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Master of Arts in Applied Economics

About the Program Heading link

The MA in Applied Economics program at UIC is designed for students who desire an MA degree in economics as either a stepping stone to a Ph.D. program or to advance in a career that requires such preparation. We provide analytically rigorous training in economic theory and statistical analysis that is accessible to students with less preparation in mathematics than is required for enrollment in an Economics Ph.D. program. Importantly, we condense this accelerated program into three semesters, including summer, so that students can complete the entire program in ten months. This substantially reduces the cost and enables students to matriculate to a Ph.D. program or enter the job market after only a single year of study. Alternately, students with sufficient prior coursework and experience have the option to waive the summer courses and begin the program in the fall semester.

We have structured the program to engage and meet the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and interests. The core economic theory and statistical methods courses are analytically rigorous but do not require extensive training in mathematics and do not focus on mathematical derivations or proofs. However, students with the requisite training in mathematics may substitute courses from our Ph.D. program in place of the corresponding Applied MA courses. This enables these students to engage the material at a more mathematically sophisticated level and demonstrate their knowledge to Ph.D. programs and employers.

The UIC Economics Department excels in applied research and econometric analysis, particularly in the areas of health and education economics and policy. Applied MA students have the opportunity to take elective courses with leading young scholars in these areas. Students also have the opportunity to take courses outside of the Economics Department in other areas that align with their interests or to take additional mathematics coursework in preparation for a future Ph.D. program. Finally, all students have the choice to write an MA thesis in place of two required elective courses.

Prospective Student Webinars Heading link

Student Profile Heading link

Roughly half of our MA students enter the program without having studied economics at the undergraduate level and without the prior mathematics instruction needed to matriculate directly into a Ph.D. program. Previous students have come from a wide range of academic backgrounds, including marketing, business, mathematics, actuarial science, French, music, global management, and history, among others.

Program Structure and Timeline Heading link

This is an accelerated program that can be completed in as few as 10 months for students who begin in the summer and follow the full-time course plan. Alternate plans of study are also available depending on an individual student’s goals, circumstances, and previous studies. Students may choose to spread their coursework into an additional semester or two when they have outside work commitments or wish to complete additional Ph.D. prerequisite coursework. Those with the necessary background may also choose to waive the introductory summer courses and begin the program in the fall semester instead.

Contact Us Heading link

If you have questions about the structure or content of the program or about how an MA in Applied Economics from UIC can help you achieve your career goals, please contact Prof. Kiana Yektansani, at If you have questions about the application process or the logistics of the program, please contact Gwen Fullenkamp at

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