Graduate Programs

New Master's Requirements

Click here for degree requirements for students entering summer 2016 or earlier

For incoming students beginning fall 2016 or later, only 30 hours are required to complete a master’s degree in Economics.

The Master’s Programs in Economics offer rigorous training in advanced economic analysis and quantitative skills needed by corporate and policy decision makers as well as economists working in corporate environments and various research organizations. Specialized tracks emphasize understanding of economic environments and econometric s techniques for professionals in specific areas.

The Department of Economics encourages our undergraduate students to apply to the Master’s programs: Under normal circumstances, SMU economics majors with a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 will be admitted to the Master’s programs in economics.

Our Master’s classes are typically held in the evening and are therefore suitable for working professionals.

The Department of Economics offers three Master’s degrees:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Economics
  • Master of Science (M.S. ) in Applied Economics and Predictive Analytics
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics

Admission Requirements for Master's Programs


Applicants to the M.A. in Applied Economics Program and the M.S. in Applied Economics and Predictive Analytics must have (1) a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); (2) 12 hours of undergraduate economics, including two intermediate theory courses, one in price theory (microeconomics), and one in macroeconomics; (3) an introductory course in statistics; and (4) one semester of calculus. Applicants whose undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0 are required to submit GRE scores. Students combined score on the verbal and quantitative sections must be at least an 1100 (300 on the new scale). Applicants for Master's programs are NOT required to complete the video portion of the online application.

In addition to the above, applicants for the Law and Economics Track of the M.A. in Applied Economics degree program must be admitted separately into the J.D. program of the SMU law school and must have completed at least one year of the J.D. program before entering the MA in Applied Economics degree program (they can apply their first year of law school).

Program Details

Please click one of the three tabs below for more information on one of these programs:


Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Economics

This is the oldest master’s program in economics.

This degree program has three tracks:

  1. The Applied Economics Track,
  2. The International Economics and Policy Track
  3. The Law and Economics Track.

The Applied Economics track emphasizes the application of economic theory with quantitative skills and computer literacy as required by corporations and financial institutions in their economic decision-making processes. A rigorous theoretical economic framework is established for the study of government policy and the growing openness of the U.S. economy to international competition and economic events. At the same time, mathematical rigor is not compromised. The necessary concepts are developed from the basics, but at a more deliberate pace than in a Ph.D. program.

The International Economics and Policy Track is designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of the changing global economic environment. Equal emphasis is placed on theory and practice in international economics. The curriculum intends to provide students with the necessary background in theory and practice of international trade, finance and policy. Students can pursue special interests in international economics through elective courses.

The Law and Economics Track is designed to suit the need of lawyers for more knowledge of economics, particularly applied microeconomic analysis of problems commonly encountered by lawyers and judges, and includes econometric analysis often encountered by the courts from expert witnesses on both sides of a case.

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The Applied Economics Track


Students take three required core courses in economics that form the building blocks for further study and analysis in economics. Another three required courses provide applied training in econometrics and microeconomic analysis. Six additional courses are needed to complete the degree, two of which must be 6000 level courses. Some courses are offered in sequence which means they are not offered every semester.

Required Core Courses:

ECO 5350 Introductory Econometrics
ECO 6381 Economic Analysis I (microeconomics)
ECO 6382 Economic Analysis II (macroeconomics)

Required Applied Economics Courses: (3 out of 4)

ECO 5375 Economic and Business Forecasting
ECO 6380 Predictive Analytics for Economists
ECO 6352 Applied Econometric Analysis
ECO 6383 New Approaches to Managerial Economics

Four of the following Courses (at least two of which must be 6000 level):

ECO 5337 Urban Economics
ECO 5340 Decision Making Under Uncertainty
ECO 5341 Strategic Behavior
ECO 5353 Law and Economics
ECO 5355 Political Economics
ECO 5357 Economics of Human Resources
ECO 5359 Economic Development: Microeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5360 Economic Development: Macroeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5362 Economic Growth
ECO 5365 Public Finance
ECO 5380 Computing for Economics
ECO 5390 Mathematical Finance
ECO 6320 Applied Monetary Theory and Policy
ECO 6330 Exchange Rates and International Capital Markets
ECO 6331 International Trade
ECO 6333 Trade Policy and the World Trading System
ECO 6337 Emerging Markets
ECO 6339 Topics in International Economics

Credit Hours: Every student must earn at least 30 term credit hours of an approved program of study, 15 hours of which must be at the 6000 level. This plan does not require a Master’s Thesis or Master’s papers. A comprehensive final exam is required.

Grade Point Average: All courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.00) or better, and a B (3.00) average over all the courses taken in the program.

Admission Requirements: A graduate course in economics taken as part of an MBA program may be substituted for the 12 hours undergraduate training in economics required for the MA program. In addition, three hours of calculus and three hours of statistics are necessary for admission requirements. GMAT scores may be submitted instead of the GRE scores if the applicant desires.

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The International Economics and Policy Track


Required Core Courses:

ECO 5350 Introductory Econometrics
ECO 6381 Economic Analysis I (microeconomics)
ECO 6382 Economic Analysis II (macroeconomics)

Required International Economics Courses:

ECO 6330 Exchange Rates and International Capital Markets
ECO 6331 International Trade
ECO 6333 Trade Policy and the World Trading System

Two of the following Economics Courses:

ECO 5359 Economic Development: Microeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5360 Economic Development: Macroeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5375 Economic and Business Forecasting
ECO 5380 Computing for Economics
ECO 6337 Emerging Markets
ECO 6339 Topics in International Economics
ECO 6352 Applied Econometric Analysis
ECO 6380 Predictive Analytics for Economists

Electives: Six hours (two courses) of free electives

Credit Hours: Every student must earn at least 30 term credit hours of an approved program of study, 15 hours of which be at the 6000 level. All of the entrance requirements for the MA in Economics - Applied Track hold for the International Economics and Policy Track. This plan does not require a Master’s Thesis or Master’s papers. A final comprehensive exam is required.

Grade Point Average: All courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.00) or better, and a B (3.00) average over all the courses taken in the program.

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The Law and Economics Track


Required Courses:

ECO 5341 Strategic Behavior
ECO 5350 Introductory Econometrics
ECO 5353 Law and Economics
ECO 6381 Economic Analysis I
ECO 6383 New Approaches to Managerial Economics

Electives (Two of the following Courses):

ECO 5337 Urban Economics
ECO 5340 Decision-Making Under Uncertainty
ECO 5357 Economics of Human Resources
ECO 5359 Economic Development: Microeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5360 Economic Development: Macroeconomic Perspectives
ECO 5361 Natural Resource and Energy Economics
ECO 5362 Economic Growth
ECO 5365 Public Finance
ECO 5375 Economic and Business Forecasting
ECO 5380 Computing for Economics
ECO 5390 Mathematical Finance
ECO 6320 Applied Monetary Theory and Policy
ECO 6330 Exchange Rates and International Capital Markets
ECO 6380 Predictive Analytics for Economists
ECO 6382 Economic Analysis II
ECO 6390 Regional Economic Analysis

Credit Hours: Once admitted to the joint program, the Law School will accept six hours of economics credit toward the J.D. degree and the economics department will accept nine hours of law toward the M.A. degree. Thus, the entire program requires 111 hours. The economics curriculum consists of six required courses (18 hours) and three electives in economics (9 hours). Students who attend at least one summer session can complete the program with one additional semester in residence. Those who have received the J.D. degree are encouraged to apply for the program, although law school credit cannot be granted after the J.D. degree is conferred. This plan does not require a Master's thesis or Master's papers. A final exam is required.

Grade Point Average: All courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better, and with an overall B (3.0) cumulative average maintained in the degree program.

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Master of Science (M.S. ) in Applied Economics and Predictive Analytics

The Master of Science in Applied Economics and Predictive Analytics (MSAEPA) is a relatively new degree offered by the Department of Economics.

Predictive Analytics refers to the process of building models that predict consumer behaviors under different circumstances, and help customize product offerings that better suit the tastes and preferences of consumers. It also refers to building models to predict time series variables of importance to businesses and governments like product sales and tax revenues, and to evaluate competing government programs and business strategies.

The MSAEPA is designed to help meet the burgeoning demand for analytics training on the part of business, government, and non-profits. This degree focuses on economic analysis and decision making, along with strong quantitative training, and brings additional skills not typically provided in analytics programs in Statistics, Engineering, or Business programs.The MSAEPA is a 30 credit hour degree.

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Required Core Courses:

ECO 5350 Introductory Econometrics
ECO 6381 Economic Analysis I (microeconomics)
ECO 6382 Economic Analysis II (macroeconomics)

Required Advanced Analytics Courses:

ECO 5375 Economic and Business Forecasting
ECO 6380 Predictive Analytics for Economists

Required Business Intelligence Courses

ECO 5341 Strategic Behavior
ECO 6383 Managerial Economics

Required Global Perspective Courses (1 out of following)

ECO 6320 Applied Monetary Theory and Policy
ECO 6330 Exchange Rates and International Capital Markets
ECO 6331 International Trade
ECO 6333 Trade Policy and World Trading System

Elective Courses (2 out of the following)

Any economics courses listed below not already taken to fulfill the Business Intelligence and Global Perspective requirements.

ECO 5340 Decision Making Under Uncertainty
ECO 5341 Strategic Behavior
ECO 5380 Computing for Economists
ECO 6352 Applied Econometric Analysis
ECO 6383 Managerial Economics
ECO 6303 Internship
ECO 6320 Applied Monetary Theory and Policy
ECO 6330 Exchange Rates and International Capital Markets
ECO 6331 International Trade
ECO 6333 Trade Policy and World Trading System
STAT 5304 Introduction to Statistical Computing (SAS I)
STAT 5371 Experimental Statistics I
STAT 5373 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
STAT 6308 SAS II and Database

Note: Students must have at least a total of five courses at the 6000 level or above.

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Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics

This degree is only available to students currently or previously in the Ph.D. program in Economics at SMU .

This degree program consists of two tracks: 1) Thesis Track, and 2) In Conjunction with Ph.D. Track.

The Thesis Track is designed for students admitted into the Ph.D. program who have completed at least one semester of required coursework and have decided that they are unprepared for the rigors of Ph.D. coursework.

In Conjunction with Ph.D. Track: Students pursuing the Ph.D. program are qualified to receive the M.A. degree on this track after having fulfilled the following requirements: 1) passing the written qualifying examination in microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory, and 2) completing 30 term hours of courses in their program.

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