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MA in International Economics At a Glance

  • 36 credit hours. Complete in as little as 24 months, or at your own pace. 
  • Spring or fall admissions; rolling acceptance. GRE scores and bachelor’s degree in economics not required
  • Designated as a STEM degree program. 
  • Interdisciplinary study of international trade and finance with courses in economic theory, political economy, econometrics, institutions and policy.
  • Program Director: Prof. Ralph Sonenshine
    (econ@american.edu).

Markets and Policy with an International Focus

The MA in International Economics is an interdisciplinary, 36-credit program that offers a rigorous combination of theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented courses in economics, political economy, and international trade and finance policy. A 24-credit core provides a solid foundation in economic theory, international trade, and international investment policy. The remaining coursework is balanced between study with the School of International Service and training in economic research methodology. The program culminates with a capstone experience addressing a major issue in contemporary international economics. 

Over the course of your coursework and research, you will gain: 

  • An in-depth understanding of the market, political, and other forces that drive the economic globalization process, as well as the private and public actors and institutions shaping international trade and financial developments and policies.  
  • Expertise in econometric methods and the state-of-the-art statistical software commonly used in applied economics research.  
  • Analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills in high demand by all employers, including government agencies, industry associations, financial institutions, multinational corporations, economic consulting firms, think tanks, multilateral institutions, and non-governmental organizations. 

See complete degree and course requirements.

Study in the Top City for Economic Policymakers 

Washington, DC, which currently serves as the home to over one-third of all practicing economists, offers access to an extraordinary array of professional opportunities, including those in international institutions, embassies, research institutes, think tanks, NGOs, international corporations, and the federal government.  Our MA in International Economics students have interned at such places as: 

  • American Enterprise Institute 
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies 
  • Asian Development Bank 
  • World Bank 
  • US State Department 
  • Council of Economic Advisors 

Students can take advantage of unique DC opportunities, such as serving as a student participant in the World Bank annual meetings, or learning how to use primary data sources and tools first hand from the researchers who develop these sources. 

We have a new partnership with the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the preeminent professional association for private-sector economists. The agreement is expected to dramatically increase job opportunities for new graduates of AU’s economics master’s programs.

Knowledgeable Faculty Dedicated to Your Success

At AU, you will take classes from and work with a diverse group of esteemed economists and highly cited scholars who are engaged with practitioners and policymakers around the world. Our faculty's wide-ranging research interests, along with the variety of methodological approaches they use, create a rich environment for innovations in theory and empirical studies.

Launch Your Career in the Era of Globalization 

The number of jobs for economists is expected to increase 13% between 2020 and 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much faster than most industries.  Washington, DC, remains among the highest paying US regions for economists and related fields. 

Recent placements of AU Master's in International Economics graduates include:

  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 
  • Freddie Mac 
  • Interamerican Development Bank 
  • International Monetary Fund 
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • US Department of Health & Human Services 
  • The World Bank Group 

Read more career information about AU economics alumni.

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Alumni Spotlight

AU was the perfect fit.

Seeking a comprehensive, holistic economics education, Dita Dobranjua came to AU, where she received faculty mentorship, worked as a teaching assistant, and researched women's economic empowerment in developing countries. She now applies the skills and knowledge she acquired at AU as an advanced researcher at Riinvest Institute, a Kosovo think tank, and while teaching economics at Riinvest College.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Prior to enrolling in any MA courses, however, students must show that they have met the prerequisites for the program including: Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON-300) and Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON-301) (or Introduction to Economic Theory (ECON-603); Basic Statistics (ECON-202); and Applied Calculus (ECON-211). We are happy to waive these prerequisites for students who have completed comparable courses from another institution. Prerequisite credits are not counted toward your degree.

Graduate-level economics courses require the use of a number of mathematical tools, including multivariate calculus and linear algebra. Students are expected to have completed Basic Statistics (STAT-202) and Applied Calculus (MATH-211) prior to beginning the program, and Introduction to Mathematical Economics (ECON-505) within the first 12 credits of the program. Although our MA program is designed to prepare students for careers in policy-oriented, applied economics, all economists need a solid grounding in economic theory and econometrics. You cannot get this grounding without a basic understanding of the mathematics used in the field. Professional economists also need to be able to review the academic literature to evaluate what research has important policy implications; students must understand the mathematical tools used in this academic research.

The program has rolling admissions. To be accepted into a specific semester, turn in your completed application 6 weeks before the prior semester ends. Application forms and details about applying can be found at the International Economics Master's Admissions page.

GRE scores are required, though there is no minimum score. Full and part time schedules are possible.

Still have questions? Send us an email: econ@american.edu