As expected, orientation for Duke Economics Masters and Ph.D. programs looked a little different this year. Instead of meeting in person, both programs held orientations via Zoom.
Having already completed Math Camp virtually at the end of July, the new Ph.D. cohort was already used to the Zoom format. Chair James Roberts and Director of Graduate Studies Federico Bugni were there to welcome the students, along with the EcoTeach staff. After the usual review of the program and departmental procedures, students participated in breakout rooms where they were able to connect with students already in the program and get to know those who have similar research interests.
This year’s cohort is comprised of 11 students. They come from China, Slovakia, South Korea, Turkey, Hong Kong, and the United States.
With a bit larger cohort, the Master’s program has 86 total students. The students fall into one of three degree programs: M.A. Economics (MAE), which has 61 students, M.A. Analytical Political Economy (MAPE), 10 students, and M.S. Economics & Computation (MSEC), 15 students. They come from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Turkey, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.
The entire week was broken down into various Zoom meetings each day, from within Econ, the joint program departments, and the Grad School. The Zoom format enabled the traditional 2nd-year panel, organized by the EMAC team (the Master’s program committee), to include alumni this year. Incoming students could ask questions of not only the students a year ahead of them, but also recent grads who have gone into industry jobs or Ph.D. programs. As always, students were able to participate in information sessions to help them begin to think now about what’s comes after the master’s degree, including a Ph.D. information session led by professor Charles Becker, and a career information session led by the Career Center. All sessions were recorded, so students will be able to watch them during the coming week for additional review as they begin their classes.
Although the 2020-2021 school year looks different this year, Duke Economics welcomes all of our new graduate students and hopes we can meet them all in person as soon as it is safe to do so.