Business: Accelerated BA/MA Economics

Accelerated BA/MA in Economics

About the Degree

After successful completion of this accelerated five-year BA/MA program students will receive both a bachelor and Master of Arts degree in economics. Students are expected to finish the core course requirements and most of the electives for the bachelor's degree in the first three years of the program. Students are asked to formally apply to the accelerated program through the Graduate School during the third year of study. Upon acceptance students will be expected to complete the remaining electives of the bachelor's degree and the requirements of the master's degree during the last two years of study.  Students will register in at least nine graduate credits in each of the last three semesters of the program. 

Six hours of graduate elective coursework can be applied to both the bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The MA degree program provides students with a balance between a core of microeconomic, macroeconomic, and econometric theory and a wide variety of applied courses. Students get experiential learning in the form of internships and writing several research papers on current economic policy issues using empirical data. All courses are developed with the intention of increasing students’ critical thinking, hypothesizing and solving problems, and understanding and analyzing data in decision-making.

Salary and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its job outlook concludes that employment of economists will increase by 14 percent between 2012 and 2022. The BLS states that “[j]ob prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and related work experience.” ( Finally, a recent Wall Street Journal article (March 17, 2014) observes a surge in demand for corporate economists as firms cope with “more data available than ever before and markets increasingly unpredictable”.

The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) conducts a biennial survey of its members about their base salary and their level of educational attainment. The results from their 2014 survey are summarized in the table below.

Degree Median base salary
Bachelor's $71,400


Ph.D.  $160,000

Why Akron?

All students get hands-on experience working with data throughout the degree program which allows them to apply their classroom-taught economics theory to analyze real-world economic problems in various ways such as group projects, individual job market research papers and internship opportunities. Upon graduating students are either placed in degree-appropriate job positions in well-reputed firms and banks in the public and private sector. Additionally, students tracked in the past 5 years have been very successful in being promoted to higher levels of leadership and work-responsibilities within a few years of being hired at their initial entry-level position.

To the best of our knowledge, The University of Akron is the only university in Ohio that offers an option to students to complete both degree programs one semester earlier than they would if they completed both programs separately. Individuals with MA-credentials in economics have more career options in the professional world and higher compensation according to organizations such as the National Association of Business Economists.

The distinctive advantage of this degree program is that an undergraduate economics major can also earn a master’s degree in the discipline with only one additional year of training. Students can complete both degree programs one semester earlier than they would if they completed both programs separately. By offering an additional incentive for well-qualified students to purse the MA degree in economics at a lower cost than they can now, it offers them more career options in the professional world and higher compensation according to organizations such as the NABE (see above).

In this degree program all graduate students are provided with laptops which allow them to conduct intensive empirical research on various economic research topics in most classes in the program. Students get experiential learning in the form of graduate internships and writing a job market paper where they apply economic theory and econometric techniques to research a new economic problem. Students are supported to attend professional economics conferences where they present their research findings. Several classes are held in the computer lab which further allows them to get hands-on training and experience in using empirical techniques. All students get individualized advising from the Graduate Director so that they complete the degree program in a timely fashion and achieve their career goals. This has resulted in the degree program having high placement rates with close to 100 percent of students finding jobs in degree-relevant positions in large-reputable organizations after graduation.

Contact Information

            Graduate Coordinator:           Dr. Sucharita Ghosh

                                                            College of Arts and Sciences, Room 446 


                                                            (330) 972-7549

            Graduate School:                   Heather Blake

                                                            Polsky Building, Room 467


                                                            (330) 972-7664