Master of Applied Economics at WSU

The Master degree in Applied Economics (MAE) is a 1-year program that provides strong foundations in economic theory, quantitative methods, and data analytics to prepare graduates for careers in business and consulting, government, and research organizations.

It is an excellent option for an economics student that wants to build their skillset in advanced econometrics and machine learning. It is also a great option for someone with an undergraduate degree in finance, engineering, physics, environmental science, political science, and other fields. Graduate level economics complements these other fields well and can greatly expand career opportunities including, but not limited to, finance, marketing, healthcare, technology, agriculture, natural resources and the environment, and e-commerce.

While salaries after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics are around $42,546 – $76,621, those after a Master’s degree in Economics average $107,000; as reported by See below for a profile of an MAE graduate.

Major highlights of the MAE program:

  • Rigorous Academic Training. The program provides strong foundations in economic theory, quantitative methods, applications, and research analysis.
  • Multiple Career Paths. Our goal is to enhance students’ competitiveness to succeed in professional careers in business, consulting, government, and research organizations, among others.
  • Diverse Backgrounds. The MAE program is not limited to students with undergraduate degrees in economics.
  • Flexible Learning Schedule. Our program allows for different programs of study, but most students complete the program in one year.
  • STEM designation. Our Master programs received the STEM designation by U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. This gives international students the possibility to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for up to two years before moving to a work visa (such as the H1-B).

Applying to the MAE Program and for Scholarships

You can submit your application online through WSU’s Graduate School’s website. Applications are due by March 1st. However, the application deadline for scholarships is earlier. See below. It may be possible to start the program in the Spring semester under special circumstances. Contact Dr. Michael Brady for more information.

Letters of recommendation. During the application process, you must enter the names and contact information for three (3) faculty members, employers, or individuals who know you well. They will receive an automated email requesting them to directly submit to us a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Scholarships. While assistantships are not provided for master’s students, there are a number of scholarships available that range from $2,000 to $6,000. Scholarships are awarded based on fit and merit. To apply for a scholarship, identify the award that best fits your experience and career goals. Students can only apply for one scholarship, but they will be automatically considered for others depending on the number and quality of applicants. To apply for a scholarship, email Dr. Michael Brady a statement of 300 words or less describing how your experience and career goals align with the focus of the scholarship. The deadline for scholarship applications is February 1st. If an offer is made it must be accepted by March 15th. Applications received earlier may be given priority depending on demand.

 Main admission requirements:

  1. GPA. Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Business, Finance, Engineering, or related fields, with a cumulative GPA of 3 or higher (out of a scale of 4). If your GPA is below 3.0, we may still consider your application if your transcript shows good grades in Economics, Statistics and/or Math courses.
  2. Undergraduate courses. Courses such as Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Statistics, Econometrics, Linear Algebra, and Calculus, are highly recommended, but they are not required for admission. Students lacking some of these courses may still submit their application if they are planning to complete the courses before the beginning of the MAE program. Students lacking several of these courses may consider the Pre-Master program described below.
  3. GRE/GMAT exams. The GRE/GMAT exams are not required, but you are welcome to include scores in your application. You can find more information about the GRE.
  4. TOEFL/IELTS exam. These are tests that evaluate your English proficiency. The minimum TOEFL score is 213 in the computer version (which corresponds to 550 points in paper version, and 80 points in the internet version). The minimum score in the IELTS exam is 7 points. For more information about the TOEFL exam.
    • WSU waives the TOELF/IELTS exams to students graduating from universities where English is the language of instruction: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Guyana, Kenya, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. For more details on this policy, visit International Requirements website.
    • If you passed the C1 exam or C2 exam (common in undergraduate degrees in Europe), we may also consider them as English requirements in your application.

Pre-Master program. This program prepares students to start taking Masters-level courses. It is intended for applicants with, for instance, the following backgrounds:

  • Non-Economics majors.
  • Economics majors who completed their degree several years ago and would like to revisit some topics.

The Pre-Master program can be tailored to each student, depending on his/her background and academic plans. Most students can complete this program in one or two semesters, including the summer semester, both in-campus and online, allowing for flexible paths. If a student earns a grade of B+ or higher in all his/her courses, he/she can start taking Master-level courses in August with the rest of incoming Masters students. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more questions.
A typical schedule could include, for example, the following courses:

  1. Spring semester: EconS 301 (Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus), EconS 311 (Introductory Econometrics), and Linear Algebra.
  2. Summer semester: EconS 302 (Intermediate Macroeconomics), Calculus I and II.

Students interested in the Pre-Master program must express their interest in their MAE application. If admitted into our MAE program, the Graduate Studies Committee may extend a conditional admission letter to the student, describing the list of preparatory courses recommended before starting to take Master-level courses. Officially, the student is a graduate student of our MAE program, but cannot take Masters-level courses until earning B+ or higher in all courses recommended in his admission letter.

MAE Graduate Profile

Estela Navarro – Spring 2023

Graduating photo of Master of Applied Economics student Estela Navarro

After graduating in Spring 2023, Ms. Navarro started her career in energy economics with the position of Power Scheduler with the Douglas County Public Utilities District in Washington State. She coordinates with other utilities to ensure the district has the energy needed by electricity consumers. This involves scheduling energy demand and capacity from the near (day ahead energy loads) to the long term (many months ahead) while considering complexities such as energy purchase contracts and Washington’s Cap & Invest Program for greenhouse gas emissions. MAE courses in econometrics, machine learning for forecasting, and a special MAE project on EV car charging capacity set Ms. Navarro up for a promising career in energy economics.