MA in Economic Policy

The Master of Arts in Economic Policy (MAEP) program is an intensive three-semester course of study combining a strong foundation in economics with the management methods appropriate for students interested in careers as policy analysts and decisionmakers in government, nonprofit institutions, international organizations, and the private sector. The core of the program provides a foundation in economic theory and its application, quantitative methods, and the basic tools of management analysis. The MAEP permits in-depth specialization in two policy and management fields drawn from courses offered in both the Department of Economics and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Subject to department approval, up to four course credits can be earned through an internship providing on-site working experience relevant to economics research and policymaking. The MAEP is a STEM-designated degree program.

Applicants to this program should have, or be expecting, a bachelor’s degree in economics, economics and mathematics, or a closely related discipline (from an institution recognized by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences).

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of fundamental economic principles and be able to apply these ideas to analyze public policies, business practices, and real-world events.
  • Have the ability to apply mathematical methods, through modeling and large-scale data analysis.
  • Acquire fundamental understanding of management science or economic policy sufficient to be well prepared for a professional career in the public or private sector.
  • Be able to conduct scholarly and/or nonacademic work in a professional and ethical manner.

Course Requirements

Candidates must complete a minimum of 12 semester courses (48 credits). Requirements in quantitative methods and micro- and macroeconomic theory, statistics, and econometrics are the same as those for the MA in Economics.

The MAEP requires:

  • Four economics core courses (CAS EC 501, EC 502, EC 507, and EC 508) plus, if needed, EC 505

These courses provide the basic analytic and quantitative training needed for the entire program. See the MA Program description for details.

  • Two management core courses

These courses cover some fundamental aspects of management methods, including data analysis, financial analysis, and accounting principles.

  • Two fields, each consisting of two appropriate courses selected from the economics MA offerings in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) and the MBA offerings in the Questrom School of Business. Possible fields include:
    • Economic Development
    • Finance
    • Health
    • Industry
    • International Trade and Finance
    • Labor Economics
    • Marketing
    • Money and Capital Markets
    • Public Economics
    • Environmental Economics
    • Markets and Regulation
  • Two additional elective courses

The field and elective courses make effective use of the students’ analytic and quantitative skills acquired through the economic core courses, and reinforce this training by providing further opportunities for the application of mathematical modeling and quantitative methods. All field and elective courses emphasize critical thinking and problem solving; some of these courses also aim to advance the students’ knowledge of quantitative methods, and many of them require students to undertake independent research, scholarship, or field projects.

For exact GPA requirements, see the department rules and regulations, available on the Department of Economics website and by request.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination that tests general knowledge of economic theory and quantitative methods. Every master’s student is expected to take the first available offering of the Comprehensive Examination after they have completed the economics core courses. This examination is offered twice a year.