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Contact:
Sarah Nerette
Program Coordinator

School of International Service, Room 331B

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Become an expert in international trade and finance

The MA in International Economics (INEC) prepares students who have previously majored or minored in economics for careers as international economists. Students will be equipped to analyze the most important trade and financial issues facing the globalized economy from theoretical, empirical, political-economy, and policymaking perspectives. Offered jointly between the School of International Service and American University’s Department of Economics, INEC provides a rigorous mix of courses in economic theory, international relations, global political economy, economic policymaking, and quantitative methods focused on international trade and finance. INEC students graduate prepared to serve as international economists in multilateral organizations, government agencies, multinational financial and other corporations, public-advocacy firms, industry associations, and research institutes.

The International Economics degree requires 39 credit hours of graduate coursework that can be completed in two years (full-time) or up to six years (part-time). INEC’s policy-oriented curriculum exposes students to international political economy, a variety of institutional and policy issues, and rigorous training in economic theory and quantitative research methods. During their course of study, students also learn practical skills, including how to use state-of-the-art statistical software commonly used in applied economics research and policy analysis. The program culminates with a capstone project addressing a major issue in contemporary international economics. Students must complete calculus, statistics, introductory and intermediate microeconomics, and introductory and intermediate macroeconomics prior to enrollment in the program.

Explore degree flexibility options

Full degree and admission requirements

International Economics professors have ties to think tanks, research institutes, and international organizations around the globe. As top scholar-practitioners in the field, they regularly publish articles and appear in national and international media. INEC faculty use their expertise and experiences to present students with a thorough, policy-oriented curriculum.

Meet the INEC faculty

Washington, DC, is a vast campus that extends far beyond the SIS classroom. The International Economics program’s academic content is complemented by the extraordinary array of internship and professional opportunities available to well-trained international economists in DC. These opportunities make American University the ideal place to study international economics and to jump-start a career after graduation.

Top employers: Citibank, International Monetary Fund, US Export-Import Bank, US Treasury Department, YouTube

Analyzing women’s economic empowerment

My experience at SIS shaped me personally and professionally.

Riinvest Institute is an economic think tank in Kosovo that works in analysis and policy recommendations aimed at Kosovo’s economic growth. As a researcher, I mainly focus on economic policies, macroeconomic analyses, and gender economics. I recently co-authored a report on women’s workplace conditions and economic empowerment in Kosovo, which was the first of its kind on this scale. From data analysis to econometrics, I use the knowledge and skills I learned at SIS in my work every day.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you should apply to the program depends on what semester you want to start taking classes in and whether you are a domestic or international student.

Application deadlines for an MA in International Economics are as follows:

  • Fall semester (all applicants): January 15
  • Spring semester (domestic applicants): October 1
  • Spring semester (international applicants): September 15

View required application materials

Missed a deadline but still interested in applying? Email the SIS Graduate Admissions office.

The International Economics program prepares graduates for careers in multilateral organizations, government agencies, multinational financial and other corporations, public-advocacy firms, industry associations, and research institutes in the United States and around the world.

Recent graduates have found jobs at Citibank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Department of the Treasury, the US Export-Import Bank, and YouTube.

Looking for more information or help? SIS has a dedicated career development center to assist current students and alumni.

The School of International Service offers merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and fellowships at the time of admission. SIS also has partnerships with a number of organizations like the Peace Corps and Pickering Fellowship that provide qualified individuals with funding.

Financial aid information for prospective students

Need-based aid is available through AU Central Office and generally takes the form of a federal low-interest loan package.

Federal loan and work study information for graduate students

The School of International Service offers two different degrees focusing on international economics and finance: the MA in International Economics (INEC) and the MA in International Affairs: International Economic Relations (IER).

INEC offers a focused view of international economics and follows a more rigid course progression with only two electives. This program is intended for students who previously majored or minored in economics and wish to pursue a career in international economics at multilateral organizations, government agencies, multinational financial and other corporations, public-advocacy firms, industry associations, or research institutes. Applicants must complete calculus, statistics, introductory and intermediate microeconomics, and introductory and intermediate macroeconomics prior to enrollment in the INEC program.

IER offers a broader, multi-disciplinary understanding of international economics. Students who previously majored in international affairs, political science, or other social sciences and do not have a background in economics or quantitative methods are generally more suited for the IER program. IER students tend to have wider interests in fields like international economic governance, international business, international development, or national economic security—not just international trade and finance narrowly defined. IER students choose from a number of possible concentrations and take multiple electives at different schools on campus to satisfy their career interests.

Still have questions? Send us an email at ier@american.edu