Main Content

MA Program Degree Requirements for Current Students

MA Degree Requirements

Required Credits

64 credits (equivalent to 16 full semester courses) including:
  • Minimum 60 credits must in BUS, ECON or FIN
  • 4 credits may be in a different field, but applicable to the intent of the degree (requires permission of Program Advisor)
  • 8.5 required courses (34 credits)


4 semesters as a full-time student
  • Courses taken during the summer may count towards the MA, but do not contribute to the 4-semester residency requirement.
  • The degree may not be completed in fewer than 4 semesters by taking heavier course loads or taking courses over the summer.
  • Students on an approved study abroad program are considered to be in-residence.
  • The minimum number of credits a full-time student may take is 12 (three courses), and the maximum is 20 (five courses).

Pre-Program Preparation

Students are expected to come into the MA program having taken Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Statistics. Students who have not taken Statistics prior to entry will be automatically enrolled in the following course for their first semester:
  • ECON 210f: Foundation of Statistics

Required Courses

Global Perspective/International Economics - 12 credits

  • ECON 201a: Capstone or Global Economic Environment - offered in the spring semester, year 2 or fall semester, year 1, respectively.
  • ECON 202a: Applied International Macroeconomics - to be taken in the spring semester, year 1.*
  • ECON 207a: Managerial Economics – offered in the fall. +
  • ECON 260a: International Trade Policy - usually offered in the spring.

*This course is taught in a manner unique to Brandeis IBS, and the only way to exempt from this course is by passing an exemption exam offered at the start of your first semester. This exam may only be taken once, and it must be in your first semester. 

The only way to exempt from this course is by passing an exemption exam offered during Orientation. 

International Finance - 8 credits (2 courses)

  • FIN 201a: Investments - typically taken in the Fall semester, Year 1. This is a pre-requisite for many courses.* 
  • FIN 202a: Corporate Finance - usually offered in the spring.*

*The only way to exempt from this course is by passing an exemption exam offered at the start of your first semester. This exam may only be taken once, and it must be in your first semester.

Accounting 4 credits 
Normally taken Fall, Year 1

  • FIN 212a: Accounting & Financial Analysis OR
  • FIN 213a: Intermediate Financial Accounting

Students may take both courses provided that FIN 212a is taken before FIN 213a. (Note: Shifting from accounting concepts in other countries to US GAAP is usually easy. However, because US GAAP may be quite different from the accounting methods in your home country, prior accounting courses might not be sufficient for an exemption from this requirement).

Normally taken Fall, Year 1

  • BUS 224f: Launching Your Global Career
Quantitative Methods – 4 credits 
Normally taken Year 1
NOTE: There are no exemptions from this requirement
  • BUS 211f: Analysis of Big Data I (Spring)
  • BUS 212f: Analysis of Big Data II (Spring)
  • BUS 253a: Marketing Research (Spring)
  • ECON 184b: Econometrics (Fall and Spring)
  • ECON 211f: Foundations of Econometrics (Fall and Spring)*
  • ECON 212f: Survey of Advanced Econometric Techniques (Spring)**
  • ECON/FIN 250a: Forecasting in Finance & Economics (Spring)**
  • ECON 261a: Empirical Analysis of Trade Policy (Fall)
  • FIN 217f: Financial Modeling I (Fall and Spring)
  • FIN 218f: Financial Modeling II (Spring)
  • FIN 271a: Options & Derivatives II
  • FIN 285a: Computer Simulations & Risk Assessment (Fall)

* Assumes knowledge of basic econometrics.
** Assumes knowledge of basic econometrics and international trade theory. Students write an original research paper.


Brandeis IBS offers more than 50 electives and the list grows yearly. One (1) of a student’s 16 courses may be a non-Brandeis IBS course (i.e., not BUS/ECON/FIN), but applicable to the degree (e.g. a language course or a course from another discipline with direct applications). 

  • Students should not assume that courses that are outside BUS/ECON/FIN will count towards the MA degree. You should always confirm with your Program Advisor.
  • One cross-registration elective and one non-Brandeis IBS Brandeis elective may be taken each semester.
  • At least 50% of the courses taken by a student in any semester must be taken at Brandeis IBS.

Other Degree Expectations

Professional Skills
Being a professional in the field of economics and finance requires much more than academic knowledge. To be an effective and successful professional, students will need a set of skills that will enable them to communicate their specialized knowledge and experience. It is an expectation that every MA student will have made the most of these opportunities so that, upon graduation, they will have added these four skills to their academic knowledge.
  1. Presentation Skills
  2. Teamwork Skills
  3. Writing Skills
  4. Spreadsheet Skills
Career Skills
One module, Launching Your Global Career (BUS 224f) is required as a means to provide students the tools needed to pursue a career in a global market. Students who have already had work experience may be exempt from this module. This class is not to be deferred until second year.