Progressive Degree

The Progressive Degree program (PDP) provides a superior USC undergraduate student 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 future. Most progressive degree students earn a bachelor's degree plus a master's degree in a total of 5.5 years!

A student enrolled in the Department of Economics's 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. 

Admission 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
  • One letter of recommendation from USC faculty – preferably from a professor who has knowledge of your quantitative abilities
  • No GRE scores required
  • Application Deadlines: FALL, Nov. 20th; SPRING, April 1st. No exceptions

Sample Schedule


  • ECON 500: Micro Analysis & Policy
  • ECON 513: Practice of Econometrics
  • ECON Track Course


12 units


  • ECON 501: Macro Analysis & Policy
  • ECON 570: Big Data Econometrics or ECON 584: Economic Consulting and Applied Econometrics
  • ECON Track Course


12 units

  • ECON Track Course
  • ECON Track Course/or ECON 500-level elective



8 units

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. Details about the graduate-level requirements are below.


Core Courses: 12.0 units

  • 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


Additional Econometrics Course: 4.0 units

  • ECON 570: Big Data Econometrics (4.0 units)


  • ECON 584: Economic Consulting and Applied Econometrics (4.0 units)


ECON Tracks (minimum of 3 courses from one track) 16.0 units:

Economic Policy and Development

Big Data Economics

Economic Consulting

Behavioral Economics

Financial Economics 

  • All courses must be taken on campus – no online courses.
  • University of Southern California | Department of Economics | Department Chair: Romain Ranciere
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 8335