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Program Requirements

Core coursework covers microeconomic theory, econometrics, statistical/software tools in data analysis, and research methods. Core classes are small, typically with 15 or fewer students and elective courses may have fewer than 10. The core classes comprise 18 units (plus an additional 3 for the internship class), allowing students the opportunity to full fill the remaining 12 units with electives, thus allowing the student to structure the program to fit their career goals.

Once a graduate student enrolls in the Department and achieves conditional or Classified standing, he/she must meet with the graduate advisor to develop an approved program of study. Thirty-three units of required and approved 500, 600 or 700 level courses earned in graduate standing. 

Each program of study must include:

  • Economics 630 - Microeconomic Theory (3 units)
  • Economics 631 - Topics in Applied Microeconomics (3 units)
  • Economics 650 - Statistical Tools for Economics (3 units)
  • Economics 640 - Econometrics (3 units)
  • Economics 641 - Applied Research in Econometrics (3 units)
  • Economics 740 - Seminar in Applied Economic Research (3 units)*
  • Economics 795 - Graduate Internship in Economics (3 units)
  • Elective courses (12 units)

For descriptions, please visit our courses page.

Once a student has satisfactorily completed Economics 630, 631, and 650, they may elect of either complete a master's thesis or take a set of comprehensive exams.

Plan A is the Master's thesis option. Students electing Plan A must also include Economics 799A (Master's Thesis) in their Program of Study. Plan B is the comprehensive exam option.

Students electing Plan B must pass written comprehensive exams in microeconomics and econometrics. Please see an adviser for exam dates.

Students may take classes from other departments upon consultation with the graduate advisor. Courses outside the Department of Economics may be required whenever they seem important to the student’s program of study. However, no program may contain more than a total of 9-units of approved courses outside of economics. 

Suitable courses outside economics that may appeal to you include:

  • BA 629 - Financial Management
  • Fin 642 - Financial Risk Management
  • Fin 651 - Seminar in Investments
  • Fin 654 - Seminar in International Business Finance
  • Geog 573 - Population and the Environment
  • Math 524 - Linear Algebra
  • Math 531 - Partial Differential Equations
  • Math 537 - Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Math 623-  Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
  • Math 636 - Mathematical Modeling
  • Pol S 560 - Comparative Public Policy
  • Pol S 615 - Seminar in Research Design and Analysis in Political Science
  • Soc 555 - Immigrants and Refugees in Contemporary American Society
  • Stat 550 - Applied Probability
  • Stat 551A - Probability and Mathematical Statistics I
  • Stat 551B - Probability and Mathematical Statistics II
  • Stat 575 - Actuarial Modelling
  • Stat 670A - Advanced Mathematical Statistics I
  • Stat 670B - Advanced Mathematical Statistics II
  • Stat 672 - Nonparametric Statistics
  • Stat 676 - Bayesian Statistics
  • Stat 701 - Monte Carlo Statistical Methods

The Seminar in Applied Economic Research (Economics 740) is the capstone class of the Masters program. In this class students develop skills in the art of conducting independent economic research. A research project in applied microeconomics is chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Prior to enrolling in the class, students are expected to develop a comprehensive research project proposal. In addition, students are required to make an oral presentation of their findings and results.

Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) for graduate students


Graduate Advising

Dr. Ryan Abman
Office: NH-308
Email: [email protected]

Fall 2022 Advising Hours:  

  • Mondays: 12:30-1:45 pm
  • Thursdays: 3:30-4:30 pm

Dr. Ed Balsdon
Office: NH-313
Phone: (619) 594-5492
Email: [email protected]

Fall 2022 Advising Hours:  

  • Mondays: 2-4 pm
  • Wednesdays: 9-11 am

Important Links

Graduate Handbook | Class Schedule | SDSU Catalog | Special Study Form