MBA+MA in Economics Dual Degree Program

Training in the related fields of management and economics is professionally desirable in an increasing number of areas. Boston University meets this need by providing a coordinated program leading to both MA in Economics and MBA degrees. Obtaining the two degrees separately would normally require six semesters in residence, but through careful course selection and by eliminating overlapping courses, the dual degree may be obtained in five semesters full time (80 credits). In this way, the entire program may thus be completed in two calendar years (two academic years and two summers; two academic years and one summer for well-prepared students). The degree may also be obtained on a part-time basis through enrollment in the Professional Evening MBA program. In this format, the dual degree requires 71 credits. The MA in Economics is a STEM-designated degree program.


Prospective students are required to submit two applications: one to Questrom School of Business and one to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Within each application, candidates should express their interest in this particular dual degree program. Candidates will then receive separate decisions from each school regarding admission to that portion of the dual degree. Applicants must be accepted by both schools in order to be eligible to complete the dual degree. Please note that candidates may be admitted to one but not both of the schools in which the dual degrees are housed, and may choose to pursue that individual degree. If an applicant is not admitted to the MBA program but still wishes to be considered for a Master of Arts, they will need to contact the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences to inquire about pursuing the Master of Arts in Economics degree on its own. Prospective students are encouraged to apply early in order to meet the deadlines of both schools.

Applicants to this program should have, or be expecting, a bachelor’s degree from an institution recognized by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and they should have adequate academic preparations in economics and mathematics. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is required. Dual degree applicants currently enrolled in either the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences or Questrom School of Business full time are advised that they may not apply beyond the end of the first semester of enrollment.

Learning Outcomes

For the MA portion of the dual degree (same as for the MA in Economics):

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of fundamental economic principles and be able to apply these ideas to analyze public policies, business practices, and real-world events.
  • Have the ability to apply mathematical methods, through modeling and large-scale data analysis.
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge in several areas of economics, as well as a broad perspective on the subject.
  • Be able to conduct scholarly and/or nonacademic work in a professional and ethical manner.

Course Requirements

Candidates normally register for three semesters in Questrom School of Business and two semesters in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS), but they also may cross-register and take courses in both schools during most semesters.

Full-time MBA students must successfully complete a minimum of 40 credits in Questrom and 24 credits in the Department of Economics; the remaining 16 credits may be taken in Questrom, the Department of Economics, or, with prior approval, elsewhere in the University. For students in the Professional Evening MBA program, the degree is 71 credits, including 31 Questrom credits, 24 Economics credits, and 16 credits taken in Questrom, the Department of Economics, or elsewhere in the University. For part-time students in the MBA/MA in Economics program, please note: Many of the economics classes are only available during the day. You should not expect to be able to complete the MA degree entirely in the evening.

Requirements in quantitative methods and micro- and macroeconomic theory are the same as those for the MA in Economics. The minimum requirements for the respective degrees must be fulfilled in this dual degree program. Subject to the respective program directors’ approval, certain course substitutions may be permitted.

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination that tests general knowledge of economic theory and quantitative methods. Every master’s student is expected to take the first available offering of the Comprehensive Examination after they have completed the economics core courses. This examination is offered twice a year.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree program.