Economics Programs

Each of our economics programs gives students a foundation for analyzing economic phenomena, understanding how economies work and assessing economic policy proposals. Graduates are well prepared for a variety of opportunities including graduate programs (medical school, law school, business school) and careers involving economic analysis.

Degree programs

Students with a master of arts in economics go to new heights

The master's program, begun in 1934, seeks to prepare students for careers in industry, government, and junior college teaching. The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is intended for those who seek a more extensive background in economics, either for employment as applied economists or for another advanced degree such as a Ph.D. The following fields are available currently within the M.A. program:

  • Health economics
  • Labor and human resources
  • Industrial organization

Many students in the M.A. program are employed and take their courses in the evening, so the department offers all of its core courses and a substantial number of M.A. elective courses in the evening. The program also attracts some international students, including several students from Germany sponsored by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and the University of Paris II.

Re-tooling with an M.A. in economics

Engineers, scientists, and health professionals have many of the skills necessary to excel in an economics M.A. program. They generally have rich mathematical and statistical expertise that will enable them to "leapfrog" many of the standard M.A. qualification requirements. With as few as eight to no more than 11 courses, they can work toward an M.A. degree in economics over a twelve to 18-month course of study.

Admission requirements

You must first be admitted to the graduate school. You must hold a bachelor's degree, with an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 for regular admission. Exceptions may be authorized only by the department's admissions committee. Consistent with graduate school requirements, international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency by obtaining a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other test acceptable to the graduate school.

You are expected to have completed the following courses or their equivalents as undergraduate or post-bachelor students:

ECO 5000 Intermediate Microeconomics 4 Credits
ECO 5050 Intermediate Macroeconomics 4 Credits
ECO 5100 Introductory Statistics and Econometrics 4 Credits

Course List MAT 2010 or a similar introductory course in differential and integral calculus provides minimal mathematics requirements and is required. Additional courses in calculus and linear algebra are desirable although not required.

What our graduates say!

"I was beginning to find my career passion after being in the workforce for several years. My passion was in the field of data science and machine learning. My undergraduate degree in economics allowed me to enter this field but I began to see the limitations of only having a bachelor's degree in such a quantitative industry. Having a career and a family, my options for higher education were limited to mostly M.B.A. programs. As I prepared for the M.B.A. applications, I was referred to the M.A. economics program at Wayne State. This program was interesting from the beginning due to the structure of the courses to accommodate working individuals. This became a tremendous opportunity to have the ability to pursue a quantitative academic degree vs. a professional one.

"This was so appealing because senior level data science positions would often require a master's degree in fields such as statistics, economics, math, and other quantitative disciplines. This degree taught me both theoretical and applied economics for my role as a data scientist. M.A. in economics also gave me the advantage of understanding econometric techniques for causal inference; an area that is growing in data science. Overall the M.A. in economics has changed my career possibilities in a competitive and ever-changing industry.

Dan Kreutzjans is a data scientist for General Motors

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"Tough problems are complex and interdisciplinary. To solve them, we need an education that teaches us how to measure short term impacts, analyze long term direction, and connect ideas together to find pareto-optimal solutions for the future. With an undergraduate degree in Information Systems and an entry-level position at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, my personal expertise was in database management and systems design -- not the United States healthcare market or economics. With a strong, diverse, and renowned faculty and curriculum, the M.A. in health economics from Wayne State in Detroit has been a cornerstone for my academic and professional career."

Kathryn Ramsey is a data analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan