Oct 23, 2021  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Economics, MA


Requirements for Admission with Classified Standing

Applicants must first meet the requirements for admission to the university. Additionally, applicants should possess an undergraduate grade point average of “B” or better. Bachelor’s degrees in fields other than economics are acceptable and welcomed. Admission to the program with classified standing, however, requires preparation in Intermediate Microeconomic and Intermediate Macroeconomic theory, one other upper-division economics course, statistics, and proficiency in linear algebra and calculus. This coursework must be satisfactory (grades of “B” or better).

Requirements for Admission with Conditionally Classified Standing

Applicants who do not meet the Department’s requirements for admission with classified standing may be admitted into the program with conditionally classified standing if he or she has demonstrated an interest in and an ability to master economic analysis. Conditional standing requires students to complete specific courses to correct the deficiencies as listed by the graduate advisor on the admission notification. Prerequisites can be completed at SJSU, but must be taken before commencing graduate-level classes. Upon completing these requirements the student must then petition for a change in status to classified standing.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy for the MA - Economics

To be admitted to candidacy for the Master of Arts degree, a student must first meet the university requirements for the degree as stated in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog . Also, a candidate:

  1. Must have at least a 3.0 (“B”) average in nine semester hours of approved San José State University courses in economics at the 100- or 200-level.
  2. Must obtain approval of a formal master’s degree program from the departmental graduate advisor and from the University Graduate Committee.
  3. Must have successfully completed the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) . The University requires that all graduate students complete the GWAR as a condition for advancement to candidacy. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at www.sjsu.edu/gape.

Graduate Theory Grade Requirement

All master’s degree students must complete a microeconomic theory course (ECON 201 ) and macroeconomic theory or monetary theory course (ECON 202  or ECON 235 , if required) with a grade of “B” or better. All 100 - level courses must be completed with a “B” or better. Students must file for candidacy before taking the comprehensive examination. Policies concerning Probation and Disqualification are available online and in the Economics Office.

Undergraduate Course Grade Requirement

Master’s degree students may count a limited number of 100-level undergraduate courses as approved electives; however, these courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better and must be approved in advance by a department graduate advisor. Students earning less than a “B” in any of these classes are allowed one attempt to retake and achieve the minimum grade. Policies concerning Probation and Disqualification are available online and in the Department of Economics  Office.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements  section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures .

In consultation with the department graduate coordinator, the candidate will develop and pursue a program of study. The candidate must successfully complete all requirements of the selected plan including the course work specified in the Master’s Degree Approval Program. At an appropriate time, and with the assistance of the graduate advisor, the student chooses a proposed Master’s degree program and Plan A or Plan B culminating experience as outlined below.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) .

This requirement is satisfied by passing ECON 203A . 

Culminating Experience

Plan A (Thesis)

The thesis must meet university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines. It will be written under the guidance of the candidate’s thesis committee chair with the assistance of the thesis committee. It is the candidate’s responsibility to find an Economics Faculty member to Chair the thesis committee, and work with the Chair to determine the other members of the committee and the thesis topic.

Plan B (Comprehensive Examination)

Most students complete a final written examination, not a thesis. The comprehensive exam covers three subjects: microeconomic theory, macroeconomic/monetary theory or Econometrics, and applied economics. Students register once, for one unit of ECON 298E  in the semester they plan to take the examination. Students can take the exam a total of three times. Policies concerning Probation and Disqualification for failure to complete the exam are available online and in the Economics Office.

Master’s Requirements (32 units)


Electives (12 units)


  • Approved 100- or 200-level courses

Culminating Experience (4 units)


Plan B (Comprehensive Exam)


Total Units Required (32 units)


Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master’s degree is 12.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.