May 26, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, M.A.

(30-33 UNITS)

The master’s degree in economics provides preparation for professional careers in private industry and government, and provides a foundation for further graduate work at the doctoral level.

Students have the option of writing a thesis (the thesis track is 30 units) or taking a comprehensive exam (the comprehensive exam track is 33 units) to earn their degrees.

Most graduate courses in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics require classified “MCBE status” and are open only to students with classified standing in the M.A. in Economics, MBA, M.S. in Accountancy, M.S. in Information Systems or M.S. in Taxation programs.


Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions  section in this catalog for complete information. In addition, admission to the program will be based on the following:

  1. a GPA of at least 3.0 in the following courses or their equivalents (corresponding CSUF courses are in parenthesis): Business Calculus (MATH 135 ), Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 201 ), Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 202 ), Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 310  or ECON 315 ), Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON 320 ), Probability and Statistics (ISDS 361A  or ECON 340 ), and one advanced undergraduate elective in economics;
  2. for international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (80 iBT) or an IELTS of 7.0;
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (the GRE score is valid only if the examination was taken no more than five years prior to the date that the application is submitted), at least two academic letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose not to exceed 750 words;
  4. A GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) or better is required in the last 60 units.

An applicant who does not meet one or more of the requirements above may still be considered for admission, depending on the evaluation of the entire application file (the students must, however, have a GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 semester units at the time of admission). If admitted, an applicant with one or more deficiencies may be asked to take specified deficiency courses and exams. Students admitted with deficiencies are called “conditionally classified” students. Conditionally classified students can take a limited number of courses at the graduate level, subject to the approval of the graduate adviser of the department. Students are expected to advance promptly to classified standing. Classified students are eligible to take graduate courses for which they are qualified.

Study Plan

Within one semester of admission, the students are advised to prepare a study plan. A study plan reflects a selection of approved courses that have been taken or will be taken by the student to earn the graduate degree.

Students are urged to meet as soon as possible with the graduate adviser in the Department of Economics to file a study plan and advance to classified standing.

Any study plan course in which a “C-” (1.7) or below is received must be repeated with at least a “C” (2.0), regardless of the overall grade-point average of the students. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for graduation. Students are also required to graduate in a timely manner.


ECON 440  is a prerequisite to ECON 504  and ECON 505 .

Area and Electives Courses (6 units minimum)

Select a minimum of 6 units of adviser-approved electives. Students may choose to focus on one of the following elective tracks:

  • Financial and monetary economics
  • Health, aging and labor economics
  • Public economics, law and industrial organization
  • International, environmental and development economics

In addition to ECON 441 , only two more 400-level courses are allowed on the Study Plan.

Terminal Evaluation

  • ECON 598 - Thesis Research (3)  plus  six units of 500-level electives; or
  • Comprehensive Examinations: electives may include a maximum of six units of 400-level electives

Total (30-33 units)