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Master of Arts in Applied Economics

Our highly customizable program allows students to focus either entirely on economics topics or mix economics with business analytics, MBA, or math courses. Students can also earn a variety of graduate certificates while completing their master's degree

Our students learn R, SQL, SAS, Python and a variety of econometric and forecasting techniques. We teach our students how to work with complex data and how to use data to analyze real-world problems using economic theory. These skills allowed many of our students to find jobs as data scientists and data analysts in both businesses and government. The program also provides a good foundation for those students who are interested in advanced graduate studies: Our graduates went on to pursue Ph.D. in economics, finance and public policy.

The program has partnered with SAS institute to offer a Specialization in Economic Data Analytics. 

Students can choose from 3 concentrations:

  • General 
  • Business Economics 
  • Mathematical Methods 


Three students sit at a table and work together in Grise Hall. 

Applied Economics, Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Applied Economics is 30 credit hours and can be completed in one year. The program is designed to be accessible to non-economics majors as long as they had basic coursework in economics and statistics. 

The program offers 3 concentrations:

This concentration emphasizes the training of students with backgrounds in economics and other arts and sciences for careers that require strong quantitative skills, technical tools, and communication abilities that can be applied to a broad range of subjects.
The program consist of 15-Hour Core  + 9/12 credit hours of graduate ECON electives + 3/6 credit hour Applied Project. 
Students can earn Graduate Certificate in Economic Data Analytics while completing the program. 
Program of Study


Business Economics 
The Business Economics concentration couples the economic theory and research methods with coursework from the MBA program to prepare students for careers in the private sector. This program offers the most flexibility for the students to customize their degree. Students can earn graduate certificates in Economic Data Analyticsand either Supply Chain Management or Data Analytics certificates while completing the program. 
The program consists of 15-Hour Core + 15 hours of MBA or graduate BDAN electives. 
Program of Study


Mathematical Methods 
The Mathematical Methods concentration is designed for students with a strong background in mathematics to gain applied knowledge in economics.
The program consist of 15-Hour Core  + 9/12 credit hours of graduate MATH/STAT courses + 3/6 credit hour Applied Project.
Students can earn Graduate Certificate in Economic Data Analytics while completing the program. 
Program of Study


Students in any of the three concentrations may also enroll in approved courses from related master programs including but not limited to the Master in Business Administration, the Master in Public Administration, and the Master in Health Administration to enhance their range of knowledge and experience.

Graduate Assistantships are available. All graduate assistants are charged in-state tuition rates (regardless of residency).
The assistantships pay a stipend of $2,500 per semester.

The program qualifies for a STEM OPT extension (CIP Code 45.0603), which allows international students 3 years of optional practical training in the U.S. after they complete the MA. 


Admission Requirements

Catalog Program Description

Economic Data Analytics Graduate Certificate

The 12-hour Economic Data Analytics Graduate Certificate will help prepare professionals for jobs in both public and private sector. Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge in quantitative economics disciplines including applied economic statistics, econometrics and time series forecasting, as well as data management skills.

Admission Requirements

Program Requirements

What is JUMP? JUMP is Joint Undergraduate/Master's Program. JUMP allows students to start working toward their MA in Applied Economics while completing their Bachelor’s degree. 

How does JUMP work? Undergraduate students admitted into JUMP may take graduate courses that count toward BOTH undergraduate and graduate degrees. For example, if a student takes ECON 465G (3 credit hours), that course can count as 3 hours toward the undergraduate degree AND 3 hours toward the MA degree. Up to 12 credit hours can be double-counted.

What are the benefits of the JUMP program? Double-counting significantly lowers the cost of obtaining a Master's degree. If a student double-counts 12 hours, they will need only 18 additional graduate credit hours (instead of 30 in the regular MA program) to get the MA in Applied Economics. In addition to 12 hours that may be double-counted, undergraduate students in JUMP are allowed to take 6 more credit hours of graduate coursework that will apply only toward the graduate degree. Therefore, a JUMP student can complete half of their MA degree before even finishing the bachelors degree. 

Who can apply for JUMP in Applied Economics? To apply for JUMP, students have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be an economics major (economics, business economics and mathematical economics);
  • Have completed at least 60 hours total, with at least 24 hours at WKU;
  • 3.0 overall GPA
  • 15 hours of 200-level or higher economics courses with a minimum GPA of 3.25.

What's the typical timeline for JUMP? Students apply for JUMP after completing 60 undergraduate hours. After being admitted to JUMP, students take 4XXG- and 500-level courses, usually during their senior year. After completing their undergraduate degree, students apply to the MA program and take the remaining courses.  

Do students have to maintain certain grades while in JUMP? Yes. JUMP students must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA in economics coursework and a 3.0 overall GPA to remain  in good standing.

How to apply for JUMP? To apply or to find out more about the JUMP option, contact Dr. Christopher Biolsi or Dr. David Zimmer 




The Gordon Ford College of Business is a top business school with dual AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting programs

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 Last Modified 9/25/23