Advanced Certificate in Applied Economics

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Students pursuing an MA in Economics may choose to enhance their degree with an Advanced Certificate in Applied Economics. The department encourages all MA students to consider this option, which provides specialization and application above and beyond the standard MA degree track. 

Benefits of the Advanced Certificate

Due to the excellent background the Advanced Certificate provides in critical thinking and quantitative analysis, this special opportunity prepares students to become highly sought-after job candidates for a wide range of professional careers. 

Advanced Certificate Specializations

Upon successful completion of 45 credit hours of coursework and passing both parts of the MA Comprehensive Exam, a student will confer the MA in Economics and Advanced Certificate in Applied Economics with one of the following specializations:

Financial

About the Specialization
The basic focus of financial economics, taught by faculty from the Department of Economics and the School of Management, is captured by the subtitle: Educating a Wall Street Economist. Twenty-five years ago, this label would probably have signified someone forecasting the domestic business outlook for financial institutions.

In today’s global market, “market watching” requires understanding monetary and fiscal policies, international trade and exchange rates, and the forces driving economic growth and development in all countries. The proliferation of financial instruments and strategies, such as financial futures, derivatives, hedge funds, risk arbitrageurs, securitization of liquid assets, program trading and interest rate swaps, has also pushed economics into the center of financial operations. The operation of markets for the new instruments is based on fundamental principles of economics.

Employment Outlook
This specialization trains students to understand how these markets function, how new financial instruments are used to deal with a variety of risks, and what accounts for the interaction between domestic and international financial centers. As a graduate of the program, you will be qualified for employment as a securities dealer, a consultant or a specialist in the finance department of any corporation, in addition to being prepared for employment in a regional bank or a Wall Street firm. Recent events demonstrate that public officials also need to understand the economics of finance.

The addition of a related quantitative track, offered with the cooperation of the Department of Mathematics, stems from the need to train people who can effectively communicate with specialists and quantitative groups dealing with complex financial instruments, which have literally exploded since the mid-1980s. At the same time, there is growing need for specialists who are able to understand and communicate the implicit strategies and goals of these financial instruments to the management of their organizations. The goal of the quantitative track is to provide a deep enough foundation of appropriate economic analysis (microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics), along with a core of applied or practical financial analysis (corporate and international finance), and enough mathematics to understand quantitative aspects of derivatives and risk management.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved electives (i.e. five classes for the Advanced Certificate). Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • ECO 504: Financial Analysis and Reporting
  • ECO 526: Financial Economics I
  • ECO 527: Financial Economics II
  • ECO 536: International Finance
  • ECO 592: Financial Risk Management

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

International

About the Specialization
The program in international economics is a cooperative venture of the Departments of Economics and Geography, and the School of Management. Students will be trained to understand the forces that influence international trade and economic development, the balance of payments, international capital mobility and fluctuations in the currency markets.

Students will also examine opportunities for and barriers to trade, the geography of trade and the increasing globalization of corporate activity and all markets. The collapse of the command economies of eastern Europe; the swift pace of economic reforms in China and other East Asian countries; and the creation of free-trade blocks in Europe, in the Pacific Rim, and on our own continent have intensified the movement of goods and services, financial and human capital, technology transfers, direct foreign investment and joint ventures.

Employment Outlook
The continuous expansion of the foreign sector of our own economy, as well as those of developing countries, provides an array of employment opportunities requiring basic understanding of international trade and economic growth and development. Upon completion of the international economics specialization, you will be prepared especially for positions in companies involved with international trade, consulting firms and government agencies.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved electives (i.e. at least two classes for the Advanced Certificate). Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • ECO 535: International Economics
  • ECO 536: International Finance
  • ECO 595: Topics in International Economics

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

Information Internet

About the Specialization
The program in Information and Internet economics is a cooperative venture of the Departments of Economics, Computer Science and Engineering, School of Informatics, the Management Sciences and Systems program and the School of Law. The program reflects the growth of interest in economics and other disciplines in the ongoing “information revolution” and its impact on transaction costs, industrial composition, financial markets, international trade and exchange and product and process innovation.

The purpose of the specialization is to increase students’ understanding of the impact of information technology in all of these areas. It aims to enhance students’ ability to assess the cost and value of alternative information systems and channels. It also aims at increasing students’ ability to utilize information and econometric tools to provide research and consulting work bearing on the role of information technology at the enterprise and market level.

Emphasis is placed on courses in information economics, industrial organization, and international economics, as well as information systems, e-commerce, data mining, and the legal aspects associated with computer technology and e-commerce.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved electives (i.e. at least one class for the Advanced Certificate). Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • ECO 555: Information and Internet Economics
  • ECO 569: Industrial Organization
  • MGS 616: Decision Support Systems (prerequisite - ECO 555)
  • MSG 659: E-Commerce (prerequisite - ECO 555)

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

Health Services

About the Specialization
Offered in collaboration with the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, economics of health services gives you an understanding of what influences health-care expenditures, how health-care services are currently rationed and financed, what alternative options exist; and how institutions that provide health-care products, services, and health insurance adapt to market and regulatory constraints. Our program offers a unique opportunity in the Buffalo area to train economic analysts in this relatively new and expanding discipline.

Employment Outlook
Currently, this is the only program of this type available in the Western New York region. With the rapid changes in the region’s health-care system, there is potentially an increased need for people familiar with the economic principles of the health-care sector. The training provided by this specialization would be a strong fit for the anticipated expansion of job opportunities in insurance companies, health maintenance organizations and pharmaceutical companies in the near future, and for the continuing demand from hospitals and government agencies.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved Health Services or other electives. Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • EEH 507: Intro to Health Care Organizations
  • ECO 569: Industrial Organization
  • ECO 570: Economcis of Regulation
  • ECO 511: Health Economics

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

Urban Regional

About the Specialization
The urban and regional economics specialization is a cooperative venture led by faculty from the Departments of Economics and Geography, with the participation of several faculty members from the Departments of Sociology and Political Science, and the Law School and Urban Planning.

The urbanization of the world’s population, (causing traffic congestion, urban flight, crime, the concentration of poverty in major cities, and the intensity of environmental pollution in some densely-developed areas) continues to be a major force and a significant source of problems of resource allocation requiring the attention of economists. Solutions to these pressing problems and charting public policy aimed at urban and regional development require basic understanding of the workings of land and housing markets, urban transportation systems, the regulation of environmental effects and land use, and other problems affecting the functioning of local public sectors. This specialization teaches students to understand the economic processes that shape the development of urban areas and their surrounding regions.

Employment Outlook
Students will be trained primarily for positions with government agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Numerous U.S. and international consulting firms practice in the broad field of urban and regional development. The use of economic science to approach problems of metropolitan policy is in growing demand, and the quantitative methods that are commonly used in economics are increasingly used in the professions that deal with urban development problems. Demand for urban and regional development generalists is strong in the rest of the world, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved  electives (i.e. at least three classes for the Advanced Certificate). Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • ECO 521: Urban Economics
  • ECO 564: Economics of the Public Sector

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

Law and Regulation

About the Specialization
This program, intended for students interested in the economic foundations of public policy and legal issues, examines the economic consequences of regulatory approaches, as well as the economic foundations of judicial decisions and the economic consequences of these decisions.

Employment Outlook
Specializing in this area equips students to attain positions in public policy departments of corporations, government agencies and a variety of not-for-profit organizations involved in policy advocacy. Moreover, practicing attorneys often require a deeper understanding of the economics of legal issues, especially since courts have increasingly invoked economic reasoning in judicial decisions.

Requirements
Students must complete 45 credit hours including the five core MA courses, all of the required courses, and courses from approved electives (i.e. at least three classes for the Advanced Certificate). Students must also successfully complete the Macro/Micro Comprehensive Examination.

Required Courses

  • ECO 569: Industrial Organization
  • ECO 570: Economics of Regulation

For course scheduling or to view sample course plans, please contact an advisor.

Once the certificate requirements are fulfilled, students must complete the Advanced Certificate Registration Form to register the certificate with the Graduate School. Please submit the form either via email to ecoma@buffalo.edu or in person to 415 Fronczak Hall.