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BA/MS Combined Degree

About the Program

Students obtain both a B.A. & M.S. degree. This is about one semester fewer than what is required to obtain the separate degrees. The B.A./M.S. program is designed to speed the learning and graduation of a student who, by the junior year, is reasonably confident that he or she wishes to become an economist who uses both economic theory and economic data to provide quantitative analyses of economic issues.

The program commences in the same way as the standard economics major. Provided that sufficiently high grades have been obtained by the junior year you may apply to the B.A./M.S. program. The latter part of the program consists of courses offered in the Economics Department’s M.S. program.

The M.S. is intended for students who desire a more quantitative masters level training in economics, with the aim of pursuing a career in rigorous financial analysis and in international economics, industrial economics, economics consulting; quantitative risk management in a financial institution; teaching at the university level; performing research at a government agency or think tank; or preparing to enter a PhD program in economics or a related business field. The M.S. program emphasizes the acquisition of applied econometric skills that can then be used to perform business research that employers increasingly demand. The M.S. program also provides the most advanced training possible in economics short of obtaining the PhD degree.

Core classes includes

ECO 505 Microeconomic Theory

ECO 507 Macroeconomic Theory

ECO 580 Econometrics I

ECO 581 Econometrics II

ECO 582 Computational Econometrics

ECO 526 Financial Economics I

ECO 561 Economics of Fluctuation & Forecasting

There are three tracks in which a B.A./M.S. student can specialize:

Financial Economics Track – requires five courses: advanced financial economics, risk management, accounting, empirical methods in finance, and asset valuation. Three elective 3-credit hour courses are also required to complete the degree. A student choosing this track will be trained in sophisticated methods used today to price assets, assess and hedge risk, evaluate investment projects, and understand the operation of the equity, fixed income, options, futures, and derivative markets. For more information, please click here.

International Economics Track – requires five courses: international economics, international finance, topics in international economics, topics in microeconomics, plus Economic Development or Economies of East Asia. Three elective 3-credit hour courses are also required to complete the degree. A student choosing this track will be trained in modern international trade and exchange rate theories, understand the link between foreign and domestic financial and goods markets, and should become acquainted with the idiosyncratic characteristics of the East Asian markets. For more information, please click here.


The time-saving comes from a student being able to use his or her undergraduate training in economics in place of some of the requirements of the M.S. program. Students interested in this program should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Economics as early as possible in their college careers and apply no later than during their junior year as undergraduates.

Acceptance Criteria

Students must apply for and be accepted into both the undergraduate economics major and the M.S. Economics program.

Students applying to the B.A./M.S. program should have at least 60 credits (with some Economics courses) completed when applying to the program. Students can apply to the M.S. portion of the B.A./M.S. program during the end of their sophomore year or later (should have around 60 credits or more when applying).

Students don’t need to complete 18 undergraduate economics credits before applying to the B.A./M.S. program.

GRE or GMAT scores are required for BA/MS Economics consideration.

Application Instructions

To apply to the B.A./M.S. program, you should consult the Director of the Undergraduate Programs and the Assistant Director of the Masters Program.

Apply now online.

Advising Notes

150 credit hours are required for the combined BA/MS degree:

105 credits at the undergraduate level, including a minimum of 18 credits in economics and all university requirements.

45 credits in economics at the graduate level.

Students must meet the requirements of both the B.A. & M.S portions of the program.

If, as student, after entering the B.A./M.S. program, wishes to withdraw from the M.S. portion of the B.A./M.S. program, it is important to note that only six graduate credits can be used toward their B.A. degree without special approval form the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Students should consult the Director of the Undergraduate program and the Assistant Director of the M.S. program as early as possible in their decision-making process in order to develop a sequence of coursework that is appropriate to their interests and objectives.

ECO 505, ECO 507, and ECO 576 may be substituted for ECO 405, ECO 407, and ECO 406, respectively, with the permission of the Director of the M.S. Program.  A waiver exam may be taken for ECO 580 and ECO 581; please contact the Assistant Director of the M.S. Program for details.  Even with specific course waivers, a total of 18 undergraduate Economics credits and 45 M.S. credits are still required for the B.A./M.S. degree.


Note: Students are considered undergraduates until they reach 105 credits hours. After 105 credit hours, students are considered to have graduate status and are responsible for graduate tuition and fees. For more information about fees, please contact the Assistant Director of the Masters Program.

Note: However, there are many times when a B.A./M.S. student won’t have exactly 105 credits before starting the M.S. portion of the program. For example, let’s say a student completes 102 credits at the end of Spring 2005 semester. This means they’ll probably take 4 grad & 1 undergrad class in Fall 2005. Does this mean that they will pay undergrad tuition since they haven’t hit the 105 credit mark? The answer is no. They would pay Graduate tuition in Fall 2005. The underlying principle is that the Graduate School doesn’t want undergrads to pay undergrad tuition for graduate classes. Additionally, the Graduate School doesn’t want undergrads to pay graduate tuition for more semesters than needed. If you’re doing the B.A./M.S., the plan should be to pay 7 semesters undergrad tuition and 3 semesters of Graduate tuition.

So, what is the cut-off for Grad tuition? There isn’t necessarily a cut-off. Let’s say you’re in the situation where you happen to be a bit shy of the 105 credits (95-104 credits, for example). The general rule of thumb would be: if you are taking more grad than undergrad classes in a particular semester, you would be charged grad tuition. If you are taking more undergrad than graduate, then you would be charged undergrad tuition. Remember, it should always work out where you’re paying 7 semesters undergrad and 3 semesters graduate. This is why we recommend following the traditional sequence and take undergrad classes first and then proceed to graduate level classes later.

However, you may decide to take a couple of graduate level classes before the 105 credits (perhaps a dual listed elective, for example). It is fine to take more than 2 grad classes before the 105 credit mark if you’re planning to do the B.A./M.S anyway since you’ll be paying the same amount (7 udg & 3 grad).