Degrees | Economics and Education | Education Policy & Social Analysis

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Economics and Education

The Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis

Master of Arts in Economics and Education (ECON)

The objective of the 33-point M.A. Program in Economics and Education is to equip education professionals and policy-makers with the skills required to interpret and synthesize education-related research, to design and implement effective educational policy, and to assess the consequences of education policy, both domestically and in international settings.


The program begins in the Fall term and can be completed within one calendar year with enrollment during the summer and careful course planning, although many students choose to take longer (for example, by taking the summer to work in a related area and returning to complete coursework in the subsequent fall term).  Some students are able to work full-time while pursuing their degree, although this requires a flexible schedule since many courses are only held in the afternoon.

The curriculum of the program aims to build students’ technical competence in the basic tools of educational management and policy making; provide the academic and professional environment for students to apply these skills; and educate students about the global educational landscape, including current thinking on educational reform and the financing of education. Please click on the course planning worksheet link below for specific course offerings and requirements.

In addition to completing required coursework, all M.A. students must complete an Integrative Project (I.P.) on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The I.P. may take the form of original research and data analysis on a topic of interest, or may entail a review and synthesis of the theory and evidence around a specific education-policy question. The goal of the I.P. is for the student to apply concepts and methodologies from the Economics and Education curriculum to a real-world issue in education.

All applications to enter the program are evaluated on an individual and holistic basis. However, the curriculum of the program assumes that students have some previous coursework (at least at the undergraduate level) in economics and basic statistics, possess intellectual maturity, and demonstrate an interest in education policy and practice. Compelling applications for admission demonstrate the applicant’s capacity for success and also clearly explain how the Economics and Education curriculum fits with the applicant’s past experiences and future goals.


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