Five-Year Accelerated Master's Degree

About the Program

Washington University allows qualified undergraduates to complete a Master of Arts (AM) degree in a one-year accelerated program after completing the AB degree. The undergraduate and graduate degrees are awarded sequentially, with admission to the master’s degree, if approved, for the fall semester following the completion of the undergraduate degree in the preceding December, May, or August. In economics, in order to participate in the math/statistics “boot camps” that occur in August, undergraduates interested in the AM degree must apply by May 15 of the senior year. GRE tests are not required. The program is available only to students currently in their senior year and only for continuous enrollment in the next year. There is no option for deferred admissions.

Economics requires the completion of at least 30 units for the AM, and the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences will permit a maximum of 3 courses at the 400-level or above (with a maximum of 12 units) to be counted toward both the AB and the AM degrees.  These 3 courses must be pre-approved by the economics department, and each must be completed with a final grade of B or higher. All admissions to the Accelerated AM program are provisional until the successful completion of the AB degree. The actual awarding of each degree is contingent on successful completion of all requirements for that degree.

Students considering this option should consult with the Academic Coordinator, ideally no later than the beginning of the senior year in the undergraduate program. The application for admission must be made to the department, which forwards the application and the department’s recommendation for admission to the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences.  


    For More Information

    Further administrative information can be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences.

    Guidelines & Application Instructions

    Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the 4+1 Program

    1. At least 30 units (10 classes) from the available 400- and 500-level classes in Economics, where up to 3 advanced Economics electives can be “double counted” across the AB and AM degrees. These 10 classes must include:
      1. at least two 500-level economics courses
      2. an Econometrics course from among Econ 4151, Econ 5161 and Econ 513.
    2. All courses offered toward the graduate degree must be passed with a grade of B or better.
    3. Students have the option to write an AM essay/thesis, which can count for up to 6 credits. The essay/thesis has to satisfy the following requirements:
      1. A senior Honors Thesis may not be used as the AM essay.  The AM essay can be related to the senior Honors Thesis; but it must be a distinctly different paper. See the Academic Coordinator and/or the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences for Graduate Studies thesis guidelines
      2. AM students must defend their thesis/essay before a group of selected faculty. The defense date and the selected faculty will be arranged between the student and that student’s advisor.
      3. Students writing an AM essay must work with a faculty advisor. Ideally, finding an advisor and beginning research should begin during the senior year of the undergraduate degree.
    4. Students who will not write a thesis will take a master-level comprehensive examination before graduation. This exam will be administered immediately after the end of classes and will reflect the subjects that students covered during the AM program. As with course grades, the exam must be passed with a grade of B or better to count towards the degree.