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 a degree combining a Master of Business Administration with a Master of Arts in Economics.

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. Admission into the MBA +MA in Economics program requires application reviews and decisions by both Questrom School of Business and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Within each application, candidates should express his or her 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. 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. That said, they must be accepted by both schools in order to be eligible to complete the dual degree; however, prospective students still must apply separately to both schools. If you are not admitted to the MBA program but still wish to be considered for a Master of Arts, you 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.

Course Requirements

Candidates normally register for three semesters in the 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 in any semester.

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, with prior approval, 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.

For MA requirements, refer to the Master of Arts in Economics page; for MBA requirements, please visit the Questrom School of Business.

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.

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