MA in Economics

The Mason style of economics fuses scholarship in the fields of public choice (founded by Nobel Laureate and former Mason professor, the late James Buchanan), Austrian economics, and experimental economics (the latter founded by Nobel Laureate and Mason professor emeritus Vernon Smith). Our nationally ranked graduate economics programs are noted for their emphasis on comparative institutional analysis and their concentration on the relationships among economic, political, and legal institutions.

Economics faculty are often sought after by media outlets to provide their opinions and expertise, invited to give congressional testimony, and frequently offer value-added advice to policy makers. Faculty are actively engaged in academic research on, and teaching about, numerous subjects including: experimental economics, Austrian economics, public choice, constitutional political economy, law and economics, and new institutional economics,

As a part of the Master of Arts in economics program, you will gain knowledge of economic theory and improve your ability to apply this theory to economic problems. Graduates are qualified to read and judge other's research and to conduct their own, either individually or as members of research teams in government or business. They are also prepared to write policy analysis articles.

Many students benefit from Mason’s proximity to the resources of the Washington, D.C., area. Graduates move on to successful careers in policy institutes and non-profits, as well as the public and private sectors.

The MA in economics is a self-contained course of study for students who are not planning to pursue the PhD program at George Mason University. Students who plan to pursue the PhD degree should apply directly to the doctoral program. They can earn a master’s while pursuing the PhD.

Classes for the MA Economics on-campus program are generally offered in the evening, and courses for the the online program are usually scheduled asynchronously. Many of our students are already in the workforce and we value the contributions they bring to the classroom.


Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities are available on a competitive basis for MA in economics on-campus students. The application process for fellowships and assistantships is separate from the admissions process. Therefore, a separate application should be submitted to each opportunity an applicant is interested in.

Questions regarding funding opportunities for MA in economics students can be emailed to




James Buchanan Fellowship awards will be available for Fall 2023 MA Admission.  We will share more details soon.  


Graduate Research Assistantship

Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship is a two-year, competitive, full-time program for on-campus students pursuing an MA in economics at George Mason University who are interested in gaining an advanced degree in applied economics in preparation for a career in public policy. MA Fellows have the opportunity to work as research assistants and coauthors with Mercatus scholars. This opportunity involves a work component.

How to Apply to the Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship

Please review information on the Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship webpage for program details and application requirements.