Program Details

The Master of Arts in Economics consists of a foundation program (waived for students who have completed equivalent coursework), economics core, a research project in your chosen concentration area, a master’s thesis, and opportunities for internships.

Full-time students complete the program in two years. A flexible format is available to meet the needs of part-time students.


Courses are drawn from the Department of Economics but also include related courses taught in the School of Management and the departments of computer science and mathematics.

A strong emphasis on quantitative methodology and analytical research coupled with highly motivated and well-qualified faculty define the essence of the master's program in economics at USF.

Vaqar Qureshi, student

Concentration Areas

Concentration options provide a framework by which graduate students may organize their program to achieve individual goals.

  • General Economics
    Students collaborate with a graduate adviser to design a plan of study. Some students use this option to prepare for PhD studies; others prepare for careers as economists in government or the private sector. Opportunities exist for directed research, a master's thesis, study/research abroad, and internships.
  • Financial Economics
    Students have 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 may also enroll in MBA courses and will complete a research project in the field of financial 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.

Research Paper, Graduate Seminar, and Thesis

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

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.

Overseas Study and Internships

Graduate students may spend a summer at a university abroad and earn six credits (as electives) toward their degree at USF. Overseas study requires approval by the graduate adviser 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 adviser.

Contact Info

MA in Economics

James Anderson, Program Manager

Cowell Hall, Room 409, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1081 (415) 422-2711 (415) 422-6983