Master’s Requirements | Economics | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

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Master’s Requirements

The master’s degree prepares students for positions in government and business and for teaching at the junior college level.  The general requirements for the Master’s degree may be conveniently classified under two broad headings, course and hour requirements and research requirements.

Course and Hour Requirements

Those students who plan to receive the Master’s degree as a terminal degree are required to have the following courses:

  • Economics 465, Mathematical Economics
  • Economics 463, Applied Econometrics
  • Economics 540a, Microeconomic Theory
  • Economics 541a, Macroeconomic Theory

Each master's student must take at least one Graduate Director-approved, two-course specialization in either Economics or any area of interest to the student.  In addition, each master's student must accumulate a minimum total of 30 graduate-level credit hours approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Of this minimum, 21 hours must be in Economics courses, excluding Economics 408, 440, 441, 443, 507, and 590, and 15 hours must be in 500-level courses.

An outline of the typical sequence for master's work is as follows:


  • ECON 465
  • ECON 540a
  • ECON 541a
  • Specialization


  • ECON 463
  • Specialization
  • Elective
  • Elective


  • Thesis or Research Paper

Any student who earns six semester hours of "C" or below in Economics courses taken for graduate credit is subject to dismissal from the graduate program in Economics.  A 3.0 GPA in 400- and 500- level economics courses is required (excluding ECON 408, 440, 441, 501, and 502) and in all graduate courses must be maintained.  Only 400- and 500-level courses may count toward the master's degree.  Graduate students in Economics cannot take ECON 408, 440, 441 or 443 for credit toward a graduate degree in economics.

Research Requirements

A Master of Arts degree will be awarded upon completion of a research paper and the course and hour requirements.  The research paper is counted as three hours of credit as Economics 598.  One copy is to be submitted to the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the date of graduation, and one copy is to be submitted to the Department of Economics prior to graduation.  Under this option, the student must take an additional graduate-level course for 3 semester hours.

A Master of Science degree will be awarded upon completion of a Master's Thesis and the course and hour requirements.  The thesis shall be supervised by a committee of at least three members of the graduate faculty and may be counted for 6 semester hours of credit as Economics 599.  (Thus the thesis constitutes 6 of the required 30 semester hours).  You are required to submit your thesis electronically to the Graduate School.  For electronic submission of your thesis, please go to  Here you will find detailed answers to frequently asked questions as well as information from UMI (University Microfilm International) regarding electronic submission requirements.  One copy of the thesis is to be submitted to the Department of Economics prior to graduation.

Preparation for Thesis or Research Paper

The student should consult with a faculty member of his or her choice, whose teaching or research interest lies in the area in which the student wishes to write a thesis or research paper. Upon the student's request and faculty member's consent, the faculty member will become the student's Thesis Director and will be responsible for guiding the student's research and writing a prospectus to be read and concurred on by at least two other members of the graduate faculty chosen by the Thesis Director in consultation with the student. This prospectus committee will constitute the committee recommended by the Chairman of the Department as the examining committee for reading the thesis and conducting the examination for the degree. To be accepted, the thesis must conform to the specifications in Guidelines for the Preparation of Research Reports, Theses, and Dissertations, available from the Graduate School.