Skip to content
A Chicago School student poses in front of the skyline Business Psychology

Masters in Behavioral Economics

  • Online
  • Full-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time

An alternative to the traditional M.B.A., The Chicago School’s M.A. in Behavioral Economics online program provides students with a foundation in advanced psychology with a focus on business applications such as human decision-making, negotiation, marketing, and consumer behavior. Students enrolled in The Chicago School’s online programs will enjoy a transformative educational experience with the flexibility […]

An alternative to the traditional M.B.A., The Chicago School’s M.A. in Behavioral Economics online program provides students with a foundation in advanced psychology with a focus on business applications such as human decision-making, negotiation, marketing, and consumer behavior.

Students enrolled in The Chicago School’s online programs will enjoy a transformative educational experience with the flexibility of a program that does not have to interfere with their other commitments.

Integrating elements of economics, financial literacy, public policy, and consumer psychology, the BE program includes studies in:

  • Consulting
  • Social psychology
  • Cognitive psychology and consumer psychology
  • Statistics
  • Public policy
  • Economics and finance
  • Game theory

Graduates of the BE program will have a unique understanding of consumer and social behavior that is a strong asset in business, politics, and nonprofit. Graduates will also have the tools necessary to excel as consultants, researchers, public servants, and marketers.

M.A. in Behavioral Economics Online: Student Experience

Through the convenience of The Chicago School’s online programs, your life remains intact. Our online Global Student Dashboard is where you will find all of the components to successfully complete your program. There, you’ll find your coursework and assignments, interact with fellow students, and are ask questions from your instructor.

Preview an online class

Request Info

Brain and Behavior

Studying how the brain informs our behaviors is an essential step in learning ways behavioral economics can be used to inform social interventions. Students will study neuropsychology with a focus on the study of how our brain structures are related to judgment and choice. From this foundation, students will be able to use neuro-marketing techniques (the use of marketing techniques to activate certain structures in the brain) to target ideal consumers and their diverse needs. This class concludes with a group project in which students will develop a neuro-marketing idea for use among diverse market segments.

Consumer Motivation

Consumers today are bombarded by fast-paced, technologically savvy inducements to make spontaneous purchases across media. This course helps students make sense of how potential buyers sort through the stimulus overload. Students learn how to design point-of-sale displays; improve visual merchandising; maintain the integrity of a brand image; and attract and retain customers over time. Individually tailored project work centers on the participant’s own work challenges.

Choice Architecture

Based on the principles of cognitive psychology, the concept of choice architecture involves purposefully placing primarily visual or auditory behavior-activating prompts or cues to influence choice making. Examples include changes to default choices to encourage participation in organ donor programs and retirement savings accounts. Students will learn how people respond differentially to similar cues based on interpretations of prompts through their owned cultural and personal values, attitudes, and beliefs. Students will also study ways in which to encourage positive behavioral outcomes while maintaining consumer free-choice.

This program culminates in a capstone project that is a journal article submission based on data obtained during relevant fieldwork. (As part of the required capstone project, students are required to complete 30 hours of fieldwork.) This capstone project forms the summative assessment of the program as well, and is designed to satisfy the requirement of the competencies of the M.A. in Behavioral Economics program for a culminating experience.

The student will apply the principles of behavioral economics to propose a psychologically based solution to a socioeconomic problem, taking the form of journal article submission based on data obtained during fieldwork done during enrollment in this seminar. In the first of two Capstone Project Seminars, the student will outline a research proposal and write the literature review and methodology sections of the proposal. In the second of the Capstone Project Seminars, the student will complete fieldwork hours and write the results section of the capstone project.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
350 N. Orleans St. STE 1050
Chicago, IL 60654-1822

Students applying to the Behavioral Economics program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following questions within two double spaced typed pages (approximately 500-750 words). Essay must specifically address the program/specialization for which you are applying.
    • Psychology is a vast discipline with many career options. In an essay format, please describe why you chose this particular program/specialization. Cite specific experiences and examples to illustrate:
      • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity (see our Commitment to Diversity Statement).
      • Your professional career goals as they relate to this specialization.
      • Why you believe this program will assist you in reaching these goals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.

International Application Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Work experience recommended

The Chicago School is dedicated to keep our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

Learn more