M.S. Program Requirements and Handbook

Download the Economics MS Graduate Student Handbook (.pdf)

M.S. students are required to take the following classes starting in the fall quarter of the academic year they enroll in the program. Students may also take additional classes if they desire.




Math Methods for Econ Analysis 186*

Macroeconomic Analysis 202

Applications Microeconomics 201

Microeconomic Analysis 200

Applied Econometric Analysis II 217

Financial Engineering 236

Finance 233

Masters Elective

Masters Elective

Applied Econometric Analysis I 216

Applied Economics and Finance Lab (R) 294A

Applied Economics and Finance Lab (Python) 294A

Applied Economics and Finance Lab (Stata) 294A

Applied Economics and Finance Seminar 294B Applied Economics and Finance Seminar 294B

*Note: M.S. students are strongly encouraged to enroll in Econ 186, a pre-fall math course, which is highly beneficial to students’ success in the program. Econ 186 is offered as an accelerated short course before the start of fall quarter.

All course instruction will be taught in English.


Students may satisfy the elective requirements by taking approved courses within the economics department or from another discipline.  The department has assembled a list of pre-approved masters electives (curricular offerings are subject to change annually).  Students will need to file a departmental petition for review and approval of courses that are not on the preapproved elective list. 

Pre approved masters program electives.

Comprehensive Capstone Requirement

Students must pass a comprehensive capstone requirement to receive their degree.  These comprehensive exams, one in “applied economics” and one in “finance”, will take place during the second week following spring graduation.  September exam dates are scheduled for students who do not pass the June examinations.  Further attempts at passing the comprehensive exams will be approved by the masters committee on an appeal-only basis, with appeals only given for extraordinary or extenuating circumstances.

For those students that have specific research interests and have distinguished themselves in their coursework, a faculty sponsored research project and thesis may replace the comprehensive exam requirement.  This track requires approval of a faculty advisor and the masters degree committee prior to February 1 of the student’s initial winter quarter.

Grading Policy

Graduate students at UC Santa Cruz have the option of receiving a letter grade, A-F in most courses. The grades of A or B shall be awarded for satisfactory work, with the addition of +'s and -'s. Grades of C or D will not satisfy any course requirement for a graduate degree at UC Santa Cruz. Students not electing to receive a letter grade will be given a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U).

Academic Standing Information

To receive a master's degree from UC Santa Cruz, a student must register as a full-time graduate student at the University of California for a minimum of three quarters. To receive a degree from UC Santa Cruz, a student must be registered at the Santa Cruz campus for at least two of the three quarters.

Academic Progress
Along with enrolling in the necessary number of units, students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic standing during their time at UCSC. Students not making satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation, and students will be dismissed from the program if they do not remove their probationary status within one quarter.  For example, if a student is placed on probation starting in the winter quarter, they must improve to the extent that their probationary status is removed by the beginning of the spring quarter.

Specifically, a student will be placed on academic probation if they fail any of the non-elective, 5-unit courses in the program.  Students will be dismissed from the program if they fail core courses in consecutive quarters within any field in the program.  There are two fields in the program:  applied economics and finance. The applied economics field includes Econ 200, 216, 217, and 201. The finance field includes Econ 233, 202, and 236.

Note that probation and dismissal can only be formally issued by the Graduate Division (under recommendation from the Economics Department). More details on these procedures, as well as student’s right to appeal such decisions, can be found in the Graduate Division Handbook:  http://graddiv.ucsc.edu/current-students/academic-regulations/index.html

By the end of the second week of instruction in the quarter you intend to graduate, you must file an "Application for Degree" form with the Division of Graduate Studies.