Master of Science in Applied Economics

Course Sequence – College Park

In College Park, the classes meet once per week from 6:30-9:15 p.m. The College Park program’s traditional semester-based academic calendar permits 15 meetings per term, rather than just 12.

Course descriptions and sample syllabi can be found here.

First YearInitial 3 core courses

ECON 641-Microeconomics
ECON 642-Macroeconomics
ECON 643-Empirical Analysis I
4th core course:
ECON 644-Empirical Analysis II

First 2 Field Courses (choose 2)
ECON 670-Financial Economics
ECON 673-Game Theory/Market Design
ECON 674-Economic Analysis of Law
ECON 677-International Trade
Second Year5th core course:
ECON 645- Empirical Analysis III

Next 2 field courses (choose 2)
ECON 675-Environmental Economics
ECON 676-Economic Development
ECON 683-International Macroeconomics
ECON 687-Economic Applications of R Programming
Final field course (choose 1):
ECON 672-Program Evaluation,
ECON 684-Applied Time Series Analysis
or any one of the “first year” spring field courses not yet taken

Note: ECON 671-Health Economics is typically only offered in the summer (see below).

The final semester with just a single course leaves time for a job search and/or work at an internship. 

International students (F-1/J-1 visas) are usually eligible to work in paid “curricular practical training” (CPT) internships during the summer after their first year (up to 40 hours per week) and during their 2nd academic year (up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session).

International students (F-1/J-1 visas) are also usually eligible to work at paid “optional practical training” (OPT) in the United States after they graduate if they can find an employer. Graduates of our STEM-designated program are usually eligible for a 2-year extension to the usual 1-year of OPT eligibility — so eligible for up to 3 years of OPT after graduation.

All core courses (ECON 641-645) are always offered at least once per year. ECON 641, 642, 643, and 645 are always offered every fall. ECON 644 is always offered every spring. 

However, field course offerings can depend on student demand.

The following field courses would normally be offered every spring: ECON 670, 672, 673, 674, 677, and 684. One or two of these courses might not be offered in a given spring semester if demand is low. 

The following field courses would normally be offered every fall: ECON 675, 676, 683, and 687. One of these courses might not be offered in a given fall semester if demand is low.

ECON 671 (Health Economics) is typically offered only in the summer.

Students with TOEFL/IELTS scores that require them to take an English course during their first semester would take just ECON 641 and 643 in addition to the English course. Students in this situation can take ECON 642 in the summer after their first year, or in the fall of their 2nd year. If they take ECON 642 in the fall of their 2nd year, they will also take ECON 645 and just a single field course. In this case, the student would need to take 2 courses in their 4th and final semester, instead of just 1 course. 

Students who are required to take an English Writing course in their 2nd semester would also take ECON 644 and just one field course in addition to the English Writing course. Students in this situation could “catch up” by taking a field course in the summer, or by taking 2 courses instead of just 1 course in their 4th and final semester. 

Full-time students who take a course or two during the summer can graduate early, though doing so can limit opportunities to take certain courses, and will shorten the time available for job search. 

ECON 642, 644, and (maybe) 645

As noted above, many students who take an English course instead of ECON 642 in their first semester can take ECON 642 in the summer after their first year, or in the fall of their 2nd year. 

ECON 644 is also offered in the summer, though students in College Park will typically have completed ECON 644 in the spring of their 1st year. 

Given sufficient demand, we may offer a summer section of ECON 645. Students who wish to take a summer course or two and possibly graduate early can take ECON 645 in the summer instead of taking it in the fall of their 2nd year. 

Students who have 3 or fewer courses remaining after the summer can graduate after the fall semester of their 2nd year, just 16 months after enrolling. This is 5 months earlier than the usual May graduation after the spring of their 2nd year (21 months after enrolling). 

However, students who graduate early in this way might lose opportunities to take certain courses (ECON 672 and 684) and will have 5 fewer months to search for post-graduation employers. 

ECON 671, 672, 677, and 684

The most common field courses for College Park students to take in the summer are:

ECON 671-Health Economics, which is typically offered only in the summer
ECON 677-International Trade, which is typically also offered every spring in College Park

We also offer ECON 672 and 684 in the summer, but these 2 courses are best taken in the spring of a student’s 2nd year, AFTER having already taken ECON 645. ECON 672 and 684 are optional “4th econometrics courses,” which build upon ECON 645 in different ways. Strong students who wish to graduate early can take one of these courses concurrently with ECON 645 in the summer (if ECON 645 is offered in the summer), but that is usually only advisable for strong students with a cumulative 1st year GPA of at least 3.5.  

To be considered a full-time student for international student visa purposes, a student must be enrolled in at least 3 courses every semester, except for the final term. Since the completion of our program requires 10 courses, students can maintain full-time status by following the 3-3-3-1 plan.

All of our courses are in the evening, which makes it easy for our students to work at internships during the day. Taking just a single course makes it even easier for students to work at an internship during their final term.

Domestic students are allowed to take fewer courses per semester than called for in the traditional course sequences. They are also allowed to take semesters off if necessary. Domestic students receiving financial aid may also be subject to minimum enrollment requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students should consult the program’s director when planning their course of study.

Students with F-1 or J-1 visas must be enrolled full-time (3 courses per semester) for each of the first 3 semesters. The only possible exception that might allow an F-1 or J-1 student to remain in the United States while not being enrolled in 9 credits per semester is being on an approved leave of absence for a serious illness or medical condition. F-1/J-1 students are advised to consult with International Student and Scholar Services for more information when considering a leave of absence.

The University of Maryland’s Graduate School requires that students be enrolled in at least one course every semester while they are pursuing their degree. Waivers to this policy are routinely granted as necessary. Leaves of absence are also possible under certain circumstances.