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Graduate Study in Economics at AU

 

Degrees

 

American University's Master of Arts in Economics is an applied, policy-oriented program that will prepare you for your career as an economist in the public or private sector, working locally, nationally, or abroad.

With five distinct tracks of concentration, you can tailor your degree to fit your interests and advance your career.

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In this MA in Economics program you will learn to:

  • Solve complex mathematical economic models
  • Communicate the reasoning behind construction of economic models
  • Interpret and explain the meaning of solutions to economic models
  • Utilize models to predict the changes in various economic indicators (such as price, output, growth, employment, inflation and welfare) and impacts to the economy
  • Use economic models to develop clear and specific research questions and hypotheses
  • Employ the appropriate data and statistical tools to test your hypotheses
  • Use Stata, a state-of-the-art statistical software tool employed throughout the industry, to analyze data.

Graduates of this online economics degree will emerge with the ability to understand and predict how policy changes will affect economic markets—a skill that is highly valuable in jobs for economics in government agencies, corporations, think tanks, NGO's and financial institutions alike.

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This program offers a rigorous combination of theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented courses in economics, political economy, and policymaking focused on international trade and finance. It prepares students to analyze the most important issues in today's global economy, including the macro- and microeconomic causes and consequences of trade and financial liberalization, exchange rate fluctuations, and capital-markets integration. 

The objective is to gain an in-depth understanding of the market, political, and other forces that have driven the economic globalization process, as well as the private and public actors and institutions shaping international trade and financial developments and policies.

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Offering a combination of rigorous technical training and a focus on policy-relevant research, our PhD in Economics will prepare you for careers in academics, scholarship, research, and government policy. Our students master economic theory and applied field knowledge. Then, through the dissertation-writing process, they develop the ability to formulate and empirically answer economic questions. This valuable skill set is the key to our graduates’ success.

Our uniquely pluralistic approach to contemporary policy issues will train you in a number of diverse theoretical perspectives, both mainstream and heterodox, including post-Keynesian, institutionalist, and feminist economics.

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Certificates

 

In this program, you will focus your economics study on the behavior and interactions of individuals in deciding how to allocate scarce resources. You will learn about value, decision-making, and the effects different events can have on the market.

This 18-credit program has a 9-credit core that will help you develop a solid foundation in microeconomics, mathematical economics, and econometrics. You can customize your course of study with electives chosen from a diverse array of economics courses. Prerequisites in economics, statistics, and calculus apply.

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Gender Analysis in Economics track in the MA in Economics

Students who are interested in the MA Degree in Economics can take the Gender Analysis in Economics track in the MA in Economics, which involves 9 credit hours of core gender-related courses in economics and in feminist theory, 12 hours of economics core courses, and 15 additional credit hours of approved course electives.

Gender Analysis in Economics field in the PhD Program

Gender Analysis in Economics is one of the applied fields a doctoral student in the PhD program can choose. Depending on their background, students may apply to the PhD program directly after completing either a BA or MA degree. If a student who has already completed either the Graduate Certificate on Gender Analysis in Economics or the Gender Analysis in Economics track in the MA in Economics is accepted into the PhD program, up to 36 credit hours can be counted toward the PhD.

This program offers a rigorous combination of theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented courses in economics, political economy, and policymaking focused on international trade and finance. It prepares students to analyze the most important issues in today's global economy, including the macro- and microeconomic causes and consequences of trade and financial liberalization, exchange rate fluctuations, and capital-markets integration. 

The objective is to gain an in-depth understanding of the market, political, and other forces that have driven the economic globalization process, as well as the private and public actors and institutions shaping international trade and financial developments and policies.

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Resources and References

Students must successfully complete an examination in Preliminary Theory based on ECON 802 Macroeconomic Analysis I and ECON 803 Microeconomic Analysis I at the end of their first full year of classes (or whenever they have completed both courses).

The Exam is typically administered during the first full week of June. Students must register to take the exam in mid-March in order to be guaranteed a seat.

Students are permitted two attempts to pass the exam.

Doctoral students are required to pass one written comprehensive examination on preliminary theory and one oral comprehensive exam which is the defense of the student's dissertation proposal. The members of the student's prospective dissertation committee serve as the student's examiners for the proposal defense.

Comprehensive examinations for doctoral students are given once each year in June. In order to sit for a comprehensive, students must have taken and successfully passed all courses required for the exam. The courses required for each theory track and applied field exam are listed on the Ph.D. Requirements Page.

Students are advised to apply for comprehensive examinations when they register for classes or maintain matriculation each semester. It is the students' responsibility to consult their advisers, papers published on campus, and/or notices posted in the department for application deadlines each semester. E-mails will be sent to students who provide their e-mail addresses with announcements of registration deadlines. Responsibilty for registering by the deadlines lies strictly with the students. Approximate dates (e.g., weeks) for comprehensive examinations will be announced in advance. Students are required to be present on those dates.

Time Limits and Permitted Attempts

Students have only two attempts to pass the Preliminary Theory comprehensive exam.

Full-time PhD students are required to take their Preliminary Theory comprehensive in June following their first year. If a student fails to pass, a second attempt must be made in a preliminary-theory retake session offered in August of that year. Failure to pass the Preliminary Theory comprehensive in the August session will result in dismissal from the program.

Administration of PhD Comprehensive Examinations

Complete anonymity is to be maintained for students in the grading of comprehensive examinations. A special identification number (not the regular AU identification number) will be issued to each student for each session of comprehensives; neither the system for assigning these numbers nor the names of the students taking the comprehensives are available to the faculty reading the comprehensives. Each comprehensive is graded by at least two professors. Should they disagree about whether a student passes, the examination is read by one additional reader. Students are allowed to know the names of the readers for each exam. Additional rules and regulations will be sent to all students who register for comprehensive examinations.

The Economics Graduate Student Union is a forum for the discussion of economics, economic policy, and graduate student interests and concerns within the Department of Economics. Please contact Stephan Lefebvre for more information.

  • Check out this article for helpful information about how to participate in the academic job market.
  • Job Openings for Economists is a good resource for academic as well as government and/or research institute openings.
  • Inomics runs a site for those considering applying for positions in Europe.
  • For policy, government, and consulting positions, try Econ-Jobs.com.
  • Don't forget to follow the Department on Twitter and Facebook!

The Math Review Course for PhD students is offered at the end of August. (MA students may attend if they wish, although the level of the course is appropriate to PhD studies.) The course is free of charge for all PhD and MA students in the Department of Economics. All new PhD students are strongly urged to attend. This is an essential review of mathematical concepts needed for you fall courses, including calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and basic statistics. Please plan to be here for the last week of August in order to attend this special course, and meet your fellow new students while covering this important material. Contact the Department for details. Recommended summer reading (prior to arrival): chapters 1-10 of Mathematical Methods for Economics (2nd edition) by Michael Klein (Addison-Wesley 2002).

Please consult the thesis style guide provided by the Provost's office.