Master of Arts in Economics
The Master’s of Arts in Economics (MAE) program, founded in 1992, is the New Economic School’s first and primary program. This program has brought NES its high reputation over its twenty years of existence. The MAE diploma is highly valued both in Russia and internationally.
The MAE academic program takes students through two years of study. It is similar in content to masters’ programs and the first two years of PhD programs in the best American and European economics departments. The MAE program brings students to a deep understanding of the foundations of modern economic education – microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and more specific fields of modern economic science. Throughout both years of study, students take English language courses. They master the peculiarities of academic writing and get valuable experience giving scientific presentations. All students also take part in the Research Seminar, which offers a framework for student research complete with decoted faculty supervision. This collaborative project culminates with students writing and defending Term Papers and Master’s Theses.
The academic year (from September to June) contains five seven-week modules, each ending with a week-long examination session. Early classes cover economic disciplines at the undergraduate level. A high level of math preparation together with rigorous classes allows students to master the basic concepts of economic theory within several months. The curriculum of the second half of the program’s first year contains intermediate- and advanced-level courses, some of which correspond to the first-year graduate coursework at PhD programs in economics. All first-year courses are obligatory; a typical course entails two lectures and one discussion session per week. Teaching assistants grade weekly homework assignments. As a rule, homework grades factor into final course grades, and beyond the final exam and homework assignments, a course may also include a midterm exam, essays, quizzes, and other forms of assessment. All components of the education process at NES require students to develop both deep comprehension of the fundamentals of economics and consistent academic self-discipline.
The second-year curriculum requires each student to take advanced graduate courses (Advanced Macroeconomics and Advanced Econometrics) as well as 15-20 module-long elective courses. Each student is to take at least three elective courses from six general fields of modern economic theory: Development Economics, Industrial Organization, International Economics, Labor Economics, Public Economics, and Econometrics. Students select the remainder of their electives from a number of courses in more specialized fields such as finance, data analysis, development, and advanced macroeconomics.
In addition to this coursework, all second-year MAE students participate in research projects under supervision of NES professors, providing them with crucial research experience during their studies. Since 1995, NES has facilitated a few hundred research projects in all fields of economics, both theoretical and applied. Research groups include 4-12 students and 1-3 professors. The formation of research groups is competitive and takes into account students’ research interests. The Research Seminar meets weekly and gives students the unique opportunity to keep up with the latest developments, new ideas, facts, and methods relevant to their fields. Students in the Research Seminar learn to work with relevant literature, write research papers, and give scientific presentations. By January of the second year of study, each student writes and defends their own Term Paper, and by June their own Master’s Thesis. Lastly, in spring the MAE program holds a conference whose main presenters are the second-year MAE students.