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Lead with economic knowledge, methods, and skills

The MA in International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods (STEM) course of study (MAIER:QM) provides a focused graduate education in quantitative methods and econometrics combined with International Economics and Political Economy. The result is an MAIER:QM degree that ideally positions you for a professional career in international business and finance, government, or the nonprofit sector. Students in this degree develop extensive skills in data analysis, geographic information systems, and/or statistical programming, making you a competitive and appealing candidate for research-oriented professional positions.

Our Washington, DC, location allows you to accept internships in organizations that can bridge to permanent job opportunities after graduation. MAIER:QM students can pursue the degree on a full- or part-time basis. Combining these features, this degree is unique among Washington-area programs. The STEM designation of the MAIER: QM degree may enable F-1 international students to be eligible for a 24-month extension of your Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the United States. For more information, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

The MAIER:QM degree is offered as an option within the International Economic Relations (IER) program.

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Student Cohort

The MA in International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods (MAIER:QM) degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, including a capstone, that can be completed in two years (full-time) or up to six years (part-time). Students take four courses in the core curriculum and three courses in quantitative research methods, followed by three additional courses in quantitative analysis. Students choose the additional courses from a list of fourteen courses in statistical programming, data analytics, and geographic information systems, among other quantitative specialties. Major substantive themes that MAIER:QM (STEM) students explore include economic globalization, currency and debt crises, trade and investment agreements, emerging-market country strategies, climate risk confronting corporations and financial institutions, and strategic economic competition among the US, China, and the European Union. 

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Full degree and admission requirements

As top scholars and practitioners in their fields, International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods professors regularly publish books and articles, appear in national and international media, and interact with students inside and outside the classroom. Our distinguished international faculty includes economists, political scientists, and international relations experts.

Meet the IER faculty

With residents and visitors drawn from all over the world, Washington, DC, is a vast campus that extends far beyond the SIS classroom. The International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods degree’s academic content is complemented by internship, research, mentoring, and policy-oriented opportunities available to students in DC. These opportunities make American University the ideal place to study international economic relations and to jump-start a career after graduation.

The MA in International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods (MAIER:QM) degree is part of the International Economic Relations (IER) program at the School of International Service. Students pursuing this degree will collaborate with their cohort and will work closely with students pursuing the MA in International Economic Relations (MAIER), the other degree in the IER program. 

Top Employers: US Treasury Department, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, US State Department, consulting firms, research institutes

WTO Director-General Inaugurates New IER Program

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala helped to inaugurate the revitalized International Economic Relations program in April 2023 by joining AU President Sylvia M. Burwell in a conversation on "Global Trade, the Global Commons and Geopolitics" in the SIS atrium.  She also recognized Dr. Robert Koopman, who joined SIS in Fall 2022, for his contributions as the WTO Chief Economist. 

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Conducting Research with Analytical Creativity

Caroline Arkalji, SIS/MA ’24

The IER: QM program supported my understanding of trade and economic policy.

The IER:QM program equipped me with crucial quantitative analysis skills to support data-driven policy through internships at the Atlantic Council and BMJ Consultores Associados. The program's flexibility allowed me to take classes in environmental economics while conducting substantial research that demanded analytical creativity and statistical tools such as STATA and R.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your application date depends on which semester you want to begin taking classes and whether you are a domestic or international student.

Application deadlines for an MAIER:QM are as follows:

  • Fall semester: January 15
  • Spring semester: October 1

View required application materials

Missed a deadline but still interested in applying? Email the SIS Graduate Admissions office.

The International Economic Relations program prepares graduates for careers in US and foreign government agencies, regional and multilateral organizations, financial and other multinational corporations, trade associations, regulatory authorities, think-tanks, and international consulting firms.

Our graduates have found rewarding careers in governmental organizations that include the US Commerce Department, European Central Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, US State Department, US Treasury Department , World Bank, and private-sector firms such as AIG, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chemonics, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, IBM, S&P Global, Summit Consulting, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Looking for more information or help? SIS has a dedicated career development center to assist current students and alumni.

The School of International Service offers merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and fellowships at the time of admission. SIS also has partnerships with a number of organizations, like the Peace Corps and Pickering Fellowship, which provide qualified individuals with funding.

Financial aid information for prospective students

Need-based aid is managed centrally by AU and generally takes the form of a federal low-interest loan package.

Federal loan and work study information for graduate students

The School of International Service offers two different degrees focusing on international economics, trade, and finance: the MA in International Economic Relations (MAIER) and MA in International Economics Relations: Quantitative Methods (MAIER:QM).

MAIER offers a multi-disciplinary understanding of international economic relations. Students who previously majored in international affairs, political science, or other social science, and do not have a background in economics or quantitative methods generally prefer the MAIER degree. MAIER students tend to have wider interests in fields such as global economic governance, international business, international development, environmental policy or national economic security—beyond international trade and finance, narrowly defined. MAIER students choose from among several possible concentrations and can elect courses from different schools on campus to satisfy their career interests.

MAIER:QM (STEM) students follow a more structured course progression focused on Advanced Quantitative Methods. This STEM-designated degree bolsters graduates’ competitiveness for research-oriented positions. The MAIER:QM degree may enable F-1 international students to be eligible for a 24-month extension of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the United States. For more information, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

Still have questions? Send us an email with program-specific questions at

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