Master of Science in International & Development Economics

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, and examines the importance of institutions that regulate market forces.

The program integrates rigorous training in quantitative economics with overseas field study internship in a developing country.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • 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.


36 units


  • 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
    ECON 625 Financial Econometrics
  • ECON 628 Advanced Applied Econometrics
  • ECON 679 International Economics Seminar
    ECON 690 Development Economics Seminar


2 from the following:

  • (1) course from Economics 670 (International Trade)
    Economics 672 (Economic Development)
    taken in first year before summer field research
  • Economics 671 (International Finance)
    Economics 673 (Development Microeconomics)
    taken in first year before summer field research

2 from the following:

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

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

Students enroll in the graduate seminar during the latter part of their coursework where they receive guidance and supervision in completing their own research projects. Upon completion their research is presented to faculty members, with the student receiving one of the following grades: pass with honors, pass, pass conditional upon revision, or fail.

Contact Info

MS International and Development Economics

James Anderson, Program Manager

Cowell Hall, Room 409, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1081 (415) 422-2711 (415) 422-6983