The Progressive Degree program (PDP) provides USC undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree as they finish their undergraduate degree. It’s a terrific way for a student to deepen their education and prepare for a successful career. Most progressive degree students earn a bachelor’s degree plus a master’s degree in approximately 5 years.

A student enrolled in the Department of Economics’ PDP will earn a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Econometrics (MS AEE) graduate degree. The MS AEE is a STEM designated program, which allows international students on F-1 visas to apply for a 24-month extension of their optional practical training (OPT). The Department’s PDP program is open to Econ majors and non-Econ majors at USC.

Admissions Requirements

Application to be submitted and processed when the student has completed 64 USC units (excludes AP, IB, and transfer units prior to high school graduation)

Students may apply any semester upon earning 64 units, EXCEPT their last semester/semester they are graduating from their undergraduate degree

A cumulative GPA of a 3.5 or above

Strong marks in ECON 303, ECON 305, ECON 317 or BUAD 310, and ECON 318 or related courses from other departments.

No GRE scores required

MS AEE Requirements for PDP Students

Progressive Degree students pursuing an MS in Applied Economics and Econometrics must successfully complete at least 32 graduate-level units in addition to all undergraduate requirements. Students pursing any undergraduate major within the Economics department will have 8 units waived and will only need to complete 24 graduate-level units of ECON 500-level coursework.

Details about the graduate-level requirements are below.

    • ECON 500: Microeconomics Analysis and Policy (4.0 units)*
    • ECON 501: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy (4.0 units)*
    • ECON 513: Practice of Econometrics (4.0 units)

    *Must be passed with a “B” grade or higher – ECON 500 and ECON 501 – or student must retake the course

    • ECON 570: Big Data Econometrics (4.0 units)


    • ECON 584: Economic Consulting and Applied Econometrics (4.0 units)
  • (8.0 units if pursuing a major within ECON department)
    Students may choose their own graduate-level ECON courses or elect to specialize in a key economic area by selective one of the following tracks:
    • Economic Policy and Development
    • Big Data Economics
    • Economic Consulting
    • Behavioral Economics
    • Financial Economics
    Tracks require students to take a minimum of 12 units within a given track. (8 units if pursuing a major within ECON department)

Contact Details

Director of Master’s Studies

Prof. Ratika Narag

Master’s Programs Advisors

Jazmin Valenzuela

Advisement Assignment: Reference AdviseUSC

For PDP Inquiries Student Last Name Distribution: A-L

Master’s Programs Advisors

Alexis Teodoro

Advisement Assignment: Reference AdviseUSC

For PDP Inquiries Student Last Name Distribution: M-Z