The MA in Applied Economics program at SMU was founded in 1986 – the first program of its kind in the state of Texas and one of the first in the U.S.
The program trains students in state of the art quantitative and econometric methods for analysis of economic and business data, as well as rigorous economic theory and modeling techniques. The courses are designed to create an understanding of economic factors relevant to business decision-making including the macroeconomic climate, monetary and fiscal policy, government regulation, international trade and the global monetary system. Students learn about economic incentives and how they shape economic institutions, business organizations and market outcomes. They are also trained in principles of strategic behavior and strategic thinking. Finally, students learn about economic methodology for addressing broader social problems and policy issues such as cost-benefit analysis.
We offer a wide array of elective courses that students may choose from. The program can be completed in one-and-half to two years. Almost all courses are held in the evening which makes the program suitable for professionals.
The program has expanded rapidly in recent years. In the period 2008-2010, 62 students graduated from the program. About 30-35 students enter the program every year.
The program has an excellent placement record. Graduates are placed in senior managerial and research positions in the corporate sector and other economic and financial institutions. Recent placements include Mary Kay, Fannie Mae, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Capital One, Saudi Central Bank, Saudi Monetary Agency, Hitachi, Saxon Mortgage, Berkshire Hathaway, Watson Wyatt etc.
The program has two tracks of study: the Applied Economics Track and the International Economics Track. A student may specialize in one of the two tracks.
The Applied Economics Track is designed to prepare a student you for a career as an economist or senior corporate manager engaged in decision making for business, financial institution or government agency. It provides training in advanced econometric skills for business decision-making including product-line forecasting, target marketing, default analysis, customer retention, and credit scoring. The program creates familiarity with a multitude of computer software packages including SAS, STATA, EVIEWS, MATLAB, S+, and R. It also allows for in-depth studies in a diverse range of topics including managerial economics, law and economics, game theory, international finance and trade, cost-benefit analysis, public economics, and economic development.
International Economics Track is designed to prepare students for decision making in international dimensions of corporate business, international economic negotiations, analysis of global business and trade climate and the design of public policy related to international trade and monetary system. The program creates a deep understanding of the changing issues of international trade and trade policy, global economic institutions such as the WTO, international capital flows and exchange rates and, more generally, the international monetary system.