Master in International Economics and Public Policy (MIEPP)


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Program Description


Starting in fall 2010, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz offers a two-year masters program in International Economics and Public Policy. The program is designed for students who aim to understand both the opportunities and the challenges faced by private and public decision-makers in an increasingly integrated world economy. The two key contents of the degree course deal with important issues and challenges for the future which are equally important to the economy and society. Graduates of the program will be prepared for positions in the private and the public sector – especially in enterprises and institutions that operate on an international scale – but the program may also provide a qualified foundation for an academic career.


The Master of Science in International Economics and Public Policy aims at preparing the next generation of leaders to deal with the design and implications of government policies in various contexts, placing emphasis on the consequences of economic globalization. The MIEEP offers sound training in economic theory and econometric techniques, enables students to critically discuss the modern academic literature, and encourages them to apply their knowledge to relevant issues in business and economic policy. To gain professional expertise, students are supported in completing an internship. This is possible through a strong network with top partners. Furthermore, the Rhine-Main area with its great infrastructure is the place of business for many successful companies which may become future employers.

The young, motivated academic faculty in Mainz is well-anchored in the scientific community, visibly participates in both academic and public discussions, and is committed to conveying up-to-date economic knowledge to its students.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for career opportunities in global business, administration, international relations, (political) management consulting companies and government. The program may also serve as a starting point for an academic career. All courses are taught in English and the program explicitly addresses an international audience.

MIEPP: The right program for me?

What is meant by international economics?

By International Economics we understand the analysis of global goods and asset markets. Our goal is to understand the determinants and effects of international trade flows and to assess the consequences of regulating these flows through various policy measures. Moreover, we want to comprehend the behavior of international financial markets, the conduct of multinational firms, the evolution and structure of countries’ foreign assets and liabilities, the fluctuations of exchange rates, as well as the causes and consequences of international financial crises. In our analysis, we use formal economic models to develop hypotheses, and econometric techniques to estimate parameters and to test hypotheses. Some of the sample course slides convey an idea of how this approach is implemented in our lectures.

Prospective students interested in our program are recommended to have a look at some of the textbooks that we use for teaching international economics:

  • Krugman, Paul, Maurice Obstfeld, and Marc Melitz (2014): International Economics – Theory and Policy, 10th Edition. Prentice Hall.
  • Feenstra, Robert (2015): Advanced International Trade - Theory and Evidence, 2nd Edition. Princeton University Press.
  • Harms, Philipp (2016): International Macroeconomics, 2nd Edition. Mohr Siebeck.
  • Obstfeld, Maurice and Kenneth Rogoff (1996): Foundations of International Macroeconomics. MIT Press

What is meant by public policy?

PUBLIC POLICY, as we teach it in the MIEPP-program, is the study of the role of the government in the economy. To do so, we work both with macroeconomic general equilibrium models as well as with microeconomic models. We focus on teaching a better understanding of current economic policy and we are concerned with asking when and how the government might intervene in the economy, as well as how the government’s intervention affects economic outcomes. We thus take an approach to the study of public policy which is deeply rooted in economic theory and empirics. We work with standard assumptions concerning individual behavior ('homo oeconomicus'), as well as with models of behavioral economics grounded in psychological thinking. While in the study of public policy we exploit potential interdisciplinary linkages and put an emphasis on practical relevance, our program is deliberately economics-centered, because we believe that a sound and formal understanding of the economic trade-offs involved in government decision-making should be an integral part in the education of future decision-makers.

Prospective students interested in our program should also have a look at some of the textbooks that we use for teaching public policy:

  • Aghion, P., and P. Howitt (1998): Endogenous Growth Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Gayer, Ted, and Rosen, Harvey (2013): Public Finance. 10th edition. Irwin: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gruber, Jonathan (2016): Public Finance and Public Policy, 5th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.
  • Hindriks, Jean and Gareth Myles (2006): Intermediate Public Economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Pissarides, C. A. (2000): Equilibrium Unemployment Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Romer, D. (2011): Advanced Macroeconomics. Mcgraw-Hill Higher Education, 4th edition

Do I need strong quantitative skills?

MIEPP is essentially a master level economics program. This means we address economic, financial, social, and policy questions mainly from a scientific point of view and by employing quantitative empirical and theoretical methods. We thus highly recommend that students master the quantitative techniques and methods taught in undergraduate business/economics programs. If you apply for our program, we strongly encourage you -- especially in case you haven’t taken any math or statistics course in your undergraduate studies -- to have a look at the excellent textbook by Knut Sydsaeter and Peter Hammond (“Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis”) in order to check whether you meet this requirement. We also recommend you to have a look at the sample course slides to check if you are comfortable with such a quantitative way of course material delivery.

Program Structure

The Master's program International Economics and Public Policy consists of three major components: Core modules, elective modules and the master's thesis with a research colloquium.

First Semester: During the first semester, students attend courses that review and expand basic concepts and methods within international trade, development economics, public economics, and macroeconomics.

Second and Third Semester: From the second semester onwards, they may specialize in either International Economics or Public Policy, if they choose at least two modules in the respective field. In addition, it is still possible to pick electives from the field they have not specialized in. In the elective part, students can select from a wide variety of courses that range from international macroeconomics, behavioral economics, labor, finance, accounting, taxation, international management, marketing, logistics, to information management and mathematics. They have the option to pick modules which span over one or two semesters. All modules have a strong focus on policy issues and empirical applications.

Fourth Semester: The final semester is reserved for the master’s thesis, in which students demonstrate their ability to conduct a competent analysis of a topical research issue.

Admission Requirements

All students have to go through a formal application procedure, by which the most talented participants will be selected for our program. The application process for studying at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz depends on whether you reached your bachelor-level degree in Germany or not.

Prerequisites for admission are:

  • A completed bachelor-level degree in business, economics, or a related field of study with at least 6 semesters regular period of study. Note that if you have not completed your degree yet, you can still be admitted if – by the time of application – you have already acquired at least 135 ECTS in a bachelor’s program that takes six semesters and awards a total of 180 ECTS according to the European credit point system. In this case, we need a written official confirmation by your university that lists all the courses and exams taken so far, that computes your current grade point average and that confirms that your Bachelor program awards a total of 180 ECTS.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language as documented by a TOEFL test with at least 227 points (computer-based test), 87 points (internet-based test), 567 points (paper-based test), or IELTS with a minimum of 5 points if English is not the first language or the bachelor-level degree has not been achieved in a program taught entirely in English, or, alternatively, acquiring the Cambridge First Certificate (FCE). For TOEFL, IELTS or FCE, the issuing date of the certificate should not be older than three years, relative to the application deadline. Note that passing the TOEFL ITP test does not satisfy the admission requirements.
  • A letter of motivation (in English, max. 1 page).
  • Short CV (in English, max. 2 pages).
  • Students who did not receive their Bachelor-level degree at a German University also need to get approval to study at Johannes Gutenberg University (see step 1 of the application procedure).

If available (not required):

  • Test results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Evidence of any relevant professional training you have completed or any time you have spent working professionally in a relevant field.
  • Evidence of any outstanding achievements, such as receiving special academic funding, awards or prizes, having work published, holding lectures, etc.
Last updated May 2020

About the School

With around 31,500 students from over 120 nations, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is one of the largest and most diverse universities in Germany. JGU unites almost all academic disciplines ... Read More

With around 31,500 students from over 120 nations, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is one of the largest and most diverse universities in Germany. JGU unites almost all academic disciplines under one roof with its University Medical Center, the Mainz Academy of Fine Arts, the Mainz School of Music, and the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics and Cultural Studies in Germersheim. In over 150 institutes and clinics, 4,400 academics, 560 of whom are professors, teach and carry out research. With 75 fields of study and more than 260-degree courses, JGU offers an extraordinarily broad range of courses. Read less
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