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Grad Program: Economics, General

Basic Information

It’s all about the Benjamins (and the Lincolns, the Hamiltons, and sometimes even the Georges): With a growing global economy sometimes overshadowing local markets, the forces of economics take the front seat in government policy making, community planning, and small-business development. Advanced degrees are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional abilities as both scholars and researchers; they are prerequisites for certain positions in industry, business enterprise, and within scientific organizations.

Programs can be found that concentrate on environmental economics, urban and regional economics, public finance, agricultural economics, and evolutionary economics. As public awareness grows about the options available in personal finance, there has been a flood of economic research about retirement planning and alternatives to the basic savings account. New graduates set the foundation for local, national, and global economic theory for every generation, and each new fiscal concept developed by those with master’s or doctorate degrees reaches beyond the walls of the university as they take powerful positions within corporations, governments, and financial institutions.

Degree Information

Most schools with a department of economics offer M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. programs in various concentrations. M.A. and M.S. programs typically require around 30 hours of course work (one to two years of study) while doctoral students can expect to spend four to five years working on required courses, dissertation research, and oral exams.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • Are you comfortable speaking about and explaining complex analytical issues?
  • Do you have strong investigative skills?
  • Do you have a strong background in mathematics and statistics?
  • Does the program you are considering offer concentrations in your area of interest?
  • Does the research of one or more faculty members of the school you are considering match your interests?
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