Letter from the Director

My name is Joann Weiner and as the Director of the program, I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about the Master of Arts in applied economics at GW. We have a great program that offers many distinctive features that we have designed to help you get the most out of your time studying at GW. If you’d like to hear me explain my vision for the applied economics MA program, please watch my interview with Dean Vinson at the link at the end of this letter.


 To start, our program prepares you for a career as an applied economist by teaching you how to apply economic theory to draw real world implications from these data, and our program’s STEM designation signals the high level of quantitative content in our courses.


 After learning the fundamental tools of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis, statistics and econometrics that form the foundation of your studies, you’ll choose the type of applied economist you wish to become. Are you interested in measuring how government policy affects the way companies do business? Would you like to help solve the problems of global poverty, climate change, and income inequality? Do you strive to find solutions to problems that exist in reality and not just in theory and do you enjoy using quantitative analysis to shore up your research? If these questions excite you and make you want to learn how to answer them, then GW’s master’s program in applied economics is the right program for you. I encourage you to explain all of the information on the applied economics website to gain an understanding of the breadth of opportunity that GW offers to you.


Let me highlight some impressive features that we offer in addition to the regular core courses and electives.


 ·         Since GW is a full-fledged university, you can combine your MA in applied economics with a specialized Graduate Certificate and obtain two degrees at once (and at a discounted price). We offer dual enrollment for Graduate Certificates in budget and public finance, data science, geographical information systems, and in seven different graduate business certificates. 


 ·         We offer free workshops in Written and Oral Communication and in Stata that help you develop the presentation and quantitative skills that are so essential in today’s global economy. 


 ·         In addition to financial support provided by the university, the Applied Economics provides funding to our students in three different ways.  First, we offer paid positions for students to work with our Economics Department faculty.  Second, we hire graduate students to work as graders for undergraduate courses. Third, we offer funding for students who are working in an unpaid internship that contributes to their applied economics degree.


 ·         Finally, our partnership with the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) offers you the opportunity to prepare for the Certified Business Economist® (CBE) professional certification in business economics and data analytics simultaneously with your MA in Applied Economics. NABE hosts in Washington a career fair every fall and a policy conference in the spring. Our students have free membership in the National Economists Club, which is where professional economists meet in the nation’s capital. Both NABE and the NEC help you create the professional network that will help you advance in your career.



 Our students are one of our biggest assets. Research shows that diverse teams perform better than teams with less diversity, so we seek students from a range of backgrounds. Students come from every region in the United States and around the world; some students are recent graduates, while others have been working for years; some students studied economics in college, while others may have studied business, engineering, political science, math or any other subject. All are welcome at GW regardless of where you are coming from. Our students enjoy studying at GW.

We don’t require the GRE (although you can report your scores if you’d like), but we do require that you have a good command of the English language (being good at math helps, too, since you’ll use both math and English in the program). Your essay should clearly explain why you want to study for an applied economics degree, and your two letters of recommendation should come from professors, employers, supervisors, or anyone who can present your candidacy in a favorable light (although you shouldn’t ask your mom – she might be biased!). If you don’t meet some of the prerequisites, we’ll see if we can figure out a path for you to come to GW. Applicants who may not have taken college-level calculus, for example, may take a college-level course online or at a local college to meet the prerequisite.  For additional details on admissions, take a look at the specific tab on admissions on the applied economics website and on the GW site. After exploring that site, send me an email if you have questions.

You’ll actively participate in the program. In addition to deepening your analytical skills, you’ll develop the ability to communicate your ideas through seminars, one-on-one meetings with me (In addition to being your advisor, I also teach your applied microeconomics course), and through intensive writing and re-writing of your projects. Before completing your degree, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct an in-depth independent study, develop your own website, and present your findings to your fellow students for critical review.

GW’s faculty and a wealth of local professionals who participate in the program will guide you through this process. Graduates with GW’s Master of Arts in Applied Economics degree in hand are prepared to work in a range of businesses, including economic consulting for private firms, policy analysis for research organizations, empirical research at governmental and non-governmental organizations, and others. Many may even decide to launch their own business. Our graduates go on to work in a range of areas, from local organizations like the World Bank to global organizations anywhere in the world. Some students stay in Washington, while others return to their home country. Our career services office works closely with our students to ensure that you find the best place possible to apply your skills. And, our alumni network helps you keep up with developments at GW and allow you to remain in touch with your professors and classmates.

For more information, including admissions requirements, the curriculum and syllabi, graduate certificates, and information for international students, take a look at the details on the MA Applied Economics page. 

 I look forward to hearing from you! If you still have questions after exploring the web pages, please contact me, at [email protected]


Dr. Joann M. Weiner, Director, MA Applied Economics, September 2018


Economics in the Real World

Vinson and Weiner

Director of the Economics Department's Applied MA Joann Weiner shares her thoughts on tax policy, global markets, the ride-share economy and inspiring her students to think like economists in an insightful conversation with Columbian College Dean Ben Vinson. January 10, 2018.  Please click on the picture to view the video.


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