MS Economics (STEM Designated Degree)
Welcome to the website of the MS Program in Economics at LSU, a STEM designated degree. Our department is committed to excellence in teaching and research. Our faculty are frequent recipients of teaching awards, publish regularly in prestigious professional journals, and several serve as editors of professional journals.
Our goal is to provide our graduate students with analytic skills and a breadth of economic understanding that prepares them for careers in government, business, or for further study in economics. Since employers in business and government are seeking professionals with strong skills in data analysis and understanding of economic policies, our program is designed to meet these demands.
In addition to having a strong master program in economics, LSU has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. It is conveniently located on the bank of Mississippi river, close to downtown and many attractions in the city. New Orleans, one of the top touristic destinations in the world, is just about an hour’s drive from the campus. Louisiana (known as the Sportsman's Paradise) has a perfect climate for outdoor activities year-around. The weather is pleasant from October to May. Many outdoor festivals, concerts and events are held throughout the year and often involve cooking, eating, and socializing in the temperate weather.
Our MS program is designated as a STEM program (CIP Code: 45.0603: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics). International students in STEM degree programs can apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Applicants for graduate studies in economics must meet the requirements for admission to the LSU Graduate School and be accepted by the Department of Economics. We have the following requirements. Applications must be made by May 1.
- GPA: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with at least a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of study.
- GRE: Those who are accepted usually have a minimum combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 300, with at least a score of 150 on the quantitative section.
- TOEFL/IELTS/PTE: A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based exam) or 213 (computer-based exam); or a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS; or a minimum score of 59 on the PTE is required for international students.
- References: 3 letters of recommendation should be submitted. At least 2 letters should be from your professors.
In addition to the above requirements, we would like students to have completed undergraduate courses in calculus, statistics, and intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics before entering the MS program.
Non-economics majors with strong academic records are encouraged to apply. It is likely that students who have not had many undergraduate courses in economics or have not had the courses indicated above can make them up in one semester, before taking the core program courses.
The department does not provide graduate assistantships to masters students.
Requirements for the MS Degree
A student receives the MS degree in economics when the following requirements are fulfilled:
- Required Core Courses:
- Mathematics for Economists (Economics 7610)
- Introduction to Advanced Microeconomics (Economics 7701)
- Introduction to Advanced Macroeconomics (Economics 7717)
- Applied Econometrics (Economics 7629)
- Completion of 30 hours:
- In addition to the 12 hours of required courses a student must complete 18 hours of electives (at least 12 hours of the electives must be in 7000-level courses). The 7000-level electives for MS students are co-listed with undergraduate courses that are offered in a particular semester, and MS students have additional requirements beyond those for undergraduates. Undergraduate courses that are regularly offered include Public Finance, International Trade, International Finance, Economic Growth, Labor Economics, Environmental Economics, Central Banking and Monetary Policy, Industrial Organization and Public Policy, Game Theory, Sports Economics, Urban & Regional Economics, and Health Economics. Up to 6 hours of 7000-level courses outside economics may be taken with the permission of the graduate director. Only 6 hours of 4000-level courses in economics may be counted toward the degree.
- It is anticipated that, under normal conditions, the student will be able to complete the MS degree in a year and a half; please see part 5 below.
- Final Examination for the MS Degree
- The MS program requires satisfactory performance on a written final exam covering the required macroeconomics, microeconomics, and applied econometrics core courses. Students take this exam on a pass or fail basis. Those failing will be able to take the exam a second time. The student must take this exam for the first time at the start of the third semester. If the student fails, he or she may take the exam a second time later in the third semester. In some cases, if performance is superior on one or two portions of the exam, but one portion is failed, the second exam may consist of only the portion failed, at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor.
- Transfer Credit
- Students who have completed part of the required courses at other programs can select a larger number of electives in order to meet the 30 hour requirement.
- Time-to-Completion and Time Limit for the MS
- Students are admitted into the program only in the fall semester. In the fall semester of the first year, the student will take all four required core courses for a total of 12 hours of coursework. The student will then take 9 hours of coursework in the spring semester of the first year and again in the fall semester of the second year. The student will take the written final exam in August the week before coursework begins for the fall semester of the second year. The student will normally graduate at the end of the fall semester of the second year.
- The student has a maximum of five calendar years in which to complete the MS. If the student exceeds this limit, he or she must retake the final exam, and this can be allowed only under the discretion of the Economics Graduate Committee. Furthermore, the Department of Economics allows revalidation of not more than 50% of the Economics courses taken before the expiration of the 5-year time limit for completion of the MS in Economics. Revalidation is determined by an examination given and graded by the current instructor of the course over material currently covered in the course. The student must score at least a solid B on the examination to have the course revalidated.