Economics and Decision Sciences

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Master of Arts - Economics

The Master of Arts in Economics is an extremely flexible degree with which graduates find employment in all sectors of the economy. A number of graduates have gone on to doctorate programs in Economics and other disciplines. The department is large enough to offer a wide selection of courses but small enough to provide individual attention. The department has alumni from over 70 countries, providing an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to other cultures.

Why Econ @ WIU?

  • Degree program can be completed in one academic year or less
  • Large enough to offer a wide variety of courses yet small enough to provide individual attention
  • All graduate courses taught by faculty holding a PhD in Economics
  • Faculty members who are genuinely interested in students’ intellectual development
  • Advising tailored to students’ personal needs and educational goals
  • Opportunities for interacting with students from other cultures and countries
  • Opportunities for students to present their research at department seminars
  • Academic credit for internships and assistance is provided in locating internships
  • Career development and employment information provided regularly
  • Success in preparing students for admission to good to top quality PhD programs
  • Interdisciplinary opportunities
  • Opportunities to learn technical and quantitative skills that are highly sought after in the job market

Assistantship Opportunities

We offer a limited number of graduate assistantships on a competitive basis. The awards range from two-thirds time (requiring 13 hours of work per week) to full time (requiring 20 hours of work per week). Both awards carry full tuition waivers for two semesters and a summer term as well as a stipend for two semesters, contingent on maintaining a 3.0 GPA and satisfactory academic progress. Students work in the Economics tutoring lab as well as assist faculty with research.

Assistantship recipients must satisfy all of the admissions prerequisites without any deficiencies. To be eligible for an assistantship, entering graduate students must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Six reasons to get your MA in Economics at WIU

  1. Program Can be Completed in One Calendar Year. If a student enters the program with no deficiency courses to complete, and works closely with the graduate advisor, the 30 hour program can be completed in one calendar year.
  2. Average Class Size at the 500 Level is 15. Graduate classes are usually capped at 25 students. A class will exceed 25 students only on rare occasions.
  3. We have a diverse student body. A major strength of the program is the diversity of the student body. The person in the next seat might be a Fulbright Scholar, the recipient of a Mandela scholarship, a German exchange student, or a Peace Corps Fellow, all studying and interacting in a friendly environment that is conducive to learning.
  4. Curriculum is up-to-date and taught by a dedicated and caring faculty. The curriculum is reviewed continually with faculty members being encouraged to develop new courses. Alumni testimonials make clear that the faculty are not only technically competent but also take an active interest in the development of their students.
  5. Graduate Assistantships (GA's) include tuition waviers. A student receiving a graduate assistantship for the academic year also receives a tuition waiver for all classes taken during the academic year and one summer session. Fees cannot be waived.
  6. In Addition to GA's, other employment is available on a competitive basis. Master of Arts in Economics students have found employment in other areas on a regular basis. This employment is almost always in the form of a graduate assistantship which also includes a tuition waiver.
  7. The MA in Economics at WIU is also:
    • Small enough to provide individual attention.
    • Large enough to provied a wide selection of courses.
    • Flexible enough to meet many career objectives.
    • Competitively priced for all students.

Resources

Career Opportunities

Thanks to their strong analytical skills, our graduates find employment in a wide variety of careers.

Alumni Job Titles

  • Account Executive
  • Branch Manager and Registered Representative
  • Business Manager and Treasurer
  • Contracts Coordinator/Specialist
  • Credit Risk Analytics Consultant
  • Economic Consultant
  • Executive Planning Analyst
  • Executive Policy Analyst-Economics
  • Financial Analyst
  • Inventory Control Research Analyst
  • Management Analyst
  • Manager - Information Services
  • Manager - Operations Systems and Procedures
  • Marketing Director/Manager
  • Operations Analyst/Manager
  • President and Owner of Company
  • Principal Consultant - EDP
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Senior Transit Analyst
  • Self Employed C.P.A.
  • Vice President and Treasurer
  • Manager Financial Futures Department
  • Security Broker/Dealer
  • Statistical Analyst
  • Senior Export/Import Specialist
  • President, Manufacturing Company
  • Vice President - Securities, Inc.

Alumni Employers

  • American Medical Association
  • Bank of America
  • Boeing
  • Caterpillar
  • Chicago Board of Trade
  • Exxon
  • Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell
  • Illinois Power
  • John Deere
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Newsweek
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Tennessee Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Comptroller of the Currency
  • U.S. Treasury
  • Walmart

View additional job titles and employers.

Economics Graduate in cap and gown

Please refer to the graduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Economics (ECON) Courses

  • ECON 408G Economics for Decision-Makers
  • ECON 410G Economics of Crime & Punishment
  • ECON 420G Economic Development
  • ECON 425G Money Markets, Capital Markets, and Monetary Theory
  • ECON 432G Public Finance
  • ECON 435G Comparative Capitalist Systems
  • ECON 440G Labor Theory
  • ECON 445G Game Theory and Economic Behavior
  • ECON 451G History of Economic Thought
  • ECON 460G Urban and Regional Economic Analysis
  • ECON 465G Economics of Energy
  • ECON 470G International Trade
  • ECON 471G International Monetary Economics
  • ECON 481G Mathematical Economics
  • ECON 487G Econometrics
  • ECON 500 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
  • ECON 501 Readings in Economics
  • ECON 502 Macroeconomics and Growth Theory
  • ECON 503 Applied Price Theory
  • ECON 504 Price Theory
  • ECON 506 Econometrics I
  • ECON 507 Econometrics II
  • ECON 509 Fundamentals of Economic Theory
  • ECON 515 Economic Development
  • ECON 525 Monetary Theory and Policy
  • ECON 528 American Economic History
  • ECON 535 Small Community Development
  • ECON 538 Economics for Managers
  • ECON 548 International Economic Relations
  • ECON 550 Economic Topics and Curriculum Development
  • ECON 599 Internship
  • ECON 600 Thesis Research
  • ECON 601 Thesis
  • ECON 602 Department Research Seminar
  • ECON 603 Comprehensive Examination

Agricultural Economics (AGEC) Courses

Cognate courses which may be taken as part of the Economics Master of Arts Program

  • AGEC 442G Marketing Grain and Livestock Products
  • AGEC 443G Agricultural Finance
  • AGEC 447G Commodity Markets and Futures Trading
  • AGEC 449G Advanced Farm Management
  • AGEC 455G Advanced Agricultural Marketing
  • AGEC 457G Market Profile®

Decision Sciences (DS) Courses

Quantitative Economics cognate courses which may be taken as part of the Economics Master of Arts Program

  • DS 435G Applied Data Mining for Business Decision-Making
  • DS 490G Statistical Software for Data Management and Decision–Making
  • DS 500 Introduction to Business Analytics
  • DS 503 Business Statistics for Managerial Decision–Making
  • DS 523 Management Science Techniques and Business Analytics
  • DS 533 Applied Business Forecasting and Planning
  • DS 535 Applied Data Mining for Business
  • DS 540 Applied Stochastic Models in Business Analytics
  • DS 580 Business Analytics and Forecasting
  • DS 600 Independent Research
  • DS 620 Decision Sciences Internship

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. An undergraduate degree in Economics is not required for admission. Majors in Mathematics and Statistics have done particularly well, but students with a variety of undergraduate majors have also been successful and have become some of our most notable and supportive alumni. The GRE is not required for regular admission but the following prerequisites are:

Principles of Economics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 231) and Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 232) OR
  • Economic Theory for Decision Makers (ECON 408G), an accelerated principles course, will satisfy this prerequisite but cannot be counted in the degree.
Intermediate Economic Theory
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON 331) and either Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (ECON 330) or Managerial Economics (ECON 332) OR
  • Fundamentals of Economic Theory (ECON 509), an accelerated intermediate theory course, will satisfy this prerequisite but cannot be counted in the degree.
Calculus and Statistics

Students will complete a mathematics placement exam prior to enrolling in the required Mathematical Techniques course required for graduation. This exam is based upon material covered in the following prerequisite courses:

  • Math 137 or an equivalent course in calculus
  • STAT 171 or an equivalent course in statistics OR
  • Economic Problem Solving (Econ 381) may be used to satisfy the calculus and statistics requirements but does not count toward the degree.

The prerequisites may be satisfied by passing a proficiency examination. If you have not completed the prerequisites, you may be eligible for conditional admission. Any remaining prerequisites can be taken during your first semester.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts (MA) in Economics degree program is a 30 semester hour (sh) program consisting of 12 sh of core courses. These courses are Mathematical Techniques (ECON 481G), Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (ECON 500) or Macroeconomic and Growth Theory (ECON 502), Applied Price Theory (ECON 503) or Price Theory (ECON 504), and Econometrics I (ECON 506).

There are three options for completing the remaining 18 sh: (1) thesis, (2) non-thesis, and (3) internship. The thesis option consists of 12 sh of elective courses, plus Thesis Research (ECON 600) and Thesis (ECON 601). The non-thesis option consists of 15 sh of elective courses, plus Econometrics II (ECON 507). The internship option consists of 15 sh of elective courses and 3 sh of Internship (ECON 599).

Contact

Economics and Decision Sciences

Dr. Tej Kaul, Chairperson
Email: T-Kaul@wiu.edu
Location: Stipes Hall 430
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1153
Fax: (309) 298-1020

Economics and Decision Sciences Website

Economics and Decision Sciences Directory

Economics and Decision Sciences Graduate Program Advisor

Jessica Lin
Email: JL-Lin@wiu.edu
Location: Stipes Hall 424
Phone: (309) 298-1638

College of Business & Technology (CBT)

Dr. William Bailey, Interim Dean
Email: WC-Bailey@wiu.edu
CBT Email: cbt@wiu.edu
Location: Stipes Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2442
Fax: (309) 298-1039

CBT Website

CBT Directory

CBT Graduate Program Window Cling

A Message from the Graduate Advisor

Dear Graduate Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Economics and Decision Sciences Graduate Programs at Western Illinois University. Our programs are well-suited to students who are looking to enhance their career potential in the field of economics as well as to students who are thinking about going on for a Ph.D. in economics. Our unique system of graduate “tracks” allows you to select a course of study that fits your goals while the core courses ensure that you are trained in the fundamentals of graduate level economics.

Our graduate faculty are committed to excellence in training economists. Graduate class sizes are typically small—many in the range of 8 to 15 students—providing an excellent environment for learning. Our graduate curriculum gives careful attention to both theory and practice. This balance is the key to modern economics.

Our facilities are another feature of the program. Nearly all the graduate courses in economics are in the same building, Stipes Hall. We have an Economics Help Lab with computers and reference materials available for graduate students. Computers in the building have a variety of software packages including SAS, SPSS, Stata, and Mathematica. A “cyber-café” on the first floor, aptly named “Dividends” is a great place for individual conversations over a cup of coffee. The Leslie F. Malpass Library is next door providing a convenient place for group and individual study.

Well-prepared students can complete the program in one calendar year. Students without an undergraduate background in economics are required to complete intermediate level undergraduate courses before enrolling in the graduate core. At least a year of calculus is preferred, though all students, regardless of their level of math preparation, are encouraged to enroll in our mathematical techniques course during their first semester. Visit the School of Graduate Studies for more on admission requirements.

Financial assistance in the form of graduate assistantships is available on a competitive basis to qualified students. Assistantship duties include staffing the Economics Help Lab and assisting faculty with research projects— both of which are good practice for those interested in an academic career. Finally, we have an established record of placing our graduates in internships, jobs, and Ph.D. programs.

If you have any questions about the program, please send me an e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jessica Lin
Assistant Professor and Graduate Adviser for the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences
JL-Lin@wiu.edu

Concentrations

Agricultural Economics
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 420G Economic Development
    • ECON 460G Urban and Regional Economic Analysis
    • ECON 470G International Trade or ECON 570 International Trade Theory
    • ECON 515 Economic Development
  • Three Agriculture Courses:
    • AGEC 442G Marketing Grain and Livestock Products
    • AGEC 443G Agricultural Finance
    • AGEC 455G Advanced Agriculture Marketing
    • AGEC 457G Market Profile
    • AGEC 458G Advance Market Profile
    • AGRI 508 Special Topics
Banking/Financial Institutions
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 421G Business Cycles and Economic Growth
    • ECON 425G Money and Capital Markets
    • ECON 470G International Trade or ECON 570 International Trade Theory
    • ECON 526 Global Markets
  • Three Elective Business Cognate Courses:
    • FIN 371 Investments (Cannot be taken for graduate credit)
    • FIN 515 Finance for Managers
    • FIN 535 Real Estate Investment and Valuation
    • FIN 545 Financial Institutions and Markets
    • FIN 555 Investment Management
    • FIN 565 Financial Management: Theory and Practice
Business
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 421G Business Cycles and Economic Growth
    • ECON 440G Labor Theory
    • ECON 470G International Trade or ECON 570 International Trade Theory
    • ECON 512 Industrial Organization
    • ECON 513 Economic Theory and Forecasting
    • ECON 526 Global Markets
    • ECON 588 The Economics of Entrepreneurship
    • ECON 598 Entrepreneurial Experience
  • Three Elective Business Cognate Courses:
    • ACCT 507 Accounting for Management Decisions
    • ACCT 547 Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis
    • CS 482G Survey of Microcomputer Applications
    • DS 503 Business Statistics for Managerial Decision Making
    • FIN 515 Finance for Managers
    • FIN 565 Financial Management: Theory and Practice
    • MKTG 516 Marketing Strategy and Functions
    • MKTG 566 Marketing Decision Making
    • MGT 500 The Management of People and Organizations
Community/Economic Development Track
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 432G Public Finance
    • ECON 460G Urban and Regional Analysis
    • ECON 535 Small Community Development
    • ECON 588 The Economics of Entrepreneurship
    • ECON 598 Entrepreneurial Experience
    • ECON 599 Internship
  • Three Elective Cognate Courses:
    • GEOG 448G Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
    • GEOG 549 Nonmetropolitan Planning
    • GEOG 557 Planning Implementation
    • MGT 560 Managing New Ventures
Energy and Natural Resources
  • Four to Six Economics Courses
    • ECON 432G Public Finance
    • ECON 465G Economics of Energy
    • ECON 481G Mathematical Techniques
    • ECON 512 Industrial Organization
    • ECON 520 Public Policy Towards Business
    • ECON 565 Natural Resource Economics
  • Three Elective Business Cognate Courses:
    • CS 482G Survey of Microcomputer Applications
    • CS Computer Simulation
    • DS 523 Decision Making and Problem Solving
    • FIN 555 Investment Management
    • GEOL 415G Minerals for Modern Society
  • Recommended, but no graduate credit
    • GEOL 113 Energy and Earth Resources
    • GEOL 375 Environmental Geology
    • GEOL 380 Hydrogeology
Entreprenurial Track
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 460G Urban and Regional Analysis
    • ECON 528 American Economic History
    • ECON 535 Small Community Development
    • ECON 588 The Economics of Entrepreneurship
    • ECON 598 Entrepreneurial Experience
    • ECON 599 Internship
  • Three Elective Cognate Courses:
    • ACC 547 Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis
    • MGT 560 Managing New Ventures
    • OM 511 Operations Management
    • OM 531 Supply Management
International Economics
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 420G Economic Development or ECON 515 Economic Development
    • ECON 435G Comparative Capitalist Systems
    • ECON 470G International Trade or ECON 570 International Trade Theory
    • ECON 526 Global Markets
  • Three Elective Cognate Courses:
    • MKTG 586 World Markets and International Marketing
    • POLS 435G Introduction to International Law
    • POLS 568 Comparative Government and Politics (Colloquium)
Pre-Ph.D.
  • All courses listed should be taken
    • ECON 481G Mathematical Techniques
    • ECON 500 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
    • ECON 502 Macroeconomics and Growth Theory
    • ECON 503 Applied Price Theory
    • ECON 504 Price Theory
    • ECON 506 Applied Economic Techniques
    • ECON 507 Econometrics or ECON 513 Economic Theory and Forecasting
  • Three Courses from either option:
    • Option 1: Mathematics (MATH)
    • Option 2: Decision Science (DS) or Computer Science (CS)
    • Option 3: Mathematics (MATH) or Decision Science (DS)
Public Service/Government Track
  • Four Economics Courses
    • ECON 432G Public Finance
    • ECON 460G Urban and Regional Analysis
    • ECON 507 Econometrics or ECON 513 Economic Theory and Forecasting
    • ECON 520 Public Policies Toward Business
    • ECON 535 Small Community Development
  • Three Elective Cognate Courses:
    • GEOG 448G Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
    • OM 511 Operations Management
    • POLS 490G Bureaucracy and Public Policy
    • POLS 494G Public Budgeting Systems
    • POLS 546 Public Administration (Colloquium)
    • POLS 549 Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation
    • POLS 592 The politics of Civil Service