Learn to Lead in a Data-Driven World

M.S. in Applied Economics

Flexible On Campus/Online Degree Program

Yes! I want to know more about the

M.S. in Applied Economics

A New Kind of Degree for a New Kind of Leader

Built for those who want to make an impact with big data and big ideas.

Whether you’re a recent undergrad ready to maximize your career opportunities in a rapidly growing career field or an established professional who wants to elevate your career in a changing world, the Boston College MSAE will position you to drive strategy and effect change across organizations and industries.

Specialized, Convenient and Employer-Aligned

A flexible format and industry-aligned, competency-based curriculum provide hands-on experience directly applicable to real-world initiatives, preparing graduates to contribute immediately and advance quickly in a number of roles and industries, including Finance & Banking, Healthcare, International Development, Social Policy, Analytics, and Government.


Earn Your Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics

Obtain advanced skills and career-enhancing credentials in as few as eight months while completing the full MSAE Degree with these four key courses:

  • Data Analysis
  • Econometrics
  • Big Data Econometrics
  • Analytics/Forecasting

What you’ll learn

  • Master the tools and methods to understanding complex policy, industry trends, analytic strategies, and modeling
  • Learn to evaluate policies and programs, develop forecasts, track consumer behavior, and design marketing campaigns
  • Build the theoretical foundation and quantitative skills to form policies and strategies that can make a real impact on organizations, industries, and society

What Our Students Are Saying

Already, the coursework in statistical analysis has been beneficial—even eye-opening— to me. I see myself applying the degree immediately to my career in financial services or in a handful of other fields. There are so many different directions you can go with it.

Shawn O'Brien, M.S. in Applied Economics '17, Part-time student

After just one semester in the MSAE program I have already been able to apply some of the concepts in everyday situations at work to solve problems around pricing and forecasting. Without training in statistical modeling programs like Stata and R that I received in the MSAE program my solutions to these problems could not have been as accurate or robust.

Michael D. Hanson, '18, Manager, New Product Development, Verizon Labs

Where it can take you

Enhance your credentials, expand your network, and accelerate your career with this specialized degree from Boston College and become part of an engaged and passionate alumni network of more than 180,000 worldwide


$120,880Avg. Salary
  • Apply economic theories to real-life situations

Quantitative Analyst

$112,530Avg. Salary
  • Use data to drive business decisions

Senior Financial Analyst

$96,630Avg. Salary
  • Create analyses that drive better business decisions

Source: bls.gov, Obtained May 2020

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


  • 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
  • Advanced Econometrics
  • Ethics, Economics and Public Policy
  • Law and Economics
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Measuring Business Cycles, Trends and Growth Cycles
  • Marketing Analytics for Economists
  • Empirical Sports Economics
  • Empirical Behavioral Economics
  • Economics of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Communication and Leadership in Applied Economics
  • Management of Projects in Applied Economics
  • Software Tools for Data Analysis
  • Market Research and Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Private Equity
  • Environmental and Natural Resource 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 weeknights or on Saturdays at either 9 a.m.–noon or 1p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuition in the Applied Economics program is $1,248 per credit hour plus the registration fee of $45.

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.

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.

This course builds on the topics covered in introductory econometrics by presenting more advanced regression techniques. After a brief review of multivariate OLS regression, students are exposed to instrumental variable regression, panel data and diff-in-diff models, discrete choice models, truncated and censored regression, regression discontinuity models, and non-parametric regression. Different estimation techniques, such as maximum likelihood and method of moments, are also covered. Empirical applications are used throughout the course and are an instrumental part of the material.

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.

Specifically designed for Economists, this course will enable students to use analytics to improve marketing performance and lead marketing efforts. Students will be able to answer key questions such as: How to design the appropriate metrics and analytics to monitor/improve marketing efforts? How can I measure my various marketing programs’ impact on revenue and profit? How can I clearly define the business problem? How can I better understand the company’s goals? How can I communicate insights, not just facts? Which are all the relevant drivers (e.g., marketing and environmental factors) and outcomes (e.g., purchase funnel metrics) and how do they work in marketing? Which tool, of the many available, is best for which problem? In studying a range of firms across a range of contexts and industries, the course builds on recent advances in industrial organization and organizational economics. We use a number of cases and real life examples/simulations to discuss each of the points presented in the course. As such, the course ultimately is designed to focus on the essential topics and problems of Marketing Analytics as experienced by business managers in real life situations. Ultimately, the course will emphasize two kinds of skills: Analytical skills, which are required for Marketing Analytics; and “soft” (i.e., leadership) skills, which are required for implementation. The course will begin with the analytical skills and then move on to implementation issues.

This course uses applied economics concepts in the sports industry. Students will apply theoretical, statistical, and econometric techniques learned in the program to understand outcomes in sports industry and also to evaluate impacts of the industry on the teams, players, as well as on the economy, including local and regional economies.

Behavioral economics combines insights from economics and the cognitive sciences to study how human beings make decisions in various contexts. This course will introduce you to the key concepts in this field and give you the tools you need to start designing your own experiments for business or policy applications. Beginning from the standard rational model, we first study the decision-maker in isolation and then move on to the decision-maker in strategic settings. As we go, we will learn how to use simple theoretical models to describe and predict behavior, as well as analyze data from canonical published experiments using R. We will then see how firms and policy makers can design interventions help people make better decisions.

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.

This course on “Leadership and Communication for Applied Economists” has been specifically designed to meet the needs of graduate students in the Applied Economics program. Each individual session focuses on helping students understand leadership traits and develop commensurate written or oral communication skills to reinforce their influential skills. Students will discuss their current writing projects in the context of each session’s topic. Also, the course will also focus on the topics related to leadership, effective written and oral communications tailored to specific audiences. In addition to leadership & communication skills, students will practice elevator speeches, short written communications and other presentations.

From an economics perspective, the success of a project mostly relies on the maximization of profit to allow for reinvestment and further growth and profits. The course will focus on best practices that enable the successful implementation of and excellence in project management with a focus on economics. The course also discusses the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage projects from start to finish. It emphasizes that project management is a professional discipline with its own tools, body of knowledge, and skills. Concepts are reinforced by case studies covering a wide variety of project types and industries.

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.

Upcoming Start Dates

Start Term Class Start Date
Summer 2023 May 17, 2023
Fall 2023 August 28, 2023
Spring 2024
January 2024

Yes! I want to know more about the

Master of Science in Applied Economics