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G_Economics

Courses

The graduate curriculum in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco provides students the opportunity to study for a general Master's degree in Economics or to specialize in the fields of Financial Economics or International Economics. Students choose an area of concentration by the end of their second semester of graduate studies or after having completed 12 units of graduate work.

Foundation Requirements

The foundation requirements represent three bodies of knowledge that all graduate students must acquire before enrolling in the core courses. These requirements are waived if they have been met by previous studies or work experience.

The three foundation areas are:
  • Economic Theory: The fundamentals of economic theory at the undergraduate level, including Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics.
  • Mathematics: An ability to apply calculus and linear algebra to equilibrium, dynamic and optimization models in economics.
  • Statistics: A basic knowledge of statistics, including hypothesis testing, sampling and probability distributions.

Core Courses

The five core courses in the graduate program are:

Microeconomics: Theory and Applications
Advanced microeconomic theory, including consumer and producer theory, market equilibrium, market structures, and basic game theory

Macroeconomics: Theory and Applications
Advanced theory in macroeconomics, including aggregate demand and supply, IS/LM, business cycles, unemployment, inflation, and the role of money

Mathematics for Economists
Applications of linear algebra and calculus to mathematical modeling of economic problems

Graduate Econometrics
Introduction to basic probability distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals/introduction to problem of identification, basic OLS model, t-tests, F-tests, and instrumental variables

Graduate Seminar
Students conduct their master’s research under the supervision of the economics faculty.

Overseas Study and Internships

Graduate students may spend a semester or summer at a university abroad and earn six units of credit (as electives) toward their degree at USF. Overseas study requires approval by the Graduate Advisor and coordinator of the area of concentration. Students might also pursue an internship, which would substitute for an elective course upon approval by the Graduate Advisor.

Research Paper, Graduate Seminar and Thesis

The Master's degree requires that all students undertake a research project in their area of concentration. Students confer with a faculty advisor with whom they share a specific research or geographical interest to develop practical and relevant ideas for research. The faculty advisor supervises the writing of the research paper, which involves a command of relevant economic theory, statistical methods and field-research methodology.

Students present their completed research project in the Graduate Seminar. The Graduate Seminar takes place in the final semester of studies.

The Master's Thesis option requires previous outstanding research and coursework, and includes an oral examination. A copy of the thesis will be made available to the public in USF's Gleeson Library.

Comprehensive Examination

All M.A. in Economics students must pass the Master's Comprehensive exams in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. These exams are offered in the first weeks of each fall and spring.

Concentrations

General Economics

Students who select this option to design will collaborate with a Graduate Advisor to design a plan of study. Some students use this option to prepare for Ph.D. studies; others prepare for careers as economists in government or the private sector. Students choose a minimum of 12 graduate units in Economics in addition to the 15 core course units, and complete a research project. Opportunities exist for directed research, a master's thesis, study/research abroad and internships.

Financial Economics

This concentration option provides students with the opportunity to study domestic and international financial markets, as well as the principles of financial decision-making in the banking, investment management and corporate financial management professions. Students in this concentration can also enroll in M.B.A. courses and will complete a research project in the field of financial economics.

Required Courses:

Money, Banking and Financial Institutions
Monetary policy, financial markets and institutions, competition, market efficiency, innovation and institutional changes, properties of various financial instruments, impact on savings, investment, and capital formation.

Monetary Economics
This course emphasizes the institutional structure of banking, government regulation of banking, and government control of the money supply and economic activity. We focus on the needs and processes underlying money and financial markets to understand how and why financial markets and institutions are in a constant state of evolution and the consequences for effective government policies.

Other Courses:

Options and Futures
Options, futures and other derivative contracts are widely used to manage risk by businesses and financial institutions. This course provides students with a solid understanding of 1) the economic functions of futures, forwards and options, 2) the operation of the futures and options markets, 3) the pricing of futures, options and other derivatives, and 4) basic strategies in trading options.

International Financial Economics
The world monetary system: foreign exchange markets, risk reduction instruments and international capital markets in the context of open economy macroeconomics. Evaluation of policies, practices, and institutions in the field of international investments and international finance.

Special Topics in Econometrics
Covers a variety of areas, the focus depending on the expertise of the instructor. May be repeated for credit each semester that a different topic is covered.

Special Topics in Mathematics for Economists
Applications of differential equations, phase diagrams analysis, stability analysis, optimal control theory, calculus of variations, differential games, and dynamic programming in economics.

International Economics

Students take courses in International trade and International finance, and select three electives from such courses as Economic Development, Development Microeconomics, Development Macroeconomics, Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy and International Political Economy. Students also complete a research project in international economics.

Required Courses:

International Trade
A comprehensive survey course in the theory of international trade and an economic analysis of international trade policies.

International Financial Economics
The world monetary system: foreign exchange markets, risk reduction instruments and international capital markets in the context of open economy macroeconomics. Evaluation of policies, practices, and institutions in the field of international investments and international finance.

Other Courses:

Monetary Economics
This course emphasizes the institutional structure of banking, government regulation of banking, and government control of the money supply and economic activity. We focus on the needs and processes underlying money and financial markets to understand how and why financial markets and institutions are in a constant state of evolution and the consequences for effective government policies.

Economic Development
Development economics: theoretical and empirical investigations of economic development issues, policies, and strategies.