May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Economics, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs

(30-33 UNITS)

The Master of Arts in Economics is STEM designated. The program prepares students for professional careers in private industry and government, and lays a foundation for further graduate work at the doctoral level. It provides highly rigorous, analytical and policy-relevant insights into social and economic issues; and goes beyond the Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree by delving into wider areas of specialization using more technical and rigorous methods. The degree helps students understand how to use economic theory and econometric models to generate testable hypotheses about economic and social relationships that have practical relevance to the business community and/or public policy. Students are able to summarize previous research findings from scholarly literature and learn effective communication skills, in addition to understanding how to write research reports, present research and disseminate research findings to business leaders, experts in the field and to a broader audience.


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:

  • 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.
  • For international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (80 iBT) or an IELTS of 7.0.
  • 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). The GRE requirement is waived for students whose GPA is higher than 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • At least two academic letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose not to exceed 750 words.
  • A GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) or better 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 without sufficient preparation may be asked to take specified prerequisite courses and exams. Admitted students that need to take prerequisites 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 must complete all prerequisites within one year. Once completed, they will advance to classified standing. Classified students are eligible to take graduate courses for which they are qualified.

Graduate training in economics, which is a STEM program, is highly quantitative. Therefore, a strong background in mathematics (for e.g., MATH 150A) is highly recommended for admission into the program.

Degree Requirements

Students are urged to meet with the graduate adviser in the Department of Economics as soon as possible.

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 .

Culminating Experience (0-3 units)

The culminating experience marks the end of a graduate program. It demonstrates mastery of disciplinary materials and meets requirements from Section 40510 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Please consult the Culminating Experience  section in this catalog for more information.

Total (30-33 units)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs