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Masters Degree


The Department of Economics now offers a Masters Program in Economics. For the Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, and Fall 2013 we have already attracted three exciting international classes and we will soon be accepting applications for the Fall 2014 semester. This is a new kind of M.A. in Economics, quite different from what is offered by other institutions. No prior background in Economics required (although you should be prepared to work hard to catch up quickly if you have not taken any or little economics at the undergrad level): our first year classes teach the fundamentals of Economics. However, a strong mathematical background is required: linear algebra, real analysis, multivariate calculus, differential equations. The students will be taking PhD level courses with our PhD students, and have access to the same advising as our PhD students. The requirements for admission are identical and so is the department's dedication to these students in terms of office space, advising etc. Students who successfully complete the program will be considered for continuation into our PhD program without taking additional course work, and be considered for funding for the following two years in the program. So far all students who have passed the requirements and successfully graduated from the MA program, and who applied to the PhD program have been accepted to the program. This research oriented program prepares students for careers in academia, research institutes, government, international institutions, and the private sector. Graduates from this program will be well prepared to continue their studies in top PhD programs in Economics and Finance, as well as the best MBA programs in the world. This is a full-time program during the first year, and it can be taken part-time starting in the second year. For more information and for details on how to apply please e-mail Jenille Johnson at Graduate_Economics@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

In the first year students take core courses that serve as a general foundation in economic theory and quantitative methods starting from the basics but done in a very mathematical way. The courses that provide the foundation in economic theory (micro and macro) and quantitative analysis (mathematical methods, statistics, and econometrics) are referred to as core courses. M.A. students are required to add to this one course in Computational Methods in Economics. In the second year students can choose between a basic and an advanced program.

The basic program requires a total of 11 courses and can be completed in three semesters. After the first year of study, students will take an advanced course in Econometrics and an elective and write an M.A. project.

The Advanced M.A. program requires 14 courses and can be completed in four semesters. The advanced program is attractive to both students who want to continue their studies for a Ph.D (here or elsewhere) and to those seeking employment. Students who are planning to continue into a Ph.D program may find it advantageous to take most of the remaining courses required for a Ph.D during the Spring semester. The additional semester offers students specialization in a field, at very high level and the opportunity to work with some well known experts in these fields. They are also required to write a paper in their field of specialization. This makes their degree much more marketable and well worth the extra cost and attractive to students seeking the job market after the completion of their M.A. The advanced M.A. degree offers three concentrations that utilize the special strengths of our department. The M.A in Economics with a concentration in Industrial Strategy emphasizes courses in Industrial Organization and Game Theory. The M.A in Economics with a concentration in People, Markets and Government emphasizes Labor Economics, Demography and Health. The M.A. in Economics with a concentration in Macroeconomics Policy focuses on Dynamic Macroeconomic Theory.

Students who consider continuing for a Ph.D and whose GPA is 3.0 or above can take the comprehensive exams after the first year of study. Comprehensive exams in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics are offered at the end of the Spring semester. For those who fail either one of these exams there is a second opportunity just before the Fall semester. Passing the comps allows these students to be considered for the PhD program in the following January together with external candidates. It does not guarantee acceptance or financial support.

Students can decide to take the basic or advanced program and the specific concentration at the end of the first year of study. All students are required to enroll in ECO597, M.A. Project in Economics, usually in their last semester of study.

Students are required to have an average grade of "B" or higher in Economics courses.

The first year of study is a full time program. Subsequent courses can be taken on a part time basis and some, but not all courses are offered in the evening. No courses are offered in the summer.

Requirements for the M.A. degree

[All courses are 3 credit courses]

First Year M.A. Program. Required Courses for all Students
I. Fall Semester
  • 590 Mathematical Foundations of Economics
  • 500 Microeconomics I
  • 5l0 Macroeconomics I
  • 520 Probability and Mathematical Statistics
II. Spring Semester
  • 50l Microeconomics II
  • 5ll Macroeconomics II
  • 521 Econometrics
  • 531 Introduction to Computational Methods in Economics
  • Total Credits of the First Year are 24. If your GPA is 3.0 or better and you choose to, you can take the comprehensive examinations in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Probability and Statistics/Econometrics in the week after classes finish in the Spring semester of the first year (late May/early June).

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS POLICY FOR MA STUDENTS

1) All eligible (see below) MA students can choose to take the comprehensive exams offered at the end of the Spring semester of the first year of study, and if necessary then retake before the beginning of the Fall semester of the second year of study. If a MA student does not take one or more of the comps in the Spring it will count as a failed exam. Notice that MA students can choose at their discretion to take the comps, but it is not a requirement. However, only students who take the comps and pass them at the same time as their PhD classmates will be considered, after finishing the MA program, for admission to the PhD program.

2) Only MA students who have a cumulative GPA (only counting the classes taken in the department of economics) of 3.0 or better by the end of the Spring semester, will be eligible and allowed to take the comprehensive exams. MA students who do not fulfill this requirement will not be able to take the comps and therefore will not be considered for admission to the PhD program. Additionally, MA students will have to obtain a GPA of 3.0 or better by the end of their degree, otherwise the degree will not be granted.

3) Students who do not pass one or more of the comps in their first try (right after the Spring of the first year) will be allowed to retake those exams in early August, being this the last opportunity to prove proficiency in this requirement. MA students who do not pass the comps for the second time will be allowed to continue in the MA program, and graduate as scheduled, as long as they obtain a GPA of 3.0 or better by the end of the program.

4) The 2014 Comprehensive Exams are tentatively scheduled for June 2nd (Monday), June 6th (Friday), and June 10th (Tuesday) of 2013. The exact schedule of subjects will be given to you well in advance. The retakes, when necessary, will take place on August 1st (Friday), August 5th (Tuesday), and August 8th (Friday) of 2014. Again, the exact schedule of the subjects will be given well in advance.

5) Students will be communicated of the results of their comps by e-mail from the Graduate Program Director or the Graduate Program Coordinator.

6) Students will have the right to review their marked exams, and discuss them with the professors who graded them, in person or by other means of communication.

Second Year M.A. Program. Students need to choose one of these four options
Basic Option: Students must complete a minimum of 33 resident graduate course credits in Economics with an average grade of B or higher. This means at least 9 credits in the second year in the program, which can be all in the Fall semester.
  • ECO522 Applied Econometrics (Required)
  • ECO597 M.A. Project (Required)

    And one of the following elective courses

  • ECO604 Game Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO605 Game Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO610 Advanced Macroeconomic theory I
  • ECO612 Computational Economics & Dynamic Modeling (Spring)
  • ECO613 Computational Macroeconomics
  • ECO636 Industrial Organization I (Fall)
  • ECO637 Industrial Organization II (Spring)
  • ECO640 Labor Economics Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO641 Labor Economics Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO642 Demographic Economics I (Fall)
  • ECO645 Health Economics I (Spring)
Concentration in Industrial Strategy. Students must complete a minimum of 42 resident graduate course credits in Economics with an average grade of B or higher. This means at least 18 credits in the second year in the program.
  • ECO522 Applied Econometrics (Fall)
  • ECO597 M.A. Project (Spring)
  • ECO604 Game Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO605 Game Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO636 Industrial Organization I (Fall)
  • ECO637 Industrial Organization II (Spring)
Concentration in People, Markets and Government. Students must complete a minimum of 42 resident graduate course credits in Economics with an average grade of B or higher. This means at least 18 credits in the second year in the program.
  • ECO522 Applied Econometrics (Fall)
  • ECO597 M.A. Project (Spring)
  • ECO640 Labor Economics Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO641 Labor Economics Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO642 Demographic Economics I (Fall)
  • ECO645 Health Economics I (Spring)
Concentration in Macroeconomic Policy Students must complete a minimum of 42 resident graduate course credits in Economics with an average grade of B or higher. This means at least 18 credits in the second year in the program.
  • ECO522 Applied Econometrics (Fall)
  • ECO597 M.A. Project (Spring)
  • ECO612 Computational Economics & Dynamic Modeling
  • ECO613 Computational Macroeconomics
  • ECO610 Advanced Macroeconomic theory I

    one more course from the following list:

  • ECO604 Game Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO605 Game Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO636 Industrial Organization I (Fall)
  • ECO637 Industrial Organization II (Spring)
  • ECO640 Labor Economics Theory I (Fall)
  • ECO641 Labor Economics Theory II (Spring)
  • ECO642 Demographic Economics I (Fall)
  • ECO645 Health Economics I (Spring)

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