Master of Science in Quantitative Economics

A master’s in economics is often ranked as one of the highest paying among all master’s degrees. In addition to equipping students with advanced quantitative skills to help them succeed in high-demand careers as data or economic analysts, researchers, and more, the M.S. in Quantitative Economics (MSQE) provides a strong foundation for Ph.D. programs in Economics and other growing fields, such as healthcare and public policy.

The MSQE is also STEM certified, allowing international students with an F-1 visa to extend their typical 12-month post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the U.S. by an additional 24 months. In total, MSQE graduates can participate in OPT for up to 36 months.

Hear what student Jiaxi Wang has to say about our M.S. in Quantitative Economics program:

Program Overview

Is the Master of Science in Quantitative Economics program right for you?

  • Although students with or without an undergraduate degree in economics are encouraged to apply to the program, those with a strong undergraduate foundation in economics, mathematics and/or statistics will be much better prepared for the program curriculum.
  • A well-prepared student can typically complete the program in 12 to 18 months.
  • Students who need supplementary preparation in mathematics, statistics or economics usually complete the program in 18 months to two years.

Program Features and Benefits

For detailed program information, see the University Bulletin.

  • Classes are offered at our vibrant main campus, where students from across the globe immerse themselves in an enriching campus life and find exciting opportunities for personal growth and professional development through hundreds of student clubs, fellowship programs, internships, industry networking events, community service adventures, interdisciplinary activities, and more.
  • Courses are taught by distinguished faculty–scholars and practitioners–dedicated to excellence in teaching and innovative research.
  • Choose between a convenient part-time or devoted full-time class schedule.
  • Students develop relevant skills in the mathematical modeling of economic theory and statistical analysis of economic data, as well as in writing and communicating economic ideas. An applied orientation and strong quantitative training prepare graduates for in-demand careers. They compete successfully for positions as analysts, researchers or administrators in the corporate sector, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
  • Our graduates have been hired in advanced positions with public utilities, economic consulting firms, research divisions of large companies, and with local and state government agencies.
  • Through its rigorous curriculum, the program also offers a solid foundation for students interested in continuing their graduate studies in Ph.D. programs elsewhere.

Student Testimonial

Some of our graduates have continued on to pursue economics Ph.D. degrees, as well as MBAs and law degrees from reputed universities in the United States and abroad. One of these graduates, Bozhidar (Bobby) Chakalov, enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Public Health Sciences at U.C. Davis.

Listen to what Bobby has to say about our master’s program in economics in the video:

Admission Requirements

For admission to the M.S. in quantitative economics program, a student must meet, at minimum, the general University requirements. International students must also meet an English Language proficiency requirement as stated in the University Requirements for International students.

To qualify for classified status, a student must satisfy the following criteria:

  • earn a 3.0 grade point average in an undergraduate major in economics (or equivalent);
  • complete courses in intermediate micro and macro theory (ECON 301 and 302 or equivalents) with grades of B or better;
  • complete a semester of calculus (MATH 226 or equivalent) with a grade of B or better;
  • complete a semester-length course in Statistics (ECON 311 or equivalent) and in Econometrics (ECON 312 or equivalent) with grades of B or better.

Students who have not taken and/or do not have grades of B or better in all of the above five courses, or who did not major in economics but earned an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better, may be admitted conditionally. Students admitted conditionally cannot apply courses taken to satisfy the program prerequisites toward their graduate program.

In addition, all applicants to the program are expected to meet the Level 1 Written English Proficiency Requirement. For details, see the MSQE page in the Academic Bulletin.

How to Apply

Apply Now!

The Department of Economics typically offers fall admission within an application window between October 1 to May 1; however, for students who need to complete additional preparatory courses, spring admission can be considered.

Step One

Access the online application through the Cal State Apply site to begin your application and create a profile. A $70.00US non-refundable application fee is required of all applicants.

Step Two

After you’ve completed My Profile, you will have access to My Application. Here you will find four quadrants. Program Materials is the quadrant where you will find information about uploading all the following documents.

  • Personal Statement: The personal statement must be between 500-800 words and should address the reasons for your interest in economics (including any specific areas/fields of interest), your future scholarly and/or career objectives within the field, and your reasons for pursuing an M.S. in Quantitative Economics at San Francisco State University. You may discuss any prior academic, personal, employment, etc. achievements and experiences that reflect upon your interests and potential to succeed in the program.
  • GRE/GMAT Test Score Report: Not required.
  • TOEFL (or IELTS/PTE) Test Score Report: All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English language proficiency. You may upload your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS score report, but you must request to have your official score report sent to San Francisco State University’s Division of Graduate Studies. The English language testing requirement will be waived for applicants who have earned a U.S. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
  • Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants are required to upload legible unofficial copies of complete transcripts from each college or university attended. Photographs or screenshots will not be accepted. The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts at any point during the application review process. Applicants who are admitted to the program will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies in order to secure their offer of admission.

Step Three

Letters of Recommendation: The Department of Economics requires M.S. program applicants to submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from former professors who know your university-level work and can comment on your prospects for success in an M.S. in quantitative economics program. Personal and employer references, however, may be submitted if you cannot obtain letters from former instructors. Recommenders should be able to comment on your work habits, mathematical and quantitative ability, writing ability, and any other characteristics that would reflect on your ability to succeed in the program.

Please refer to the instructions on the Cal State Apply website. The Program Materials quadrant within My Application is the quadrant where you will find information about requesting letters of recommendation.

Check Your Application Status

Once you have submitted your application, you may check your application status online. General information can be found on SF State’s Domestic student admissions and International student admissions.

Financial Affidavit and Medical Insurance for International Students

Applicants who need a student visa must present proof of financial resources and health insurance once they are admitted into our program. Please follow the instructions on the SF State I-20 page to submit proof of financial resources and Medical insurance.

Updated semester Tuition and Fees for Fall 2020*

* Tuition and fees may be subject to change. For more information about payments and fees, see the Bursar’s Office. International students must register for a minimum of eight units every fall and spring semester.

Note: students in the M.S. in quantitative economics program are not subject to any additional graduate business program fees.




California residents



Non-residents and international students

$2,931 plus $396 per unit

$4,437 plus $396 per unit

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, students must earn a minimum of a B in ECON 715, 731, 701, 702, 825 and 830, and earn an overall minimum of 3.0 grade point average in all courses combined. No course taken toward degree completion may be taken on a CR/NC basis.

M.S. in Quantitative Economics

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements (18 units)

  • ECON 715 Mathematical Economics
  • ECON 731 Econometric Methods and Applications
  • ECON 701 Seminar: Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 702 Seminar: Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 825 Applied Time Series Econometrics
  • ECON 830 Advanced Econometric Methods and Applications

Other Requirements (12 units)

Students opting for Written Comprehensive Examination are required to take 12 units of electives. Students opting for Master’s Thesis and Oral Defense are required to take ECON 898 Master's Thesis (6 units) and 6 units of electives.

Visit the SF State Bulletin for detailed information.

Attend an Information Session

Learn more and ask questions about the program, admission requirements, application process, curriculum, and more.

Dates and Zoom Link

  • Please check back for future dates.

The Zoom link will be shared on this page when we have scheduled future Information Sessions.

View the M.S. in Quantitative Economics flyer, which is a downloadable pdf file.

Contact Us

Please contact the Economics Department Graduate Coordinator for questions about the program:

  • Associate Professor Kirill Chernomaz
  • Email:
  • Phone: (415) 405-2699
  • Address: Department of Economics, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA  94132

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