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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 monetary approach to international finance, rational expectations in macroeconomics, and mechanism design, among others.  

MACSS – Econ: The Economics Concentration in MACSS

Prospective students who declare Economics as their primary field in their application will be a part of the MACSS-Econ cohort. Successful applicants must have prior exposure to real analysis, econometric theory, 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 MACSS-Econ, the economics concentration in MACSS, 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 will be supported in their course selection, choice of faculty advisor, and MA thesis by the staff of Instructional Professors in the Griffin Department of Economics. The group of Instructional Professors has expertise across the different fields within economics. They run reading groups by topic during the fall and winter quarters to support students in the development of the MA thesis proposal. Victor Lima, Senior Instructional Professor in Economics, Min Sok Lee, Assistant Senior Instructional Professor in Economics, will match students to potential instructional professor advisors and reading groups based on their respective fields of interest.

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 MACSS-ECON students in mind has been developed. Students who believe they qualify for doctoral level coursework will be evaluated based on their prior background and, if it is adequate, they can register for doctoral level coursework in the department.

The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics has a March 15th deadline for current MACSS-Econ year two students to apply for UChicago’s PhD Program in Economics. This allows students to submit application materials that include their performance in year one and the first two quarters of year two. 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 MACSS-Econ is a STEM-approved program.

Please take time to review our MACSS- Econ Curricular Policy

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

Email: macss-econ@uchicago.edu

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. MACSS-Econ students are strongly encouraged to attend these workshops. A roster of workshops in which Economics faculty and students regularly participate is available here.


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 MACSS-ECON students include: