Department of Economics College of Arts and Sciences Western Michigan University

Department of Economics College of Arts and Sciences Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI
Not Reported
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
February 15
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Programs of Study

The Department of Economics at Western Michigan University offers graduate programs in applied economics that prepare students for careers in academic and non-academic settings. Students graduate with the theoretical foundation, research skills, and professional acumen to obtain rewarding positions as economists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for economists is expected to grow 14 percent from 2012 to 2022. This growth stems from businesses' increasing reliance on quantitative methods and economic analysis to evaluate and forecast a variety of economic trends. Increased competition, additional financial regulations, and a more complex global economy are also fueling this growth. Private industry, particularly in scientific, professional, and management consulting services, is expected to have higher demand for economists.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Economics: The M.A. in Applied Economics program provides students with a solid foundation in economic analysis and the ability to use theory to solve contemporary problems. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes thesis and non-thesis options. The non-thesis option consists of six core and four elective courses. Students can use electives to complete concentrations in economic development or econometrics/statistics. The thesis option contains 24 credit hours of courses and 6 credit hours of thesis work.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Economics: The Ph.D. in Applied Economics program is ideal for students interested in becoming high-level economists in nonacademic settings. Students with M.A. degrees in economics or solid undergraduate training in economics, mathematics, and statistics typically earn their degrees in four years. The program's 75-credit hour curriculum consists of the following components:

- Core courses

- A comprehensive exam (in microeconomics or macroeconomics theory)

- Specialization in two fields

- Advanced courses

- Workshops

- An internship (or an additional field)

- Dissertation work

Field specialization involves taking a sequence of two courses in two specialty areas. Workshops provide in-depth understanding of empirical and theoretical economics, experience in designing and implementing research projects, and familiarity with a variety of applied economic research. Internships involve analyzing economic problems and writing reports about the solutions. Dissertation work includes conducting original research that emphasizes application of economic theory, use of econometric methodology, and solutions to real-world problems.

Research Opportunities

The Department of Economics offers graduate students many opportunities to conduct innovative research. Students assist faculty members with research that addresses emerging and long-standing issues. Through class assignments, thesis work, and dissertation work, students also conduct original research to examine economic problems.

Faculty mentoring, research grants, research seminars, and other resources help students acquire the research skills and experience that employers value.

Faculty members in the Department of Economics actively engage in research that advances the discipline and solves real-world problems. Core research areas include the following:

- Econometrics

- Economic development

- Environmental economics

- Industrial organization

- International economics

- Labor economics

- Macroeconomics

- Microeconomics

- Monetary economics

Financial Aid

Economics graduate students at Western Michigan University may qualify for several financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, fellowships (master's and doctoral), teaching and research assistantships, doctoral associateships, research and travel grants, and federal loans. Additional potential funding sources include fellowships, associateships, and scholarships from external sources; loans from private lenders; and employer tuition assistance.


Graduate tuition for the 2015-16 academic year is $530.31 per credit hour for Michigan residents and $1,123.24 per credit hour for nonresidents.


Graduate students may apply to any housing options on campus or may seek off-campus housing options.


Graduate faculty members are prolific researchers, accomplished teachers, and skillful economists. For example, Professor Jean Kimmel has research interests in child care, female employment, labor economics, motherhood wage gap, and wage determination. She has published numerous articles and reports in journals and other publications. Prior to joining the Department of Economics, she was a senior economist at the W. E. Upjohn Institute of Employment Research. Information about other professors in the department is available at

Western Michigan University

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University is a public research institution located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the Midwestern region of the United States, with an enrollment of approximately 24,000 students. The University offers 147 bachelor's, 73 master's, and 30 doctoral programs.

Western Michigan University consistently receives top rankings for excellence in education and research. The Carnegie Foundation designated the university as one of the country's 147 public research universities. "U.S. News & World Report" has ranked it as one of the top national universities for 24 consecutive years. "The Princeton Review" consistently rates the university as one of the best colleges in the Midwest.


The University's location in Kalamazoo provides many learning and social opportunities. With more than 325,000 residents, Kalamazoo is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Michigan and one of the 150 largest in the nation. It has the cultural, recreational, and entertainment opportunities of larger cities.

Kalamazoo is also within proximity of the Midwest's diverse offerings. Students can venture 20 minutes outside of the city to farm country or catch a train to Chicago, Illinois, the nation's third-largest city.

Graduate Student Life

Western Michigan University is a student-centered, supportive, and inclusive learning community where students from more than 100 countries thrive academically, professionally, and socially. The University's beautiful, park-like campus has many features including a first-rate aviation campus, high-tech science complex, and modern student recreation center as well as one of the country's top ten performing arts centers.

The University provides extensive academic resources, co-curricular activities, recreational options, and support services. Academic services include tutoring, writing assistance, lecture series, and research seminars. Support services include career services, child care, disability services, diversity and inclusion programs, faith and spiritual development, health and counseling services, and on-campus housing.

Co-curricular activities include the Graduate Student Association, 400 student organizations, community-service projects, and student media. Recreational and entertainment opportunities consist of concerts, comedy events, cultural events, movies, fitness programs, intramural sports, and open recreation.


Applicants must provide general information, including educational history details, and must also request official transcripts be sent to the University. The application deadline for the fall semester is April 1 and August 1 for the spring semester. A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is required and must be submitted within the online application system. While this program does not require a graduate test, international applicants may have to provide evidence of English language proficiency. There is a $50 nonrefundable application fee for domestic applicants and $100 for international applicants. More information can be found in the online application.

Location & Contact

Department of Economics

College of Arts and Sciences
Western Michigan University

1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Admissions and Orientation

Phone: 269-387-2000
Fax: 269-387-2096

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Applied Economics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic Not Reported
    • Application Fee - International Not Reported
    • Electronic applications accepted? No
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline February 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsFebruary 15
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported