This fall, West Virginia University's John Chambers College of Business and Economics will accept the first group of students into its online master’s program in economics. The master’s in economics is a one-year full-time program, split into 10 credits per semester over three semesters.
“I think it fits nicely with what we’re doing with all of the graduate professional programs in terms of experiential education,” said Joshua Hall, chair of the Department of Economics. “I’m working with a number of state-based organizations and government entities on the capstone program.”
While WVU’s Chambers College already offers a PhD in economics, Hall said there has shown great need for the addition of a master’s program.
“I’ve realized that there’s really an unmet need for career pathways for individuals who maybe have a bachelor’s degree in political science or economics and find themselves working in state government,” he said. “They want more data skills, they want to be able to understand cutting-edge research that speaks to state policy, and they’re in the state capital where there might not be a face-to-face program.”
A typical master’s program in economics includes an array of classes in economic theory, econometrics and/or applied economics; WVU’s program, however, will be hyper focused in how economics relates to state government.
“Ours will have one theory, three or four data analytics, econometrics courses and then five field courses that are on topics related to state policy,” Hall said.
Students of the program will cover topics such as education and labor economics, health economics, taxation and government spending.
Since the program is focused on the economic analysis of government policy, it’s geared to appeal to students from a variety of academic backgrounds.
“I think there are a number of people working in state government in Charleston or Harrisburg with a non-economic background, such as political science or sociology, who find themselves in need of more economic and quantitative skills to advance in their career,” Hall said. “Whether it’s somebody who’s already a career professional or someone who got an undergraduate degree and realized they want to break into state policy, our program is going to give them the opportunity to develop and showcase their quantitative economic abilities.”
The inaugural class will consist of 16 to 20 admits. To learn more about the new program, contact Hall at 304.293.7870 or by email at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Writer, Office of Strategic Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics
(304) 293-5927; email@example.com
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