in each advanced standing course
  • Successfully meeting Mason's requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation) and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing courses (up to 12 credits with a minimum grade of B in each)

ECON 535 Survey of Applied Econometrics (3 credits)
ECON 611 Microeconomic Theory (3 credits)
ECON 612 Microeconomic Theory II (3 credits)
ECON 615 Macroeconomic Theory (3 credits)
ECON 630 Mathematical Economics I (3 credits)

Reserve Graduate Credit courses (up to 6 credits) taken while an undergraduate and will only count for the graduate degree program

ECON 535 Survey of Applied Econometrics (3 credits)
ECON 611 Microeconomic Theory (3 credits)
ECON 612 Microeconomic Theory II (3 credits)
ECON 615 Macroeconomic Theory (3 credits)
ECON 623 American Economic History (3 credits)
ECON 630 Mathematical Economics I (3 credits)
ECON 676 Comparative Economic Systems (3 credits)
ECON 695 Special Topics in Economics (3 credits)
 

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements see AP.6.7 Bachelor's Accelerated Master's Degree policies.