Why Economics & Education?

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.

Why Teachers College, Columbia University?

If you want examples of how economic concepts and methods can be applied to real-world education research and policy, check out some of the work highlighted in our faculty profiles. Our faculty includes renowned scholars studying higher education, K-12 educational institutions, educational markets and privatization, and international education and economic development, among other areas. Our scholars play prominent roles in their respective areas of specialization and their work is featured regularly not only in academic publications but also in policy conversations around the world.

Our program is situated in a dynamic intellectual environment: a world-class institution in a world-class city. Students in the Economics & Education program benefit from the rich, multidisciplinary environment within TC’s Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA), which also includes programs in Education Policy, Politics and Education, and Sociology and Education. Students and faculty across the four programs interact around shared research and policy interests, and students in the Economics and Education program are encouraged to take advantage of the broader resources in EPSA. These broader resources include not just relevant course offerings, but also policy events, seminars, student-led “pop-up” conversations on current topics, job networking events, and social gatherings. And of course, the infinite social, cultural, and intellectual opportunities of New York City are all right outside your doorstep.

"I'm grateful to have a faculty role model with a foot in both the academic and policy worlds."

S.R., Econ & Ed M.A. '18

What will I do in the program?

Students in our M.A., Ed.M. and Ph.D. programs take courses in core areas including applied microeconomics, the economics of education, education and economic development, econometrics, statistical analysis, and benefit-cost analysis. Beyond required coursework, students in each degree program can choose from a range of elective courses to individualize their experience and satisfy their unique interests and career objectives. With the help of an academic advisor, students select courses from those offered within the program of economics and education and supplement these with courses outside the department, including courses offered in other schools of Columbia University.

What do graduates do with their degrees?

Our M.A. and Ed.M. graduates have gone on to work policy, administration, and data analysis roles within government agencies, schools, education research and advocacy organizations, foundations, and educational technology companies, as well as to pursue further study in related fields.

Our Ph.D. graduates have gone on to research, leadership, and academic teaching positions in a range of settings. Recent PhD graduates are currently employed as tenure-track faculty members at both domestic and international postsecondary institutions, as research associates at leading policy research organizations, and as institutional researchers for large urban school districts and colleges and universities.

Please note that our program is a preferred partner program for the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.  The program has several eligibility requirements, however.  You can find more information about this scholarship program on the TC Financial Aid website, under Merit-Based Aid/External Scholarships, and on the Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship program website.

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