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Department of Economics

Program Overview

GPED curriculum
Total credit hours required: 30 credit hours

Required core courses:
  • ECON 301: Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 302: Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 306: Statistical Analysis
  • ECON 308: Econometrics

Required field courses:
Students must take at least 9 credit hours from the following GPED courses:

  • ECO 352: Chinese Economy
  • ECO 353: Project Evaluation
  • ECO 355A: Seminar in Research on Economic Development
  • ECO 355B: Seminar in Research on Economic Development
  • ECO 357: International Trade and Economic Development
  • ECO 358A: Policy Issues in Developing Economies
  • ECO 358B: Policy Issues in Developing Economies

Required research project:
All students must complete a substantive research project by taking either ECO 355A or ECO 355B or by completing such a project in a GPED elective course approved by the Director of the program.

Elective courses:
Students must take 9 credit hours of elective courses.
These electives can be chosen from the following:
GPED Electives: Any GPED class not counting toward a required field class can count as an elective.

Electives outside GPED but within Economics or Financial Economics:
In general, only ECON courses with course numbers higher than 250 and that have been approved for graduate credit by the A&S faculty can count toward the GPED program. Some examples of upper level ECON courses that can count toward electives in the GPED program are:

  • ECON 254: Public Finance
  • ECON 259: Financial Instruments and Markets
  • ECON 262: History of Economic Thought
  • ECON 263: International Trade
  • ECON 264: Open Economy Macro Economics
  • ECON 265: Macroeconomic Models for Policy Analysis
  • ECON 267: Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
  • ECON 268: Economics of Health
  • ECON 273: Game Theory with Economic Applications
  • ECON 274: Industrial Organization
  • ECON 279: Urban Economics
  • ECON 283: Economics of the Environment
  • ECON 285: Law and Economics
  • ECON 288: Development Economics
  • FNEC 261: Investment Analysis
  • FNEC 275: Financial Management

ECON course below 250 as electives: With the prior permission of the GPED Director and the relevant instructor, it might be possible to obtain graduate credit for a lower level ECON course if it has been approved for graduate credit by the A&S faculty. These courses are approved on a case-by-case basis and approval typically requires the student to complete extra assignments and/or take any special exams deemed necessary by the instructor to award graduate credit.

Ph.D. level ECON courses as electives: With the prior permission of the Director of the Graduate Studies of the Economics Department and the relevant instructor, GPED students might also be able to enroll in Ph.D. level classes in economics.

Electives outside Economics or Financial Economics: Some of the courses offered by the Owen Graduate School of Management, the School of Engineering, the Peabody College of Education and Human Development, as well as other departments and programs in the College of Arts and Science such as Asian Studies, History, Managerial Studies, Mathematics, and Political Science etc. could also count towards GPED electives. However, the following rules apply to such non-ECON electives:

  • Students must first obtain permission to enroll in classes outside the Economics Department from the Director of the GPED program.
  • Only those courses that are listed in the Vanderbilt Graduate Catalog can count towards GPED credit.
  • Of 9 hours of elective courses, no more than 6 hours (two 3 hour courses, or three 2-hour courses) can be taken outside the Department (i.e. courses other than those listed as ECON or FNEC in university catalogues). This 6 hour limit includes any transfer credit awarded for graduate courses done at another institution.


Participants must achieve a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in coursework completed at Vanderbilt in order to receive the Master of Arts degree in Economics.

The Graduate Program in Economic Development also offers a non-thesis Certificate in Economic Development for the successful completion of requirements of 8 classes without the thesis.



The Graduate Program in Economic Development is further enriched by the seminars given by visiting lecturers who speak on various aspects of economic development and present case studies on current development issues around the world. Students enrolled in the Program are expected to attend these seminars which will usually be on topics that are of interest to our students. The current seminar schedule can be found here.



The program offers two awards each year to students in the first year class.

James S. and Rosemary Worley Award
In 1997, alumni of the Graduate Program in Economic Development, friends and family of Emeritus Professor James S. Worley and his wife Rosemary established an award in their names which is given annually to an outstanding first-year GPED student.

James Worley, Director of the GPED for 25 years is credited with building the program to its position of strength today. Under his leadership, the mission of the GPED, which was to train government officials and university lecturers from developing countries, became more clearly defined, and the program developed strong and lasting relationships with people and governments around the world.

The criteria for receiving this award include, but are not limited to, academic merit, interest in the GPED and commitment to Economic development. Students, Professors, Alumni and friends of the Program get together each fall for a reception to honor the Worley family and the recipient(s) of the James S. and Rosemary Worley Award.

William Edward Ferguson Jr. Award
The Ferguson Award was endowed by William Edward Ferguson Jr., Registrar of the Graduate School from 1967 to 1992 and long-time friend of the GPED. This award was established in 2003. It rewards a commitment to community service and volunteerism and is presented to a first-year GPED student.

Annual GPED Awards Dinner

A week before Commencement each year, GPED students, their families, faculty, deans, directors and staff of the Program come together for a delightful evening in honor of the graduating class.

Students who have completed 8 courses are awarded a certificate for completion of the Program. Students who maintain a B average and write an acceptable thesis receive a diploma at Commencement conferring the degree of Master of Arts.

Outstanding academic achievements, as well as the most outstanding theses, are recognized with special awards.

The most coveted award is the "GPED Award" which recognizes citizenship, leadership, and helpfulness toward fellow students.


Contact Information:

Phone: (615) 322 2486

Fax: (615) 343 2391

Write to:
The Graduate Program in Economic Development
PMB 351828
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN