MSAE Thesis


MSAE Thesis Policies 

A Master's thesis is a commitment to work on a project intensively for close to two years. Although not required for the MSAE program, students considering pursuing a PhD or some other research-oriented career may choose this opportunity.


  • Complete 8 grad units
  • GPA 3.5 or higher


  • Talk to faculty about projects you are interested in
  • Consider taking Econ 623 (Field Research) in spring along with the IDEC students to develop your project


  • Limited funding may be available to support field research or the purchase of datasets.

Opportunity costs

  • The summer after your first year will be spent on your thesis research rather than internships or other activities.
  • 4 fewer units for regular courses, since thesis students must enroll in 4 units of ECON 699 (Thesis Advising), in addition to the usual 4 units of ECON 691 (Capstone Research).

Alternative research opportunities

Students may also get research experience without committing to a year-long thesis project in other ways:

  • RA work
  • smaller-scale independent study
  • capstone class project

Toshiya Nogusa
Behavioral responses to perception of disadvantage, self-acceptance, and merit: Results from online experiments
Advisor: Bruce Wydick 

Nicholas R. Lawrie
Using Machine Learning to Analyze Children’s Drawings as Indicators of Mental Well-Being
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Kaustri Bhattacharyya
Heterogeneous Effects in Matching Grants
Advisor: Bruce Wydick 

Liubov Ivashov
The Modern-Day Effects of HOLC Redlining on Neighborhood Development
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes 

Michael G. Emanuel
Does a Minimum Wage Really Reduce Employment in the Retail and Fast Food Industries? Evidence from Canada
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes