Our Programs

The Department of Economics at Northern Illinois University offers graduate programs leading to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics. Students in both programs take a set of core courses in mathematical methods, econometrics, and micro and macro theory in addition to the applied areas of Labor Economics, Public Economics, Financial Economics, and Econometrics. Our graduates obtain academic appointments in colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and in many foreign countries while others hold quality positions in the public or private sector. 

M.A. in Economics

Our M.A. in Economics focuses on training students work as data analysts by requiring several courses in econometrics. Once students have completed the core set of courses they may complete the required 30 credit hours of study with electives from our department in the areas of health economics, financial markets, public economics, and income inequality in addition to our Ph.D. level field courses. Students generally complete their degree by writing and submitting a research paper for faculty approval within two years. 

For students with a desire to focus on Financial Economics, we also provide a concentration in Financial Economics where the electives will include courses specifically designed for students with interests related to financial markets.

Ph.D. in Economics

Our Ph.D. in Economics prepares students to work as either data analysts or academic researchers and professors. After completing their first year of theory coursework and preliminary exams, students complete at least two fields among the four we specialize in. Because of a special arrangement with the Division of Statistics at NIU, students can also apply to earn their M.S. in Applied Probability and Statistics while completing their Ph.D. in Economics. Select students are awarded graduate assistantships which provides a waiver of instructional fees and a stipend in exchange for working at teaching assistants with our faculty. Students who remain in good standing receive funding for up to five years which is sufficient for most to successfully defend their dissertation.


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