MBA: Applied Economics


About the MBA in Economics

Practitioners of applied economics use theoretical models and econometric tools to address real-world problems in business, public policy and behavioral analysis. You’ll learn to make data-driven decisions and answer complex economic questions with an MBA in economics from PennWest California.

The accredited MBA economics concentration at PennWest California provides a foundation in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, along with the data analysis skills required to put this knowledge to use in real situations. As part of PennWest California’s MBA program, you’ll also learn to integrate business concepts across a range of disciplines; master skills in decision-making, teamwork and leadership; and use evidence as the basis for organizational strategy.

Learn your way

PennWest California’s 36-credit economics MBA includes a mix of online and on-campus courses. Our online courses are asynchronous, so you can learn from anywhere, at any time.

You can choose to attend on-campus courses in person or virtually, through multimodal web conferencing technology. This “distance learning” option gives you the flexibility to attend some classes in person or complete your degree 100% online.

Students wishing to study on-campus or through a combination of on-campus and online coursework (multi-modal) must begin their MBA program in the Fall semester.

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Listen to the Vulcan Nation podcast as faculty members and graduate admissions counselors discuss PennWest California MBA programs and the new Master's in Accounting degree.


Program Highlights: MBA in Applied Economics

BUILD SKILLS: As an accounting student in PennWest California’s MBA program, you’ll work closely with industry professionals to develop the technical and research skills that employers value. You’ll learn to use accounting-specific tools such as the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® software and various tax research databases – hands-on skills that may give you a competitive edge in the job market.

CAREER-READY: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “globalization, a growing economy and a complex tax and regulatory environment” are driving a strong demand for accountants and auditors. Technology may take over some routine accounting functions in the coming years, the BLS reports, but accountants will continue to be valued for their advisory and analytical skills.

Learn more about applying

Percentage of economists are employed in local, state or federal government positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Median annual wage for economists in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. 
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California’s MBA in economics includes:

  • Core cross-disciplinary courses that build the collaborative, decision-making and leadership skills employers demand.
  • Concentration courses focused on the foundational knowledge and technical skills required for success as an economist.
  • Elective courses that let you tailor your graduate-level business degree to your individual career goals.

This flexible MBA in economics program can be completed in 15 months of full-time study, or on a part-time schedule.

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Graduate Outcomes

Master’s degrees in economics are among the most lucrative, according to employment websites Monster and Payscale – and job growth for economists is expected to grow by 8%, faster than the average for all occupations, between 2018 and 2028. Graduates of PennWest California’s applied economics program are prepared for employment as consultants, public policy analysts, risk managers, financial managers, actuarial analysts, market research analysts, data scientists and more.


MBA: Applied Economics Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs


Course Credits
Core Courses  
MBA 700  Business Foundations 3
MBA 710  Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis 3
MBA 720  Leading the Enterprise 3
MBA 730  Managerial Decision Making 3
MBA 740  Business, Government and Society 3
MBA 750  MBA Capstone 3
Course Options (Specialized Courses)  
ECO 710  Advanced Microeconomics 3
ECO 720  Advanced Macroeconomics 3
ECO 730  Applied Econometric Analysis 3
BUS 740  Forecasting and Predictive Modeling 3
Business Electives (500-level or higher ACC, BUS, ECO, ENP, FIN, HRM, MGT, MIS or MKT) 6
Total 36

View Cohort Sequences

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally Accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 2.99-2.60 will be conditionally admitted with the stipulation of earning a 3.0 GPA in the first term
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.59 and below will be reviewed for a decision once the following documentation has been received:
      • Those that have graduated 20+ years ago and are working in a related field, may submit their resume for review.  Those that have not, must complete the GMAT with a 550 or better for consideration.


  • Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores,transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

    This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. 


  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Submit official transcripts by mail or email to:

    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      PennWest California
      Box 91
      250 University Ave. 
      California, PA 15419
      Phone: 724-938-4187
Related Programs

Other MBA Concentrations:

  • Accounting: Prepare to manage accounting information within a business enterprise.
  • Applied economics: Learn to apply economic theory and analysis skills to address issues in business, public policy and behavioral analysis.
  • Business analytics: Explore trends in information technology and transform data into meaningful tools that drive business strategies.
  • Healthcare management: Develop tools and skills pertinent to business careers within a variety of healthcare settings.
  • ManagementEnhance personal leadership competencies and build skills that can be used to solve problems and generate results.
Economics masters degree teacher in classroom.

What is applied economics?

Practitioners of applied economics help businesses, organizations and government entities make smart choices based on their knowledge of economic theories, data analysis and proven approaches to problem solving. These professionals are adept at making well-founded projections and framing complex issues in a manner that permits sound decision-making about business strategies, public policies and financial choices.

Economics masters degree teacher in classroom.

Job prospects

The MBA and economics are an ideal pairing: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job prospects are best for economists who have an advanced degree, strong analytical skills and experience using statistical analysis software – precisely the preparation provided by PennWest California’s applied economics concentration.


Dr. Stephanie Adam
Associate Professor; MBA Program Coordinator

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Dr. Ahmet Akgun
Associate Professor

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Dr. Adnan Chawdhry
Associate Professor

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Dr. Joshua Chicarelli
Associate Professor

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Dr. Paul Hettler

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Dr. Elizabeth Jones
Associate Professor

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Dr. Richard LaRosa
Associate Professor

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Dr. Mark Lennon
Associate Professor

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Dr. Edmund Matecki
Associate Professor

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Dr. Kimberly Yost
Assistant Professor

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