Master of Economics

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The Master of Economics is a postgraduate master's degree in economics (M.Econ., M.Ec.; also MS in Economics, MA in Economics, MCom in Economics), comprising training in economic theory, econometrics and/or applied economics. The degree may be offered as a terminal degree or as additional preparation for doctoral study, and is sometimes offered as a professional degree. The program emphases and curricula will differ correspondingly. Many universities (in the US) do not offer the master's degree directly; rather, the degree is routinely awarded as a master's degree "en route", after completion of a designated phase of the Ph.D. program in economics. The course of study for the master's degree lasts from one to two years. A thesis is often required, particularly for terminal degrees.

Typically, the curriculum is structured around core topics, with any optional coursework complementary to the program focus. The core modules are usually in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory and econometrics. Theory-focused degrees will tend to cover these more mathematically, and emphasize econometric theory as opposed to econometric techniques and software; these will also require a separate course in mathematical economics. Note though that regardless of focus, most programs "now place a marked emphasis on the primacy of mathematics",[1] and many universities thus also require "quantitative techniques", especially where mathematical economics is not a core course. Some (doctoral) programs include core work in economic history.[2]

The optional or additional coursework will depend on the program's emphasis. In theory-focused degrees, and those preparing students for doctoral work, this coursework is often in these same core topics, but in greater depth. In terminal or applied or career-focused degrees, options may include public finance, labour-, financial-, development-, industrial-, health- or agricultural economics. These degrees may also allow for a specialization in one of these areas, and may be named correspondingly (for example Master's in Financial Economics, Masters in International Economics, Masters in Development Economics, Master's in Sustainable Economic Development and Master's in Agricultural Economics.)

Entry requirements are undergraduate work in (calculus-based) economics, at least at the intermediate level, and often as a major, and a sufficient level of mathematical training (including courses in probability / statistics; often (multivariable) calculus and linear algebra; and sometimes mathematical analysis.)

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  1. ^ "Masters degrees in economics: How to be a leader of the future". The Independent (London). 15 June 2006. 
  2. ^ "Econ Grad School". Davidson.