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.

Admission Requirements

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. Applicants may possess a BA, BSc or BComm degree, but all candidates must have at least 12 credit hours in Economics beyond the introductory level, including intermediate economic theory, plus a basic course in statistics and university level mathematics. The normal duration of the program is two years. Applicants with an honours degree in economics, or equivalent, can be considered for admission to a one year program.

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.

Departmental approval is required for the program of each student.

MDE Program Requirements

The normal duration of the program is two years for candidates without an honours degree in economics (or equivalent). Students in the two year program normally must successfully complete the following course of study:

Year I

  • Incoming students are encouraged to attend the Math workshop (early in September)
  • ECON 3338.03: Econometrics I
  • ECON 3339.03: Econometrics II
  • ECON 5000.03: MDE Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 5001.03: MDE Macroeconomic Theory
  • Non-economics electives

Year II

  • ECON 5200.03: Research Seminar (if thesis option)
  • ECON 5253.03: Development Economics I
  • ECON 5254.03: Development Economics II
  • ECON 5525.03: Research Methods
  • Economics field courses and non-economics electives

Students in the two year program must have 12 credit hours of graduate electives of which at least six credit hours are in economics fields and the remainder (with the approval of the graduate coordinator) may be in related disciplines (e.g. environmental studies, political science, public administration, sociology and social anthropology, law, health studies, business administration). Economics field courses normally require research papers.

The normal duration of the program is one year for candidates with an honours degree in economics (or equivalent). Students in the one year program normally must successfully complete the following course of study:

Year I

  • Incoming students are encouraged to attend the Math workshop (early in September)
  • ECON 5000.03: MDE Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 5001.03: MDE Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 5200.03: Research Seminar (if thesis option)
  • ECON 5253.03: Development Economics I
  • ECON 5254.03: Development Economics II
  • ECON 5525.03: Research Methods
  • six credit hours of which at least three must be in economics

Students in the one year program must have six credit hours of graduate electives of which at least three in an economics field and the remainder (with the approval of the graduate coordinator) may be in related disciplines (e.g. environmental studies, political science, public administration, sociology and social anthropology, law, health studies, business administration). Economics field courses normally require research papers.

Thesis Option

Students who excel in the first half of their program and demonstrate superior writing and research ability may, with the permission of the graduate coordinator and a supervisory committee, choose to write a thesis rather than one elective. For the two-year MDE, the committee is normally chosen by the end of the third semester while, for the one-year MDE, the committee is normally chosen by the end of the first semester. The student is required to take one fewer half-credit elective but at least one remaining elective must be in an applied field of economics. Students who choose the thesis option are expected to undertake research of innovative, original and publishable quality.