CBE Announces New Master’s Program in Economic Analytics

The College of Business and Economics is proud to announce the approval of a new M.S. in Economic Analytics at Towson University. In this master’s program, students will use economic theory, econometrics and data science to understand how laws, policies, and other interventions impact people’s lives. The program will soft launch  in Fall 2023, allowing current Towson University undergrads to take courses in the master’s program as part of an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program. The full launch will take place in Fall 2024, with applications opening September 15, 2023, at which point anyone will have the opportunity to apply for the program, including international students. 

Dr. Finn Christensen, professor in the Economics Department and the program director, took the lead in bringing the program to fruition, with the support of Dr. Melissa Groves and Dr. Herbert Zhao. TU’s program differs from those offered by other universities in the region. “Our economics program is the first in the area to combine data science and econometrics as part of the standard curriculum,” Dr. Christensen said.“The program can be completed in 16 months whereas most programs in the area are 2-year programs.”

The program will not only present opportunities for students in the area, but also faculty. While existing faculty can teach all the courses in the program, this will take them away from existing responsibilities, so up to two new professors will be hired to fill the gap.

It will take students up to 16-months to complete the 33 credit hours required to graduate from the program. The content will focus on applied microeconomics, with an emphasis on data analysis. The program will be offered face-to-face and full-time attendance is optimal – however, the program can be completed on a part-time basis. Students who have recently graduated with an undergraduate degree are encouraged to consider the new program, particularly those in majors such as Economics, Business Administration, Accounting, or any quantitative major such as computer science, math or physics. Students will acquire job-relevant skills such as Stata, R, and Python without needing prior knowledge in the topics. Mid-career professionals and those seeking to later complete a Ph.D. in economics or a related field are welcome. The career prospects upon graduation include roles as a data analyst, an economist, or a statistician. These positions are well paid with average salaries in excess of $80K and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median pay in 2019 for those with a masters degree in Economics of $105,020. Due to the fact the program is a STEM-designated degree, students on an F-1 visa will be eligible for up to 3 years of OPT after graduation through the STEM OPT extension. For domestic students, this designation signals rigorous preparation to potential employers.

We’re very excited to provide students with the opportunity to earn a STEM designated MS degree in Economic Analytics at TU,”  said Dr. Judy Harris, Interim Dean in the College of Business and Economics. “This is a growing field and with hands-on application of data analysis techniques like the modeling of big data and machine learning, graduates will be well suited to meet the evolving needs of employers in the region.”