College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

M.S. in Economics

Meaning of the Degree

 

The M.S. in Economics at Cal Poly Pomona prepares students with job-ready skills in the economics profession in the management of public and private sector agencies, or for continuing studies in Economics leading to successful roles as leaders in economics research.  The degree provides a rigorous foundation in the quantitative analysis of economic data, as well as insightful understanding necessary for managing data to draw conclusions appropriate to the profession.

Our program  is unique for three distinct reasons.  First, we offer a significant level of mentorship and the ability to conduct student-driven, faculty-guided research through a two-quarter Masters Project course.  Second, we offer a path for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in Economics or need a refresher in particular areas.  This path trains students in the necessary foundations of economic theory to ensure that they are fully prepared for graduate level courses.  Third, we not only prepare future research economists, but also prepare students, who want to pursue a Ph.D after graduating from our program.

 

Quality of the Degree

MS Graduates demonstrate mastery in the quantitative analysis of economic data using techniques current to the profession.  Students are taught how to apply econometric theory to real world data using a variety of software programs in their econometric courses and given ample opportunities to reinforce this learning in field courses that require applied projects such as Labor Economics, Economics of the Family, Sports Economics, etc.  Through a two quarter research methods series, graduates demonstrate their mastery of oral and written communication skills needed to inform audiences within and outside the profession regarding the professionally accepted conclusions of the analysis.  Each student presents his or her research and submits drafts of the work at different stages of the process, receiving feedback from professors and colleagues to fine-tune their communication skills.

In addition to the instruction students receive in the classroom, they also have an Economics Club dedicated to connecting their education with potential paths they may take in life after graduating.  Through the club, students engage in intentional learning on their own while competing in data analysis competitions with teams all over the world.  They also visit Federal Reserve Offices to gain more in depth knowledge on how our financial sector operates and engage in other activities aimed at building communication and interpersonal skills with their colleagues.

 

Integrity of the Degree

We use a variety of measures to ensure students attain the goals of the program. Faculty review core course exams for evidence of continued competency in both theoretical and empirical techniques.  The Graduate Committee reviews final projects from year-to-year to measure written communication competency, facility with literature, final project presentation skills, and the ability of students to relate new findings to the existing state of professional understanding. Exit surveys and communication with graduates via the Economics LinkdIn group also provide feedback regarding the success of the program validated by outside employment or acceptance in Ph.D. programs.  Faculty review the requirements of positions our students accept and apply for to regularly update the focus of our curriculum and individual courses to meet these needs.