MS in Economics

The MS in Economics provides a deep understanding of the theoretical and empirical foundations of economics and the quantitative tools required for research careers in economics. The program offers the following two degree program tracks, which students can choose from based on their own preferences and academic and professional needs:

  • The MS in Economics: Course-based track — An eight-course program, which can be completed in one year, without a thesis.
  • The MS in Economics: Research-based track — A twelve-course program to be completed in two years, with a master's thesis.

All students are initially accepted into the course-based track and may apply to the research-based track at the end of the second semester. The decision to accept students into the research-based track is based on performance in the first academic year. Both degree tracks are attractive to students looking for advancement in both professional and academic careers, and both carry STEM certification. 

Upon receiving their degree, students pursue a variety of options. Some enroll in PhD programs in economics or related subjects, such as marketing, finance and accounting. The MS in Economics provides students with an exceptional background for doctoral study. Students may also apply to the department's Joint PhD programs in Economics and Public Policy or in Human Developmental Economics. The MS coursework may count for credit towards the doctoral degree and is determined in consultation with the relevant program director.

Some graduates find employment in consulting firms, government and international agencies. Other graduates pursue careers such as teaching (either at community colleges or private secondary schools), working in the financial sector, or conducting research at various institutions.

Course-based Track

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Students in the MS in Economics course-based track must complete a one-year residency requirement and must pass eight semester-long courses. A grade of B- or above is considered passing.
  • There are six required core courses for the MS in Economics consisting of three required two-semester sequences in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics/econometrics.
  • The final two courses needed to complete the course-based track are elective courses. The electives may be selected from a variety of approved courses within the department, or from approved courses offered outside the department at Tufts such as The Fletcher School, the School of Engineering, or in departments such as Mathematics, Computer Science, or Psychology. They could also include courses taken at nearby institutions, including Boston College, Boston University, and Brandeis University. A maximum of two graduate courses taken elsewhere can be transferred, subject to the approval of the department. Students may petition for inclusion of other courses not currently on the list.

The table below describes how students fulfill the requirements for the course-based MS in Economics, in one academic year.
 

Fall Semester: Economics 201: Statistics
Economics 203: Microeconomic Theory I
Economics 205: Macroeconomic Theory I
One Approved Elective
Spring Semester: Economics 202: Econometrics
Economics 204: Microeconomic Theory II
Economics 206: Macroeconomic Theory II
One Approved Elective

Research-based Track

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Students in the MS in Economics research-based track must complete a two-year residency requirement and thirteen semester-long courses [a total of forty-three (43) semester-hour units.]
  • The research-based track in the MS in Economics program includes the eight course requirements (thirty semester-hour units) of the course-based track described above, as well as thirteen additional semester-hour units, which must include the following:
     
    • The Economic Research seminars EC211 and EC212: two-unit courses taken each semester. These courses require that students attend seminars and lectures at the department on a semi-weekly basis. Students are expected to read the papers, present a summary of the paper to the instructor and actively participate in the seminar.
    • An additional Applied Econometrics elective course: The Applied Econometrics graduate course will focus on an empirical analysis of the material learned in the six core courses. It will also provide additional econometric tools necessary for students to be able to carry out a substantive research project. Together, the Applied Econometrics course and the thesis will serve as a capstone for the research-based MS in Economics degree. 
    • Two master's thesis courses: The thesis must be a major research project that is conducted under the supervision of a member of the department. The completed thesis must be presented and successfully defended in an oral examination administered by a formal thesis committee. Thesis credit is awarded when a final draft is approved by the thesis committee. It is important to note that a master's thesis must contain original work and cannot be submitted as a paper in other courses.

The table below indicates how students typically complete the research-based MS in Economics.

Year I
Fall Semester: Economics 201: Statistics
Economics 203: Microeconomic Theory I
Economics 205: Macroeconomic Theory I
One Approved Elective
Spring Semester: Economics 202: Econometrics
Economics 204: Microeconomic Theory II
Economics 206: Macroeconomic Theory II
One Approved Elective
Year II
Fall Semester: Economics 207: Applied Econometrics course (three units)
Economics 211: Research Methods Seminar (two units)
Economics 295: Master Thesis (three units)
Spring Semester: Economics 212: Theory Research Seminar (two units)
Economics 296: Master Thesis (three units)