Master of Science in Applied Economics and Finance (STEM) - NO GRE or GMAT required!

UC Santa Cruz, Engineering 2 building. Home of the Economics Department

The M.S. APEF is a one-year professional masters 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 curriculum stresses mastery of core principles in economics, finance, econometric techniques, programming and statistical software packages (R, Stata, Python). Students improve data analysis skills using large-scale data sets. The curriculum satisfies requirements for a quantitative economics designation, and is eligible for the STEM OPT extension for international students.

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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 ADM Associates, Inc., Anderson Tax, SoFi, Cisco Systems, Seagate Technology, Google, Sony Computer Entertainment, Wells Fargo, Securities and Exchange Commission, all of the big four accounting firms, McKesson Corp., Pepsi Corp., Visa, Square Trade, the California Franchise Tax Board, Guardian News (UK), Blue Cross, the World Bank, Stanford University, and the Bank of Japan. Other graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D.s in economics.. 

This program combines

  • Core training in economic theory
  • Meaningful applications that students are likely to face in their professional careers 
  • More applied orientation than a typical M.A. program in economics 
  • More training in economics, statistics, and econometrics than most M.B.A. programs
  • Professional development, job preparation, networking opportunities

In addition, each student learns

  • How to solve practical problems and to communicate the results clearly
  • Advanced econometric techniques
  • Programming and statistical software packages (R, Stata, Python)
  • Applications using large-scale financial and microeconomic data sets 

Students must pass a comprehensive capstone requirement to receive their degree. This capstone requirement consists of a comprehensive examination, which will take place before spring graduation. Students who do not pass the examination may take it again in August at a date scheduled by the department. 

Applications for 2024-2025 cohort

Applications accepted online beginning in October 2023 at

Two Deadlines to Apply:

Early Application Deadline: February 28, 2024

  • International students are encouraged to apply by this deadline to allow sufficient time for Visa processing.

Late Application Deadline: April 15, 2024

International students in the M.S. program are eligible to apply for OPT through the Office of International Education. Our M.S. program in applied economics and finance is also eligible for the OPT STEM Extension. For more information please visit the Office of International Education.

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M.S. Applied Economics and Finance program at UC Santa Cruz. Thank you for your interest!