Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Master of Professional Studies
Program in Applied Economics

Dr. John Straub, Program Director
Straub@econ.umd.edu

College Park location
1102 Morrill Hall
Program Coordinator:
Stephanie Bergwall
(301) 405-3557
CPmasters@econ.umd.edu

Washington, DC location
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20036
Program Coordinator:
Eileen Kramer
(202) 525-4308
DCmasters@econ.umd.edu

News & Events Archive

Winter 2016/2017


Our Program Ranked #4 in the US

The University of Maryland's professional master's degree program in applied economics has been ranked 4th in the US by The Financial Engineer. This is up from #5 in 2016 and #6 in 2015. Rankings are based on several factors including graduate salaries, the undergraduate grades of students in the program, and graduate employment rates. Congratulations to our students and faculty for the well-deserved recognition!


February Placement Event

placementOn February 14th our program co-hosted a Placement/Recruiting Event in Washington, DC.  Sixteen area employers participated.  In addition to a general career fair, some employers scheduled private interviews with selected candidates during the event. 

As with previous events, we co-hosted this event with our department's undergraduate program in cooperation with the University of Maryland's Career Center.   

The participating employers were:

Abt Associates, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Econometrica, Inc., Edgeworth Economics, IMPAQ, KPMG, Macroeconomic Advisers, Moody's Analytics, Optimal Solutions Group, Summit Consulting, US Bureau of the Census, US Congressional Budget Office, US Department of Energy, US Department of the Treasury, US Securities & Exchange Commission, and The World Bank

We host similar events every February in Washington, DC and every October on the University of Maryland's main campus in College Park.

Fall 2016


Guest Lectures

Prior Our program was pleased to host a guest lecture from Dr. Sergio Urzua in our Program Evaluation course - ECON 672.  Professor Urzua is on the Research Faculty at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at The Institute for the Study of Labor.  He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2007, where he studied under Nobel Prize laureate James Heckman.  Dr. Urzua's research has focused on development and labor economics.  During his visit to ECON 672, Dr. Urzua presented estimates of increased birth rates in Chile during a period when proven price collusion between pharmaceutical companies led to an unexpected and dramatic rise in the cost of contraceptive pills.

We also hosted a visit from Dr. Jessica Goldberg in our program's Development Economics course - ECON 676.  Dr. Goldberg is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, an Affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and a Non Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development.  She presemted research related to the effects of Malawi's public works program on food security.

The students in ECON 676 also got a visit from Dr. Erin Troland, an Economist in the Office of Economic Policy at the US Department of the Treasury.  Dr. Troland presented research on taxation in developing countries. 

We look forward to these and many more guest lectures from the Maryland economics department faculty, and from other distinguished economists.

Summer 2016


Program Expanding to Accommodate International Applicants

Prior to this year, the University of Maryland has not been able to issue the immigration documents necessary for international students to study in our DC-based program (F-1 student visas).  In August we began accepting applications for a parallel version of our program on the university’s main campus in College Park.  The university will be able to support F-1 student visas for international students in the on-campus version of our program in College Park. 

“It has been very frustrating to turn away so many qualified international applicants to our program.  We are very pleased that the on-campus version of our program will be able to support international student visas.” – Dr. John Straub, Director of the University of Maryland’s Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Program

The University of Maryland’s main campus in College Park is just 9 miles up Route 1 from our program’s Washington, DC location.  The College Park campus community includes more than 40,000 students.  About one-third of the campus’ roughly 10,000 graduate students come from outside the United States, with more than 130 different countries represented.  Students on campus have access to a wide variety of services, including the university’s office of International Student and Scholar Services



Spring 2016


Washington Post Cites Virtually 100% Employment of our Graduates

Our program's director, Dr. John Straub, was quoted in the Washington Post's Spring 2016 Guide to Graduate Education.  The Guide's lead story was about Master of Professional Studies programs.

"Some students ask if our degree is less marketable than a master of arts or a master of sciences degree.  The employment rate for our 2015 Graduates is virtually 100%."

Indeed the only one of our 2015 graduates not currently working in the field is someone who also earned a law degree in 2015, and is currently studying for the bar exam.  Each of the following employers has hired at least one of our 2015 graduates:

Abt Associates, Bozman Group, Deloitte Consulting, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Inter-American Development Bank, Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., JD Powers and Associates, KPMG Consulting, Navigant Consulting, NDP Analytics, Optimal Solutions Group, Social Security Advisory Board, US African Development Foundation, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Federal Trade Commission, US National Institutes of Health, US Office of Management and Budget, and the US Treasury.

The full text of the article in the Washington Post's Guide to Graduate Education is posted here.


Spring 2016 Teaching Award

We are pleased to announce Dr. Lauren Bresnahan as the recipient of our program’s Spring 2016 teaching award.  Dr. Bresnahan is an Analyst in the Congressional Budget Office's Macroeconomic Studies Division.  She also has experience in the corporate and investment banking sector, and in economic consulting.  She has been teaching our program's core macroeconomics course since 2014.  

“Lauren Bresnahan's enthusiasm for macroeconomics, and for teaching macroeconomics, has been evident since she joined our faculty.  She is gifted with the ability to make students enjoy a rigorous course.  Students in her course are held to our program's high standards.  They learn a lot and they have fun while doing so.  Many students also cite her as a much appreciated source of career advice outside of class.”  - Program Director, Dr. John Straub

"Macroeconomics is everywhere, you just need to know where to look.  In this class students learn the theory and directly apply it to understand market trends, changes in fiscal and monetary policy, and current macroeconomic debates.  By the end of the course, I know I have done my job when students walk in excited about movements in the market and macroeconomic headlines in the news.” – Dr. Lauren Bresnahan, recipient of the Spring 2015 Teaching Award, University of Maryland, Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Program.


Winter 2015/2016


Our Program Ranked #5 in the US

The University of Maryland's professional master's degree program in applied economics has been ranked 5th in the US by The Financial Engineer. This is up from #6 in 2015. Rankings are based on several factors including graduate salaries, the undergraduate grades of students in the program, and graduate employment rates. Congratulations to our students and faculty for the well-deserved recognition!


Employment Rate for 2015 Graduates Virtually 100%

The employment rate for our program's 2015 Graduates is virtually 100%.  The only one of our 2015 graduates not currently working in the field is someone who also earned a law degree in 2015, and is currently studying for the bar exam.  Each of the following employers has hired at least one of our 2015 graduates:

Abt Associates, Bozman Group, Deloitte Consulting, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Inter-American Development Bank, Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., JD Powers and Associates, KPMG Consulting, Navigant Consulting, NDP Analytics, Optimal Solutions Group, Social Security Advisory Board, US African Development Foundation, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Federal Trade Commission, US National Institutes of Health, US Office of Management and Budget, and the US Treasury. 


Fall 2015


Applied Economics Interview Day

placementOn October 22nd our program co-hosted an Applied Economics Interview Day at the University of Maryland's Career Center.  Seven area employers posted openings for undergraduates and masters-level applicants.  Students were able to submit resumes and cover letters to positions of interest, and employers invited candidates for interviews at the event. 


The participating employers were:


American Institutes for Research, Edgeworth Economics, US Environmental Protection Agency, Optimal Solutions Group, Social and Scientific Systems (SSS), the US Small Business Administration, and the World Bank.

Many of our students also attended the National Association for Business Economics' Annual Career Fair on November 13th.  Plans are in the works for our next in-house career placement event on February 25th. 


Summer 2015


Alumni Guest Lecture

On Wednesday, July 22nd, our program was happy to have a guest lecture from Brian Bonis in Professor Lauren Bresnahan's Macroeconomics course (ECON 642).  Brian began working at the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors while a student in our master's degree program, which he completed in 2013.  He works as a financial analyst in the Fed's Money Market Analysis Section and gave a presentation about how monetary policy is actually carried out.

"Monetary policy is at the heart of our course.  Brian's presentation demonstrated to students that the policy tools we learn about in class are not just theory, they are used and debated every day right down the street at the Federal Reserve Board." - Dr. Lauren Bresnahan, ECON 642 instructor and Analyst in the Macroeconomic Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office

"The experiences and knowledge I gained in the Master's in Applied Economics program at the University of Maryland were instrumental in helping me transition into a career in economics.  From STATA and the applied economic concepts to interacting with faculty that are well established in the field, I had the tools and resources I needed to start an economics career." - Brian Bonis, 2013 graduate of our program and Financial Analyst in the Money Market Analysis Section of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors


Dr. Bresnahan is teaching ECON 642 again this winter.  Brian will be visiting her winter term class on January 26th.


Program Expanding to Accommodate International Applicants

Prior to this year, the University of Maryland has not been able to issue the immigration documents necessary for international students to study in our DC-based program (F-1 student visas).  In August we began accepting applications for a parallel version of our program on the university’s main campus in College Park.  The university will be able to support F-1 student visas for international students in the on-campus version of our program in College Park. 

“It has been very frustrating to turn away so many qualified international applicants to our program.  We are very pleased that the on-campus version of our program will be able to support international student visas.” – Dr. John Straub, Director of the University of Maryland’s Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Program

The University of Maryland’s main campus in College Park is just 9 miles up Route 1 from our program’s Washington, DC location.  The College Park campus community includes more than 40,000 students.  About one-third of the campus’ roughly 10,000 graduate students come from outside the United States, with more than 130 different countries represented.  Students on campus have access to a wide variety of services, including the university’s office of International Student and Scholar Services


Spring 2015


Placement Event

placementOn February 25th our program partnered with the Economics Association of Maryland to host a career placement event in our Washington, DC suite.  Students and recent graduates were able to meet with recruiters from a dozen DC-area employers including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office, Edgeworth Economics, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Institute for Defense Analyses, International Trade Commission, Library of Congress - Congressional Research Service, Office of the Inspector General - HHS, Optimal Solutions Group, Social and Scientific Systems (SSS), and the World Bank.

"It was an excellent opportunity to talk with the students, and I was very impressed with everyone I met.  From speaking with many of them about their coursework it sounds like they are getting excellent, hands-on experience in the classroom." - Roger Stanton, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

"I was already looking into positions at the World Bank, so I was very happy to speak with their Senior Recruitment Officer at the event.  I never would have known to apply with some of the other employers, but one of them invited me for an interview." - Guillaume Kasten-Sportes, UMD Master's in Applied Economics student, expecting to graduate in December.

Our program's next placement event is being planned in conjunction with the University of Maryland's Career Center.  The event will take place on campus in College Park on Thursday, October 22nd.


Program's Spring 2015 Teaching Award

We are pleased to announce Dr. Erkan Erdem as the recipient of our program’s Spring 2015 teaching award.  Dr. Erdem, a consultant at KPMG, teaches econometrics courses in our program’s core empirical sequence. 

e“Our program’s econometrics courses are consistently cited by our graduates as the most challenging courses in our program.  Nevertheless, Erkan Erdem is also consistently cited by the same students as a favorite instructor, and an instructor whose teaching has most helped them succeed.”  - Program Director, Dr. John Straub
 
“Analyzing data and conducting empirical research always excited me.  It is equally exciting to be in a class full of young professionals that think similarly.” – Dr. Erkan Erdem, recipient of the Spring 2015 Teaching Award, University of Maryland, Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Program.


Winter 2014/2015


Four New Field Courses


We are pleased to announce the addition of four new field courses to our program:

  • ECON 670: Financial Economics
  • ECON 676: Development Economics
  • ECON 683: International Macroeconomics and Finance
  • ECON 684: Applied Time Series Analysis and Forecasting

The new courses add important financial, international and macroeconomic options to our program's field course offerings. Course descriptions and example syllabi will be added to our website soon. More detailed information about the courses is posted here.

Guest Lectures from College Park Faculty


johnwallisOn Tuesday, February 10th, our program was pleased to host a guest lecture from Dr. John Wallis in ECON 642, Topics in Applied Macroeconomics.  Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments, constitutional development, and more generally on the institutional development of governments and economies.  His talk in February was based on ideas from his book with Douglas North and Barry Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (CUP, 2009). 

On April 8th, Dr. Lesley Turner gave a guest lecture in our program.  Dr. Turner discussed her work on a recent Hamilton Project proposal, advocating a tax break for secondary earners in low-income families.  A variant of the proposal has been included in a set of tax reforms being proposed by President Obama.  The Hamilton Project is an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution.  Dr. Turner's colleague on the faculty in Maryland's economics department, Dr. Melissa Kearney, is the Director of the Hamilton Project, and co-author of the secondary earners tax-break proposal with Dr. Turner.

This spring, Dr. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan will be visiting our program's International Macroeconomics course (ECON 683).  Dr. Kalemli-Ozcan is the Neil Moskowitz Endowed Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland in College Park. 

We look forward to these and many more guest lectures from the Maryland economics department faculty, and from other distinguished economists. 


Fall 2014


Congratulations to our program's most recent graduates:

Jesualdo Enrique Barbosa
Jennifer Allison Bayles
Herman Alfredo Duenas
Adam McBride Lazri
Nishi J Parekh
Stephanie Neomi Turcios
Ducan Le Vo
Olga Vybornaya

We are proud of you all, and look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments!


Guest Lectures from Maureen Cropper and John Wallis

On October 16th, Economics Department Chair Maureen Cropper gave a guest lecture in Dr. Charles Griffith's Environmental Economics course. Professor Cropper presented her research on the costs and benefits of installing scrubbers on power plants in India.

Maureen Cropper is a Distinguished University Professor and a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Research Associate at NBER, and a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Her research has focused on valuing environmental health effects, on discounting and on the tradeoffs implicit in environmental regulations.

The Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Program is also pleased to announce a guest lecture from Dr. John Wallis in ECON642, Topics in Applied Macroeconomics. Dr. Wallis' visit has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 10th. Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments, constitutional development, and more generally on the institutional development of governments and economies. He has authored or edited several books, including In the Shadow of Violence: The Problem of Development in Limited Access Societies.

Our program is pleased to host these scholars and is looking forward to many more guest lectures from our College Park faculty, and from other distinguished guest speakers.


Summer 2014


Katharine Abraham and Steve Landefeld

Guest Lectures from Katharine Abraham and Peter Cramton

The Master's in Applied Economics Program was pleased to welcome Dr. Katharine Abraham as a guest lecturer in Dr. Steve Landefeld's applied microeconomics class on June 25th.  Dr. Abraham has been a professor at the University of Maryland since 1987.  She discussed the interpretation of economic data from her unique perspective as a former member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2011-2013) and commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (1993-2001).

Dr. Landefeld, who earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland in 1979, brings his own unique perspective to the class every week.  He began teaching in our program this summer after retiring from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, where he had served for almost 20 years as the Director.

"I really like the chance to compare their impressions from 'inside the bubble' with the views of ... newspapers and blogs aimed at a general audience."

-- John Whitesell, Grant Assistant at Laurel Consulting Group and student in Steve Landefeld's applied microeconomics class

We also enjoyed a guest lecture on July 28th from Dr. Peter Cramton.  Dr. Cramton is a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, chairman of Market Design, Inc., and founder of Cramton Associates, LLC.  He presented some of his award-winning research on solutions to problems inherent in high-frequency trading markets.


Spring 2014


Dr. John Straub

Masters in Applied Economics Program Announces New Director

The University of Maryland is pleased to announce Dr. John Straub as the new Executive Director of the Master of Professional Studies Program in Applied Economics. Dr. Straub received his Ph. D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin in 2002, and has done research on charitable giving, labor economics and education policy. Before coming to the University of Maryland in 2011 he taught at Texas A&M and Tufts University. Among other things, Dr. Straub has worked with our undergraduate honors students, serving this past year as director of the department's undergraduate honors program.

Dr. Straub comes with a strong teaching background, and will be teaching the program's Microeconomic Analysis course this fall. He is looking forward to expanding the program and fostering closer ties between the downtown master's program and our faculty and students in College Park.


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