MA in Economic Policy

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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 decision-makers 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 departmental approval, up to four course credits can be earned through an appropriate internship providing on-site working experience relevant to economics research and policy making. 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).

Course Requirements

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

The MAEP requires:

  • Four economics core courses (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 MA Program description for details.

  • Two management core courses

These courses cover some fundamental aspects of management methods, including data analysis, financial analysis, or 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 program requirements, see the departmental rules and regulations.

Graduate Internships

Subject to academic advising and departmental approval, up to 4 course credits can be earned through an internship providing on-site working experience relevant to economics research and policymaking.

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 he or she has completed the economics core courses. This examination is offered twice a year.

Time Requirement

All courses and examinations must be completed within 3 years of the original registration in 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.