Program Overview

The Masters of Science (MS-ECON) Degree Program in Economics offers intensive training in the more technical areas of economics. It is a certified STEM degree program structured such that a full-time student, with the necessary preparatory background, can complete a course of study in two academic years.

MS-ECON focuses on quantitative and applied economics. Its distinguishing features, relative to the Master in Applied Economics program, are:

  • More extensive training, by requiring 45 credits rather than the 30 credits in MA-APEC program
  • Specifically requiring 15 credits in quantitative coursework

A quantitative course focuses on the rigorous use of mathematical or statistical methods for economic modeling, decision-making, or inference-based data. Examples include Computational Economics, Decision and Game Theory, and Microeconometrics.

The program begins by introducing students to the tools of microeconomics and macroeconomics. A key objective is to provide the students with a solid foundation in these theories; however, the ability to follow and develop economic arguments, and supplement existing evidence with additional research, requires the capacity to understand empirical analyses. Accordingly, the students also study econometric techniques and data analysis. These two courses provide the students with the ability to comprehend the empirical analyses pertinent to the discussion of economic issues and equip them with the skills to undertake original research projects and data analysis.

The elective courses offered in the program, both the quantitative and the applied, are very rigorous.  They typically entail the use of relatively advanced textbooks and readings of articles published in professional journals. They generally cover both theoretical and empirical research and analysis, both classic articles and work that is closer to modern frontiers.  In many courses, considerable emphasis is given to work currently being conducted by practicing professionals in the respective fields. Students are often required to conduct empirical work as a component of their graded course assignments. They typically write papers and give presentations in addition to exams and fulfilling assigned homework. By choosing an appropriate sequence of elective courses, students are able to concentrate their studies in particular areas of interest, for example, computational economics, data science, econometrics, financial economics, or industrial organization.

A distinguishing feature of the program is the involvement of Georgetown senior faculty in the teaching of the core courses. Our faculty includes leading scholars in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, and thus students in the MS-ECON program are taught the fundamentals of economic analysis from leading experts. Moreover, the program is able to draw on the large community of economists in the Washington, DC area to act as instructors of the specialized classes. The unique combination of academics and practitioners who participate as instructors in the MS-ECON program at Georgetown University provides a high intellectual return for the students.

This program features instructors who are practicing economists from the DC area. I not only gained cutting-edge knowledge, but a solid network of professionals who assisted me with finding opportunities at NGOs and international institutions like the World Bank.

Jiaqi Feng, class of 2018