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Economics Master's Program

TheRippaTheRippa 198 replies42 threads Junior Member
edited March 2011 in Northeastern University
Anybody in or have a decent amount of knowledge about the MA in Economics program at Northeastern? I'm curious as to the particular requirements for math courses. And any feedback in general about the program is appreciated.
edited March 2011
4 replies
Post edited by TheRippa on
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Replies to: Economics Master's Program

  • neuchimieneuchimie 1547 replies15 threads Senior Member
    I haven't really looked into the program itself, but I'm an undergrad econ student and the advisors have talked a lot during group meetings about grad school. For the math requirements, they have joked (it's not entirely true, obviously) that the only way to get into an econ grad school is to be a math undergrad. You have to have a pretty strong backing in math to be considered. For econ undergrads here looking to apply to grad schools, the advisors always suggest doing a math minor so I bet you could use that as a basic idea of what the masters program is looking for.

    Personally my advisor said they'd like to see calculus 1 and 2, multivariable calc (also called calc 3), linear algebra (maybe some differential equations), statistics... He suggested I take real analysis to be competitive.

    But you should ask the actual program questions regarding requirements and suggestions. They are usually pretty good at being upfront with what they require students to have taken- after all, someone applying who failed calc 2 is just going to be a waste of their time.
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  • TheRippaTheRippa 198 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the post.

    Since grad school in economics has only recently become a serious interest, I'm having to jam math classes in over the next few semesters. But, I probably can complete Calc I (this semester), Calc II, Multivariable Calc, Linear Algebra, and Stats I (calc II prereq). For PhD admissions more math is certainly recommended, but I think this is suitable for masters applications? I noticed that one of the first courses in the masters program is Math/Stats for Economics. Maybe differential equations is plausible, but I rather take a basic computer science class over that. Computer software seems to be integral in econometrics.

    How's the quality of the department in general? Northeastern isn't ranked at all as far as the econ PhD program goes. But overall, the school is increasing in rank.
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  • neuchimieneuchimie 1547 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Um, I don't really know anything about our program. And I don't really pay attention to what professors are studying...

    But I'll pass on the advise both my econ advisor and my math advisor (who both also teach grad classes) told me. Don't ever pick a grad program because of rankings or the requirements or the name of the school. They kept stressing out important it is to get a professor(s) is subjects you want to study and an environment you are happy with, not what you think you'll need to look good when you graduate from it.

    But then again, I had the same issue when I was talking to them as you are having (sort of). All of their answers were for PhD research programs, and they never really had a good answer when I'd ask "yeah but shouldn't it be easier/different/etc for just a masters?"

    I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of our grad programs in math and econ. But if you talk to professors and it's a good fit, then go for it.
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  • TheRippaTheRippa 198 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Well, the PhD is indeed called "Applied Economics". I'm very much interested in economic history and political economy, which ties into the PhD program at UMass where I'm an undergrad. But at the same time, I don't really want a PhD since the time investment is serious and academia can be tricky. Whereas I don't care if the masters program caters to an applied approach, as most of mainstream economics does, since the goal is to get a job outside of academia. I agree with their advice in that you should go for the program that suits your interests, and at the same time it needs to meet professional goals. If I were to go to a program purely out of academic interest, it's not going to be Northeastern. But, the point is I enjoy economics and want to further study it/work in the field, which I think Northeastern suits. And actually, labor economics which is one of the focuses, is a big interest of mine.

    Also wanted to add that I think a masters is a great option even if there is a decent chance you want to go into academia. Say you don't like the professional aspects of economics, in that case academia may be a preferable route. Or maybe you're using the masters as a springboard because your math may be lacking, in which case that works too. I think a major aspect that hasn't been brought up yet is funding. Funding for masters programs generally lacks in comparison to the funding given to the PhD students. That provides an incentive for one to apply to the PhD program.
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