Program Overview

The Masters of Science (M.S.) Degree Program in Economics offers intensive training in the more technical areas of economics, with a strong focus on the quantitative and empirical aspects. This is recognized in the designation of the degree as a Master of Science (hence a STEM degree) rather than a Master of Arts.

The M.S. program focuses on quantitative and applied economics. Its distinguishing features, relative in particular to the Master in Applied Economics program, are: (1) the more extensive training in economics permitted by the degree requirement of 45 credits rather than 30 credits, and (2) the specifically required 15 credits of coursework in quantitative courses. The program is structured such that a full-time student, with the necessary preparatory background, can complete the course of study in two academic years by taking the appropriate courses during the fall and spring terms.

The M.S. 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 microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. However the ability to follow and develop economic arguments, and to supplement existing evidence with additional research, also 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 four core courses may also be prerequisites for the subsequent elective courses. 

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.

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 macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics, and thus students in the M.S. Economics 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, D.C., area to act as instructors of the specialized classes. The unique combination of academics and practitioners who participate as instructors in the M.S. Economics program at Georgetown University provides a high intellectual return for the students.

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