Economics studies the institutions and arrangements that are used to create, protect and allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses. The Master of Arts program in Economics at KU advances our understanding of the behavior of individuals, firms, governments and other organizations. Economics' deep intellectual roots, rigorous analytic methods and powerful ability to explain and evaluate social phenomena make it an exceptionally rewarding field of study in economics.
Visit the Graduate Studies website for information about funding opportunities for graduate students at KU.
Financial Aid and Scholarships administers grants, loans, and need-based financial aid.
Facilities and Services
In addition to KU computing and library facilities, students in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs may use the department’s computer laboratory, which provides access to a variety of databases and econometric software packages useful for economics research.
Admission to Graduate Studies
An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
Applicants to the M.A. and M.A./J.D. programs should have taken a minimum of 2 courses in calculus (6 to 10 semester hours) and a statistics course. Students with little background in economics may be advised to take ECON 520 Microeconomics and/or ECON 522 Macroeconomics and/or ECON 526 Introduction to Econometrics as preparation for M.A. courses. ECON 520, ECON 522, and ECON 526 do not count toward completion of M.A. degree requirements.
Applications submitted before May 1 receive first consideration for fall or summer admission. Applications submitted before November 1 receive first consideration for spring admission.
Submit your graduate application online. Send all other requested application materials to the department:
The University of Kansas
Department of Economics
1460 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 415
Lawrence, KS 66045-7514
English Proficiency and Test of English as a Foreign Language or International English Language Testing System Scores
An applicant who has graduated with a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English automatically meets the English language proficiency requirement. All other students whose native language is not English are required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. The university accepts TOEFL and IELTS scores.
M.A. Degree Requirements
The Master of Arts degree program serves students with little previous background in economics as well as students who majored in economics as undergraduates. The program provides maximum flexibility for students to pursue their own special interests.
Candidates for the M.A. degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work, including 9 hours of required core classes (ECON 700, ECON 701, ECON 715). At least 18 hours, including the required core courses, must be in economics; but students may take up to 12 hours in related areas, such as business administration, computer science, political science, or mathematics, subject to the approval of the M.A. advisor. No more than 9 hours of economics classes may be taken at the 500 and 600 levels. At initial enrollment, each candidate must discuss a preliminary plan of study with his or her graduate advisor. This plan may be revised over time.
Thesis and Nonthesis Options
Candidates may pursue either a thesis or a nonthesis track. Students electing the thesis track must complete 24 hours of formal course work and 6 hours of thesis under the direction of a thesis supervisor. This work is to be devoted to the completion of a satisfactory thesis. An oral examination is held on completion of the thesis. Students electing the nonthesis track must complete 30 hours of formal course work.
Written Comprehensive Examination
All candidates for the M.A. degree, including students enrolled in the M.A./J.D. program, must demonstrate proficiency in the application of economic theory through a written examination taken during the last semester of enrollment.
Plan of Study
Most M.A. students complete the program in 2 academic years. Unless they must complete prerequisites, new M.A. students enroll in ECON 700 Survey of Microeconomics and ECON 715 Elementary Econometrics and 1 elective during the first fall semester. In the first spring semester, M.A. students enroll in ECON 701 Survey of Macroeconomics and 2 electives. Enrollments in subsequent semesters are electives until 30 credit hours are complete.