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Economics
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MS Degree For Current Purdue PhD Students

The Department of Economics at Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management offers a non-thesis Master of Science degree in Economics to students who have been admitted into a Ph.D. program at Purdue University. For Economics Ph.D. students, the requirements for this degree are typically met after the third semester in residence. However, the MS in Economics degree has also been awarded to Ph.D. students in the Management Ph.D. program, as well as to Purdue students in other doctoral programs, such as Political Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Engineering.

Degree Requirements

A student who is enrolled in a Purdue Ph.D. program is eligible to apply for, and receive, a non-thesis Master of Science degree in Economics upon completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses in the doctoral program. Departmental and University requirements for receiving the Master of Science degree include:

    1. The student must declare his/her intention to earn the M.S. degree and file a formal M.S. plan of study in the Purdue University Graduate School prior to the start of the semester or summer session in which the degree is to be conferred.

    2. The student's M.S. plan of study must include a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses approved by the Economics Department. The core list of courses for the M.S. degree in Economics is the following:

      1. Microeconomic Theory: Econ 615, Econ 606, Econ 607, Econ 609, Econ 610, and Econ 614 (12 credit hours);
      2. Statistics/Econometrics: Econ 670, Econ 671, and one of Econ 672 or Econ 674 (6 credit hours);
      3. Macroeconomic Theory: Econ 608, Econ 611, Econ 612 (6 credit hours);
      4. Electives: The remaining 6 credit hour requirement can be met by taking Ph.D. level Economics or Management courses. For students outside Krannert, electives can include approved 500-numbered courses or higher taken in another department of the University that complement the Economics courses taken. Note that a maximum of nine Purdue credit hours of coursework at the 50000- and 60000- level used to satisfy the requirements of one Purdue master’s degree may be used on the plan of study for another Purdue master’s degree. Coursework used to satisfy the requirements of a master’s degree from an institution other than Purdue may not be used on a Purdue master’s plan of study.

    1. A student's M.S. plan of study in Economics must include an advisory committee consisting of three members of the Economics faculty. (A separate plan of study/advisory committee will be filed for the Ph.D. degree.)


  1. Only grades of "A", "B", or "C" (including minuses) are acceptable in the courses listed on the student's plan of study for the MS degree; "Pass/No Pass" grades are not acceptable. The student must achieve a graduation index of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale across all the courses taken in his/her plan of study for the MS degree in Economics.

For Purdue University PhD students other than those in the Management PhD program, admission into the MS program is determined by an ad hoc MS admissions committee consisting of the instructors of Econ 615, 606, 607, 670 and 671. This committee decides admission based on whether the background of the student is suitable for the program. The student may request the addition to this committee of a professor from their Department to provide additional insight into the student's ability and training, as well as to identify specific courses outside Economics that could be counted toward the degree.

Typically formal admission into the program is not granted by the MS admissions committee until a student has completed an initial set of courses such as Econ 615, 670, 606 and 607. The student's performance in these courses becomes a critical element in determining admission into the M.S. degree program.

Below are several common modifications to the above program that have been approved by the Economics Policy Committee:

Modification 1:

A student can eliminate the required Macroeconomic Theory sequence (part B above). These 6 credit hours must be replaced from available Economics Masters and PhD level courses.

Modification 2:

A student can replace Econ 670 with Stat 511. Other substitutions for Econometric courses may be possible, but require the approval of the Economic Policy Committee. It is expected that Econ 671 be taken by all students.

Modification 3:

A student can reduce the required Microeconomic Theory sequence from 12 credit hours to 8 credit hours that include Econ 615, Econ 606, and two of the following four courses: Econ 607, Econ 609, Econ 610 and Econ 614. At least two hours of the replacement courses must be either Econ 673 or Econ 674.  However, if Econ 674 has been used as a replacement for Econ 672, then Econ 674 cannot be used to also meet this requirement.

The Economics courses that can be used to replace either the Macroeconomic Theory courses and/or some of the Microeconomic Theory courses include PhD field sequence courses in Industrial Organization, International, Labor, Econometrics, and Experimental.  The 3-credit Master-level courses Econ 511 (microeconomics) and/or Econ 512 (macroeconomics) can also be used. However, Econ 511 should be taken prior to (as preparation for) Econ 606.  Econ 511 cannot be counted toward fulfiling the requirements of the degre if it is taken after the completion of Econ 607.  The example below illustrates a program that incorporates to a large extent the above three modifications:

A.) Microeconomic Theory: Econ 615, Econ 606, Econ 610, and Econ 614 (8 credit hours);

B.) Statistics/Econometrics: Stat 511, Econ 671, Econ 672 and Econ 673 or Econ 674 (8-10 credit hours).

C.) Econ Electives: Other Masters and Ph.D. level courses offered by the Economics faculty.(7-8 credit hours). For instance, the Econ Electives could be Econ 511, Econ 607 (taken after Econ 511), and Econ 512.

D.) Other Electives: The remaining 4-7 credit hour requirement can be met by taking approved graduate level courses outside Economics, including courses in Management (e.g., PhD level courses in Finance), Political Science (e.g., PhD level courses in Political Economy), Mathematics, or Statistics. Note that a maximum of nine Purdue credit hours of coursework at the 50000- and 60000- level used to satisfy the requirements of one Purdue master’s degree may be used on the plan of study for another Purdue master’s degree. Coursework used to satisfy the requirements of a master’s degree from an institution other than Purdue may not be used on a Purdue master’s plan of study.

Revision Approved by the Economics Policy Committee, October 13, 2011