The Department of Economics at Texas A&M University has a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research. The department is currently ranked 21st among public universities on the 2013 US News rankings (http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools). The Department has operated a Master of Science degree program since 1931, and has a long-standing, highly regarded Ph.D. program.
Master of Science in Economics
The Department currently offers a terminal, professional Master of Science degree concentrating in Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics. Students in this program receive rigorous training to prepare them for immediate careers in business or government, or further study in top economics and finance Ph.D. programs. The new M.S. has both a non-thesis or thesis option. Most students are in the non-thesis option and complete 36 credit hours to receive their degree. Thesis option students must complete a total of 32 semester hours of graduate credits, a thesis under the guidance of an Advisory Committee, and then stand for an oral exam in the final semester of their studies.
The course structure for the program includes a set of core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and business finance, and required courses in behavioral, international, advanced econometrics, and institutions, and a capstone course that provides students with experience in carrying out an applied research project. Students are encouraged to do an internship in their first year.
Ph.D. Program in Economics
The Ph.D. program in economics emphasizes analytical and quantitative skills, and exposes students to a broad range of contemporary policy issues to prepare them for careers in academia, business, or government. An undergraduate major in economics is not a requirement, however students should have taken economics courses up through intermediate theory. Students should have a solid background in mathematics, and have completed courses in calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical statistics. Again, more math is better, and increases your probability of being accepted into the program. A master’s degree in Economics is not required.
In the first two semesters of study, students receive rigorous training in three core areas: microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The core courses form an integrated sequence of courses that develop the theoretical and quantitative tools students will build on later in their careers. They are followed by qualifying exams, and students successfully completing the first year move on to specialized study in field courses.
In the second year students choose three fields of specialization for intensive study. We offer fields of specialization in Advanced Theory, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Econometrics, Industrial Organization, Labor Economics, Monetary Economics and Public Economics. Typically field courses are taken in the second and possibly third year, and students choose one field as their major field to be examined in the field exam.
Students begin to focus on their dissertation in the third year, and this occupies them through the fourth or fifth year of residence. During this time students work on their research in conjunction with faculty advisors, and students participate in a series of research workshops and outside seminars in their specific research areas.