Applicants for the M.S. degree should have completed courses in micro and macroeconomic theory at the intermediate level, basic statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Nearly all of the coursework in this fast-paced program builds on skills in these areas.  Our M.S. program is STEM designated. 

For those in other fields of study looking to minor in applied economics, visit Minor Requirements.


Completion of at least 30 semester credits, of which:

  • ≥ 14 credits must be in the major field
    • including a minimum of 9 credits in Applied Economics, excluding thesis, special topics, and independent study credits

Coursework in the departments of applied economics, economics and/or statistics may be counted in the major field.

Core Courses

ApEc 5151: Applied Microeconomics - Firm and Household, 3 credits
ApEc 5152: Applied Macroeconomics, 3 credits or ApEc 5032: Economic Data Analysis for Managerial and Policy Decisions, 3 credits
ApEc 5031: Methods of Economic Data Analysis, 3 credits
ApEc 8901: Graduate Seminar, 1 credit, and ApEc 8902: Research Seminar, 1 credit

Visit the courses page for descriptions.


All core courses must be completed on an A-F grade basis, with the exception of the one-credit seminar classes.

At least two-thirds of the course credits included on any M.S. degree program must be taken under the A-F grade basis.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 for all program coursework is preferred.

Research Options

Plan A

Students write a thesis and register for 10 credits of ApEc 8777 (thesis credits) at any time during the program.

Plan B

Students do more coursework, complete a research project or research projects, and register for 4-6 credits of ApEc 8793 at any time during the program

Oral Examination

An M.S. student completes an oral examination which may be based on coursework and the research component of the program. The exam is administered by a three member committee consisting of the student's advisor (as Chair), one other member of the program's graduate faculty, and one member of the graduate faculty from outside the Applied Economics Graduate program. There is no comprehensive written examination in the M.S. program.


The expected time of M.S. degree competition for full-time students is 18-21 months.

Dual Degree

The Department of Applied Economics has paired with Carlson School of Management to offer an APEC/MBA dual degree. To pursue a dual degree, prospective candidates must apply separately to each individual program. Candidates can apply for both programs at the same time prior to any enrollment at the University of Minnesota, or current APEC M.S. students can apply to the Full-Time MBA program during their first year of study. 

More information on the dual degree can be found at Carlson School of Management.