4+1 Program

Gleeson Library

The 4+1 program offers students an opportunity to earn both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree within five years, at a lower cost compared to doing both degrees separately. Students can obtain one of two Master’s degrees:

 Students graduate with the BS and officially matriculate into the MS program upon completion of College graduation requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

Both programs provide excellent training in applied economic research and data analysis that can be used in a variety of careers. Graduates of the MS Applied Economics program are particularly well-trained for roles in technology or consulting firms in the private sector or as policy analysts in the public sector. Graduates of the MS International and Development Economics pursue internationally-oriented careers working in public policy, NGOs, or business in developing countries. The BS/MS program also makes excellent preparation for a Ph.D. program in economics or in related fields such as business, public policy, or political science.

4+1 Program Catalogs


Students can join the 4+1 program from any major if they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Sophomore standing;
  • Complete Math 101, Econ 111, 112, 311, and 312 with C or better in each;
  • 3.3 GPA in the major;
  • Transfer students must take at least two economics courses at USF before applying.

Next Steps

  1. ​If you have completed these requirements, please email econ@usfca.edu (Applied Economics MS) or idec@usfca.edu (International and Development Economics MS), to indicate your interest in joining the 4+1 program and include the following information:
    • USF CWID;
    • Program of interest;
    • Current academic standing;
    • Expected Bachelor's completion date.
  2. Connect with the Program Director of your interested program to discuss your academic plans for the program.
    • MS in International and Development Economics:  Professor Alessandra Cassar: acassar@usfca.edu
    • MS Applied Economics: Professor Peter Lorentzen: plorentzen@usfca.edu
  3. After completing Step 1 and Step 2, you will be asked to submit a Change of Academic Program form. (An official application to the MS program of choice will need to be submitted during your senior year).
  4. In the semester before you want to graduate with your Bachelor's, a graduate program application will be created for you. The application fee and other application requirements such as resume, and letters of recommendation will be waived. Applicants will be accepted as long as they are on track to complete all the undergraduate program requirements listed below.
  5. Students may begin to take graduate-level courses when they achieve junior-level standing at the university.
  6. Students graduate with the BS and officially matriculate into the MS program upon completion of college graduation requirements.
  7. If you are an international student on an F-1 visa, please contact the ISSS to request a new I-20 for your graduate study.
  • Undergraduates must complete 44 units for the major.  
  • Required courses (32 units)
    • MATH 101 Elementary Statistics
    • MATH 109 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
    • ECON 111 Principles of Microeconomics
    • ECON 112 Principles of Macroeconomics
    • ECON 311 Intermediate Microeconomics
    • ECON 312 Intermediate Macroeconomics
    • ECON 320 or ECON 620 Econometrics
    • ECON 415 or ECON 615 Mathematics for Economists
  • Additional units required to reach a total of 44 may be completed by taking electives. These may be ECON 120 or any Economics courses numbered 300 or higher, any Math courses numbered 200 or higher, CS 110, CS 112, CS 161, or any Computer Science courses numbered 200 or higher.
  • Up to 8 units of graduate-level coursework (500 or above) included in these 44 units may also be used to satisfy graduate program unit requirements. 400-level Economics, Math, or CS courses may also be double-counted as graduate-level if taken for a grade of B+ or better.  
  • Students must maintain a 3.5 average, and all courses must be passed with a C or better.
  • Only up to 18 graduate units can be taken while still In undergraduate standing (including up to 8 units that are double-counted for both undergraduate and graduate requirements).
  • The ECON 425/427 undergraduate capstone course requirement is not required for 4+1 students.  This capstone research experience is replaced by the graduate program requirement of ECON 690/692.
  • Graduate equivalents: 
    • Economics 620 may replace Economics 320.
    • Economics 615 may replace Economics 415.
  • Comparison with regular BS:
    • Must replace Econ 120 with Math 109.
    • Capstone (425 or 427) not required.
    • Additional required course: Econ 415/615.

The rules around units enumerated above can be confusing. Here is how the arithmetic works, assuming you want to minimize your graduate tuition costs. While in undergraduate status, you take 44 units for the BS major, and 18 units for the MS.  Since up to 8 of those units can overlap (as long as they are grad-level economics classes), that means you might be able to take as few as 54 economics units (44+18-8=54).  After graduating with your BS, you complete the MS in one year by doing an additional 18 units of coursework (generally 8-12 per semester).


For general admission inquiries or questions, please email Michelle Huang (yhuang205@usfca.edu), Program Director in Graduate Programs in Economics. 

For questions about the BS/MS Program Curriculum, please contact Academic Program Directors:

  • MS in International and Development Economics:  Professor Alessandra Cassar: acassar@usfca.edu
  • MS Applied Economics: Professor Peter Lorentzen: plorentzen@usfca.edu

Important note: The precise program requirements are subject to change from year to year. In case of a conflict or confusion, the University Catalog is always the authoritative source. In addition, be careful to refer to the Catalog year in which you entered a specific program. For instance, a student who started at USF in the fall of 2018, transferred to the 4+1 BS program in March of 2020, graduated with the BS in 2020, and entered the MS program in spring of 2021 would refer to the 2019-20 Catalog for 4+1  BS requirements and the 2020-2021 Catalog for MS requirements.

(revised 08/22/2023)