Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Program goal

The Master of Arts in Economics is designed to enhance the student’s abilities to use economic modeling to conduct applied analytical and econometric research. Students in this program are expected to demonstrate competence over a rigorous and current core curriculum in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and in econometrics.

Graduates of the program should be well-qualified to conduct applied economic analysis in either a government or corporate research setting. The program also is an excellent preparation for entry into a doctoral program in economics or finance.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will use optimization techniques to develop demand and cost conditions from specifications of underlying utility and technology. Specifically, given a simple functional form for utility, students will be able to solve for optimal individual demand and, given a production technology, students will be able to solve for the firm’s cost curves.
  2. Students will understand and know how to apply quantitative macroeconomic models.
  3. Students will critically evaluate the validity of conclusions drawn from econometric models by others who have access to the primary data. In the AACSB classifications, this is a management-specific goal.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Business policies and procedures for graduate master’s degree students are available on the school’s website at business.vcu.edu/graduate-studies/current-graduate-students.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.A. Fall Jul 1 GMAT or GRE
Spring Nov 1
Summer Mar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the Master of Arts in Economics degree program with a concentration in financial economics must complete various prerequisite courses as enumerated in the degree requirements section. Prerequisite and/or foundation courses may be taken after admission.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the M.A. in Economics degree with a concentration in financial economics requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of 600-level course work. The 30 hours must include seven core courses and three restricted electives.

Prerequisite and/or foundation courses may be waived for students who present satisfactory equivalent preparation at either the undergraduate or graduate level. This determination is made by the faculty adviser at the time of admission.

Prerequisite undergraduate course

MATH 200Calculus with Analytic Geometry4
or ECON 403 Introduction to Mathematical Economics

Curriculum requirements

Foundation courses
ECON 500Concepts in Economics3
ECON 501Introduction to Econometrics3
FIRE 520Financial Concepts of Management3
Required courses
ECON 604Advanced Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 607Advanced Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 612Econometrics3
ECON 614Mathematical Economics3
ECON 617Financial Markets3
ECON 641Econometric Time-series Analysis3
ECON 642Panel and Nonlinear Methods in Econometrics3
Restricted electives
FIRE 623Financial Management3
FIRE 635Investments and Security Analysis3
FIRE 650Derivatives3

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30 (39 if all foundation courses are required)

Graduate program director
Colleen Androvich Davis
Senior director, master’s programs
Email: androvichcm@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Additional contact
Jana P. McQuaid
Associate dean, master’s programs
Email: jpmcquaid@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Program website: business.vcu.edu/graduate-studies/master-of-arts-in-economics