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Oklahoma State University
Watson Graduate School of Management

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

Academic Program

All graduates of recognized undergraduate programs are eligible to apply. An undergraduate major in economics is recommended. Students without an undergraduate degree in economics may be required to take some undergraduate economics courses as prerequisites for which no graduate credit may be earned. A solid mathematical and statistical background is also important. The Graduate Studies Committee evaluates all applications for admission. Admission decisions are based on an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better, GRE scores, and recent letters of reference.

General Requirements

The Masters program provides students with a solid background in economic theory and strengthens students’ quantitative skills. A total of 30 graduate credit hours are required to complete the program with a Thesis. A total of 33 graduate credit hours are required to complete the program with a Research Report/Creative Component. A minimum of 21 total hours must be at the 5000/6000 level. The requirements are as follows:

The Core Courses (15-18* hours)

These courses are required for every Masters student.

  • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 5223 Mathematical Economics I
  • ECON 5213 Intro to Econometrics
  • ECON 6213 Econometrics I
  • Either ECON 6013 (Microeconomic Theory I) or AGEG 5403 (Production Economics)
  • STAT 5013 Statistics for Experimenters I. This requirement may be waived* is the student had a sufficiently rigorous undergraduate statistics course (STAT 3013 or 4013 at OSU).

Other Courses (15 hours)

Students may take other courses in accordance with their interests and career goals. The following courses are suggested, but this list is not exhaustive: other courses may be used as well.

  • ECON 4223 Business and Economic Forecasting
  • ECON 5733 Energy Economics
  • ECON 6033 Macroeconomic Theory I
  • STAT 5023 Statistics for Experimenters II
  • STAT 5053 Time Series Analysis
  • MATH 3623 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming
  • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy
  • AGEC 4503 Environmental Economics and Resource Development
  • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development

These courses may not appear on a Masters Plan of Study:

  • ECON 3113 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON 3123 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 5113 Managerial Economics (unless student is terminal MS)

MATH 2145 (Calculus I) is required of all graduate students in economics. If this course or its equivalent has not been taken as an undergraduate, it must be taken as a graduate student without graduate credit. It may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Thesis or Creative Component

Research Report/Creative Component

This option is three credit hours of ECON 5003 as part of the 33 total credit hours for graduation. It is counted as an elective. The Creative Component is a researched report in the form of a journal article. The report demonstrates the student’s ability (a) to examine an economic issue or problem, (b) to review the relevant research and bring to bear data and information dealing with the problem, including methodological considerations, and (c) to report in a professional format the results of the inquiry. A faculty member approves the topic, directs the inquiry and assigns the grade. A grade no less than “B” must be earned for the Creative Component.


The Master’s Thesis is similar to a Doctoral Dissertation only less rigorous. The student must select a topic, research and write a critical paper with analyzed results, and then present and defend the paper before the thesis committee and other Departmental faculty. An advisor supervises research and writing. The thesis must conform to the Graduate College Style Manual guidelines. The Thesis, six credit hours of ECON 5000, is part of the total of 30 credit hours for graduation. When a student chooses to write a Thesis then only six credit hours of electives are required.

Seven Year Completion Rule

The Graduate College requires that Masters students complete their program within seven years of the date of first enrollment in the Masters program. In addition to the above, each student must meet all Graduate College requirements for the master’s degree.