Flexibility for your degree

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in the public, nonprofit, or private sector, the International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods degree offers you the flexibility to design a degree that matches your unique thematic interests, research-methods needs, and professional career goals. The program encourages students to take courses not just throughout the School of International Service, but also in American University’s Economics Department, Kogod School of Business, and Washington College of Law. Students can also build on their curriculum with intensive Skills Institutes and a career-oriented Practicum.

Master of Arts

The MA in International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods (MAIER:QM) degree devotes more than half of your graduate coursework to quantitative methods and econometrics, while also combining International Economics and Political Economy, to position you for a professional career in international business and finance with international organizations, government, or the nonprofit sector. In this degree, you will develop extensive skills in data analysis, geographic information systems, and/or statistical programming, which will enhance your competitiveness for research-oriented professional positions. Courses in this degree embrace evolving and critical subjects, such as climate change, digital technology, and concerns of emerging-market countries and developing regions.

Advanced Quantitative Methods Concentration

MAIER:QM students will choose 3 courses (9 credits) from among the following list.

  • STAT 520 Applied Multivariate Analysis
  • STAT 522 Time Series Analysis
  • STAT 627 Statistical Machine Learning
  • DATA 613 Data Science
  • SIS 750 Data Analysis
  • ITEC 670 Database and Big Data
  • DATA 612 Statistical Programming in R
  • ITEC 600 Programming Tools for Analytics: Python
  • ITEC 610 Applied Managerial Statistics
  • ECON 665 Economic Experiments and Impact Evaluation
  • SIS 750 GIS for International Affairs
  • STAT 628 Spatial Data Analysis
  • ENVS 654 Geographic Information Systems
  • ECON 696 GIS Applications in Empirical Economics


All International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods students complete a student research requirement for their capstone. Students can choose from three different options to fulfill their capstone.

The Practicum is a one-semester, pre-professional experience which serves as a capstone for the MA program. Student teams complete projects for external client organizations, producing deliverables that address challenges identified by clients in a statement of work. Students work under a site supervisor and a faculty advisor. Each practicum offers real-world experience with project management, client relations, oral presentations, and writing skills. Practicum options change every year, and students can apply to one that best suits their academic and career interests.

The Master's Thesis is an original research project appropriate for students looking to complete a longer and more academically rigorous research paper. It is similar to the Substantial Research Paper but will completed over the course of one year.

The Substantial Research Paper (SRP) is an independent research project intended to integrate and apply knowledge from the field to a final scholarly project. The SRP culminates in a 50- to 60-page report that defines a question, applies one or more specific research methods to the question, develops findings, and discusses their implications and significance. Completed during your final semester in the program, the SRP is conducted under the supervision of a IER:QM faculty member.

Application At a Glance

View a detailed admission and degree requirements listing for your degree of interest.

Entrance Semester
Fall and Spring
Application Deadline
January 15 for the fall semester
October 1 for the spring semester
Additional Requirements
Undergraduate degree
Two letters of recommendation
Statement of Purpose
TOEFL/IELTS score if international applicant
Completion of online application