Apr 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Financial Economics

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The Master of Science in Financial Economics degree prepares graduates for employment in the financial services sector in positions requiring advanced quantitative and analytical skills and in-depth familiarity with the structure and functioning of financial markets and institutions. The program provides a solid foundation in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, asset pricing, econometrics, and financial management to ensure that graduates have the conceptual and statistical tools to develop sound research designs, build forecasting models, and understand the role of financial markets and institutions within the economy. The program includes courses from the School of Economics and the Maine Business School and offers thesis and non-thesis options. 

Graduates from the Financial Economics program acquire strong analytical, quantitative, and communication skills, which prepare them for Ph.D. programs in financial economics and related fields, and employment with government agencies, consulting firms, businesses, and non-profit organizations. The program includes thesis and non-thesis options and prepares students for positions requiring advanced analytical skills, knowledge of economic systems and methods, and practical experience conducting economic analyses of policy issues.


Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Economics is competitive. An undergraduate degree in economics or a related field is desirable but not essential for admission. The School of Economics is much more concerned with the applicant’s capacity for graduate study, quantitative reasoning, and the quality of previous work. Below is a list of required and recommended courses. Applicants seeking admission generally achieve a B or better in these courses. Applicants seeking funding (see below for more information) generally achieve an A- or better in most of the required courses listed below AND have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Applicants with lower grades/GPA may be admitted/funded, especially if they have unique professional or personal experiences demonstrating strong knowledge, skills, determination, and ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate program and uniquely contribute to the School of Economics.


Required Courses (UMaine equivalent*):

  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (ECO 220)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (ECO 221)
  • Statistics (STS 215 or 132)
  • Calculus I (MAT 126)
  • Business Finance (FIN 350)


Strongly Recommended but Not Required (UMaine equivalent*):

  • Calculus II (MAT 127)
  • Calculus III (MAT 228)
  • Linear Algebra (MAT 262)
  • Econometrics (ECO 385)
  • Mathematical Economics (ECO 480)
  • Accounting (ACC 400)
  • Computer Programming experience (e.g., Stata, SAS, SPSS, R, Matlab, Python)


*Descriptions for UMaine equivalent courses can be found in the UMaine Undergraduate Catalog: http://catalog.umaine.edu/

In addition to the required and recommended courses listed above, we expect: 1) a strong, well-written personal essay that clearly communicates why the applicant is a good fit for our program and why our program is a good fit for the applicant in the context of a set of clear academic and professional goals; the essay should also demonstrate the potential for the applicant to succeed when faced with challenges; 2) strong letters of recommendation from faculty that taught required courses and/or other mentors of related work (e.g., thesis/research advisor, job supervisor, etc.), which demonstrate the applicant’s ability to be successful in a rigorous graduate program; 3) a well-written and clear resume/CV that demonstrates a strong work ethic and interest in gaining applicable skills/knowledge outside of the classroom.

GRE scores may help faculty evaluate applications where there is uncertainty about potential success in the program. They are recommended but not required. In the past, GRE scores of admitted students have been around 160 in the Verbal and Quantitative sections and 4 in the Analytical section.

Applicants from countries where English is NOT the official language must furnish proof of their proficiency in English. There are two major tests for this purpose: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and tests from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For admission, the School requires TOEFL scores to be above 92, 237, or 580 (on the internet, computer, or paper-based exams, respectively) or IELTS scores to be 6.9 or higher. To be competitive for a funded assistantship, scores should be higher: TOEFL above 98, 247, or 597, respectively, and the IELTS equal to 7.6 or higher. TOEFL/IELTS scores may be waived if the applicant has attended a U.S. college or university for at least four years or earned a degree from a U.S. university or college.​ 

Other general admission criteria are described in the general section of this catalog.


Degree Requirements

Successful completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work is required for the M.S. in Financial Economics degree. Students on the thesis track also must pass an oral examination and written thesis approved by their Advisory Committee before the completion of their program. The thesis option is more demanding and intensive but offers students an opportunity to complete an independent research project under the guidance of an economics faculty member. The non-thesis option is designed for students who wish to obtain greater breadth in their coursework and job experience through internships, independent studies, and/or additional electives.

The following table outlines the program requirements for the M.S. degree with Thesis and Non-Thesis options. The core requires ECO courses provide students with tools and problem-solving skills applicable to the economic analysis of a wide range of public policy issues. Elective courses allow students flexibility in designing programs to meet their needs.





ECO 511 - Macroeconomic Theory



ECO 514 - Microeconomic Theory



ECO 530 - Econometrics



ECO 532 - Applied Time Series Econometrics



ECO 553 - Financial Economics



MBA Financial Courses (choose two from list below)



ECO 699 - Graduate Thesis



Additional graduate-level elective credits



Total Credits



Choose two MBA Financial courses from the following list:

  • MBA 609 Financial Statement Analysis
  • MBA 651 Financial Management
  • MBA 652 Management of Financial Institutions
  • MBA 653 Investment Management

*Descriptions for all UMaine Graduate level courses can be found in the UMaine Graduate Catalog: http://gradcatalog.umaine.edu/

Funding Support

The School of Economics awards graduate assistantships to qualified students on a competitive basis. Nine and twelve-month graduate assistantships may be awarded for research, teaching, or administrative assistance. Graduate assistantships include a monthly stipend, tuition costs, and subsidized health insurance coverage. There is no single criteria for admission with financial aid. The Graduate Committee evaluates a portfolio of items that include (not in any order): transcripts; grades in math and economics courses; letters of recommendation; match with department research interest and needs; diversity of the graduate cohort; and the written statement of purpose. Scholarship funding is also available. For details on funding opportunities, visit the School of Economics Graduate Program website: https://umaine.edu/soe/graduate/.

Graduate Faculty

The School of Economics Graduate Faculty includes faculty with economics, engineering, law, psychology, public policy and human ecology expertise.

Kathleen Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), Professor. Environmental economics, public economics, and spatial economics.

Andrew Crawley, Ph.D. (University of Glamorgan) Associate Professor in Regional Economic Development. Economic impact, economic modeling.

Angela Daley, Ph.D. (Dalhousie University) Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy.  Health and labor economics, poverty and inequality, social policy, children and families, rural and remote communities, including aboriginal people.

Keith S. Evans, Ph.D. (Iowa State University) Associate Professor of Marine Resource Economics and Graduate Coordinator. Marine resource management, cooperation in the commons, nonmarket valuation, and applied econometrics.

Todd Gabe, Ph.D. (Ohio State University), Professor. Regional and community economic development and public finance.

Kelsi Hobbs, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), Assistant Professor. Applied microeconomics, public, urban, and innovation economics.

Sharon Klein, Ph.D. (Carnegie Mellon University), Associate Professor. Technical, economic, environmental, and social/policy impacts of renewable energy and energy efficiency, community-based sustainable energy adoption.

Jonathan Malacarne, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis) Assistant Professor. Development Economics, Agricultural Economics.

Caroline Noblet, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Associate Professor. Environmental economics and psychology.

Jonathan Rubin, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis), Professor. Environmental regulation and design, the economics of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles, and the economics of greenhouse gas reductions.

Mario Teisl, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), Professor and Director. Information economics, food safety, environmental and social marketing, and environmental economics.

Tim Waring, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis), Associate Professor. Sustainability, cultural evolution, and human culture and cooperation.

Thomas F. P. Wiesen, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), Assistant Professor. Macroeconomics, time series analysis, econometric methods, and financial economics.


Cooperating Faculty

Christine Beitl, Ph.D. (University of Georgia) Cooperating Associate Professor of Anthropology, Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. Intersections of socio-political, ecological, and economic systems.

Adam Daigneault, Ph.D. (Ohio State University) Cooperating Associate Professor of Forest, Conservation, and Recreation Policy. Freshwater management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, invasive species control, valuing ecosystem services.

Sandra De Urioste-Stone, Ph.D. (University of Idaho) Cooperating Associate Professor of Nature-based Tourism. Sustainable tourism planning and development.

Ewa J, Kleczyk, Ph.D. (Virginia Tech) Affiliated Graduate Faculty. Health and labor economics.

Jessica Leahy, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) Cooperating Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Environmental attitudes and behaviors towards forests, forestry, and other natural resource management topics.

Cynthia Isenhour, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky) Cooperating Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change. Economic and environmental anthropology, political ecology.

Stefano Tijerina, Ph.D. (University of Maine) Cooperating Adjunct Assistant Professor. Economic history and the Canadian economy.

Kristin Vekasi, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Cooperating Associate Professor-Political Science and School of Policy & International Affairs. International political economy, and the dynamics of political conflict, foreign direct investment, nationalism, and the geopolitics of supply chains.



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