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Economics: MS, MA

Department: Economics and Finance Department
College: Jon M. Huntsman School of Business


This master’s program is designed to be equivalent to the first year of a rigorous PhD program in economics at a top-30 university, and, therefore, prepares students for entry into a top-level economics or finance doctoral program. Many graduates have gone on to programs at institutions including Harvard Law School, George Mason University, and University of Oregon. In the master’s program at USU, students are encouraged to present papers at conferences, preparing them for the professional world of academia. The department also holds weekly faculty seminars where graduate students are encouraged to participate.

The oldest business school west of the Mississippi, USU’s Huntsman School of Business has been offering degrees since 1894 and has long held prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and continues to be on the forefront of advanced business education.

The MA degree requires students to gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages. The MS degree is identical except that it does not require foreign language study.

  • MS - Logan Campus
  • MA - Logan Campus

This program is primarily designed to prepare students for doctoral programs.

Admissions Requirements

Students from various majors are welcome to apply; however, it is preferred that students have experience in undergraduate economics courses.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on in the GRE
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

The department has the following deadline:

  • Fall semester – June 30
  • In order to increase chances for financial assistance, students should apply by mid March.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MS or MA by pursuing one of three options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Students are encouraged to pursue the Plan B option.

Financial Assistance

Most graduate students in this program receive placement as a research assistant, which includes a one-year $9,000 stipend and subsidized health insurance.

A variety of additional funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, tuition awards, and travel support.

Basudeb Biswas, PhD, University of Chicago
Area: International trade and economic development
Office: BUS 614
Phone: (435) 797-2304

Ben Blau, PhD, University of Mississippi
Assistant Professor
Area: Short-scale constraints, market efficiency informed trading
Office: BUS 603
Phone: (435) 797-2340

Tyler Bowles, PhD, University of North Carolina
Department Head, Professor
Area: Econometrics, international economics
Office: BUS 615
Phone: (435) 797-2378

Frank Caliendo, PhD, Utah State University
Associate Professor
Area: Macroeconomic dynamics with a focus on public and private pension design, behavioral economics and finance, saving for retirement, household finance, mathematics
Office: BUS 602
Phone: (435) 797-2963

Drew Dahl, PhD, University of Tennessee
Howard Dance Professorship
Area: Financial institutions, international finance
Office: BUS 804
Phone: (435) 797-1911

Christopher Fawson, PhD, Texas A&M University
Senior Associate Dean
Area: Senior Associate Dean
Office: BUS 309
Phone: (435) 797-2320

James Feigenbaum, PhD, University of Iowa
Assistant Professor
Area: Lifecycle consumption and saving, macroeconomics, finance, econophysics
Office: BUS 620
Phone: (435) 797-2316

T. Scott Findley, PhD, Colorado State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Pension design within the context of life-cycle consumption, saving theory
Office: BUS 612
Phone: (435) 797-2371

John Gilbert, PhD, University of Auckland
Vernon Maughan Buehler and MaRee C. Buehler Professor
Area: International trade theory and policy, applied general equilibrium modeling, development economics
Office: BUS 604
Phone: (435) 797-2314

Terry Glover, PhD, Purdue University
Area: Production economics and policy
Office: BUS 607
Phone: (435) 797-2297

Dwight Israelsen, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Director of International Academic Initiatives
Area: Comparative systems, economic history
Office: BUS 608
Phone: (435) 797-2298

Austin Kwag, PhD, University of Tennassee - Knoxville
Associate Professor
Area: Investments, corporate finance
Office: BUS 605
Phone: (435) 797-2361

Robert Malko, PhD, Purdue University
Area: Corporate and energy utility finance
Office: BUS 606
Phone: (435) 797-2363

Craig Petersen, PhD, Stanford University
Area: Regulation and antitrust and managerial economics
Office: MAIN 302
Phone: (435) 797-0004

Shannon Peterson, PhD, The Ohio State University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: History of economics, political science, international relations and trade
Office: BUS 309
Phone: (435) 797-3966

Randy Simmons, PhD, University of Oregon
Area: Environmental politics and policy, public choice
Office: BUS 618
Phone: (435) 797-1310

Alan Stephens, PhD, University of Utah
Associate Professor
Area: Corporate finance, systems thinking, investments
Office: BUS 806
Phone: (435) 797-2367

Diana Thomas, PhD, George Mason University
Assistant Professor
Area: Public choice, development economics
Office: BUS 616
Phone: (435) 797-2013

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Western Economic Association International: Founded in 1922, the Western Economic Association International is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to encouraging and communicating economic research and analysis. The association's principal activities include publishing two refereed quarterly journals and staging scholarly conferences that are forums for current economic research. 

Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters and Western Regional Science Association: Students are encouraged to submit papers to the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and the Western Regional Science Association, both of which are multidisciplinary organizations that hold conferences where scholars present research.

Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence: This center aids students in the creation of new organizations that promote independence and self-sufficiency and make significant contributions to the communities in which they operate. Some of the resources offered include a lecture series, tools for assessing business opportunities, branding services, web design, programming, student competitions, mentoring programs, marketing tools, workshops on critical topics, corporate partners, and funding sources for new ventures.

Entrepreneurship Research Group: Founded in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, the Entrepreneurship Research Group is based on the notion of engaged scholarship and administered as a scholarly think tank. The Research Group is a nationally recognized consortium of university scholars, corporate leaders, and qualified undergraduate students dedicated to high-quality research experiences who contribute to the business profession.

Huntsman Computer Laboratory: The computer lab in the business building has sophisticated statistical software, including E-Reviews, R, and SAS.

Huntsman Field Studies: As part of the field studies experience, students and faculty work together to provide consulting for companies and non-profit organizations in exchange for a modest financial contribution to the school. The program typically provides a variety of consulting opportunities from which to choose, such as marketing research, supply chain issues, establishing lean management systems, organizational design, employee satisfaction surveys, international business, entrepreneurial projects, and corporate strategy.

Partners in Business: Partners in Business professional business seminars feature speakers from the cream of the business and academic worlds. Seminars cover current and compelling business issues and provide in-depth training and continuing education for business professionals. Top-notch business students from USU are actively involved in coordinating seminars and running various aspects of the Partners program.

Small Enterprise Education and Development Program (SEED): The SEED Program provides a hands-on, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience while simultaneously educating people in developing economies in new business creation and development skills.


Tyler Bowles
Department Head, Professor
Office: BUS 615
Phone: (435) 797-2378

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