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About the Department

Rooted in the conviction that economics is a powerful tool for understanding society, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics is the center of the discipline across the University of Chicago and the home of the Chicago School of Economics. Faculty and alumni of the Griffin Department, renowned for their many and diverse achievements, have been recognized with numerous Nobel Prizes, Clark Medals, and other pre-eminent distinctions. Their innovations in applying economic analysis include the economics of education and other acquired skills (human capital), quantitative economic history, the economics of information, political economy, the economic theory of socialism, the economics of the household, the economics of information, the monetary approach to international finance, and rational expectations in macroeconomics, and mechanism design, among others.  

MAPSS - Economics Concentration

Prospective students who declare Economics as their primary field must have prior exposure to real analysis, econometrics, and advanced coursework in multivariable calculus, linear algebra, probability, and statistics. A solid foundation in calculus-based micro and macroeconomics is required. Students who are seeking graduate work with less mathematical orientation may find alternatives in the Harris School of Public Policy, the Booth School of Business, Political Science, and occasionally in Sociology, Law, or History.

Students admitted for MAPSS-Econ will receive a separate letter of admission. Only those persons are eligible to work with a member of the Economics faculty on the MA thesis.

Students are required to complete the doctoral math camp the Department offers in late August/early September.

Students will be supported in their course selections, choice of faculty advisor, and MA thesis by Victor Lima, Senior Instructional Professor in Economics, Min Sok Lee, Assistant Senior Instructional Professor in Economics, and other Instructional Professors in the department with expertise across the different fields within economics.

The Instructional Professors run reading groups by topics during the fall and winter quarters to support students in the development of the MA thesis proposal that students will present in the winter quarter thesis workshops.

Students are expected to take MA level coursework in economics or other, related disciplines. A dedicated set of MA level courses designed with the needs of MAPSS-ECON students in mind has been developed. Students who believe they qualify for doctoral level coursework are welcome to request an evaluation of their prior background. If their prior training is deemed to be adequate, they can register for doctoral level coursework in the department. Those students approved for doctoral level coursework may continue to take these courses provided they earn a B+ or better.

The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics has a March 15th deadline for current MAPSS-Econ students to apply for UChicago’s PhD in Economics. This allows students to submit application materials that include their performance in the first two quarters of the MAPSS year. If admitted, students begin their doctoral program in the subsequent academic year.

International students are eligible for three years of work authorization in the U.S. after they graduate, since MAPSS-Econ is a STEM-approved program.

Additional information on course enrollment, thesis advising, placement, among other important features, can be found on our frequently asked questions page. Please contact Emma Rubenstein, student affairs administrator, with any questions.

Emma Rubenstein                                                                              

Student Affairs Administrator                                                         

The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics                       

1126 E. 59th Street  | Chicago, Illinois 60637                                     


Phone: (773) 834-1972


A hallmark of the University of Chicago is the array of workshops that bring together students and faculty across disciplines, divisions, and schools for a collaborative exchange of ideas around particular areas of interest. A roster of workshops in which Economics faculty and students regularly participate is available here.

Centers and Institutes

UChicago is renowned for its interdisciplinary culture, in which faculty, students, and visiting scholars can gain innovative insights through multiple, varying perspectives. More than 150 institutes and centers across the University are an integral means for those connections. 

Center and institutes of particular interest to MAPSS-ECON students include: