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Course content

The M.S. offers considerable flexibility. Students using the degree as a foundation for a doctorate emphasize economic theory and analytical research tools. Students seeking the terminal master's degree focus their study on the concepts and analytical techniques used by analysts and managers in industries, governments, and other organizations.

Students must earn a 3.0 (A = 4.0) GPA for a minimum of 32 graduate hours of credit. M.S. students entering the ACE graduate program will be admitted only to the Thesis Option. For the Thesis Option, a thesis is prepared under the supervision of a faculty advisory committee. The thesis is defended in a formal oral examination, which usually coincides with an open departmental seminar, administered by the thesis committee. The Non-Thesis Option requires advanced coursework in lieu of a thesis. The Non-Thesis Option is available only to students already enrolled in the Thesis Option of the ACE M.S. program or in the ACE Ph.D. program. Application for admission to the Non-Thesis Option is by petition to the Department after at least two semesters of graduate coursework have been completed.

Thesis Option:
Select one of the following:
ACE 500 Applied Economic Theory
ACE 592 Special Topics (Microeconomics)
ECON 500 Microeconomics

-6 hours in quantitative and research methods from departmental list (these do not count toward the 500 level course requirement)

-ACE 599 Thesis Research 1

Total Hours 32

Other Requirements:
-Only 2 hours of ACE 566 may count towards the degree
-Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit: 8 at the 500 level, not including 566, 599 or independent study
-Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
-Minimum GPA: 3.0

Non-Thesis Option:
-24 hours selected from the ACE doctoral core sequence, including at least 12 hours in applied economic theory and 8 hours in quantitative methods

Total Hours 32

Other Requirements:
-Only 2 hours of ACE 566 may count towards the degree
-Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit: 20 at the 500 level, not including ACE 566, 599 or independent study
-Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 20
-Minimum GPA: 3.0

Student Thesis Research
Our students’ research uses economics to address important social and economic challenges. Thesis and dissertation topics include designing policies for environmental protection and resource management, evaluating international efforts to reduce poverty and hunger, and enhancing the performance of commodity and speculative markets.

Graduate Teaching Experience
Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program and is strongly recommended for those intending to pursue an academic career.

Financial Aid
Graduate fellowships, assistantships, and tuition and fee waivers are awarded on a competitive basis.

Fellowships: The department offers fellowships from internal resources and by nominating students for college and campus fellowships. These fellowships, often combined with assistantship support, provide monetary stipends and, in most cases, exemptions from tuition and some student fees. Recipients must register for the equivalent of at least 12 hours of graduate credit in each semester and four hours in an eight-week summer session. Fellowship holders are encouraged to involve themselves with research and teaching in the department.

Assistantships: Research and teaching assistantships provide an opportunity for graduate students to work with faculty. Most research assistantships are funded by grants and contracts involving the analysis of contemporary issues. Most assistantships carry waivers of tuition and some fees.

Tuition and Fee Waivers: Waivers may be awarded. In most cases they are awarded to students with fellowship support from certain external programs.

Medical Scholars Program
The Medical Scholars Program permits highly qualified students to integrate the study of medicine with study for a graduate degree in a second discipline, including Agricultural and Applied Economics. Students may apply to the Medical Scholars Program prior to beginning graduate school or while in the graduate program. Applicants to the Medical Scholars Program must meet the admissions standards for and be accepted into both the doctoral graduate program and the College of Medicine. Students in the dual degree program must meet the specific requirements for both the medical and graduate degrees. On average, students take eight years to complete both degrees. Further information on this program is available by contacting the Medical Scholars Program, 125 Medical Sciences Building, (217) 333-8146 or at www.med.illinois.edu/msp.

M.B.A. Joint Degree Program
Students in this unit may choose to earn their major degree and simultaneously complete an M.B.A., with 12 fewer required hours than when pursuing both degrees independently. Students must be enrolled in the M.B.A. program for three terms and complete all the requirements of their primary degree. Interested students should see the joint program requirements and contact the M.B.A. program and their major department office for more information.

M.U.P. Joint Degree Program
For joint programs, at least 40 hours must be in Urban Planning, including all core courses and capstone requirements. The two programs must total a minimum of (a) 80 hours, or (b) the sum of 40 Urban Planning hours plus the required number of hours for the second degree, whichever is greater. (In the latter case, the other program may at its discretion count up to 8 hours of Urban Planning courses as electives in meeting its degree requirements as long as students are required to take no fewer than 40 additional hours in that program.) The MUP capstone requirement may be waived for a thesis completed in another program provided faculty from both programs participate on the thesis committee. Students must be in residence in Urban Planning for at least two semesters.

Consult the department's M.U.P. joint degree web page for more information about the admissions process and joint degree requirements. For additional guidance, please contact the Director of the M.U.P. Program.





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Recipient: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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