M.S. in International and Development Economics

The rapid pace of globalization has increased the demand for professionals with specialized training in international economics and the economic development process. The University of San Francisco offers a truly unique Master's degree in International and Development Economics -- one that integrates rigorous training in quantitative economics with overseas field study in a developing country.

The goal of the program is to help students understand how market forces can be harnessed to free the poor in developing countries from cycles of poverty. It also examines the importance of institutions that regulate market forces. Unlike larger institutions, USF combines an intimate classroom experience with personalized research direction from dedicated faculty committed to the success of each student.

Topics of Study include

  • Effects of globalization, international integration, and trade
  • Macroeconomics of developing countries
  • Evaluation of development projects
  • Agricultural economics and commodity markets in developing countries
  • Microenterprise finance
  • Causes of poverty and famine
  • Women and development
  • International finance and currency stabilization
  • International labor markets and migration

A World of Opportunities

Students will be equipped for a future in one or more of the following areas:

  • Professional work in international agencies, international businesses, and non-governmental organizations
  • Professional work as development researchers, practitioners, and policymakers for issues facing developing countries
  • Further study in international and development economics in a Ph.D. program

Core Courses for M.S. in International and Development Economics

  • ECON - 601 Microeconomics: Theory and Applications
  • ECON - 602 Macroeconomics: Theory and Applications
  • ECON - 615 Mathematics for Economists
  • ECON - 620 Graduate Econometrics
  • ECON - 623 Field Research Methods
  • ECON - 627 Applied Econometrics  OR  ECON 625 Financial Econometrics
  • ECON - 628 Advanced Applied Econometrics
  • ECON - 679 International Economics Seminar  OR  ECON 690 Development Economics Seminar

Four Elective Classes

  • At least one (1) course from Economics 670 (International Trade) or Economics 671 (Economic Development) to be taken in the student's first year before summer field research.
  • At least one (1) course from Economics 671 (International Finance) or Economics 673 (Development Microeconomics) to be taken in the student' first year before summer field research.
  • Two (2) elective courses chosen from:
  • ECON - 670 International Trade
  • ECON - 671 International Finance
  • ECON - 672 Economic Development
  • ECON - 673 Development Microeconomics
  • ECON - 676 Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy
  • ECON - 677 International Political Economy
  • ECON - 678 Population and Labor Economics
  • ECON - 650 Money, Banking, and Financial Institutions
  • ECON - 651 Monetary Economics
  • ECON - 665 Law and Economics
  • ECON - 698 Directed Readings and Research

Subject to approval, and if the class is not offered at USF, students may be able to substitute a Ph.D.-level class in international or development economics at an approved graduate program in another university for one of the above classes.

Overseas Field Study Requirement

A key component of the Masters program in International and Development Economics is the overseas Field-Study Internship. This requirement is typically met during the summer before the student's final semester in the program, and involves a 1-3 month period of field study in a developing country, with arrangements to be worked out between the student and supervising faculty. Universities in countries such as the Philippines, El Salvador, and others have partnered with USF for the field-study program. In most cases, research data and interviews obtained during field study will be applied toward the Masters research project.

Masters Research Project and Presentation

Masters students undertaking the M.S. degree in International and Development Economics will enroll in the graduate seminar during the latter part of their coursework at USF. Students will study and discuss a number of published empirical papers in international and development economics, which will serve as a guide for their own empirical work. In the graduate seminar, students will receive guidance and supervision in completing their own research projects. At the end of their program, M.S. students in International and Development Economics will present their research to faculty members, with the student receiving one of the following grades: pass with honors, pass, pass conditional upon revision, or fail.

Please CLICK HERE for more information on Admission Requirements and Application Procedures. 

  • The University is phasing out the previously offered M.A. in International and Development Economics.
  • Students admitted into the Program for a term prior to Fall 2013 can choose to earn the M.A. degree. They have until Spring 2015 to complete the requirements for the M.A. degree.

Learning Goals/Outcomes for the M.S. in International and Development Economics

Students who complete the M.S. in IDEC will be able to:

  • Understand the application of modern micro and macroeconomic theory to the key problems of economic development, trade and finance, including the analysis of market failures, poverty traps, the structure of incentives, the use of game theory to model institutional behavior, and open economy models of trade, migration, foreign direct investment, financial markets, and exchange rate determination.
  • Design and carry out a fieldwork-based research project, including formation of an original research question, planning of an effective methodology, development of field protocols/survey instruments, and data collection in a developing or transition country.
  • Conduct original quantitative empirical analysis of an international or development economics problem. Specifically, students should be able to express an economic theory in terms of an observable model; determine the appropriate estimation method for the empirical model; utilize statistical software to conduct such estimation; and meaningfully interpret the results.
  • Effectively communicate research finding both in writing and orally, including compilation of a professional literature review, clear presentation of theoretical and empirical models, econometric analysis, and the relevance of the study's principal findings and implications for international and/or economic development theory and policy.