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Master of Science in Economics (Research)

Master of Science in Economics (Research)

About the Program

The MSc (Econ) is a two-year research degree, with coursework running alongside the writing of the MSc thesis. All courses are PhD level courses. The details are:

Year 1 Term1  Microeconomics 1, Econometrics 1, commence MSc Thesis
  Term 2  Macroeconomics 1, Applied Econometrics
Years 2 Term 1  Microeconomics 2
  Term 2 Macroeconomics 2, Econometrics 2, complete MSc Thesis

+ 1 cu PhD coursework taken from our second year PhD program. All courses referred to here are our PhD level courses. Details regarding these courses can be found here.

Eligibility and Admission Criteria

A good BSc degree (not necessarily in economics), with sufficient mathematics/statistics training. CGPA should be no lower than 3.4/4. Students from SMU, NTU, NUS may waive the GRE/GMAT requirement. However, if your transcript does not reflect strong technical training, it is in your interest not to waive the GRE/GMAT.

Who Should Apply

You should consider this program as preparation for a PhD, or if you wish to discern if a research career/PhD course of study is for you.

This program allows you to do our difficult first year PhD program over two years, and gain some research experience. If you are successful in the MSc (Econ) program and wish to continue into our PhD program, you may enter into that program at the second year stage (after passing the PhD program’s qualifying examination).

If you are sure about a research career, and are sufficiently well-prepared, you are encouraged to apply to our PhD program direct from your BSc. Our QET students have been successful in our PhD program after entering directly from UG-QET. Information about our PhD program can be found here

Fees and Scholarships

Program Fees: Singapore Citizen     S$20,200
  Singapore PRs     S$28,280

We are able to offer this program to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) only.

We offer five scholarships a year for this program. Under this scholarship, tuition is waived, and in the second year you will receive monthly stipends. The stipends rates are:

 Singapore Citizen S$2,500 per month plus 17% CPF
 Singapore PRs S$1,500 per month
 * The Singapore Management University reserves the right to alter fees as appropriate.
Early Enrollment Possibility for SMU Students

SMU students may have the opportunity to enroll early into this program. Students who meet certain qualifying criteria, and have completed Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Intermediate Econometrics, and Economic Dynamics by their third year, with a combined GPA of 3.7/4 for these four courses, may begin their MSc in the fourth year of their BSc, and count the MSc coursework toward their BSc degree. The additional requirement is to ensure that you will be able to handle the BSc + MSc load.

The following diagram shows how the early enrollment MSc (Econ) fits in with the SMU BSc (Econ) degree. It also shows how students who complete the MSc (Econ) can enroll into the SMU Econ PhD Program at the second year stage.



Year 1

 Complete by end-Year 3:
 Intermediate Econometrics, Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Economic Dynamics
 Entry criteria for early enrollment: Overall GPA 3.4/4, Special Combined GPA 3.7/4


Year 2

Year 3

Year 4
MSc partial scholarship

 -PhD Microeconomics 1, Macroeconomics 1, Econometrics 1, Applied Econometrics 
 -Begin MSc Thesis
 Complete 36cu UG requirements and graduate with BSc, possibly with QET (36cu includes usual  waivers; Microeconomics 1, Macroeconomics 1, and Econometrics 1 may be double-counted.).

Year 1



Year 1
MSc full scholarship

 PhD Microeconomics 2, Macroeconomics 2, Econometrics 2, and 2 PhD ART;
 Complete MSc Thesis, graduate with MSc by research;
 (Take Qualifying Exam if intending to enroll in PhD program)

Year 2

Year 2
PhD full scholarship

 Can enter PhD program if passed PhD Qualifying Exam
 Complete PhD coursework


Year 3-5
PhD full scholarship

PhD Dissertation Research


Year 6

Can extend on Graduate Instructorship if necessary



  1. The MSc partial scholarship refers to tuition waiver only. Note that you will have to continue paying your BSc tuition fees if currently enrolled in the SMU BSc program. Full scholarship refers to tuition waiver and monthly stipends.
  2. Economic Dynamics is a new undergraduate course planned for AY2017/18. This course is waived for early batches, or if not offered.
  3. The PhD scholarship is a four-year scholarship with stipend. You can qualify for the full PhD scholarship if you complete your MSc successfully.
  4. The special combined GPA refers to the combined GPA for Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Intermediate Econometrics, and Economic Dynamics. This is only required for early enrollment.
Apply Now!

Applications will be open on 2 January and will close on 31st March 2017.

If you are facing any technical issues with your application, please email us at

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  1. What's the difference between an MSc Thesis and a PhD Dissertation?
    Whereas a PhD dissertation is expected to make an important and substantial contribution to knowledge, and the advancement of a theory, the objective of this MSc thesis is primarily to demonstrate a good understanding of current arguments, analyses, and issues in a particular area of research, ability to identify and formulate a research question, and competence in constructing and carrying out a research plan.

  2. Do I need to write a detailed research proposal for my application?
    No. But you should tell us what economics questions you are interested in, and what your initial thoughts are about the problem. If you are an Econ BSc, you should try to relate the questions to what you have learnt in your BSc courses, and the degree (in your opinion) to which the question has been answered. As part of your MSc thesis, you will do a full critical literature review on the research topic, put together a proper research question, and plan of attack.

  3. What’s the difference between a senior thesis and an MSc thesis?
    The senior thesis (written over two terms) is much smaller in scale than an MSc thesis (written over two years). The intention of doing an MSc Thesis is to bring you up to the frontier of knowledge regarding a particular research question. This is not attempted with a senior thesis. 

  4. I am an SMU Global Impact scholar. How does this fit in with the Global Impact scholars awards?
    The scholarship offered for the MSc provides stipends in the second year, so obviously it benefits you to get the MSc scholarship. If you fail to do obtain the MSc scholarship, you may still use the Global Impact Scholars Award to offset the MSc (Econ) program fee.

  5. Do I need a faculty to agree to supervise me before I apply?
    It would certainly help your application, but it is not necessary. Based on your personal statement (see point 2) we will try to match you with a suitable faculty member.


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Last updated on 03 Feb 2017 .