Master of Science in Applied Economics

Course Sequence – Washington, DC Program

Students in our Washington, DC program are able to take both in-person and online courses. Demand for in-person courses is lower than demand for online courses. Consequently, the Washington, DC program does not always offer an in-person section of every course in our curriculum.

It can be possible for our Washington, DC students to take all 10 of their courses in person, if they are willing to choose from a more limited set of elective field course options, and if they are able to take 2 courses every quarter. Washington, DC students who wish to choose from a broader menu of field course options, or who wish to pursue the degree at a slower pace, would need to take at least some of their courses online, as specified in the table below.

Students who strongly prefer to take all 10 courses in person can also consider the fully in-person program on our main campus in College Park.

Students who want to take more than half their courses online should enroll in our mostly online program.

The academic calendar in our Washington, DC program has four 12-week quarters per year (as in our mostly online program), rather than just two 15-week semesters (as in our College Park program).  

A given 12-week course covers the same material at the same level of rigor as a 15-week course in our semester-based program in College Park. Since the 12-week courses compress the same amount of material into 12 weeks instead of 15 weeks, our 12-week courses require about 25% more work per week than the 15-week versions of the same courses in our College Park program.

Students can begin the Washington, DC version of our program in the fall (late August). We do not offer spring or summer enrollment in either of our in-person programs (Washington, DC and College Park). We do offer both fall (late August) and spring (late February) enrollment in our mostly online program

Typical Course Sequence in the Washington, DC Program (15-month plan)

First Term
ECON 641 – Microeconomics
ECON 643 – Empirical Analysis I

(ECON 641 and 643 offered in person every fall.
Both courses are also offered online every fall and spring.)
Second Term
ECON 642 – Macroeconomics
ECON 644 – Empirical Analysis II

(ECON 642 and 644 offered in person every winter.
Both courses are also offered online every winter and summer.)
Third Term
ECON 645 – Empirical Analysis III
(ECON 645 offered in person every spring.
Also offered online every spring and fall.)

And one of the following field courses:
ECON 670 – Financial Economics
ECON 674 – Economic Analysis of Law
ECON 676 – Development Economics
(Only 1 or 2 of these field courses will be offered in person in the spring, depending on demand.)
Fourth Term
Two from the following:
ECON 671 – Health Economics
ECON 677 – International Trade
ECON 672 – Program Evaluation
ECON 684 – Applied Time Series

(Only 2 or 3 of these field courses will be offered in person in the summer, depending on demand)
Fifth Term
Two from the following:
ECON 673 – Game Theory/Market Design
ECON 683 – International Macro/Finance
ECON 687 – Economic Applications of R Programming
or any of the “3rd term” field courses not already completed

(Only 2 of the 3 listed courses will be offered in person in the fall, depending on demand)
Individual course descriptions and sample syllabi can be found here.

Students choose 5 field courses from a menu of 11 possible field courses.  The 5 field courses in boldface are the courses that would leave a student best-prepared to also sit for the Certified Business Economist (CBE) Exam offered by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE).  Our program has a partnership with the NABE, which makes it possible for the graduates of our program to sit for the NABE’s CBE exam without needing to take the NABE’s own courses.  The NABE’s CBE credential is something like a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for economists who work in private business settings, as many of our graduates do.  A student membership in the NABE also offers many excellent networking opportunities for our students in the Washington, DC area.  

The answer for the core courses (ECON 641-645) is yes. Additional online sections of the core courses will also be offered every 6 months.

The answer for the elective field courses in no. Demand for in-person courses is lower than demand for online courses. And students in our DC program are allowed to take some of their courses online. We will offer 2 or 3 in-person field courses every spring, summer, and fall. We will also offer additional online sections of every field course at least once a year, and in some cases twice a year, depending on demand. The decision about which field courses to offer in person will depend on student demand. We do not plan to offer in-person sections of field courses in the winter (when our DC students would normally be taking only the core courses ECON 642 and 644).

Yes, it is possible. We will always offer in-person sections of the core courses (ECON 641-645) in the terms indicated in the table. Enrollments permitting, we will also always offer 2 or 3 in-person field courses in the spring, summer, and fall. So a student who takes 2 courses per term can take 10 in-person courses according to the typical course sequence laid out in the table.

However, the field courses that we offer in person will depend on student demand. Students who wish to take courses with low demand, could be forced to take online sections of certain field courses.

Also: We only guarantee the possibility of being able to take 10 courses in person for students who follow the standard 2 course per term sequence. Students who take just a single course in certain terms, or who sit out certain terms, may need to take some of their courses online since the in-person sections are offered less frequently than the online sections.

Yes. Though some courses would need to be taken online.

A student could begin the program with just ECON 641 in their first term. They could then proceed as follows:

2nd term (winter): ECON 642
3rd term (spring): ECON 643 (online section)
4th term (summer): ECON 644 (online section) + an elective field course if desired (in person or online)
5th term (fall): ECON 645 (online section) + an elective field course if desired (in person or online)
6th term (winter): one or two elective field courses (online sections)
7th term and beyond: elective field courses (in person or online)

The University of Maryland’s Graduate School requires that students be enrolled in at least one course every term while they are pursuing their degree. Waivers to this policy are routinely granted as necessary. Leaves of absence are also possible under certain circumstances.