Graduate Studies

Quantitative Economics

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Integrated Degree | Profile

Director:  Jessica Lin
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Jessica Lin
Graduate Advisor: Shankar Ghimire
Office: Stipes Hall 431
Telephone: (309) 298-1152 Fax: (309) 298-1020
Location of Program Offering: Macomb

Graduate Faculty


  • Jessica Lin, Ph.D., Binghamton University
  • Kasing Man, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Alla Melkumian, Ph.D., West Virginia University
  • Thomas R. Sadler, Ph.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Associate Professors

  • Tara Feld, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
  • Shankar Ghimire, Ph.D., Western Michigan University
  • William J. Polley, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Anna Valeva, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Barbara

Assistant Professors

  • J. Jobu Babin, Ph.D., University of Memphis
  • Stephen Gray, D.B.A., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Rhong Zheng, Ph.D., University of Alabama

Associate Graduate Faculty

Assistant Professors

  • Haritima Chauhan, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University
  • Mohammed Chowdhury, Ph.D., George Washington University
  • Aastha Gupta, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
  • Feng Liu, Ph.D., University of Mississippi

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see

 Program Description

The School of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Decision Sciences offers courses leading to the Master of Science degree in Quantitative Economics. Along with completing the traditional core courses in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Quantitative/Statistical Skills, students have the option to take electives in Economic Development, Energy, Trade, Analytics, and Community Development. Students have the option to also incorporate courses from outside the department after consultation with their academic advisors. Students regularly choose to include courses from Mathematics/Statistics, Political Science, Management, Finance, etc. Although all students complete the same core, our degree is still flexible enough to prepare students for a variety of potential future paths including jobs in private industry, government and non-profit roles, teaching at the secondary or junior college level, or future graduate degrees such as Law School or PhDs. Along with flexibility in course selection, students also have the option to complete many of their courses (particularly their electives) online.

Note: Students have the option to earn a Master’s Degree in Quantitative Economics simultaneously with a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Business Analytics without necessarily extending their time on campus The combination of the MS in Quantitative Economics with the PBC in Business Analytics has been particularly beneficial to students pursuing jobs as working economists in either the government or private sector.

STEM Designation

The Quantitative Economics degree program at Western Illinois University has been designated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security as a STEM-eligible degree program (CIP code 45.0603). The STEM designation allows eligible graduates on student visas access to an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension, up to 36 months, as compared to 12 months for non-STEM degrees. As an international student, the longer work authorization term may help you gain additional real-world skills and experience in the U.S.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program

Please refer to integrated programs for details and program offerings.

 Admission Requirements 

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 OR 3.0 or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work
  • An undergraduate preparation in economics to include intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory as well as a semester each of calculus and statistics.
  • Students that do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement are still able to be admitted, however the Department strongly recommends that applicants provide GRE test scores or other evidence regarding the potential for academic success.
  • In order to be considered for an assistantship within the School of Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Decision Sciences applicants must submit GRE (or GMAT) scores or have at least 1 full-time semester of study at an AACSB accredited institution. These scores are NOT required for admission but only for those students that wish to apply for a school assistantship.

 Degree Requirements

I. Core Courses: 18 s.h.

Macroeconomic Theory

ECON 500 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (3)

Microeconomic Theory

ECON 504 Price Theory (3)

Quantitative Economic Techniques

ECON 506 Econometrics I (3)
ECON 507 Econometrics II (3)
ECON 581 Advanced Mathematical Economics (3)
DS 490G Statistical Software for Data Management & Decision-Making (3)

II. Select one of the following exit options: 12 s.h.

A. Thesis

Electives (6)
ECON 600 Thesis Research (3)
ECON 601 Thesis (3)

B. Internship Electives

Electives (9)
ECON 599 Internship (3)

C. Non-Thesis/Non-Internship Electives

Electives (12)

III. Required Assessment Exam (0)

ECON 603 Comprehensive Examination (0)

IV. Department Research Seminar

ECON 602 Department Research Seminar, 2 semesters (0)


Consultation with the program's graduate advisor concerning course selection is required to insure completion of all requirements. Students wishing to take a readings and/or internship course must receive approval from the Graduate Committee Chair prior to registration.

Students may select courses outside of the economics courses which will assist them in achieving their career goals. A maximum of six hours of related courses from other disciplines is allowed with permission of the graduate committee chairperson. The student may petition the school graduate committee for an additional three hours of related course work outside of the economics courses. All special permissions or petitions must be approved prior to registration. Transfer and extension credit will be accepted in accordance with current School of Graduate Studies policy.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

The School of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Decision Sciences also offers a 18 s.h. post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) in Business Analytics. The Business Analytics PBC offers the technical skills of data mining, statistical modeling, and forecasting for data-driven decision-making and for solving the analytical problems of the contemporary business world. For program details, go to the post-baccalaureate certificates page.

 Course Descriptions

Economics (ECON)

408G Economics for Decision-Makers. (3) This course develops the macro- and micro-economic concepts most useful for decision-makers. Topics covered include measures of aggregate economic activity, unemployment, inflation, business cycles, monetary policy, fiscal policy, international trade, market demand and supply, and alternate market structures. (Not open to students who have taken ECON 231 or 232, cannot be used to meet any requirements of the BA, BB, or MA economics degrees or to meet the economics requirements in any BB degree. It is designed only for the Pre-MBA minor and graduate students in areas other than economics.) Prerequisites: STAT 171 with a C or better.

410G Economics of Crime & Punishment. (3) Uses economic principles and statistical methods to analyze trends in crime, the economic approach to modeling crime, as well as the economic impacts from criminal behavior, as well as to evaluate various policies in criminal justice using economic principles. Prerequisites: ECON 232 and STAT 171, or permission of the instructor.

420G Economic Development. (3) A study of less developed countries; problems such as population growth, urbanization, agricultural transformation, unemployment, education and training, and capital formation are addressed. Solutions to these problems are examined and evaluated based on feasibility and practicality. A multi-disciplinary approach is used. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

425G Money Markets, Capital Markets, and Monetary Theory. (3) An institutional and theoretical study of money and capital markets in conjunction with monetary policy. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

428G American Economic History. (3) A study of the development of various economic institutions in the United States with special emphasis on the changing structure and performance of the economy from the colonial period to the present. Prerequisites: ECON 231, ECON 232, MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

430G (cross-listed with AGEC 430G) Environmental Economics. (3) This interdisciplinary course examines economic issues involving the interactions between humans and the environment. The course addresses conflicts in land, air, and water use and the role of assigned property rights and public policies in resolving environmental problems. Prerequisites: AGRI 220 or ECON 232.

432G Public Expenditures & Taxation. (3) Studies the role of government in promoting a system of effective markets. Includes analyses of the causes and implications of market inefficiencies, the economic rationale for government intervention in markets, and the criteria used for public investment decisions. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

440G Labor Theory. (3) Understanding labor market dynamics using theory and empirical methods. Topics of focus include labor supply and demand, labor force composition and trends, human capital, wage differentials, migration, minimum wage, trade unions, and occupational licensure. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

445G Game Theory and Economic Behavior. (3) Modeling strategic interaction and solving non-cooperative games across information environments with a focus on economic behavior. Applications include pricing strategies, choosing optimal locations, auctions, bargaining, and market entry. Prerequisites: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

465G Economics of Energy. (3) A study of primary and secondary sources of energy as they affect the levels of production and consumption in the economy. A general survey of the economic and regulatory problems of coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear industries (including those of utilities) and a brief discussion of the problems and prospects of alternative sources of energy in the context of national energy policies and individual decision making. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

470G International Trade. (3) A study of the theoretical and institutional aspects of international trade; effect of trade and factor movements on economic welfare; problems of international disequilibrium; and the search for economic stability and growth through international cooperation. Prerequisite: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

471G International Monetary Economics. (3) A study of exchange rate determination, monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy, balance of payments crises, the choice of exchange rate systems, international debt and global financial imbalances. Prerequisites: ECON 231, ECON 232; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

479G Microfinance in Action. (3) An in-depth study on the role of microfinance in rural economies around the world. The course specifically examines the benefits generated by microfinance institutions with regards to countries’ education, health, employment, tourism, agribusiness, finance, enterprise, and community development. Prerequisites: ECON 231 and 232; or permission of the instructor.

481G Mathematical Economics. (3) Introduction to the mathematics most frequently used by economists-basic set theory; linear algebra; differentiation; comparative statistics; optimization; constrained optimization; linear programming. Prerequisites: ECON 381 (Grade of C or better) or passing department placement exam.

487G Econometrics. (3) Extensions of the single equation regression model, estimation, and testing; multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity, and errors in variables; maximum likelihood estimation and binary response models; simultaneous equation models and estimation. Interpretation and application of econometric models and methods is emphasized. Prerequisites: ECON 231, ECON 232; DS 303; MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

488G Experimental Economics. (3) Overview of scientific methodology relevant to studying economic decision-making. Best practices in collecting, managing, and presenting quantitative economic data and an introduction to the traditions of experimental economic design. Applied focus on software tools and project management. Prerequisites: STAT 171 and ECON 381; or permission of the instructor.

490G Introduction to Health Economics. (3) Application of basic economics to the health care industry. Issues surrounding the economic relationships among providers, insurers, and consumers of health care are examined in terms of market structure, economic motives, financial costs, and social costs and benefits. Prerequisites: ECON 232 and STAT 171; or permission of the instructor.

496G Seminar in Economics. (3) Each offering in the series provides students with an opportunity for intensive study in specialty topics within Economics. Prerequisites: ECON 231, 231; ECON 381 or MATH 137; or permission of the instructor.

500 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy. (3) Current macroeconomic theory and policy concepts with an emphasis on a generalized model of the economy with multiple variables. Discusses short-term fluctuations (static and dynamic) and long-term growth theories with specific attention to policy implications and empirical research. Prerequisite: ECON 509 or equivalent.

501 Readings in Economics. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Permission of Department Graduate Committee Chairperson.

502 Macroeconomics and Growth Theory. (3) A study of the aggregate theory of income, employment, and price levels using both comparative statics and dynamics, along with a discussion of business cycles and growth theories. Prerequisite: ECON 481G or permission of the graduate advisor and ECON 509 or equivalent.

503 Applied Price Theory. (3) Application of economic theory and methods to managerial decision making. Topics include demand, cost and production analysis and estimation; forecasting; pricing policy; risk and uncertainty problems; and capital budgeting. Prerequisite: ECON 509 or equivalent.

504 Price Theory. (3) Theories of consumption and optimal firm behavior, introducing general equilibrium in a simple exchange economy. A focus on decision-making under risk and uncertainty, across time and market structures, and involving asymmetric information. Prerequisite: ECON 481G or permission of the graduate advisor and ECON 509 or equivalent.

506 Econometrics I. (3) Elements of the theory and practice of econometrics: including univariate and multivariate single equation models, statistical problems such as multicollinearity, special techniques and applications, and an introduction to simultaneous equations models. Students will complete a project involving hypothesis formulation, data collection, analysis using statistical software, and written presentation of results. Prerequisite: ECON 509 or equivalent.

507 Econometrics II. (3) Advanced econometric estimation to include estimating micro and macroeconomic functions through simultaneous equation systems, dummy dependent variable models; and multivariate analysis. Class culminates in an independent research project. Prerequisites: ECON 481G or permission of the graduate advisor, and ECON 506.

509 Fundamentals of Economic Theory. (3) An accelerated study of the foundations of economic analysis. Focus is on developing the concepts and modeling techniques commonly utilized in the advanced study of macro- and microeconomics. Master of Arts students in economics must receive approval from the graduate advisor before registering. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: ECON 408G or ECON 231 and ECON 232 or MATH 133 and MATH 134, or equivalent; STAT 171 or equivalent with grade of “C” or better.

525 Monetary Theory and Policy. (3) A study of the theoretical and empirical work in money demand, money supply multiplier, output effect of monetary policies, alternative techniques of monetary policy formulation and implementation, multi-asset financial markets, and inflation. Prerequisite: ECON 500 or ECON 502.

528 American Economic History. (3) A study of the development of the American economy from the colonial period to the present. The course explores both the successes and the failures of the United States economy. The emphasis is on how economic, political, and legal frameworks have interacted to create the American experience. Prerequisite: Any combination of six hours from ECON 231, 232, 328, HIST 105, 106, 300; or graduate standing in a business discipline, economics, history, education (history or related specialty); or permission of the instructor.

535 Small Community Development. (3) This course emphasizes the practical knowledge required to deal with non-metropolitan development issues. The emphasis will vary with changes in the development environment. Topics will include economic trends, federal and state resources available to support economic development, and special problems and opportunities in small community development. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

538 Economics for Managers. (3) Application of economic theories involving maximizing profits and creating value from exchange. A focus on managerial decision-making under risk and uncertainty, across time and market structures, involving asymmetric information, and in strategic environments. Prerequisites: ECON 408G, or ECON 231 and ECON 232, or equivalent.

550 Economic Topics and Curriculum Development. (1–3, repeatable to 3) A course designed to assist classroom teachers in the development of elementary and secondary curriculum incorporating economic concepts. This course will also provide an opportunity for teachers with a basic understanding of economics to adapt the latest computer–based television and print matter curriculum materials to the needs of their classes and students. Check with the advisor to determine applicability of this course in your degree program. Graded S/U.

581 Advanced Mathematical Economics. (3) An overview of the mathematical skills most frequently used by economists: linear algebra, differentiation, comparative statics, optimization, and linear programing. Students will learn to solve economic problems both by hand and with the aid of contemporary modeling software. Prerequisites: ECON 231, ECON 232, and MATH 137 or ECON 381; or permission of instructor.

599 Internship. (1–12, repeatable to 12 hours) Only three hours per semester can be included in the degree plan. With prior approval of the graduate advisor, up to six hours can be included in the degree plan for internships covering the entire academic year. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of departmental graduate advisor.

600 Thesis Research. (3) The grade in ECON 600 will remain an incomplete until ECON 601, Thesis, is completed. Graded S/U.

601 Thesis. (3) Graded S/U.

602 Department Research Seminar. (0) A survey of contemporary theoretical and applied economic research. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

603 Comprehensive Examination. (0) All majors are required to satisfactorily complete the knowledge assessment examination prior to graduation. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Economics major.

Agricultural Economics (AGEC) cognate courses which may be taken as part of the Quantitative Economics Master of Science Program

442G Marketing Grain and Livestock Products. (3) Basis hedging for grains, feeds, livestock, and meat. Three hours lecture. Prerequisite: AGEC 333.

443G Agricultural Finance. (3) Financing problems and opportunities in agriculture. Sources of finance, financing costs, analysis of investment opportunities, financial management, and estate planning. Three hours lecture. Prerequisite: AGRI 220 or permission of the instructor.

447G Commodity Markets and Futures Trading. (3) Futures trading institutions, technical analysis, multiple hedging, and speculation. Three hours lecture.

449G Advanced Farm Management. (3) Effective combination of resources in agribusiness planning and management. Emphasis placed on use of available agribusiness management software. Two hours lecture; two hours lab. Prerequisite: AGEC 349 or equivalent.

455G Advanced Agricultural Marketing. (3) Options on futures, applied research methods, current events. Prerequisites: AGEC 442 and 447, or permission of the instructor.

457G Market Profile®. (3) Use of the Chicago Board of Trade Market Profile® and Liquidity Data Bank® for hedging and speculation. Three hours lecture. Prerequisite: AGEC 445.

Quantitative Economics cognate courses which may be taken as part of the Quantitative Economics Master of Science Program

Decision Sciences (DS)

435G Applied Data Mining for Business Decision-Making. (3) This course provides an introduction to data mining methods for business applications. Students will learn the basics of data selection, preparation, statistical modeling and analysis aimed at the identification of knowledge fulfilling organizational objectives. Prerequisite: DS 303 or STAT 276 or permission of instructor.

485G Big Data for Business Decision Making. (3) This course provides an introduction to big data analytics tools and methods for business applications. Topics include exploration, classification, dimension reduction, structured and unstructured data. Statistical software will be used to analyze business data. Prerequisites: STAT 171, DS 200, and DS 303 or equivalent, or consent of the instructor.

489G Seminar in Contextual Business Analytics. (3) An industry, case study, focused course that explores topics relevant to applying business analytics models and theories to current corporate projects. Exact topics will change based on instructor expertise and market trends. Prerequisites: 9 s.h. of prior DS coursework or permission of the instructor.

490G Statistical Software for Data Management and Decision–Making. (3, repeatable to 6 for different titles) This course provides students with the basic concepts of statistical computing. Students will gain experience with statistical software packages, such as SAS or SPSS, and their applications. Methods of data preparation and validation, analysis, and reporting will be covered. Prerequisite: STAT 171 or equivalent, or PSY 223, or SOC 324, or POLS 284, or permission of department chairperson.

500 Introduction to Business Analytics. (3) Business analytics generally refer to the use of statistical and quantitative analysis for data-driven decision-making. This course introduces students to the foundations of business analytics problems and applications. Lectures will be supplemented with current business world examples. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

501 Independent Research. (1–3, repeatable twice up to a maximum of 6) Independent research and study of selected topics in decision sciences. Prerequisites: Completion of six graduate hours in decision sciences and permission of the Department Chairperson.

503 Business Statistics for Managerial Decision–Making. (3) A survey of statistical methods useful for managerial decision–making. Topics discussed include descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, statistical inference, analysis of variance, regression, contingency tables, and nonparametric statistics.

510 (cross-listed with MATH 510) Foundations of Business Analytics. (3) A survey of topics in calculus, applied linear algebra, probability and statistics useful for business decision making. The main objective is to lay the foundation required for advanced studies in applied statistics and business analytics. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

521 Data Visualization. (1–3, repeatable) This course focuses on the process and methods of visualizing information for the purpose of communicating actionable findings in a decision-making context. Hands-on experience with software for sourcing, organizing, analyzing, comprehending, reducing and visualizing data, resulting in a clear message. Prerequisites: DS 303 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

523 Management Science Techniques and Business Analytics. (3) Applications of management science tools and techniques for effective decision–making with emphasis on model building. Topics include PERT/CPM, transportation models, linear, goal, integer and dynamic programming, and queuing theory. Prerequisite: DS 503.

533 Applied Business Forecasting and Planning. (3) A survey of the basic forecasting methods and techniques essential for modern managers. Topics include moving average and decomposition techniques, ARIMA processes, regression techniques, and technological methods such as Delphi and S-curves. Prerequisite: DS 503 or STAT 171 or equivalent.

535 Advanced Data Mining for Business. (3) This course furthers the study of data mining methods and techniques for business applications. Students will develop more advanced techniques for data preparation, information retrieval, statistical modeling and analysis aimed at the production of decision rules for specific business goals. Prerequisites: DS 435G or permission of the instructor.

540 Applied Stochastic Models in Business Analytics. (3) This course introduces stochastic models for studying phenomena in management science, operations research, finance, actuarial science, and engineering. Heuristic minded approach aimed at developing “probabilistic thinking” is taken in the treatment of probability concepts, stochastic processes, model simulation, and applications. Prerequisite: DS 303 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

560 Categorical Data Analysis Using Logistic Regression. (3) This course covers the most commonly used statistical methods for analyzing categorical data. Topics include the use of exact methods, generalized estimating equations, and conditional logistic regression. The statistical package SAS and the freeware package R will be used. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

580 Predictive Analytics and Time-Series Forecasting. (3) This course introduces analytical models and tools used for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive decision. Predictive modeling, forecasting, and design of experiments will be covered. Prerequisites: DS 303 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

599 Decision Sciences Internship. (1–6, not repeatable) Integrates decision sciences theories with application to actual business practices. Students are exposed to a variety of positions within the business firm during the semester. All internships are supervised by a faculty coordinator and an executive in the business firm. Analytic reports of work accomplished by each student are presented to the coordinator. Graded S/U only. Prerequisites: Completion of six hours of decision sciences courses and written permission of the Department Chairperson.