Bachelor’s / Master’s Accelerated Program

Get A Head Start On Graduate School at UMBC

Earn a B.A./B.S. and M.A. in Economics in as few as FIVE YEARS!

The Program

An accelerated pathway combining a B.A. in Economics, a B.S. in Financial Economics, or any other UMBC undergraduate major with a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Analysis (offered jointly by the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy).

What Are The Advantages?

  • Career opportunities beyond those available to someone with only a bachelor’s degree.
  • Less expensive and less time than a traditional M.A.
    • Students pay undergraduate tuition rates for graduate-level courses taken as undergraduates (undergraduate tuition is about one-half graduate tuition).
  • Good foundation for further graduate study.

Who Is Eligible?

UMBC undergraduates can be admitted to the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s pathway if they:

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.4 GPA in Econ courses,
  • Will have completed ECON 311 and 312 (Intermediate Microeconomics and Macroeconomics),
    Intermediate Statistics, ECON 490 (Analytical Methods in Economics), and ECON 421 (Introduction to Econometrics) by the beginning of their senior year.

How Does It Work?

To complete both the B.A. or B.S. and the M.A. degrees in 5 years, students take the 4 core graduate courses (ECON 601, 602, 611 and 612) during their senior year. These courses count toward the 7 upper-level elective courses required for the undergraduate ECON major, or toward the 3 upper-level elective ECON courses required for the FIEC major. In addition, 12 credits double-count for both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees.

How To Apply

  • Before the beginning of their senior year, students apply for admission to the accelerated program. The application form for accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs can be found here. In their senior year, students apply to the graduate school for formal admission into the M.A. program. Any student who successfully completes the four core M.A. Economics courses (ECON 601, 602, 611 and 612) with grades of “B” or better will be recommended for admission into the M.A. program (provided that they also meet the Graduate School requirement of an over-all GPA of 3.0 or higher). To be admitted to the Graduate School students must have completed all of the University and Department requirements for a bachelor’s degree. The Graduate School requirement that applicants take the GREs will be waived for accelerated pathway students.

How Long Does It Take To Complete?

  • Full-time students can complete both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees in as few as five years (see suggested plan of study on back), or
  • Part-time students can take longer to complete the program.

Additional Financial Support Available

Students currently receiving undergraduate scholarships may be eligible for continued financial support into the fifth year. In addition, accelerated program students may apply for research and teaching assistantships for their fifth year of study. In most years, at least one half-time assistantship will be reserved for accelerated pathway students.

How Do I Find Out More?

Talk to your economics professor or contact Tim Gindling, Economic Policy Analysis Graduate Program Director at (410)455-2160 or (410)455-3629 or email

Suggested Plan of Study:

Below we present a plan of study to complete the bachelor’s and master’s degrees within five years. However, students can take advantage of the accelerated pathway without necessarily completing the full program within 5 years. For example, a student may take from 1 to 4 of the ECON core courses in their senior year (to take advantage of the tuition break), and then complete the rest of the M.A. as part-time or full-time students. Many other combinations are possible.

1. Pre-requisites

Before the beginning of the senior year, at a minimum, students must have completed ECON 311, 312, 421, 490, as well as STAT 351 or 355. Both ECON 421 (Introduction to Econometrics) and ECON 490 (Analytical Methods in Economics) will be offered in the spring semester and summer session.

2. Senior Year

First Semester

 Second Semester

  •  ECON 601 – Graduate Microeconomics
  •  ECON 611 – Econometrics I
  • Other courses toward the B.A. or B.S. degree
  • ECON 602 – Graduate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 612 – Econometrics II
  • Other courses toward the B.A. or B.S. degree

 3. Fifth Year

First Semester

 Second Semester

  • PUBL core course*
  • PUBL core course *
  • Economics elective
  • Elective 
  • Economics elective 
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • ECON 699

* Students must choose two of the following public policy courses: PUBL 601 Political and Social Context of the Policy Process; PUBL 603 Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis; PUBL 613 Managing Governmental Organizations; PUBL 623 Government Budgeting; SOCY 606 Social Inequality and Social Policy; ECON 605 Benefit Cost Analysis; ECON 661 Microeconomics of Public Finance.

4. Recommended Elective Concentrations:

The Economic Policy Analysis M.A. recommends that students choose electives to fit one of the following three concentrations:

  • Economic Policy: For students who would like to focus on the economic tools used in policy analysis. This is the broadest and most flexible concentration.
  • Public Policy: For students who would like a comprehensive study of the public policy process, including the techniques of evaluation of public policies and the political and sociological aspects of the public policy process. This concentration is strongly recommended for students who plan to continue on to the Public Policy Ph.D. at UMBC.
  • Economic Policy and Data Sciences: For students who are interested in learning more about computer programming languages and statistics programs that are relevant to Economic Policy Analysis. This concentration is offered in collaboration with the MPS in Data Sciences at UMBC.

5. Apply To The UMBC Graduate School:

During their senior year, accelerated program students MUST apply for graduation to receive their bachelor’s degree, and also MUST apply for admission to the Graduate School. The ECPA program will recommend admission to the Graduate School for any student who successfully completes the four core M.A. Economics courses (ECON 601, 602, 611 and 612) with a “B” or better. To be admitted to the Graduate School a student must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above. The Economics Department will waive the GRE requirement in the application for admission for students in the accelerated program.