M.A. Analytical Political Economy

The Master of Arts in Analytical Political Economy (MAPE) degree is a joint master’s program of the Departments of Economics and Political Science, necessitated by a growing interest in political economy among young economists and in economics by young political scientists. These fields are converging, and economic policy making in fields such as immigration, environmental regulation, digital rights, and international trade increasingly includes a strong political component.

Political economy examines the reciprocal relationships between politics and markets, both within and among countries, using a variety of analytical tools, including those of economics. Its concerns include interactions among economic and political development; cooperation and conflict among nations, groups, and individuals; the distribution of material resources and political power; the effects of political actors and institutions on economic outcomes; the causes and consequences of technological and structural change, growth, and globalization; and local, national and international regulation.

The MAPE program offers a quantitatively rigorous curriculum rooted in economic and political theory, application, and analysis. It gives students experience with economic modeling, along with a deep understanding of how and why policies are developed and implemented.

MAPE students are eligible for research assistantships through either department. The RA positions are administered by the department of the respective faculty supervisor. Interested students must find a professor willing to include them in an ongoing research project. Although not every aspiring student achieves a match, many MAPE students have held a research assistantship under this program.

Students undertaking an MA in Political Economy can participate in research involving applied development and program evaluation in conjunction with DevLab@Duke. The Lab is an applied learning environment that focuses on connecting international development scholars with practitioners to carry out development projects. The lab brings together faculty and graduate students from several Duke units. Lab participants work in a broad range of areas, including education, health, governance, environment, labor, trade, finance, and growth. MAPE students interested in international development are encouraged to take ECON 890-03/POLISCI 890-6.01, which is offered through the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for Development (MELD) Program. MELD provides opportunities for paid department internships.

Program Requirements

30 credits in graduate economics and political science, or related areas, are required. They must include:

ECONOMICS: At least 12 credits in economics graduate courses selected from the subfields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, with no more than 6 credits in any one of the three sub-fields. The courses listed below are highly recommended, but others can be substituted with the approval of the program co-directors.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: At least 12 credits in core political science graduate courses, normally including POLSCI 745. The following courses are highly recommended, but others can be substituted with the approval of the program co-directors.

  • Microeconomics
    • ECON 605 Advanced Microeconomic Analysis
    • ECON 601 Microeconomics 
    • ECON 701 Microeconomic Analysis I
    • ECON 705 Microeconomic Analysis II 
  • Macroeconomics
    • ECON 602 Macroeconomic Theory
    • ECON 606 Advanced Macroeconomics I
    • ECON 652 Economic Growth
    • ECON 656S International Monetary Economics
    • ECON 702 Macroeconomic Analysis I
    • ECON 706 Macroeconomic Analysis II
  • Econometrics
    •   ECON 608 Introduction to Econometrics
    •   ECON 612 Time Series Econometrics
    •   ECON 613 Applied Econometrics in Microeconomics
    •   ECON 703 Econometrics I 
    •   ECON 707 Econometrics II
  • Political Science
    • POLSCI 522S Comparative Party Politics
    • POLSCI 632 Computational Political Economy
    • POLSCI 644S The Political Economy of Inequality
    • POLSCI 645S Political Economy of Growth, Stabilization, and Distribution
    • POLSCI 646S The Politics of European Integration
    • POLSCI 705S Political Economy of Macroeconomics
    • POLSCI 715 Core in Political Institutions
    • POLSCI 730 Formal Modeling in Political Science
    • POLSCI 745 Core in Political Economy
    • POLSCI 762 The Political Economy of Institutions
  • Every student must pass a qualifying exam in political economy. This exam tests for competence in core themes of the program, including microeconomic and macroeconomic policy. The exam is administered by the Department of Political Science at the end of the final semester of enrollment in the program.
  • Every student must pass a final portfolio review conducted by the student’s committee. The portfolio provides a record of the student’s learning and research in the program. It must include the following items: final versions of all papers; slides from oral or written presentations; updated resume or CV that meets professional standards; transcript; account of career goals; and a self-evaluation of program performance. The portfolio review is administered by the Department of Economics.
  • Every student must participate in a the 4-hour Responsible Code of Research (RCR) training during orientation week and must take 1 RCR forum, which is a 2-hour course (either GS 711 or GS712).
  • Every international student must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement.

Independent Study

Students may take up to 6 credits in independent study or research, with faculty members from the Department of Political Science and/or the Department of Economics. 

Program Length and Residency

Requirements of the program may be completed in either 3 or 4 semesters.

  • Students planning to apply for doctoral studies are strongly advised to use all 4 semesters and plan their studies accordingly in consultation with the MAPE co-directors.
  • Students planning to complete the program in 3 semesters must plan their studies accordingly in consultation with the MAPE co-directors. They must also ask the program co-directors for permission to take the fall semester’s qualifying exam no later than October 1. Approval is contingent upon anticipated fulfillment of all other program requirements at the end of the fall semester.

A student taking the political economy qualifying exam in the spring of year 2 must be enrolled in at least one course and remain in residence during that semester. Any travel potentially in conflict with this requirement must be cleared in advance with a program co-director.  

Graduate Sections of Undergraduate Courses

Courses below the 500-level may not be applied toward the required credits needed for a post-baccalaureate degree. With the approval of their director of graduate studies and the associate dean for academic affairs, graduate students may enroll in lower-level courses, but these courses will not count toward any graduation requirement and will not be included in a student’s GPA calculation. Undergraduate Duke courses taken as a graduate student before fall 2018 may count toward degree credit requirements and GPA.