CLASS College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Youngstown State University
Graduate Programs  

M.A. Degree Programs

Program Coordinator:
Professor Ebenge Usip
306 DeBartolo Hall  
eeusip AT ysu DOT edu
YSU School of Graduate Studies

Degree Programs

The department offers an M.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Financial Economics. Both programs are primarily designed for students who intend to seek employment after the completion of the degree. However, if supplemented by upper level courses in mathematics, the programs can also help prepare students for doctoral programs.

M.A. in Economics

The M.A. in Economics program is designed to provide students with a background in applied economics which leads to professional employment in business, government, or education. Special emphasis is placed on the use of data analysis to investigate public policy issues and business decisions.  A well prepared student may complete the MA degree in a single academic year by taking an additional course each semester and writing a thesis during the summer. 

For the M.A. in economics students must complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The requirements for the degree include the following core courses plus three electives (3 s.h.). A thesis (6 s.h.) may be substituted for the research seminar and one of the three semester hour electives.

The core courses in the program include:

Econ 6904

Quantitative Methods (3 s.h.)

Econ 6912

Microeconomic Theory (3 s.h.)

Econ 6922

Macroeconomic Theory (3 s.h.)

Econ 6939

The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions (3 s.h.)

Econ 6945

Public Finance (3 s.h.)

Econ 6976

Econometrics (3 s.h.)

Econ 6998

Research Seminar (3 s.h.) or

Econ 6999

Master's Thesis (6 s.h.)

Electives are 6900-level graduate courses offered by the department.  The two exceptions are Econ 6900 and Econ 6901, which cannot be counted towards the M.A. in Economics. One of the electives may be either a 5800-level economics swing course or a graduate level course taught outside the department that has been approved by the graduate coordinator.

M.A. in Financial Economics

This program is  designed to provide students with a background in applied economics and financial markets. The course-work covers micro and macro theory, econometrics, financial markets, management of financial capital and analysis of valuation of stocks. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in banking, insurance, and financial advising.

For the M.A. in Financial Economics you must complete 30 to 37 semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Depending on the student's background, it is possible to waive FIN 6901 (Finance for Decision Making), Acct 6901 (Financial Accounting for Decision Making) and ECON 6904 (Quantitative Methods for Economics). Students can choose between writing a thesis and or taking a research seminar. Students who write a thesis must take one elective, students taking the research seminar must take two electives.

Core courses in the program include:

ACCT 6901*         

Financial Accounting for Decision Making (2 sh)*

ECON 6904*  

Quantitative Methods for Economics (3 sh)*

ECON 6912

Microeconomic Theory (3 sh)

ECON 6922  

Macroeconomic Theory (3 sh)

ECON 6939  

The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions (3 sh)

ECON 6976  

Econometrics (3 sh)

FIN 6901*

Finance for Decision Making (2 sh*)

FIN 6921      

Financial Management (3 sh)

FIN 6924      

Securities Analysis (3 sh)

FIN 6953      

Advanced Financial Analysis (3 sh) or

FIN 6939       

Multinational Accounting and Finance (3 sh)

*FIN 6901 and ACCT 6901 may be waived for students with undergraduate coursework in finance and accounting, ECON 6904 may be waived for students with a strong background in both statistics and calculus.  The graduate coordinator of the Department of Economics will determine whether the courses can be waived.

Nonthesis Option

ECON 6998, Research Seminar or FIN 6996, Research Problems (3 sh) and 6 sh of electives

Thesis Option

ECON 6999, Master's Thesis (6 sh) and 3 sh of electives
Students should register for ECON 6999, but graduate faculty from either economics or finance may serve as the major advisor for the thesis.  The thesis, which will be a maximum of six semester hours of credit, must be submitted according to the general requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.  The student will defend the thesis in an oral examination before a committee of three or more faculty members from finance and economics.  Students wishing to write a thesis must submit a proposal and the names of three faculty members who are willing to serve on the thesis committee to the graduate coordinator prior to registering for thesis hours.

Electives can include:

MATH 6945

Stochastic Processes

ECON 5824

Applied Time Series

ECON 6940

Financial Economics

ECON 6941

Monetary Economics

ECON 6945

Public Finance

ECON 6970


ECON 6981

International Finance

ECON 6990

Special Topics in Economic

Any 6900-level finance class except FIN 6936

ECON 6900, 6901 and 6904 cannot be used as electives towards the M.A. in Financial Economics

Graduate Assistantships

The department has a limited number of graduate assistantships, which are allocated to students with the strongest undergraduate records.  Graduate assistantships pay a yearly stipend of $7500 and allow for remission of instructional fees and the nonresident tuition surcharge, if applicable.  Students are responsible for the general fee and any other fees.  Students usually work approximately 20 hours per week for the department.  The duties of graduate assistantships vary and include tutoring for undergraduate courses, helping a professor with his or her research, or teaching a statistics lab.  Students seeking assistantships for the fall semester should apply by mid-February of the preceding academic year. 

To be considered for an internship international students must arrange a phone interview with the Graduate Coordinator or the Department Chair. The phone interview will be scheduled after you have been admitted into the program. You must pay for the call.

Job Placement

Most of our graduates decide to enter the job market after completing the program.  The following list includes job descriptions and locations of some of our graduates from the past five years:

Academic Advisor - Undergraduate Economics, Carnegie Mellon University
Accounting and Financial Management Specialist, American Community Bankers, Washington, DC
Actuarial Assistant, Insurance Service Office, Inc., Jersey City, NJ
Analyst, Neilson
Asset Manager, Harbor Group
Chief Forecaster of Electricity Usage for Ohio, First Energy
Consultant, Morgan Stanley
Cost Accountant, Colbar Lifescience
Co-Founder, Director of Exports, Global Equipment & Connections
Commercial Underwriter, Sky Bank, Youngstown, OH
Consultant, ARCADIS
Consultant, Roadway Express, Akron, OH
Director of Global Economics Research, AllianceBernstein
Director of Operations, EXL Security
Director of Treasury Services, Fidelty Bank, Ltd (Ghana)
Economic Assistant, FDIC
Economist, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC 
Economist, Department of Commerce, Bureau Of Economic Analysis, Washington, DC
Economist, Internal Revenue Service
Financial Analyst, The Mills Corporation, Washington, DC
Founder & President, OAREX Capital Markets, Inc.
Faculty Member - Department of Economics, Youngstown State University
Inventory Analyst, ANH Refractories
Law Director, City of Struthers, Ohio
Loan Officer, Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation, Youngstown, OH
Market Intelligence Manager, Wella Cosmetics and Hair Products, Thessaloniki, Greece
Project Manager for Economic Development, Northwoods Business Development Center, Palm Beach, FL
R & D Analyst, Progressive Insurance
Quantitative Risk Analyst, KeyBank
Senior Analyst, Sage Data Services, LLC
Senior Market Lead Analyst, Entergy
Senior Portfolio Manager, Huntington National Bank
Senior Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank
Senior Research Analyst, FTI Consulting, Inc.
SOP Analyst & Capacity Utilization Planning, Youngstown, Ohio area
Teaching Assistant, Department of Statistics, University of Massachusetts

Graduate Faculty

Ou Hu, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Tomi Ovaska, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Joseph Palardy, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Tod Porter, Ph.D., Professor 
Albert Sumell, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Yogesh Uppal, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Yaqin Wang, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Additional information about Economics Faculty members and their research interests.

Admissions Requirements

Information on how to apply for admission is available on the website of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. There are separate sets of instructions for domestic and international students.  All of the application materials (such as transcripts) must be received before the department can consider an application. 

In order to be admitted into the MA in Economics program, 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.  Students admitted provisionally do not qualify for graduate assistantships.  Additional information for international students is available here.

When you complete your application, it would be helpful to notify the Economics graduate coordinator so the department can follow the progress of your application.   

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