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Program Director

Ebenge Usip
307 DeBartolo Hall
(330) 941-1682

Program Description

The Master of Arts in financial economics program is designed to provide students with a background in economic theory and to teach students how to analyze financial markets. This program is intended to lead to professional employment in the financial services industry, in­cluding banking, insurance, and financial advising. Coursework in the program includes:

  • coverage of micro- and macroeconomic theory,
  • econometrics,
  • financial markets,
  • management of financial capital, and
  • analysis of the valuation of stocks.

Electives allow students an opportunity to pursue additional topics such as international finance. Supplemented by upper-level courses in math­ematics, the program can also help prepare students for doctoral study in finance, economics, or related fields.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements, applicants must have completed at least one course in each of the following areas:

  • principles of microeconomics,
  • principles of macroeconomics,
  • statistics, and
  • calculus.

Students who do not meet the requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Combined Bachelors/Masters Program

Highly qualified undergraduate students can apply for admission into the combined "4+1" Bachelors/Masters program for the MA in Economics. See the description of the "4+1" program in the undergraduate catalog.

Ou Hu, Ph.D., Professor
Financial markets; international finance; asset pricing

Joseph Palardy, Ph.D., Professor
Macroeconomics; time series econometrics

Tod Porter, Ph.D., Professor
Labor markets; school finance; computer-aided instruction

Albert J. Sumell, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Urban, housing, and environmental economics

Yaqin Wang, Ph.D., Professor

Fran Marie Wolf, Ph.D., Professor
Financial management; advanced financial analysis

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the M.A. in financial economics. The requirements for the degree include the follow­ing required courses plus two electives that account for a total of six semester hours. Students who need to reinforce their quantitative skills will be asked to take ECON 6904, which does not count towards the 30 semester hours.

Required Courses
ECON 6912Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 6922Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 6939The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions3
ECON 6976Econometrics3
ECON 6998Research Seminar3
FIN 6902Financial Accounting and Finance for Decision Making1
FIN 6923Corporate Financial Management2
FIN 6924Securities Analysis3
FIN 6939Multinational Accounting and Finance3
or FIN 6953 Advanced Financial Analysis
Select two 3 sh electives6
Total Semester Hours30

The paper produced in the research seminar will be reviewed by a committee of three graduate faculty from the Department. 6900-level graduate courses in Economics or Finance can be used as electives (the one exception is ECON 6921, which does not count towards the degree). One elective may be either a 5800-level economics swing course or a graduate-level course outside of finance or economics that has been approved by the graduate coordinator.

Thesis Option

Students may write a thesis expanding on their project in the Research Seminar (ECON 6998) in place of one of the three hour electives. Students selecting the thesis option must earn a grade of B or A in the Research Seminar and submit a thesis proposal with the names of three faculty members who are willing to serve on a thesis committee to the department chair prior to registering for thesis credit hours (ECON 6999). The student must defend the thesis in an oral examination before a committee of three or more faculty members of the department. The thesis must be submitted according to the general requirements of the College of Graduate Studies.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The students will demonstrate how to measure, detrend, and analyze macroeconomic variables such as GDP and inflation.  
  2. The students will evaluate monetary and fiscal policy using various versions of the IS-LM model.
  3. The students will demonstrate the importance of expectations in current macroeconomic theory.
  4. The students will compare the basic theories and models of Neoclassical and New-Keynesian Economics.
  5. The student will solve for utility-maximizing and cost-minimizing outcomes using calculus.
  6. The student will mathematically model the behavior of firms in competitive markets and firms who are monopolies.
  7. The student will calculate the welfare losses due to a lack of competition.
  8. The student will use an econometric approach to model economic phenomenon, estimate the resulting model, and interpret the estimated regression coefficients.
  9. The student will demonstrate how to conduct a literature search of professional economic journals using EconLit.
  10. The student will demonstrate knowledge of the various financial markets, instruments, agents, functions, and intermediaries.
  11. The student will demonstrate knowledge of hedging versus speculating, primary and secondary markets for mortgage loans, and markets for future and options contracts.
  12. The student will demonstrate knowledge of the market interest rates swaps, and how to use financial instruments to hedge against interest risk.
  13. The student will demonstrate how to use financial models to aid managers in making value maximizing choices.
  14. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the allocative role and function of financial markets, securities, and corporate financial decisions in a market economy.
  15. The student will demonstrate the importance of finance as a vital function within an organization that necessitates diligence and high ethical standards in application
  16. The student will demonstrate knowledge of the link between theoretically sound financial techniques and value judgment.