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Master’s Program Requirements

The master’s degree program requirements include the following departmental requirements in addition to any University and Graduate School requirements for the Master of Arts (MA) or the Master of Science (MS) degree. Students have two options for obtaining a masters degree, by coursework (C) or by research (R).

Course Requirements

  • Three quarters of econometrics EC 523, 524, and 525 or equivalent to be completed by the end of first full academic year. You are required to achieve an average grade of B- or above for these courses. If not, course or courses with grades below B- are required to be retaken the following year.
  • Two quarters of economic theory, EC 511 and EC 513, to be completed by the end of the first full academic year. You are required to achieve an average grade of B- or above for these courses. If not, course or courses with grades below B- are required to be retaken the following year.
  • Elective Coursework: Prior approval of 600 level courses must be received from the masters adviser. (Ec 503, 508, 601, 605, 609, and Ec 607 PhD micro and macro CORE courses do not count toward the Master’s Degree coursework requirement.)
    • Coursework Option (C): Seven elective graduate field courses in economics, at least four of which must be taken at the 600 level and must include Ec 607 Econometrics I and/or Ec 607 Econometrics II.
    • Research Option (R): Five elective graduate field courses in economics, at least two of which must be at the 600 level.
  • Minimum Credit Requirement for Graduation:
    • Coursework Option (C): A minimum of 48 graduate credit hours, all of which must be in economics.
    • Research Option (R): A minimum of 45 graduate credit hours (for the research paper track) or a minimum of 51 graduate credit hours (for the thesis paper track), all of which must be in economics. No more than 5 credits in EC 601 may be applied to the 45-credit minimum and no more than 9 credits in EC 503 may be applied to the 51-credit minimum.

Research Prospectus requirements for those opting for the Research Option (R)

A prospectus for the thesis or research paper, for a minimum of 2 credits of EC 601 (research), must be approved by the candidate’s committee prior to the term in which the thesis-research paper is approved. In addition to the 2 credits for the prospectus, a minimum of 3 credits of EC 601 is required for the research paper or 9 credits of EC 503 for the thesis.

Thesis-Research Paper requirements for those opting for the Research Option (R)

Master’s degree candidates must complete either a thesis or a research paper approved by two department members on a topic from an area of economics in which a 600-level field course has been taken. The master’s thesis or research paper should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to perform economic research. The project normally involves the formulation of a theoretical model and its statistical testing. The typical length is forty to eighty pages. The difference between a thesis and research paper is that a thesis is submitted to the Graduate School for approval and is published. A research paper is bound and filed in the Economics Department. Students should obtain the guidelines for dissertations and theses at the Graduate School’s website prior to beginning the project.

Grading, Grade Point Average (GPA), and Enrollment

  • All courses taken to satisfy the master’s degree requirements must be taken for a letter grade (excluding EC 601 research and EC 503 Thesis of Research Option (R)). Economic Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 GPA in graduate courses taken in the degree program, and may not graduate with less than a 3.00 GPA. Grades of D+ or lower for graduate courses are not accepted for graduate credit but are computed in the GPA. Similarly, the grade of N (no pass) is not accepted for graduate credit. A grade of P (pass) must be equal to or better than a B-. A GPA below 3.00 at any time during a graduate student’s studies or the accumulation of more than 5 credits of N or F grades — regardless of GPA — is considered unsatisfactory and may lead to termination from the program. Ph.D. students who decide to transfer to the Masters degree program and have completed 607 Core courses may count those credits toward the theory and elective coursework requirements of the Masters degree program; however, additional courses must be taken if the GPA is below 3.00.
  • Unless on-leave status has been approved, a student enrolled in an advanced-degree or graduate-certificate program must attend the university continuously until all program requirements have been completed. The student must register for 3 graduate credits each term, excluding summer sessions, to be continuously enrolled. A minimum of 30 credits toward the master’s degree must be taken in residence over a period of at least two terms. In addition, at least 9 credits in courses numbered 600-699 must be taken in residence.
  • For other University or Graduate School requirements, consult the Graduate School section of the University of Oregon bulletin.

Substitutions and Waivers

Substitutions of alternative courses or courses taken elsewhere require the joint approval of the master’s program committee and the department head before they can be counted toward the credit minimum. Any other waivers or exceptions to departmental requirements require the approval of the Economics Department faculty.

Distinction between M.A. and M.S. Degrees

Students pursuing an M.A. degree must demonstrate competence in one foreign (nonnative) language by successful completion of two years of college credit in that language or the equivalent fluency (consult the Graduate School’s minimum requirements for the Master’s as well as requirements for the B.A. degree for more details).

Time Limit

The Masters degree usually requires five to six terms of full-time work. A few well-qualified students have completed requirements for the degree in four terms, including two terms spent completing the prospectus and research paper or thesis if the Research Option (R) is selected.

Coursework Option (C): All masters degree requirements for the coursework track option must be completed within a three-year period.

Research Option (R): All master’s degree requirements must be completed within a five-year period.