GDE Requirements

The GDE is an intensive three-semester program combining a strong foundation in economics with development policy training in Governance and Political Economy, International Public Health, and Environment and Development.  The program consists of twelve classes plus a comprehensive examination.

Requirements of the Program

The program for the MA in Global Development Economics has five components:

  • Three core courses in global development policy
  • Four core courses in economics
  • Four elective courses in economics
  • A final capstone course
  • Comprehensive examination


Twelve full-semester graduate courses (48 credits) are required for this degree.

Development Policy Core Courses

  • GRS GE 600 Environment & Development:  A Political Ecology Approach
  • GRS IR 701 Fundamentals of International Relations
  • SPH GH 770 Poverty, Health, and Development

Economics Core Requirements

  • CAS EC 501 Microeconomic Theory
  • CAS EC 502 Macroeconomic Theory
  • CAS EC 507 Statistics
  • CAS EC 508 Econometrics

Elective Courses in Economics

Four electives to be chosen from the following:

  • CAS EC 505 Elementary Mathematical Economics
  • CAS EC 521 Development Theory
  • CAS EC 531 Market Structure and Industrial Organization
  • CAS EC 541 Topics in Monetary Theory and Macroeconomics
  • CAS EC 542 Money and Financial Intermediation
  • CAS EC 545 Financial Economics
  • CAS EC 551 Economics of Labor Markets
  • CAS EC 552 Economic Organizations and Labor Markets
  • CAS EC 561 Public Economics I
  • CAS EC 562 Public Economics II
  • CAS EC 565 Economic Institutions in Historical Perspective
  • CAS EC 566 History of Public Finance and the Rise of the State in Europe
  • CAS EC 571 Energy and Environmental Economics
  • CAS EC 572 Public Control of Business
  • CAS EC 581 Health Economics I
  • CAS EC 582 Health Economics II
  • CAS EC 591 International Trade
  • CAS EC 595 International Finance

Capstone Course

All students in both the Global Development Policy and the Global Development Economics programs will take a capstone course in their second year, GRS IR 798: Global Development Capstone. This will be 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.

Comprehensive Examination

All students in the Global Development Economics degree program will take the same rigorous comprehensive examination as students in any of the other MA programs offered by the Economics Department at Boston University. The exam tests general knowledge of economic theory and quantitative methods.

Grade Requirements

In accordance with Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) policy, students must achieve a grade of B- or higher to receive degree credit for any course. Any grade lower than a B- will be considered as failing. The comprehensive examination must also be passed with a grade of B- or better. Additionally, students must have an overall grade point average of 2.85 in all courses taken after matriculation in GRS.

Time to Degree Limit

In accordance with GRS policy, all courses and examinations must be completed within three years of matriculation into the program.