Main Departmental Office
Wooten Hall, Room 325
1155 Union Circle #311457
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Web site: economics.unt.edu
David J. Molina, Chair
The Department of Economics is actively involved in educational and research activities designed to produce graduates with the economic background and quantitative skills necessary to succeed in today’s labor market or PhD programs in economics and related subjects. Employers in business, industry, education and government are in need of employees that can analyze and interpret data. Our graduates are well prepared to meet these needs, and the demand for our students is growing.
The department offers a degree in the following program:
This degree is highly applied in nature and focuses on quantitative methods and econometrics.
Many of the research and educational efforts of the department are coordinated through its affiliated units. These units include the Center for Economic Education, the Center for International Economic Studies and Research, and the Center for Environmental Economic Studies and Research.
The department also participates in the offering of a graduate academic certificate in economic geography.
The Department of Economics is actively involved in a wide variety of research activities. The department supports the development of research teams composed of faculty and students to enhance productivity and learning. The faculty’s research falls into five broad categories: econometrics, applied microeconomics, applied macroeconomics, public economics and international economics.
In the area of econometrics, faculty research includes work in Markov-switching models, propensity score matching, non-linear and non-normal regression, dynamic panel data and panel unit root tests that allow for structural breaks. The faculty is also involved in the application of full information maximum likelihood estimation, limited dependent variable approaches and discrete factor analysis applied to international development, economic education, health care and consumer decisions.
In the field of applied microeconomics, faculty research is particularly diverse. Recent work has involved health economics topics such as the effects of prenatal care on birth weights, demand for abortions and demand for contraception. In the field of labor economics, research is ongoing on the employment effects of the Job Training Partnership Act and in work life estimates. A great deal of research is being conducted in environmental economics, including the determinants of biodiversity and water policy. In addition, the department has a number of faculty members interested in the emerging field of sports economics, with current research under way into demand for professional soccer, the possible existence of discrimination in Major League Baseball Hall of Fame voting, and the determinants and effects of changes in the distribution of income among professional athletes.
Faculty research in the area of applied macroeconomics includes inquiries into exchange rate stability, patterns of foreign investment, growth, convergence and optimal government size. In addition, applications of growth theory and endogenous growth models are being examined and refined. The impact of inflation on government policy multipliers in the U.S. is another area of macroeconomic research.
The economics department’s faculty includes a number of international economists with areas of specialization in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Research in the area of international economics has involved international income distribution, within-country effects of economic integration, immigration, the transition economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and small-scale enterprise development in developing countries.
The faculty of the Department of Economics conducts an aggressive search for external funding in support of research programs. Funding for these programs is provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the Texas Education Agency, the National Occupational Information Coordination Committee, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Council on Economic Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, USAID and the Soros Foundation.
The department has increased its emphasis on placement by designating one of the faculty as placement officer. The placement officer locates job openings, helps prepare students for interviews and develops internships for economics majors with private and public institutions in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.
The following admission requirements pertain to the Master of Science with a major in economics.
Applicants must first apply to and be admitted to the Toulouse Graduate School in order to be considered for admission to the graduate program in economics. Applicants are required to submit the following: full college transcripts; an acceptable grade point average (GPA); competitive Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (both quantitative and analytical); a personal essay; resume; and two letters of recommendation. Each of these requirements is described in more detail below.
A student can be admitted without provisions if the student’s undergraduate GPA is at least 3.0. Provisional admission can be obtained if a student has an initial GPA of at least 2.8, and this student earns a GPA of at least 3.0 during the first 12 hours of courses.
For information regarding acceptable GRE scores, contact the graduate advisor in the Department of Economics. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to score at least a 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam, or its equivalent.
Applicants must submit a personal essay of no more than 1,500 words summarizing their accomplishments and their motivation for obtaining a graduate degree in economics. When appropriate, applicants also should describe any special hardships they have overcome in order to reach this point in their academic career.
Two letters of recommendation should be solicited from people familiar with the applicant’s academic potential. No special form is required.
Personal essay, resume and letters should be sent directly to the graduate advisor in the Department of Economics.
Although no specific undergraduate major is required, an appropriate background is desirable. Applicants for the Master of Science with a major in economics must fulfill the following prerequisites or equivalents:
- 6 hours of Principles of Economics (ECON 1100 and ECON 1110)
- 6 hours of Intermediate Economic Theory (ECON 3550 and ECON 3560)
- 7 hours of Calculus (MATH 1710 and MATH 1720)
- and an appropriate background in probability and statistics (ECON 4630, ECON 5630 , MATH 3680, MATH 4650 or DSCI 3710, with a grade of B or better).
The department offers the Master of Science with a major in economics. All students must develop a degree plan in consultation with the graduate advisor.
The Faculty Scholarship in Memory of Karla Lynch
This scholarship is in memory of long-time faculty member Karla Lynch, who passed away on February 21, 2015. Karla was also an alumna of our program, earning her Master’s in economics in 1992. She was a master teacher and a caring mentor, and she touched the lives of generations of students and colleagues and friends fortunate enough to have known her. The scholarship is funded by Karla’s colleagues and many friends as a way of honoring her commitment to her students and to higher education in general.
The Lewis M. Abernathy Scholarship in Economics
This scholarship is named in honor of Professor Lew Abernathy (1932-2005). Dr. Abernathy served the Department from 1967 until his retirement in 1999. He was chairman from 1984 to 1994. His passion was labor education and he directed the UNT Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations and the UNT Econ Labor Education Program. This scholarship is merit based for full-time graduate or undergraduate majors in economics. Students must have a minimum 3.0 average and maintain full time enrollment status unless they are graduating.
The Rising Eagle Scholarship
This scholarship is for current economics majors who are graduating with a BA/BS/BBA in Economics and who will join the Master’s program in Economics in the fall of the coming year. The number and amount of awards depend on the availability of funding.
Department of Economics Graduate Scholarships for Academic Excellence
This scholarship is for outstanding graduate students in the Master’s program in Economics who are making good progress towards completion of their degree. Several of these scholarships may be awarded if funds are available.
Faculty of the Department of Economics Scholarships
This scholarship is made possible by the contributions of current faculty members in the Department of Economics. The scholarship is merit based and is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate economics major with an outstanding academic record. Students must have a minimum 3.0 average and maintain full time enrollment status unless they are graduating.
The Aaron Wuensch Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was created by members of the Department of Economics and the family and friends of Aaron Wuensch, a former graduate student in the Department of Economics who lost his life in June of 2009. This scholarship is intended to honor the memory of this outstanding student and fine young man.
William H. & Virginia W. Wallace Graduate Scholarship
This scholarship is in memory of Dr. William H. Wallace and his wife. Dr. Wallace was an economist and served as adjunct instructor at UNT from 2001 to 2012. He had a brilliant academic career at numerous universities, including the University of Illinois, Duke University, the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA (where he was Dean of the College of Business). He also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank, serving on the Board of Governors in Washington, DC, and as First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Dallas branch. The scholarship is open to new and continuing full-time graduate students in Economics. New students must meet minimum entrance standards; continuing students must meet academic performance standards of the department and have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
This scholarship is made possible by the contributions of Richard Johnson (BS’16) in honor of Drs. Hauge and Rous and their contributions to economics education. The scholarship is merit based and is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate economics major with an outstanding academic record. Students must have a minimum 3.0 average and maintain full time enrollment status unless they are graduating.
Center for Economic Education
Steven L. Cobb, Director
The Center for Economic Education, winner of the 2005 Albert Beekhuis Award for Centers of Excellence in Economic Education, is committed to making formal instruction in economics more accessible to the broad community of North Central Texas.
The center directs a professional program of study leading to the Master of Science degree with a major in economic research and a support area in economic education. The concentration in economics education is a 36-hour program designed to prepare teachers for economics instruction in secondary schools and community colleges. The course of study is designed in consultation with the director of the center and the graduate advisor for the Department of Economics.
The center also maintains an in-service teacher training program of course offerings regularly scheduled during evening hours and in the summer. This program provides a mechanism for the in-service training of economics teachers in community colleges and secondary and elementary schools.
In addition to its regional instructional programs, the center develops instructional material, conducts research in economics education, maintains an instructional resource center and provides technical assistance in matters pertaining to instruction in economics.
Economics Research Group
Michael C. Carroll, Director
Yang Zhou, Assistant Director
The Department of Economics at the University of North Texas houses the Economics Research Group (ERG), one of the country’s leading economics research groups. By providing support to communities and industry, the ERG is leading the study of the innovation economy, defining the dynamics of this economy and analyzing it to provide understanding and actionable data. ERG conducts in-depth research, solving tough economic issues leading to new ideas and solutions facing society. Examples include water costs and impacts, efficiencies associated with the movement of goods, infrastructure development and integration assessment, and bio-based industry growth.
Committed to the creation and application of world-class economic strategies, ERG is working with global partners to assess the economy and transform data and trends into innovative, actionable solutions. Areas of expertise include: innovation economy, social network theory, embedded economy, creative economy, economic impact studies, and economic development strategies.