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

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.A.FallJul 1GMAT or GRE
SpringNov 1
SummerMar 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 statistics must complete one course in each of the following subject areas as a prerequisite for the program: principles of microeconomics, principles of macroeconomics, introductory econometrics and multivariate calculus. The student’s adviser will review the student’s economics and mathematical background to determine the extent to which the student has satisfied prerequisites. Required prerequisites 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 statistics requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of 500- and 600-level courses work. The 30 hours must include eight core courses, one restricted elective and on additional elective.

Curriculum requirements

Required courses
ECON   604Advanced Microeconomic Theory3
ECON   607Advanced Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON   612Econometrics3
ECON   614Mathematical Economics3
ECON   641Econometric Time-series Analysis3
ECON   642Panel and Nonlinear Methods in Econometrics3
STAT/BIOS 513Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT/BIOS 514Mathematical Statistics II3
Restricted elective
Select one course from the list of approved statistics electives below.3
Select additional course from the list of approved statistics electives below, any additional 600-level ECON course or a course approved by the adviser.3
Total Hours30

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Approved statistics electives

Regression models
STAT   546Linear Models3
STAT   623Discrete Multivariate Analysis3
STAT   643Applied Linear Regression3
STAT   744Regression II3
Design of experiments
STAT   642Design and Analysis of Experiments I3
STAT   650Design and Analysis of Response Surface Experiments3
STAT   742Design and Analysis of Experiments II3
Time series
STAT   613Stochastic Processes3
STAT   675Time Series Analysis I3
Machine learning and big data
STAT/OPER 636Machine Learning Algorithms3
STAT/OPER 736Mathematics of Knowledge and Search Engines3
Bayesian analysis
STAT   645Bayesian Decision Theory3
STAT   745Advanced Bayesian Statistics3
Quality control
STAT/OPER 648Systems Reliability Analysis3
STAT/OPER 649Statistical Quality Control3

Graduate program director
Colleen A. Davis
Senior director, master’s programs
Phone: (804) 828-4622

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

Program website: