Accelerated Degree Program in Economics

What is the Accelerated Degree Program in Economics?

The Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) allows exceptional UNCG undergraduate students to complete a bachelor’s degree and the MA in Applied Economics in 5 years — only two additional semesters of course work beyond the bachelor’s.

The main features of the ADP in Economics are:

  • Begin graduate studies while completing your bachelor’s degree.
  • Up to 12 hours of graduate coursework taken in your senior year can count toward both degrees.
  • The Master of Arts in Applied Economics will be awarded after one additional year of study beyond the bachelor’s degree.
  • Fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships are available for highly qualified students.

Why earn an MA in Applied Economics?

The MA in Applied Economics is a highly marketable professional degree.  It provides training in data analytics, policy evaluation, and advanced economic theory.

McKinsey & Company reports there will be a shortage of 140,000-190,000 people with analytical expertise in the government and private sectors in the next five years.

Kiplinger’s magazine recently declared the MA in Economics to be one of “10 advanced degrees worth the debt” and projected the mid-career salary for a person holding an MA in Economics to be $115,300.

Recent graduates of our MAE program have gone on to careers with employers like the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Bank of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Fidelity Investments, Freddie Mac, BB&T, and Battelle Industries.

  • About 50% of our MA in Applied Economics students have job offers in hand before they officially graduate.
  • About 90% of our graduates from the MA in Applied Economics program find jobs in their field within 3 months of graduating.

Are you eligible for the ADP in Economics?

In order to be eligible to enter the ADP in Economics:

  • You must have completed 60 semester credits at UNCG or another institution at the time you apply.
  • You must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 based on at least 30 hours of credit earned at UNCG.

Six Steps to Beginning the ADP

Step 1:  Take the 3 economics foundations courses before your junior year.

You must take Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 201), Principles of Macroeconomics (ECO 202), and Economics/Business Statistics I (ECO 250). You must receive grades of B+ or better in each course.  Take these courses early — no later than the summer following your sophomore year.

Step 2:  Take the 4 prerequisite courses before or during your junior year.

The MAE program requires four prerequisite courses:  Intermediate Microeconomics (ECO 301), Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECO 346 or ECO 302), Mathematical Economics (ECO 319), and Economics/Business Statistics II (ECO 350 or 351).  You must complete all four by the end of your junior year to be eligible to enter the ADP program.  You must earn a grade of B+ or better in these courses.

Step 3:  Discuss the ADP with the Director of Graduate Studies early in your junior year.

The Director of Graduate Studies for the Economics Department is Dr. Dennis Leyden (  He will review your economics background and help you plan the coursework for your final year.

Step 4:  Take the GRE early.

You must take the GRE exam to enter the MAE program.  We recommend you take the exam no later than the summer between your junior and senior years. You do not need to take the subject test in economics.

Step 5:  Submit your completed ADP application to the Economics Graduate Programs office in Bryan 464 by the end of your junior year.

Copies of the ADP application are available at the Economics Department office in Bryan 462.  An electronic ADPapplication is also available.  Dr. Jean Rosales ( manages the admissions process for graduate programs in the Economics Department.  She can help you with the paperwork associated with entering the Accelerated Degree and MA in Applied Economics programs.

Step 6:  Apply to The Graduate School at UNCG for admission to the MA in Applied Economics program.

You must complete the electronic ApplyYourself application by the end of your junior year to be formally admitted to the Accelerated Degree Program.  Dr. Rosales in Bryan 464 can help you with this, too.

Learn More About our Graduate Programs