MA in Global Development Economics

The Master of Arts in Global Development Economics (MAGDE) is intended for students interested in a career in the economic development of lower- and middle-income countries and in transition economies, including working as policy analysts and decision makers in government, nonprofit institutions, international organizations, and the private sector.

This program is an intensive, 3-semester course of study designed for those seeking rigorous training in economics supplemented by training in the related disciplines of politics, international relations, public health, and infrastructure and environment. The Economics core of this program is identical to that required of students taking the MA in Economics. In addition, MAGDE includes a set of Economics elective courses that focus on various aspects of development issues and the global economy. MAGDE candidates join students from the MA in Global Policy (MGP) program in taking courses in:

  • Governance and Political Economy
  • International Public Health
  • Infrastructure and Environmental Planning

The MAGDE program does not accept applications for the Spring Semester.

Program Structure and Course Requirements

MAGDE students must complete 12 full-semester graduate courses (48 credits), consisting of the following 4 components. At least 7 of these courses (28 credits) must be in Economics.

1. The MA Core in Economic Theory and Quantitative Methods

  • EC 501 Microeconomic Theory (4 credits)
  • EC 502 Macroeconomic Theory (4 credits)
  • EC 507 Statistics (4 credits)
  • EC 508 Econometrics (4 credits)

2. Core Requirements in Global Development Policy

  • GRS IR/GE 794 Current Issues in International Environmental Affairs
  • GRS GE 600 Environment & Development: A Political Ecology Approach (4 credits)
  • GRS IR 605 Global Policy Analysis (4 credits)
  • SPH GH 770 Poverty, Health, and Development (4 credits)

3. Capstone Course (4 credits)

All students in both the Global Development Policy and the Global Development Economics programs are required to complete a capstone course in their second year (EC 798 Global Development Capstone for GDE students). This is a project-based course in which students, working in groups, design and carry out an interdisciplinary policy analysis comparable to those performed for a government or nonprofit agency.

4. Four additional elective courses (16 credits) selected from MA-level courses in Economics and, subject to academic approval, related development fields.

EC 505 Elementary Mathematical Economics provides the essential mathematical background needed for the required courses. A determination is made whether it is appropriate to opt out of this course by taking the mathematics placement exam and by discussing their mathematical preparation with faculty advisors. EC 505 will count as one of the MA electives.

Subject to academic advising and departmental approval, qualified students may pursue an independent research project (Directed Studies course) in place of an elective course.

Grade Requirements

All courses and the comprehensive examination must be passed with grades of B- or better. Students must have an overall grade point average of 2.85 in all courses taken after enrollment in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Time Requirement

All courses and examinations must be completed within three years of the original registration at Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts Sciences. International students may be subject to additional restrictions imposed by the terms of their visas, as governed by the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO).

The MA Program Rules apply to all master’s degrees.