Economics and Education

Welcome to the Economics & Education program

The program in Economics and Education at Teachers College is a dynamic program that has maintained its position of leadership in this rapidly growing field. Economic concepts and analytic methods are increasingly influential in education policy and administration, and graduates who can combine quantitative skills with substantive expertise are in high demand. Our program prepares students to apply the economic approach, as well as its methodological tools, to contemporary education policy issues both domestically and globally. 

Economics and Education Program Webinar for Prospective Students

To request a copy of the Economics and Education webinar video, please contact Katherine Y. Chung at

Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM until 12:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)

Join us to learn about the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. During this interactive webinar, you will have the chance to ask questions to faculty, staff, and students. 

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Our 33-credit Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics and Education is designed 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 can be completed in 1.5 years of study (fall, spring, fall) though students often take four semesters to take full advantage of program offerings and the educational environment of Teachers College.

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Our 60-credit Master of Education (Ed.M) program is intended for individuals who already have a graduate degree in a related field, who would like to build upon that foundation with additional training in Economics and Education. Courses in the program provide a serious analytical benchmark for the analysis of financial and economic issues in education, in the United States and other countries.

The program allows a student to specialize in a number of areas including economic growth, immigration, higher education, privatization, and international education, but provides a foundation in economics and educational policy through courses that address these topics.

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Our 75-credit Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is intended for individuals who want to acquire advanced training in the theory, methods, and practices in the economics of education. It is a highly selective program to prepare individuals for leadership roles in teaching, research, or administrative settings.

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Columbia Workshop in Economics and Education for AY2020-2021

Professor Alex Eble as the Host Faculty
Selected Thursdays from 12:00pm-1:50pm 

The Columbia Workshop in Economics and Education offers a series of presentations and papers reflecting the state of the art in the field of economics of education. Guests from universities, international organizations, think tanks and other institutions will present their latest research or policy-oriented work in the field of economics of education. Faculty and students affiliated with the economics and education program at Teachers College, Columbia University will also present their own work. Students will receive a series of guidance through writing referee reports, meeting with the speakers, and in-course teaching about research production and presentation. The Fall 2020 workshop series will be held virtually.





Jeff Denning

Brigham Young University


Daniel Mangrum

Federal Reserve Bank of New York


Maurico Romero

Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)


MIchela Carlana

Harvard Kennedy School





Josefa Aguirre

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile


Tolani Britton

University of California at Berkeley


Raji Chakrabarti

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Alumni Profiles

Economics and Education Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A. 2018

Content Director
Hanover Research

My passion in life has always been to affect change in the education system. As an undergraduate, I studied mathematics and economics, while also having the opportunity to intern as at an education policy non-profit and teach high school Mathematics at a public school. My early interests in education and professional experiences motivated me to pursue a career where I could use economics to better understand how to affect this change in education I spoke about so frequently.  Stumbling upon the Economics and Education program in a search for greater opportunities to make an impact in education, I knew instantly it was the program for me. My experiences with my fellow classmates and incredible faculty gave me a solid knowledge of education policy, a deeper understanding of economic theories, and molded me into the professional I am today. As a master's student, I had multiple opportunities to apply the concepts I was learning about in my work as a Resident Researcher and the non-profit New Visions for Public Schools.

I am currently a Content Director for Hanover Research outside of Washington, D.C., where I lead strategic relationships with domestic and international higher education clients to help them solve critical issues within their institutions. I design and implement projects with a team of researchers to help institutions answer their most pressing questions, often utilizing economic theories, content knowledge, and research principles I learned in the Economics and Education program. I utilize multiple methodologies to go about answering the questions ranging from secondary research to qualitative, quantitative, and survey methodologies.

I am still connected to Teachers College in a number of ways and will forever be thankful for the opportunities afforded to me thanks to Teachers College and the Economics and Education program. During my tenure at Teachers College, I created wonderful relationships with my cohort and continue to stay in touch to this day.

Jete Aliu

Economics and Education Program
Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A. 2017
Advisor on Youth Employment and Vocational Education and Training
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
My firm belief in the transformative power of education is rooted in my own educational journey. I finished my undergraduate studies at RIT Kosovo where I studied Economics and Management. The strong interest in education and economics sparked after taking courses on economic and social development. Living in a post-war country which is still in the development process, I have always wanted to give my contribution to the development of my country. And what a better way to help societal positive changes than through education! However, to make a positive contribution I was aware that I should first invest in my own education and professional development and use the knowledge and skills towards my cause. I was fortunate enough to receive a fully funded scholarship supported by the USAID and Ministry of Education in Kosovo which enabled me to receive my Master’s in one of the most renowned universities in the world. The knowledge, skills, and education that I received from TC changed the trajectory of my professional career and is helping me do my share in paving the way for prosperity in Kosovo.

My time at TC was the highlight of my educational journey. The Economics and Education program trained me to apply economic concepts and tools to address issues in education. The curriculum of the program helped me build technical competence in the basic tools of educational management and policy making. Courses that I took during my studies involved statistical analysis, and evaluation of education and social programs that helped me gain understanding of the importance of evidence-based reforms in effectively tackling issues in the education sector. While at TC, I also had the opportunity to learn from truly inspirational professors and had the privilege to meet a host of thoughtful and engaged individuals with deep expertise and passion for education. I left TC with many life-long friends, colleagues, and enriching experiences.

After I completed my studies at TC, I immediately came back to Kosovo to bring back the knowledge and skills in my country. I started to work as an Education Consultant with a local NGO where I had the opportunity to conduct several research projects about the education sector in Kosovo, including analyzing the impact of teacher quality and in-school resources on Kosovar students’ performance in  PISA 2015, identifying some of the challenges in the management of the pre-university education in Kosovo, and understanding the challenges of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system in Kosovo, with the purpose of supporting the Ministry of Education, schools, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders in their continuous effort to improve the quality of education delivery.  

Currently, I work as an advisor with the Youth, Employment, and Skills Project in Kosovo – a project commissioned by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which aims to enhance the employability of young people by improving the quality of VET and strengthening matching mechanisms between labor market supply and demand. In this role, I am able to design labor market measures that facilitate labor market integration for youth. As a strong advocate of social inclusion and equality, I focus my work mostly in the labor market integration for women and minorities.

Eric Chan

Economics and Education Program

Teachers College, Columbia University, Ph.D. 2018

Assistant Professor of Statistics and Public Policy

Babson College


My interest in education piqued when I started working as a data analyst for the Boston Public Schools. There, I ran engagement surveys for parents, students, and teachers and analyzed the results. I found it fascinating that there were large gaps in parent engagement between high- and low- achieving schools, and desired to dive more into the subject through research.

I initially searched for graduate programs in education, but I soon realized that economic inequality was a significant determinant of family engagement. I widened my search for economics programs, and found TC’s Economics and Education program to be firmly what I wanted to study. I soon enrolled in the M.A. program, but proceeded to continue in the Ph.D. program.

During my doctoral experience, Professor Peter Bergman told me about his interest in studying how families respond to information and its effects on student outcomes. Soon, I was working with Peter on projects directly related to my subject of interest. My dissertation even focused on the role of parents as a determinant of educational inequality.

This led me to a tenure-track position at Babson College, where my studies currently help me pursue policy-oriented research using advanced quantitative methods. Since I am employed in a quantitative methods department in a school of management, I am seen by my peers as the expert on statistical analysis of education policy issues. Recently, I was tasked with studying the effect of the institution’s instructor evaluation on teaching behavior. The skills I learned in the Economics and Education program gave me much insight into answering such real-world problems.


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