Master of Development Economics (MDE)

The Department of Economics hosts this innovative program of graduate studies in social and economic development. The program is primarily designed for students and young professionals pursuing, or intending to embark on, careers in government, educational and professional institutions, private corporations or non-governmental organizations.

The aim is for an “individualized program,” not “mass production.” Effective development policy and project design and management requires insights from many vantage points and, while development economics is at the core of this program, inputs from other disciplines make important contributions.

Admission Requirements

The normal duration of the program is one year. All candidates for admission must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Department will only consider applications from candidates possessing an undergraduate degree with an academic average of at least B+ (upper second-class) at Dalhousie standards. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the MDE, applicants may possess a BA, BSc or BComm degree, but all candidates must have at least four classes in Economics beyond the introductory level, including intermediate economic theory, plus a basic class in statistics and university level mathematics.

Applicants must satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirements of Dalhousie. For more information, see “English Language Proficiency” under “Admissions Requirements” for the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Those with insufficient background in economics may be admitted to the MDE program with additional course requirements to satisfy the gap in economics preparation, which may extend the degree beyond one year. Alternatively, such students may be given the option of being a Qualifying Year student or Special Undergraduate student to prepare them to qualify for admission to the MDE program.

Completion of the MDE Program

Students must successfully complete the required and optional courses of their program.  A normal course of study includes:

  • ECON 5000.03: Development Microeconomics
  • ECON 5254.03: Applied Development Economics
  • ECON 5001.03: Economic Growth, or ECON 5253.03: Open Economy Macroeconomics
  • Three credit hours (1 half-credit) graduate electives in economics
  • Twelve credit hours (4 half-credits) in additional graduate electives in economics or, with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, non-economics graduate electives.

Students who have not taken the equivalent of ECON 3338: Econometrics I, must take this course or an equivalent course in addition to the normal degree requirements.

Normally, ECON 5000: Development Microeconomics and either ECON 5001: Economic Growth or ECON 5253: Open Economy Macroeconomics and two electives are taken in the fall term. ECON 5254: Applied Development Economics and the remaining electives are taken in the winter term, with the option of a thesis that starts in the winter term and is completed in the summer.

Thesis Option

Students who excel in the first term and demonstrate superior writing and research ability may, with the permission of the graduate coordinator and a supervisor, choose to write a thesis. Normally, a thesis topic and committee are chosen by the end of the first semester and, in this case, the student would only be required to take three total elective courses (9 credit hours), at least of one of which must be in economics, rather than five (15 credit hours). Students who choose the thesis option are expected to undertake research of innovative, original and publishable quality.