I. Program Requirements
It is normally the case that MAE students have completed at least the following before beginning the graduate program: calculus (one year), intermediate microeconomic theory (one term), intermediate macroeconomic theory (one term), and elementary statistics (one term). The first program priority will be to correct any preliminary deficiency.
The MAE Program requires 33 credit hours of graduate work, which, at Michigan, usually means eleven courses. As a general rule, courses numbered 500 and above are graduate courses. With a few exceptions, 400-level courses in Economics can be taken for graduate credit with no modification. Always check graduate level status of 400 level courses that are taken outside of Economics.
In terms of which courses need to be taken with the 33 credits, the requirements are (A) the Core Courses, (B) the MAE Major, (C) the MAE Minor and (D) the Cognate requirement.
A. The Core Courses
- Three credit hours must be in microeconomic theory, normally Economics 501.
- Three credit hours must be in macroeconomic theory, normally Economics 502.
- Nine credit hours must be in quantitative methods, normal Economics 500, Economics 503 and Economics 504.
- Economics 601 and 602, cannot be taken in lieu of Economics 501 and 502 unless the student is already enrolled in a doctoral program other than economics and is required to take one or both of these courses as part of another program.
- The program is designed for students to take Economics 500, Economics 501 and Economics 503 in the fall semester of their first year and Economics 502 and Economics 504 in the winter semester of their first year. These courses are only offered once per academic year. Thus a normal schedule would look like this:
Fall: Econ 500, Econ 501, Econ 503
Winter: Econ 502, Econ 504 + additional electives
B. The MAE Major
Six credit hours must be in an approved two-course sequence in a single field of (applied) economics-the "MAE-Major". In practice, almost any two courses relevant to economics that are related to one another (and are not being used to satisfy one of the Core requirements under A) can constitute an MAE major with the approval of the MAE director.
C. The MAE Minor
Three credit hours must be in a field of (applied) economics other than that of the Major. This is called the MAE "Minor". In practice, almost any course relevant to economics can serve as an MAE "Minor," as long as it is not in the field of the MAE Major (and is not being used to satisfy one of the Core requirements under A.)
D. Cognate Requirement
Nine credit hours must be in approved courses taught outside of the Economics Department (the cognate requirement). This requirement is easier to satisfy than it might seem because a course can help satisfy the cognate requirement as well as the, major and minor requirement. Courses cross-listed in another department in addition to Economics can count toward this requirement.
II Time to Completion
A student, with no deficiencies to make up, could conceivably complete the 33 credit hours in two academic semesters, but this is extremely difficult, and not recommended. Two semesters plus a summer would work a great deal better for those very few and very fortunate students who are able to complete all but the cognate credit hours, which can be taken in the spring/summer. Michigan's courses for the summer are very thin, and there are no graduate courses in Economics offered then. (One option that many students have found useful is to take advantage of the Summer Program in Quantitative Methods offered through Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Those who have already completed one of the statistics/econometrics sequences can expand their training in quantitative methods by taking one or more courses in the summer program. These courses provide cognate credit, as well.) The most common time to completion of the degree is therefore three semesters from the regular academic year, (most often fall/winter/fall) for students with no deficiency at the start. International students often take longer if they must first get used to the American university system and/or the English language. Students who need to stay four semesters are often able to complete more than 33 credit hours; although the additional credits beyond 33 are not necessary for the degree, the additional knowledge gained can be very valuable. International students are required to be registered for 8 semester hours in a full term, and apply for the degree when all requirements have been fulfilled. Please refer to the International Center at the University of Michigan.