Letter From the Director


Joann Weiner, Director of the MA in Applied Economics program


As the Director of the Master of Science in Applied Economics at GW, I’m glad to see that you’re interested in studying at GW. Because it can be difficult to figure out which program is right for you, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about our program and highlight some of the distinctive features we’ve implemented that, I 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 economy. With a degree from GW, you’ll be prepared for a career as an applied economist because we not only teach you how to apply economic theory to draw real-world implications from the data around you but also we provide you with the extra tools that help you stand out from the crowd.

Our program

Our core classes in applied micro- and macro- economics, math and statistics, and econometrics and time series analysis teach you the fundamental tools of applied economic analysis that show that you have developed the analytical skills that all applied economists must hold. Our program requires 30 credits, and most students complete there degree in less than two years.

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, and labor economics, while two 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. 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.  I like those numbers!

Our students

Our courses and professors are top notch, but I 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 close to 50/50 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 CFTC, FCC, the BEA, 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 countries, while others head off in exciting new directions around the world.

Our alumni network, which we grow via LinkedIn, helps you stay in touch with your professors and classmates and continue to benefit from your time studying at GW.

If you have questions after exploring the website, please don’t hesitate to contact me via our dedicated email address: [email protected].  I’d also 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 me know, and I’d love to talk about all the reasons why I love leading our Applied Economics master’s program and believe that it’s the best program anywhere.  I have led this program since it was founded in 2015 and I care deeply about its success.


Professor Joann M. Weiner

Director, Master of Science in Applied Economics