Master's in Applied Economics and Finance

The M.S. program in applied economics and finance is a one-year program that provides analytical graduate training designed to prepare students for careers in business, international and domestic banking, consulting firms, government, and nonprofit organizations. The program combines core training in economic theory with meaningful applications that students are likely to face in their professional careers. The program has a more applied orientation than a typical M.A. program in economics and provides more training in economics, statistics, and econometrics than most M.B.A. programs. The curriculum stresses mastery of core principles in micro and macroeconomics and finance. In addition, each student learns how to solve practical problems and to communicate the results clearly. The emphasis of the program, and perhaps its greatest strength, is exposing students to advanced econometric techniques, statistical software packages (R, Stata, and Python), and large-scale financial and microeconomic datasets throughout their coursework.

To obtain a master's degree in applied economics and finance, a student must enroll in nine five-unit courses of graduate study (45 quarter units), three labs (2-units each), attend applied economics seminars, and complete the comprehensive capstone requirement (described below).  The current course schedule is listed below.




Econ 186
Math Methods for Econ Analysis 

Econ 202
Macroeconomic Analysis

Econ 201
Applications in Microeconomics

Econ 200
Microeconomic Analysis

Econ 217
Applied Econometric Analysis II

Econ 236
Financial Engineering

Econ 216
Applied Econometric Analysis I

Master’s Elective

Master’s Elective

Econ 233
Finance I

Econ 294A
Applied Economics and Finance Laboratory “R”

Econ 294A
Applied Economics and Finance  Laboratory “Python”

Econ 294A
Applied Economics and Finance Laboratory “Stata”

Econ 294B
Applied Economics and Finance Seminar

Econ 294B
Applied Economics and Finance Seminar

Students take courses in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, and finance. In addition, Econ 186 will be offered before the start of the fall quarter as a pre-fall preparation math course. Students may satisfy the elective requirement by taking relevant courses from another discipline (i.e.: Computer Science & Engineering-CSE, Environmental Studies-ENVS, Applied Math-AM, and Statistics–STAT). Students will need to file a departmental petition for review and approval of courses that are not on the preapproved elective list.

Common Student Questions:

Is there financial aid available?
Yes!  Students enrolled in the program may receive up to $4,000 in aid. Questions about financial aid can directed to the Program Director, Laura Giuliano:


What score do I need to get on the GRE?
For applications for fall 2021 admission, the GRE is optional. Students typically earn an average of 160 in the quantitative section of the GRE and/or 45.6 on the GMAT.

What is the average GPA requirement?
The average GPA of admitted students is 3.33. The minimum GPA accepted is 3.0.

Is there a thesis or exam to pass the program?
Students must pass a capstone requirement to receive their degree. Most students satisfy the capstone requirement by choosing one of three “tracks” offered by the program and by passing a capstone exam corresponding to their chosen track. The tracks are (1) “applied economics,” (2) “finance,” and (3) “general”. The capstone exams 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 capstone exam will be approved by the master’s 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 paper may replace the comprehensive capstone. This track requires approval of a faculty advisor and the master’s degree committee. This is appropriate for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D.

What types of jobs do graduates find after the program?
While some graduates have gone on to earn a Ph.D. in economics, the majority of past graduates of this program have gone on to successful careers in the private and public sectors with placements at a diverse range of companies and institutions, including:

  • Cisco Systems
  • Seagate Technology
  • Google
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Poly
  • Wells Fargo
  • Securities & Exchange Commission
  • McKesson Corp.
  • Pepsi Corp.
  • Visa
  • Square Trade
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • California Franchise Tax Board
  • Guardian News (UK)
  • Blue Cross
  • The World Bank
  • Stanford University
  • Bank of Japan
  • SoFi
  • Andersen Tax
  • Welton Investment Partners
  • Walmart Global eCommerce
  • Novogradac & Company, LLP
  • YouTube
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Amazon
  • EY
  • Oracle
  • Capital Insurance Group
  • CA Department of Health Services
  • Meketa Investment Group
  • Driscoll’s
  • SolarEdge Technologies
  • Baskin School of Engineering, UCSC
  • Lockhead Martin 
  • Zulily
  • Kaizer Permanente