Department of Economics

Main Departmental Office
Wooten Hall, 325
P.O. Box 305457
Denton, TX 76203-5457
(940) 565-2573

Web site: www.econ.unt.edu

Steven L. Cobb, Chair

Graduate Faculty: Abernathy, Cobb, Jewell, Koelln, McPherson, Molina, Nieswiadomy, Redfearn, Rous, Tieslau, Wenger.

The Department of Economics is actively involved in educational and research activities related to all aspects of economics. The educational programs are designed to prepare students for the rigors of PhD programs in economics and related fields and to provide the economic background and technical skills to compete in today's labor market.

The department offers degrees in the following programs:

Many of the research and educational efforts of the department are coordinated through its affiliated units. These units include the Labor and Industrial Relations Institute, the Center for Economic Education, the Center for Inter-American Studies and Research, and the Center for Environmental Economic Studies and Research.

Research

The Department of Economics is actively involved in a wide variety of research activities. The addition of new faculty has increased the department's research capacity in the growing fields of health policy, econometrics, labor economics and applied microeconomics. This supplements the faculty's continuing research in the areas of income distribution, poverty and the status of women and minorities, economic development, international trade, public finance, tax policy, natural resources and health care.

The department's recent work in economic education seeks to establish clear conceptions of how students at the introductory level learn principles of economics in an effective manner. These research efforts focus on the technology of measurement and the analysis of the effects of alternative instructional methods on student learning.

In recognition of the increased globalization of the world economy, the department is involved now in international research. The research activities focus on the economic relationships between the nations of North, Central and South America, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. Current projects concern transnational migration, international differences in income distribution, industrialization along the U.S.-Mexico border, privatization and the development of new businesses.

The increased awareness of environmental and resource problems has led the department to focus on economic solutions to these problems. Current research activities include analyses of water policy (with a particular emphasis on water pricing) and the feasibility of a deposit/refund system for waste oil (and other materials) in Texas.

The Labor and Industrial Relations Institute, in association with the Texas AFL-CIO state office, is involved in the delivery of a statewide labor education program. The program includes educational materials development, technical assistance and applied research of labor problems in Texas.

The faculty of the Department of Economics conducts an aggressive search for external funding in support of research programs. Funding for these programs is provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the Texas Education Agency, the National Occupational Information Coordination Committee, the Texas Employment Commission, the American Association of Retired Persons/Andrus Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the PEW Foundation.

Placement

The department has increased its emphasis on placement by designating one of the faculty as placement officer. The placement officer locates job openings, helps prepare students for interviews, and develops internships for economics majors with private and public institutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Admission Requirements

The following admission requirements pertain to the Master of Arts and Master of Science with a major in economics, the Master of Science with a major in economic research and the Master of Science with a major in labor and industrial relations.

A student will be admitted without provision if the grade point average (GPA) for undergraduate work is at least 3.0. To be admitted provisionally, an applicant must have at least a 2.8 GPA and make at least 3.0 during the first 12 hours of courses.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required of all applicants and must be submitted before the student can enroll for a second semester in the program. The total score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE must be at least 900. A minimum score of 450 is required on the GMAT. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to score at least 550 on the TOEFL exam.

Prerequisites

Although no specific undergraduate major is required, an appropriate background is desirable. Applicants for the Master of Arts with a major in economics, Master of Science with a major in economics, or Master of Science with a major in economic research must fulfill the following prerequisites or equivalents: 6 hours of Principles of Economics (ECON 1100 and 1110), 6 hours of Intermediate Economic Theory (ECON 3550 and 3560), Money and Financial Institutions (ECON 4020), Introduction to Econometrics (ECON 4870), 6 hours of Calculus (MATH 1710 and 1720) and 6 hours of Statistics (MSCI 3700 and 3710 or MATH 4610 and 4650).

Applicants for the Master of Science with a major in labor and industrial relations must fulfill the following prerequisites or equivalents: 6 hours of Principles of Economics (ECON 1100 and 1110) and 3 hours of Statistics (MSCI 3700 or MATH 4610).

Degree Programs

The department offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees:

All students must develop a degree plan in consultation with the graduate adviser during their first semester of enrollment.

Master of Arts and Master of Science with a Major in Economics

These are 36-hour programs, including a 6-hour minor in a suitable field selected in consultation with the graduate adviser. MA and MS candidates are required to take ECON 5090 or 5100, 5330, 5340, 5600 and 5650. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must meet the UNT foreign language requirement. Satisfactory completion of a written comprehensive exit exam plus a 6-hour master's thesis (ECON 5950) is required of all MA and MS candidates. ECON 5000, 5030, 5040, and 5630 are deficiency courses and do not count toward the 36 hours of course work.

Master of Science with a Major in Economic Research

Requirements of this program consist of a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work, including a minor of 6 hours selected in consultation with the graduate adviser. Candidates in this program are required to take ECON 5330, 5340, 5600 and 5650. All students must pass a written comprehensive exam. There are two options for the completion of this degree. The first option is to take 6 hours of supervised Research Problems in Lieu of Thesis (ECON 5920-5930). The second option is to take 6 hours of additional graduate economics courses.

Master of Science with a Major in Labor and Industrial Relations

The major academic objective of the program is to prepare students for careers in labor and industrial relations. The multifaceted nature of labor/industrial problems in today's complex society requires individuals knowledgeable in various interrelated disciplines for positions in private industry and government organizations.

The graduate program is unique as an interdisciplinary effort involving courses in business administration, computer science, economics, education, engineering technology, psychology and public administration. The
exact course of study leading to the Master of Science with a major in labor and industrial relations will be related to the career or academic goal of the particular candidate.

The program requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 hours of study and research beyond the bachelor's degree. All labor and industrial relations students must pass a written comprehensive exam. There are two options for the completion of this degree. The first option is to take 6 hours of supervised Research Problems in Lieu of Thesis (ECON 5920-5930). The second option is to take 6 hours of additional graduate economics courses. Limited numbers of graduate research assistantships are available in conjunction with funded research projects.

Research Centers

Center for Economic Education

Steven L. Cobb, Director

The Center for Economic Education is committed to making formal instruction in economics more accessible to the broad community of North Central Texas.

The center directs a professional program of study leading to the Master of Science degree with a major in economics and a support area in economic education. The concentration in economics education is a 36-hour program designed to prepare teachers for economics instruction in secondary schools and community colleges. The course of study is designed in consultation with the director of the center and the graduate adviser for the Department of Economics.

The center also maintains an in-service teacher training program of course offerings regularly scheduled during evening hours and in the summer. This program provides a mechanism for the in-service training of economics teachers in community colleges and secondary and elementary schools.

In addition to its regional instructional programs, the center develops instructional material, conducts research in economics education, maintains an instructional resource center and provides technical assistance in matters pertaining to instruction in economics.

Labor and Industrial Relations Institute

Lewis M. Abernathy, Director

The Labor and Industrial Relations Institute offers a professional degree program leading to a Master of Science degree with a major in labor and industrial relations. Courses of study in this interdisciplinary, individually tailored master's degree program are related to the candidate's specific career or academic goal. In addition, the institute coordinates and directs the Labor Education Program (LEP), which involves the study and analysis of problems related to the development, utilization and conservation of human resources. The LEP provides training and technical assistance to the Texas AFL-CIO and labor groups across the state. Graduates of the program work as human resource directors, labor relations specialists and labor market analysts.

Center for Inter-American Studies and Research

David J. Molina, Director

The Center for Inter-American Studies and Research has three primary objectives. The first is to promote research through the acquisition of external funding for projects focusing on the socioeconomic problems of North, Central and South America. The center also coordinates undergraduate and graduate programs within existing departments for students interested in problems of this region. Beyond the campus, the center develops relationships with other institutions, both public and private, for the exchange of scholars and students as well as joint research and conferences.

Center for Environmental Economic Studies and Research

Michael Nieswiadomy, Director

The Center for Environmental Economic Studies and Research promotes the use of economic tools to analyze environmental issues. The center also coordinates undergraduate major programs within existing departments for students interested in environmental topics. The center cooperates with other universities, educational institutions and government agencies to promote research and seminars on environmental economics for the public.

Courses of Instruction

Top | College of Arts and Sciences | UNT Graduate Catalog Shortcuts | Additional Graduate Literature