Master of Science in Applied Economics

Courses

We offer the same curriculum in both the Washington, D.C. and College Park versions of our STEM-designated Master of Science in Applied Economics program. All courses are 3-credit masters-level courses. Details of any course will vary depending on the instructor, but the fundamental content and level of rigor for any course is the same whether taught in Washington, D.C. or College Park. The average enrollment in core courses is 20.4 students and in field courses is 12.5 students (2023). All courses are taught by a PhD economist and have access to a TA who is currently enrolled in our Economics PhD program.

Core Courses

Prerequisite: Admission to the Master of Science Program in Applied Economics

This course covers microeconomic analysis applied to public policy problems with an emphasis on practical examples and how they illustrate microeconomic theories. Policy issues such as pollution, welfare and income distribution, market design, industry regulation, price controls, tax policy, and health insurance are used to illustrate the abstract principles of microeconomics.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: Admission to the Master of Science Program in Applied Economics

In this course, the focus is on applied macroeconomic models used by federal agencies to explain and predict economic behavior. The course emphasizes macroeconomic data:  NIPA accounts, GDP, construction and application of CPI, labor force data, and economic indicators. Students will also study a selected set of current macroeconomic topics including models of economic growth, economic fluctuations, monetary policy, the Great Recession, inflation, and financial markets.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: Admission to the Master of Science Program in Applied Economics

Fundamental aspects of data management and interpretation emphasizing sampling, descriptive statistics, index numbers, and construction of aggregated variables. Students will learn basic probability theory and statistics. The course will include an introduction to simple regression analysis using STATA statistical software.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 643

An introduction to econometric methods with applications to public policy analysis. Primary focus on application and interpretation of multiple regression analysis.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 644

Refinements and generalizations of multiple regression analysis. Topics can include panel data methods, instrumental variables, quasi-experimental methods, time series analysis, limited dependent variables, and sample selection corrections.

Syllabi

Field Courses

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 644 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 644)

This course applies microeconomic theory and applied econometric techniques to the study of financial institutions and markets for financial assets. Students will learn how economists model and estimate the value of financial assets. The economic and empirical models are of interest to public policymakers and private wealth managers. Specific topics can include financial intermediation, the regulation of financial institutions, risk management, portfolio theory, the capital asset pricing model, and the efficient markets hypothesis.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 645 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 645)

This course is an examination of the structure, conduct, and performance of the healthcare market including physician services, the pharmaceutical industry, the hospital market, and health insurance using quantitative and analytic economic tools. Special emphasis is on regulatory response to market imperfections.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 645

This course examines various methods of program evaluation including randomized and nonrandomized (retrospective) evaluations. The focus is on evaluation design and implementation including needs assessment, process evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 644 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 644)

This course focuses on strategic decision-making and the theory and practice of market design.  Topics include experimental economics, spectrum auctions, labor markets, electricity markets, and environmental auctions.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 644 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 644)

This course applies microeconomic theory to the analysis of legal rules and institutions. Topics include property rights, externalities, contract theory, bargain theory, remedies, industrial organization, patents, damages, and antitrust.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 645 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 645)

This course develops a framework for an economic assessment of environmental problems and policy design with respect to market failures and the valuation of environmental resources. The focus is on policy issues, economic incentives, and instruments and valuation of nonmarket goods.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641, ECON642 and ECON 644 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 644)

The course will focus on the consequences of poverty and poor institutions on the behavior and welfare of individuals, households, firms, and the aggregate economy in developing countries. Theoretical models and empirical evidence will be used to understand the intended and unintended consequences of policies designed to enhance economic development.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 641 and ECON 644

Students will analyze the causes and consequences of international trade. The course will cover a set of conceptual tools that are useful for understanding globalization and the usage of these tools to address interesting and important questions about how countries, firms, and workers respond to international trade.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 642 and ECON 644 (can be taken concurrently with ECON 644)

Economic analysis of international macroeconomic issues and policy. Topics can include the study of exchange rates, balance of payments, international financial markets, international business cycles, contagion, and the roles played by international economic institutions.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 642 and ECON 645

Students will learn the theory of stationary processes and how it is applied to econometric techniques for estimation and forecasting based on time series data. The techniques will be applied in macroeconomic, financial, and business applications.

Syllabi

Prerequisite: ECON 645

Students will build on the data analysis and econometric skills learned in the Empirical analysis sequence of ECON 643, 644, and 645. The STATA skills acquired in that sequence, such as basic data manipulation and econometric estimation, will be extended to the R programming language. The fundamentals of more advanced scientific programming–objects, data structures, loops, functions, simulation, parallel computing–will be introduced with applications to economics and the social sciences. Additional emphasis is placed on good coding practices and tools for version control and collaboration such as Git and R Markdown.

Syllabi

Standard Course Sequences

Degree Requirements

Students need to complete 10 courses to earn our Master of Science in Applied Economics degree: 5 core courses that cover foundational material, and 5 field courses which teach students how to apply these tools to areas of specialization. 

The 5 core courses cover microeconomics, macroeconomics, and empirical analysis (a 3-course sequence). For the 5 field courses, students choose 5 from a menu of 11 possible courses.

You can also view informational video presentations about our program’s curriculum, admissions requirements, and alternative plans of study.