Graduate Bulletin


Programs Leading to the Master of Arts Degree

The M.A. program in economics provides the opportunity to acquire the basic skills of economic analysis and to apply them in an area of concentration. The curriculum prepares students for careers in administration and research in government and private organizations.

Program of Study (30 credits, minimum)*

  1. Economics (24 credits, minimum) including:
    1. Eco 500, 501, 520, and Eco 521 or equivalents (12 credits);
    2. A sequence of courses in an area of concentration, as approved by the departmentís Graduate Studies Committee;
    3. Eco 698 (Master's Essay, 3 credits), or a graduate research seminar, in the area of concentration.
  2. Supporting courses (0-6 credits) in related fields as advised.
*Students who have not completed a year sequence of undergraduate intermediate economic theory are required to complete Eco 300 and 301 without graduate credit.

Special M.A. Program in Economics

For students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in economics, a master's degree may be awarded after the satisfactory completion of the following:

  1. A minimum of 30 graduate credits, of which 24 credits are in economics, including the required courses in theory and econometrics, Eco 600, Eco 601, Eco 700, Eco 701, Eco 620, Eco 621, Eco 720, and a graduate research seminar in economics;
  2. Supporting courses (0-6 credits) as advised.
Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Ph.D. program in economics trains highly qualified professional economists for careers in teaching and research in colleges and universities and in research and administration in government and private organizations.

Ordinarily the program of study and research requires at least four academic years of full-time work beyond the baccalaureate. Students take courses in economic theory, econometrics, and in at least two of the following fields of concentration: advanced macroeconomics, advanced microeconomics, econometrics, industrial organization, international economics, labor and income distribution, and public economics.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must fulfill the general University requirements for admission to doctoral study.  An undergraduate major in economics is not essential but applicants are expected to have completed a year sequence in intermediate economic theory, three semesters of calculus, and one semester of linear algebra. For those whose undergraduate training in economics and mathematics is deficient, courses are available during the summer session prior to entering the program.

All applicants for the doctoral program must present official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical tests. Applicants who are not residents of the United States may be exempted from this requirement by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department if they reside in countries where GRE examinations are not administered. Foreign students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Program of Study and Research (60 credits, minimum)

Students must demonstrate proficiency in economic theory, econometrics, and two fields of concentration. A minimum of 60 credits in graduate credits in economics and supporting fields (as approved by the Department) beyond the baccalaureate are required, including:

  1. Economic Theory: Eco 600 Microeconomics I (3); Eco 601 Macroeconomics I (3); Eco 700 Microeconomics II (3); Eco 701 Macroeconomics II (3).
  2. Econometrics: Eco 620 Econometrics I (4); Eco 621 Econometrics II (4); Eco 720 Econometrics III (4).
  3. Advanced Research Topics: Eco 798 (3).
Students who enter with advanced training may apply for a waiver of one or more of these courses.

Preparation for a field of concentration normally requires a year of coursework at the 700 level or above. With the approval of the Department's Graduate Studies Committee, one of the two fields may be replaced by another appropriate discipline or by a specialization combining economics with a related field. Advanced doctoral students are required to participate in at least one of the three workshops of the department (Eco 800, Eco 801, or Eco 820).

Research Tool Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in either a foreign language or at least one of the research tools used by economists. These include mathematical and quantitative techniques of problem solving and statistical and econometric techniques involving data analysis.

Departmental Qualifying Examinations

The Departmental Qualifying Examination consists of three parts.

The first part, in economic theory, consists of two written examinations covering the subject areas of Economics 600, 601, 700, and 701 and must be taken at the end of the first year in the program. A student must pass the theory examination in order to continue in the Ph.D. program.

The second part, in econometrics, is a written examination normally taken at the end of the second year. This requirement may be waived upon completion of Eco 621 and Eco 720 with grades of B or better.

The third part consists of written examinations in  two fields of concentration, normally taken at the end of the second year.

A student who fails any qualifying examination twice may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for permission to retake it.

Full Time Study in Residence

Each student in the Economics doctoral program must complete 9 credits in Ph.D. core or elective courses in each of two semesters (not necessarily consecutive). This requirement is designed to ensure for each student a period of intensive intellectual growth and interaction with other participants in the program.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy having met the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all required core and elective courses;
  2. Satisfactory completion of the research tool requirement;
  3. Completion of University residence requirements;
  4. Satisfactory completion of the doctoral qualifying examinations.
  5. Presentation in a workshop of a written dissertation proposal and formation of a dissertation committee approved by the Graduate Studies Committee
Doctoral Dissertation

The student will select a chair for the Dissertation Committee from the Department in the first semester after passing the qualifying examinations. With the committee chair's advice and approval of the Graduate Studies Committee, the student will select two or three additional members for the committee. A description of the dissertation and the composition of the committee will be filed with the Department.

An oral presentation of the preliminary results of the dissertation will be made at one of the department workshops (Eco 800, 801, or 820).

Before accepting the final draft of the dissertation, the dissertation committee will conduct a public oral examination of the candidate on the dissertation, at a time and place to be announced at least one week in advance.

The dissertation must be approved by a majority of the committee members, consisting of at least three members of the committee.

Certificate Program in Economic Forecasting
The graduate certificate in economic forecasting is designed to give intensive training in the techniques of economic forecasting used in the public and private sectors. The program is aimed at students in the M.A. program in economics, students in other graduate degree programs, and professional in the field. The courses cover survey methods, general statistical an econometric methods, time-series models, and forecasting applications in the public and private sectors.

Requirements for Admission
In addition to the general University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must have sufficient backgrounds in economics, mathematics, and statistics to undertake the program.

Program of Study
The program requires 15 credits of coursework, as follows;

Eco 519 Economic Surveys and Forecasting
Eco 520 Quantitative Methods I
Eco 521 Quantitative Methods II
Eco 525 Time Series and Forecasting
Eco 529 Forecasting in the Public Sector

Students whose previous study or experience allows them to waive a particular course may take an alternative course that complements this program.

Certificate Program in Regulatory Economics

Regulatory economics is one of the traditional fields in economics. Regulatory economics includes both the health effects from certain occupations and the effect of inflation on electricity prices as part of its field of study. Many of these regulations are administered by state government, e.g. gas and electricity prices, telephone prices, cable-TV.

This program will provide needed training for professionals (especially attorneys, engineers, and accountants) employed by the New York State Public Service Commission and other agencies (e.g., the Office of Energy, Department of Environmental Conservation). The courses initiated by the program will serve also as an additional specialization available to students in the Economics M.A. program; M.A. students specializing in other fields of Economics will have the opportunity to broaden their expertise by qualifying for the Certificate as well as the M.A. degree. The same opportunity holds, of course, for other graduate students (e.g., those in Public Administration and the School of Business).

Program of Study

The program requires four specific courses in Economics:

  1. Eco 500 Microeconomic Analysis (3): Emphasizes examples from specific regulatory situations;
  2. Eco 520 Economic Statistics (3): Introduction to empirical analysis in economics;
  3. Eco 580 Special Topics in Regulatory Economics (1-3): Integration of basic tools of economic analysis with institutional frameworks of regulation through a case-study approach; conducted on a seminar (workshop) basis;
  4. Eco 670 Economics of Regulation and Anti-Trust (3): Development of microeconomic analytical tools, but introduces the institutional frameworks within which practical issues in regulation must be handled. Much of the material in Alfred Kahn's classic Economics of Regulation will be covered.