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I'm currently an undergraduate Economics student with minors in both business and mathematics. As I look towards my future, I'm trying to see what options I have and ultimately make the best decision.

Anyways, I am hoping to find out more about graduate school and the different masters degrees I could obtain. Is it fairly common for students with my academic background to get into a quality masters in finance program? Obviously I could go for economics, I was just wondering what different options I have available.

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  • Depends on the program. Fairly uncommon to get into something like say MS Chemistry, Medicine, MS Computer Science, MS Math, MS Stat, MS Physics (though for the last four, the converse is fairly common, I think). Fairly common to get into something like MS Finance, MA Economics, MBA. If you're going to go into something more rigorous (ie fairly uncommon examples), you better be able to demonstrate your ability and passion to tackle at the very least your math and statistics classes as well as your ability to do research ahem thesis ahem but then there's also those small research projects
    – Jack Bauer
    Mar 27 '15 at 21:44
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As a general rule, your exact undergrad major is less important than having strong letters of recommendation, high GRE scores, a high GPA, etc. Of course, an admissions committee will want to see that you've taken some relevant coursework and that you've done well in it. See the web site for the programs to which you intend to apply: most will spell out both the minimum preparation they expect and additional coursework they would like to see. (For example, an economics program might require that you have taken intermediate level micro and macro, calculus, and statistics.) If you are a strong candidate in other respects, you may even be able to make an argument for admission despite some missing prerequisites.

I'd suggest that you might want to focus on what you hope to do with a graduate degree and then work backward to which degree to pursue, rather than casting about for a degree to pursue. Unless the subject is wildly-unrelated to your course of study so far, you can probably add coursework to make yourself a good candidate for the degree you need.

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As Szarka stated, your coursework and experience is generally more important than your specific degree. That said, the type of coursework that is generally taken towards an economics degree is very relevant and good preparation for further degrees (incomplete list) in finance, business, public policy, public health, and, obviously, economics. Statistics and Computer Science are somewhat common as well assuming that you have taken some relevant courses.

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  • I think people from Math, Stat, Physics or CS often go into economics/finance, but is the converse just as often?
    – Jack Bauer
    Mar 27 '15 at 21:44

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