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MSAE Program2018-08-22T08:58:49+00:00

Experience the Boston College Connection

When you earn a Master of Science in Applied Economics degree from Boston College you join a worldwide network of over 180,000 alumni. Programs leaders collaborated with an industry council of professional experts to develop an academic curriculum that’s aligned with employer demands. This degree is truly designed for leaders.

What Will You Learn?

The Master of Science in Applied Economics offers a practical and comprehensive curriculum to students interested in acquiring skills related to the analysis and interpretation of data across a variety of fields. Graduates will be equipped to understand the context of data they are analyzing, analyze the data, interpret it and present results to decision makers, and make recommendations bolstered by the results of the data analysis.

The program provides individuals with extensive training in the tools and methods necessary for understanding complex policy issues, industry trends, and analytic strategies within specialized fields of economics including health care, finance, marketing, and environmental policy. These skills are developed within a curricular framework that emphasizes reflective, people-centered, ethical decision making that reflects the Jesuit, Ignatian tradition. The program is intended for individuals seeking to begin or advance careers in industry, policy and government, or the financial sector.

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Online Master of Science in Applied Economics Degree

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Are You Ready To Take the Next Step?

The Master of Science in Applied Economics is a ten-course degree program. The program can be completed in a 16-month period, but is designed to be flexible in meeting the needs of our students. As a working professional, you may wish to attend full- or part-time. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission in the fall or spring semesters. All undergraduate majors are welcome. International students are encouraged to apply. Financial aid and career assistance are available.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university (minimum GPA 3.0)
  • GRE (reporting code 7534) or GMAT (reporting code 44X-HX-74)
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Application Fee ($45)
  • Brief interview (in person or via video interface)
  • Prerequisite courses: Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Statistics, Calculus I and II.*
  • Calculus II may be taken concurrently during your first semester of study. This requirement can also be fulfilled by taking ADEC3510 Mathematics for Economists (NOTE: This course does not count toward the degree).

International Students

In addition to the general requirements listed, international students should provide the following:

  • TOEFL (reporting code 3276) or IELTS scores, unless they have completed their undergraduate degree at a regionally-accredited U.S. institution, or a foreign institution in which English is the medium of instruction.
  • Detailed course-by-course transcript evaluation indicating conferral of an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Ten courses are required to complete the Master of Science in Applied Economics.

Core Requirements

  • Applied Microeconomic Theory
  • Applied Macroeconomic Theory
  • Econometrics
  • Data Analysis
  • Ethics, Economics and Public Policy

Electives

  • Directed Readings and Research
  • Health Care Economics
  • Advanced Urban and Regional Economics
  • Economics of Banking and Insurance
  • Financial Economics
  • Applied Stress Testing for Economists
  • Empirical Health Economics
  • Empirical Money and Banking
  • Operations Research in Applied Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Big Data Econometrics
  • Private Sector Development and Economic Growth
  • Predictive Analytics / Forecasting
  • Ethics, Economics and Public Policy
  • Law and Economics
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Measuring Business Cycles, Trends and Growth Cycles
  • Economics of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Software Tools for Data Analysis
  • Market Research and Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Private Equity
  • Environmental Economics
  • Directed Practicum

Scheduling and Cost
You have the option of taking your courses on campus, online, or a mix of both.

On campus graduate courses are scheduled ordinarily from 6:30–9:00 p.m. on week nights or on Saturdays at either 9 a.m.–noon or 1p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuition in the Applied Economics program is $1,126 per credit hour plus the registration fee of $45.

This is a course in a specialized topic of student and professor’s choosing.

This course covers the theory and practice of macroeconomics. The course focuses on the underlying determinants of economic growth, unemployment and inflation by developing and assessing a variety of simple models. The course will also teach the skills needed for interpreting and using macroeconomic data to formulate macroeconomic policy. A central feature of the course includes understanding the ability and limitations of policy for stabilizing the business cycle and promoting long-term growth.

This course examines the basic models economists use to study the choices made by consumers, investors, firms, and government officials, and how these choices affect markets. The course focuses on both policy applications and business strategies. Topics include optimization, consumer choice, firm behavior, market structures, risk and uncertainty, and welfare economics.

This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts and data-based tools of statistical analysis commonly employed in Applied Economics. In addition to learning the basics of statistical and data analysis, students will learn to use the statistical software package Stata to conduct various empirical analyses. Our focus will be on learning to do statistical analysis, not just on learning statistics. The ultimate goal of this course is to prepare students well for ADEC 7320.01, Econometrics.

This course focuses on the application of statistical tools used to estimate economic relationships. The course begins with a discussion of the linear regression model, and examination of common problems encountered when applying this approach, including serial correlation, heteroscedasticity, and multicollinearity. Models with lagged variables are considered, as is estimation with instrumental variables, two-stage least squares, models with limited dependent variables, and basic time-series techniques.

Prerequisite: ADEC 7310 Data Analysis or department approval.

The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how economists think about and analyze health and medical care issues. The course emphasizes the distinction between health as an output and medical care as one input into the production of health. This distinction leads to a discussion of models of the production of health, the demand for health and the demand for medical care. Specific topics include the economic, social, and demographic factors determining the demand for medical care, the production and supply of various kinds of medical care

services, the financing of medical care services and alternative systems of health care delivery and financing. The role of and economic justification for government involvement in the medical care system will be analyzed. The course includes in-depth analysis of the structure, conduct, and performance of the markets for private health insurance, physician services, hospital services, and pharmaceuticals.

This is an advanced course in urban and regional economics. The field of urban and regional economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. The course will use microeconomic models to address general and interesting questions about the existence and emergence of cities: why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? Why do people live in cities? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the growth and size of a city? Which policies can modify the shape of a city? The course will also analyze the economic issues that arise because people and firms locate in cities. It will focus on many specific urban economic issues such as firm location, crime, transportation, housing, education, inner-city economic development and local government economics.

This course explores the role of the financial system in the overall economy. Topics include study of the structure of the monetary and banking system, interest rates, monetary policy and role of central bank in the economy. Focus is on the empirical investigation/study of these topics.

This course teaches the practical application of finance theory to decisions made in industry. We will learn how individuals and firms choose investment portfolio decisions under uncertainty with a particular focus on topics such as the capital asset pricing model, market imperfections, borrowing constraints, market efficiency and security valuation. Understanding how interest rates, exchange rates, and risk work will aid your understanding of multiple firm problems such as why does a firm chooses a specific investment or place of manufacturing. In addition, studying term structures and discounted cash flows are important to understanding the decision to invest over time.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, banks and bank holding companies in the United States have faced increased regulation. One of the recent changes to these regulations is known as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). At the core of these new regulations, specifically under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the stress tests it mandates, are a series of “what-if” or “scenario analyses” requirements provided by the Federal Reserve. In this course we will examine these new regulations and build models which help to satisfy these requirements and will build both “bottom-up” and “top-down”

models which incorporate external economic scenarios. We will also spend time with the creation of these scenarios. The final project will involve presenting results to experienced banking professionals. Experience with some statistical computing software is required (R, Stata or E-Views). Pre-requisite: ADEC 731001 Data Analysis and ADEC 7320 Econometrics, or department approval.

At its root, the study of health economics is the study of market failure and of government failure. We will begin the course by studying the ways in which incentives facing players in the health care industry are different from those present in other industries. We will use economics to explore how firms in the health care sector should behave, given the sometimes perverse incentives they face. As the course progresses, our emphasis will shift: in small groups, students will complete and present a data-driven (or empirical) project investigating a question relevant to healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and/or government regulators. Skills developed in this class will allow students to think critically about incentives present in health care settings, analyze various types of health care data, and present ways to improve the performance of different players in the health care industry.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 731001 Data Analysis and ADEC 7320 Econometrics, or department approval.

This course focuses on a study of money, banking and financial markets with a clear emphasis on central banking and conduct of monetary policy. An in depth analysis of fixed income markets in addition to equities and other financial instruments in this course provides students with the opportunity to master intricacies of financial markets and investing in them. Additionally, the connection between movements in the financial markets and monetary policy is examined on a daily basis. An extended use of Bloomberg Professional LP in this course makes this very applied class particularly valuable to anyone interested in bridging the gap between the economic theory and practice.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7201 Applied Macroeconomic Theory, or department approval.

This course provides an introduction to the use of operations research methods in economics. For this purpose, the course starts with a brief review of the basics from microeconomic theory, calculus and linear algebra, which is followed by the conceptual foundations of economic modeling and the applications of optimization techniques on various economic problems. The course provides a very sound perspective on how to use operations research techniques in any kind of economic and managerial decision making, which has becoming an increasingly sought after skill. We will work on various problems, including portfolio management, resource management, environment and energy related regulations, etc.

This course examines global differences in the standard of living and economic growth. It also explores policies and programs that help in the alleviation of poverty, with emphasis on policies related to education, health, and foreign aid, etc. Focus of the course is on empirical examination of topics, evaluation of research designs, and interpretation of statistical/econometric evidence.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 731001 Data Analysis and ADEC 7320 Econometrics* or department approval. *Students can be concurrently enrolled in the Econometrics course.

This course demonstrates how to merge economic data analysis and applied econometric tools with the most common machine learning techniques, as the rapid advancement of computational methods provides unprecedented opportunities for understanding ?big data?. This course will provide a hands-on experience with the terminology, technology and methodologies behind machine learning with economic applications in marketing, finance, healthcare and other areas. The main topics covered in this course include: advanced regression techniques, resampling methods, model selection and regularization, classification models (logistic regression, Naive Bayes, discriminant analysis, k-nearest neighbors, neural networks), tree-based methods, support vector machines, and unsupervised learning (principal components analysis and clustering). Students will apply both supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques to solve various economics-related problems with real-world data sets. No prior experience with R or Python is necessary.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7310 Data Analysis and ADEC 7320 Econometrics, or department approval.

The course will focus on the role of the private sector in achieving sustainable economic growth in developing countries. Core concepts and analytical frameworks will be introduced primarily from a practitioner’s perspective. Investment Fund Managers, World Bank Project Officers, and Incubator Management Teams will contribute to lectures providing students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and broaden their networks in the field of economic development. Topics will include entrepreneurship, SME development, and impact investing. The course will also analyze the role of government in supporting private sector development through investment climate reform and public-private dialogue.

This course will expose students to the most popular forecasting techniques used in industry. We will cover time series data manipulation and feature creation, including working with transactional and hierarchical time series data as well as methods of evaluating forecasting models. We will cover basic univariate Smoothing and Decomposition methods of forecasting including Moving Averages, ARIMA, Holt-Winters, Unobserved Components Models and various filtering methods (Hodrick-Prescott, Kalman Filter). Time permitting, we will also extend our models to multivariate modeling options such as Vector Autoregressive Models (VAR). We will also discuss forecasting with hierarchical data and the unique challenges that hierarchical

reconciliation creates. The course will use the R programming language though no prior experience with R is required.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7310 Data Analysis and ADEC 7320 Econometrics, or department approval.

The focus of the course is to ascertain how public policy makers decide to either regulate or legislate how an industry/firm will operate in society. We will examine the process from three different vantage points: ethics, economics, and policy. The first part of the course will be spent examining the role (or lack thereof!) that ethical thinking plays in motivating public policy makers to take action. The second part of the course examines how economic pressure comes into play as policy makers try to establish bounds on an industry or a firm. Finally, we explore the role that social pressures such as the media and various interest groups play in influencing how public policy makers react to various issues that confront an industry or a firm.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7201 Applied Microeconomic Theory, ADEC 731001 Data Analysis, and ADEC 7320 Econometrics, or department approval.

The essence of Law and Economics is the study of how markets function. This class will begin with an analysis of the economics of firms and the interrelationship with markets. This will lead to a focus of the course on market regulation as to competition, innovation, pricing and other strategies. In particular, economic analysis germane to Antitrust law will be studied as well as Securities, Intellectual Property, and Environmental Law. The course will also delve into how applied economic thinking is useful from a regulatory perspective for a particular industry or two. Finally, the course will cover aspects of social regulation, including the classic concepts of law and economics pertaining to property rights. Students will learn the thought patterns, concepts and tools that both consulting economists and regulators rely upon. The professor will draw upon his rich career in these fields to structure the class in an active learning format to make the material engaging.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7201 Applied Microeconomic Theory, or department approval.

Transfer pricing involves the valuation of goods, services, and other assets exchanged between affiliated companies. Based on economic principles and governed by the U.S. tax code, international transfer pricing has continued to be a focal point for both multinational companies and tax authorities as a means to evaluate the allocation of income resulting from intercompany transactions conducted across borders. This course will include an introduction to basic tax and transfer pricing concepts, accounting and financial statement analysis, and an application of economic principles underlying transfer pricing analysis. Students will use real case studies and work in groups to consider the economics associated with conducting an international business, and apply transfer pricing methods to develop and support their analysis.

This course will focus on the measurement and analysis of business cycles with a special emphasis on business forecasting. Leading indicators are used as forecasting tools to predict when economies move from expansion to recessions and vice versa. Taking an applied empirical approach, we will cover data and tools used for analysis of short term conditions. While business cycle analysis is concerned with short-term fluctuations, understanding the long-term growth path of an economy is important to interpret short-term movements. Applications of trend estimation methods will also be covered. We will study cycles in developing economies which have experienced long periods of continuous growth. Our focus is on important economic indicators and a discussion of data issues such as price indexes, deflation, and seasonal adjustment. How can these indicators be applied and interpreted to understand short term trends in the economy? How can they assist in economic and business decision making?

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7200 Applied Macroeconomic Theory and ADEC 731001 Data Analysis or department approval.

Innovation and entrepreneurship have been the key drivers behind economic growth across developed economies and even more so in the U.S. However, innovations and entrepreneurism develop under a high degree of risk and uncertainty and, in most cases, rupture existing structural and traditional patterns and practices. Economic policies along with regulation set the incentives for innovation and entrepreneurship. Intellectual property rights and competition ensure that innovators receive a fertile and collaborative market structure to reach their potential.

The course provides students with an overview of popular software packages used today for data exploration, analysis and visualization. The first part of the course will offer an overview of the non-programming tools spreadsheet/Excel and Tableau. In Excel we will cover basic method, tools, charts, with the emphasis on pivot tables. In Tableu students will be introduced to data collection, exploration and visualization methods. The second part of the course will provide an intro to using SQL databases, where students will learn how to create SQL queries to select, filter and arrange the data. The third part of the course will cover basic data analysis in statistical software packages Stata and R. Here students will learn how to write their own code for importing, cleaning and exploring large datasets, as well as how to create, modify and export complex charts and summaries for visual, qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data.

Market research is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information and data using the statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied economics and statistics to gain insights or support decision making. This course provides you with the skills and tools needed to understand and evaluate market research. Market research and analysis involve

developing research questions, collecting data, analyzing it and drawing inference, with a view to making better decisions. To this end, the course is organized into two basic parts: (1) Data collection and research design, and (2) Tools and applications of research and data analysis. The course will provide a framework for conducting research, knowledge to properly design research, techniques and tools to analyze data and infer insights, and practical information sources.

This course is for students who wish to gain a high-level understanding of the private equity ecosystem. Private equity is no longer niche, but a large and global asset class with trillions of dollars under management that touches many aspects of people’s daily lives all over the world. There are now thousands of private equity firms globally, and the industry has evolved to the point where different players offer distinct investment strategies and execution styles. Topics will include LBOs, venture capital, structures, economics, due diligence, portfolio construction, performance measurement, impact on society, agency issues, and ethical considerations. Through class discussion, guest lectures, and case studies, students will develop an understanding and appreciation for this unique asset class that is not well understood by many.

This course examines where the tension between economic activities and environment stems from, how economic activities cause environmental degradation and what kind of regulatory actions should be taken in order to maintain the balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. The course has two main parts, theory and applications. We will start with analyzing the underlying economic theory of market failures, economic valuation, economic incentive instruments, and then move onto the applications of the economic theory to real world cases, i.e. air pollution control and climate change mitigation policies, water quality management and waste management.

Pre-requisite: ADEC 7201 Applied Microeconomic Theory, or department approval.

FAQs

Talk to a MS in Applied Economics Application Specialist today for more information about how the BC MSAE degree program can help you achieve your professional goals at 1-617-360-7327.

A: There are three convenient start dates offered per year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Contact a Boston College Applied Economics Application Specialist at 1-617-360-7327 to find the next start date that works with your schedule.

A: Our Master’s Degree in Applied Economics brings together critical skills in practice-oriented data analysis along with a rich curriculum dedicated to ethical sensibilities. Our program seeks to ensure that students have relevant skills for today’s (and tomorrow’s) job market. Thus we focus on areas such as public policy legislation, health care, civic agencies, business and banking so that our students will be prepared for careers in a variety of industries.

A: The MS in Applied Economics program is proud to be a STEM Designated Degree Program. STEM Designated Degree programs are designated by the Department of Homeland Security. F-1 students can apply for a 24-month OPT Extension.

A: Yes, there is an application fee of $45.

A: The tuition is $1,126 per credit. The courses are 3 credits each.

A: Students will be prepared for a variety of careers in fields where there is a demand for analytical precision and significant technical proficiency.  These industries include:

  • Educational Services
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Insurance Carriers and Related Activities
  • Hospitals and Health Care
  • Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing
  • Miscellaneous Manufacturing
  • Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods
  • Credit Intermediation and Related Activities
  • Social Assistance

A: Demand for graduates with a master’s degree in applied economics increased from 2010 to 2013 with growth rates over 100 percent in the Northeast (108% growth) and the Greater Boston area (143% growth). Growth rates are expected to continue in this upward trend for the foreseeable future.

A: 10 courses are normally required (30 credits total) though some students may elect an additional course focused on developing practical skills for the market (practicum or project). We believe this offers our students a distinctive career advantage over similar programs that do not offer an applied focus.

A: These elements are required to complete an application for admission:

  • Online application
  • Bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited college/university (minimum GPA 3.0)
  • GRE or GMAT (one factor in considering the overall application)
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Application fee ($45, non-refundable)
  • Brief Interview (in person or via Skype)
  • Prerequisite courses: Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Statistics, Calculus I and II (Calculus II may be taken concurrently during your first semester of study)

A: Yes, you are welcome to apply. We will consider your application and weigh a variety of factors (including GRE/GMAT scores and industry experience) to determine whether we are able to offer you admission. For particular applicants, we may be able to grant admission into the program with particular conditions noted (for example, passing the first two courses with a B or better in each during the first semester).

A: Yes, international applicants are welcome to apply and upon formal admission, are eligible for a student visa. (Please note that TOEFL or IELTS scores are required.)  Please note international students pursuing the program with a student visa will need to complete the program in 1.5 years (3 academic semesters).

A: No, we prefer that one letter of recommendation be from an academic source, and another from an employer or person in a supervisory capacity who can speak about your interests and experience.

A: All students are eligible to apply for financial aid. The Woods College also has additional scholarships for students who qualify based upon both merit and need. You are welcome to inquire further with regard to your specific circumstances and needs. A recommended first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Please use Boston College’s FAFSA school code: 002128. More about Boston College’s payment plan for graduate programs can be found at http://www.bc.edu/offices/stserv/financial/altfin/qppp.html.

A: The minimum number of credits to qualify for Federal Financial Aid at Boston College is 6 credits across a semester. If you start the Online MS in Applied Economics program in September, for example, you can take a 3-credit course for the first 8-weeks of a semester, and then take a second 3-credit course for the last 8-weeks of a semester and you will have a total of 6 credits for that semester.

A: If you have not completed the pre-requisites you may still apply. We offer the opportunity for you to complete all your prerequisites within the Woods College. If you complete your prerequisites with a GPA of 3.0 or better, you will be eligible to receive a conditional acceptance. If you have prior work-related experience, we will ask you to provide a demonstration of your level of mastery of applied economics skills. Please contact us for details of this process.

A: We do not accept graduate course credit from other institutions.

A: Virtually all of our faculty hold doctoral degrees in Economics or Statistics and are accomplished practitioners. Their specializations range from work with the International Monetary Fund, to large consulting firms in the Greater Boston area, to academic departments that shape industry standards. Each faculty member is committed to equipping students with real-world skill sets that are applicable to a variety of workplaces.

A: Once you have completed your degree requirements, your official student record at BC will reflect the degree itself and the date awarded. The Woods College, as a fully-functioning school of BC, awards degrees as all BC schools do.

A: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a December 10th deadline for spring enrollment and June 15th deadline for fall enrollment.  In particular circumstances applicants may be approved to take summer courses and should inquire with the program director for more information.

(International students seeking a visa should apply at least 3 months prior to their intended start term, and can only be admitted for fall and spring semesters.)

A: This is certainly a possibility and we have designed the program to be flexible to accommodate a variety of scheduling needs.

A: Yes. The priority application deadline is December 10.

A: No. Boston College does not currently offer housing for graduate students but our Office of Residential Life does have a staff member who can help you find off-campus housing.

A: This is variable and is largely based on how many courses a student takes at any given time. If you take 2 courses per semeser, you can complete the degree in 16 months.

A: A: Yes. We do require the GRE (or the GMAT if that is preferred). However, this is only one of several factors that we use to make admissions decisions.

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Master of Science in Applied Economics