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Master of Arts in Applied Economics

About Our 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 a career that requires such preparation, but have not extensively studied economics in an undergraduate program. 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.

We have structured the program to meet the needs of and engage 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 course. 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 has historically been strong 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 or in other areas that fit with their interests, or to take additional mathematics coursework that may be needed as preparation for a future Ph.D. program. Finally, all students have the choice to write an MA thesis or to complete additional coursework.

Program Description Heading link

The program consists of two courses taken during July and early August followed by four courses in each of the fall and spring semesters for a total of 10 courses and 40 credit hours. All students must complete one course in mathematical methods for economics, two courses in microeconomic theory, one course in macroeconomic theory, three courses in quantitative methods, and one course in reading, writing and speaking economics. Either a thesis or two elective courses can be used to complete the program.

The fundamental principal of the Applied MA Program in Economics is the provision of a comprehensive graduate education tailored to the needs and interests of each student. Students will meet regularly with the program director and an advisor in order to support good progress and develop a program of study that fits the unique interests and objectives of each. The dedication of three courses to the study of quantitative methods reflects our belief that an in-depth understanding of statistical methods and research design are fundamental to a successful pursuit of further study in economics or application of knowledge gained to the workplace.

Degree Requirements - 40 hrs Heading link

Descriptions of courses can be found in the Graduate Catalog

Admissions Requirements Heading link

Applicants are considered on an individual basis, and advanced undergraduate work in economics is not required. Prior work must include one semester each of calculus and statistics. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have introductory microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, and intermediate microeconomic theory as well if possible, but an undergraduate degree or concentration in economics is not necessary for admission.  TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for non-native English speakers. Due to challenges many applicants are facing due to COVID-19, we will be waiving the GRE requirement for those applying for the Summer 2022 admissions cycle.

How to Apply Heading link

The application process at UIC is done entirely online through the Office of Admissions. Applicants will complete the online application, and upload all academic credentials and materials as .pdfs. The materials required to complete an application are detailed in the list below, and specific information on the online application system can be found on the Office of Admissions website.

Please see the Office of Admissions website for specific information on the online application system, and exact requirements for transcripts/degree certificates/diplomas and the English-language proficiency exam. If you have any questions or problems with the online application system itself, please contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (312) 996-4350. Applications are now due on February 1st for international applicants and March 15th for domestic applicants. Applications are considered on a rolling basis as they become completed, beginning in January, so the sooner an application is completed, the sooner a decision can be made.  If you have any inquiries about the program requirements or application materials, please contact our program director, Prof. Kiana Yektansani at

Application Materials Heading link

Contact Us Heading link

If you have questions about the application, the structure of the program, or want to know how an MA in Applied Economics from UIC can help you achieve your career goals, please email the program director, Prof. Kiana Yektansani, at


Apply for MA in Applied Economics