Letter From the Co-Directors

Joann Weiner, Director of the MA in Applied Economics program

As the Co-Directors of the Master of Science in Applied Economics at GW, we are pleased to see that you’re interested in studying at GW. Because it can be difficult to figure out which program is right for you, we would like to take this opportunity to describe our program and highlight some of its distinctive features that we hope will lead you to choose GW.  

Our M.S. program is STEM-designated. We earned the STEM designation because our courses require mastery of the quantitative skills that are so essential in today’s data-driven world. With a degree from GW, you’ll be prepared for a career as an applied economist because we teach you how to apply economic theory to draw real-world implications from the data around you, and we provide you with the extra tools and experience that help you stand out from the crowd.

Our program

Our core classes in applied micro- and macro-economics, math and statistics, econometrics and time series analysis teach you the fundamental tools of applied economic analysis.  Completion of these six courses ensures that you have developed the essential analytical skills that an applied economist must acquire. Our program requires 30 credits, and most students complete their degree in less than two years, but our program also provides the flexibility for students who are working full-time to proceed at a slower pace.

After mastering these fundamental tools of applied economics analysis, you’ll take at least two electives in economics, such as international finance, environmental economics, financial derivatives, development, behavioral economics, or labor economics. Two other electives may be in related areas, such as public policy, business, data science, and public health. If there’s an elective that you’d like to take that isn’t on our list, just ask!  Our goal is to give you the education that you seek.

In addition to our six core courses and four electives, our program offers numerous unique features, including programming and communications workshops, funding for internships, and, most importantly, paid research positions to work with our professors. Our partnership with the World Bank’s Data Lab University Data Fellows Program, offers students the unusual opportunity to work with World Bank economists on Bank projects.

Because we believe in the value of internships, we have a dedicated funding source for students who work in unpaid internships. To the extent our budget allows, we do the best we can to alleviate the financial barriers that may hinder your ambitions.

Before completing your degree, you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the best economists in the world through our department seminars, our Applied Economics in Action speaker series, our membership in entities such as the National Economists Club, and our alumni networking events.

As an added bonus, you may combine your MS degree with specialized graduate certificate options in areas including data science, budget and public finance, financial analysis, and more. In effect, you obtain two degrees --- an MS in applied economics and a graduate certificate --- for the price of one and a half degrees. True economies of scale!

Our students

Our courses and professors are top notch, but we truly believe that our students are our greatest asset. Diverse teams perform better than teams with less diversity, so we seek students from a wide range of backgrounds. Our students come from every region in the United States and around the world. Some are recent graduates, while others have been working for years; many studied economics, while others have studied business, engineering, political science, or journalism. Some students are outgoing, while others are reserved. Our gender split is relatively balanced between men and women. This diversity of our students benefits us all! 

Our alumni

Our alumni work in an impressive array of careers, including economic consulting for private firms, policy analysis for research groups, and empirical research at governmental and nongovernmental organizations.  This list includes the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Compass Lexecon, Econ One, IHS Markit, the Brookings Institution, CBRE, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FTI consulting, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Communication Commission, the Bureau of Economics Analysis, and others. Many grads pursue a Ph.D. in economics, public policy, business economics and more. Some students stay in Washington, some return to their home states or countries, while others head off in exciting new directions around the world.

Our alumni network, which has a strong presence on LinkedIn . It helps you stay in touch with your professors and classmates and to continue to benefit from the connections you make while studying at GW.


If you have questions after exploring the website, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our dedicated email address: [email protected].  In addition to answering your questions, we’d be happy to put you in touch with a current student to talk about the program.

If you happen to be visiting D.C., let us know. We’d enjoy talking about all the reasons why we believe that our program, founded in 2015, is the best program anywhere.


Professors Arun Malik and Michael Moore
Co-Directors, Master of Science in Applied Economics