The Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MA) is a two-year graduate program offered by Brandeis International Business School (IBS).
This program prepares students for careers in international finance, business, policymaking, and other fields that require strong analytical skills in international economics. Qualified Wellesley undergraduates who wish to earn the MA may pursue a special track beginning in the senior undergraduate year that will allow for completion of the MA with one year of post-BA study.
Wellesley undergraduates enter the program in their senior year, take two courses each semester at Brandeis IBS and the rest at Wellesley. They then enroll at Brandeis IBS for one additional year of full-time graduate study leading to the MA. BA/MA candidates are required to spend five years as full-time students.
A Wellesley student can choose Wellesley courses that give credit toward the MA as well as the BA. She can also choose Brandeis IBS courses that will give credit toward the BA as well as the MA. In general, a student should have completed eight units for the MA degree by the time of her graduation from Wellesley. Students planning to complete their Wellesley degree in the fall semester of their senior year should expect to remain in the MA Program for an additional three semesters. Because many of the MA prerequisites and requirements are satisfied with core courses required of economics majors and with upper-level economics courses, Wellesley students who enter the program will ordinarily be economics majors.
One semester in the program may be spent at an affiliated foreign university, typically in the fall of the graduate year. Brandeis has affiliations with leading universities around the world, including France, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Korea, Japan, China, and Singapore.
The prerequisites for this program include introductory micro and macroeconomics, statistics and intermediate microeconomics.
A Wellesley College undergraduate will have fulfilled these prerequisites with our ECON 101, ECON 102, and ECON 103.
The requirements for the MA degree include a total of 16 courses: one managerial economics course, three courses in international economics, two courses in international finance, one course in accounting, one course in quantitative techniques, and eight electives. A Wellesley College student can use courses taken at Wellesley to satisfy many of the requirements and can elect to do extra coursework in these areas. The specific course requirements and the corresponding Wellesley courses are as follows.
Managerial Economics (ECON 207a): Wellesley students satisfy this requirement with Econ 201a Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis.
Global Economic Environment (ECON 201a) or Challenges in the Global Economy (ECON 280a): There is no Wellesley equivalent for this for this requirement. Econ 201a may only be taken in the first semester of the program and Econ 280a is a capstone course and is taken in the last semester.
International Macroeconomics (ECON 202a): A Wellesley student can satisfy this requirement by taking our ECON 313: International Macroeconomics.
International Trade Policy (ECON 260a): A Wellesley student can fulfill this requirement by taking our ECON 314: International Trade.
Investments (FIN 201a): A student can fulfill this requirement by taking Wellesley's ECON 323: Finance Theory or MIT's course 15.401, Finance Theory I.
International Corporate Finance (FIN 202a): This course should be taken at Brandeis IBS, if possible during the spring of the first year.
Accounting and Financial Analysis (FIN 212a): A Wellesley student who has already taken accounting at Babson or the Sloan School at MIT is exempted from the requirement of taking this course but must take another elective in its place.
A Wellesley student fulfills this requirement with our ECON 203: Econometrics.
A Wellesley student can meet the eight-elective requirement in part by choosing upper-level (300-level) economics courses at Wellesley. Of the courses taken at Brandeis IBS, many (but not all) will receive Wellesley College credit; a student must secure approval from the Program Advisor of the BA/MA Program before signing up for any courses at Brandeis IBS. (Note that no courses in Brandeis' International Business “BUS" category will receive credit toward the Wellesley degree.)
Refer to the Brandeis IBS website to see a typical path through the MA program, a list of Brandeis IBS courses, and other information.
The MA Program prepares students to pursue various career paths in international finance, economics, consulting, and business. With an emphasis of economics, finance, and quantitative analysis, our graduates are well suited to join a wide range of organizations in both the private and public sectors.
Graduates of the MA program have accepted permanent positions with firms such as AT&T, Andersen Consulting, BankBoston, Bankers Trust Company, Chase Manhattan, Citicorp, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, International Data Group, KPMG Peat Marwick, Lazard Freres, McKinsey & Co., Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the World Bank, and WorldStreet Corporation. Several graduates are employed by the central banks and finance ministries of the United States and other countries.
There are no additional charges for Brandeis courses taken as a Wellesley senior. Although financial aid for the graduate year of study traditionally less generous than undergraduate financial aid, qualified Wellesley students may receive additional scholarships as part of their acceptance package to the MA program. If you are concerned about funding, you should speak with the IBS Admissions Office during the application process.
U.S. students may apply for federal loans through the Stafford program and through private loan agencies. International students may be eligible for a Brandeis loan. Graduate support is based on merit, need, and the availability of funds. Student wishing to apply for federal financial assistance must complete the FAFSA form. All financial aid questions should be directed to the Office of Admission: 781-736-2252 or to Brandeis Admissions.
Interested students should consult the website of the Brandeis IBS program and consult with Professor Susan Skeath. A student must apply both to Wellesley's Department of Economics and to Brandeis. The Wellesley application is available for download here, it is due at the beginning of the spring semester of junior year. The Brandeis IBS application is available here. You must submit a completed application, official undergraduate transcript, a composite letter of recommendation from the Wellesley economics department, two essays, and a resume no later than March 15. The GRE/GMAT is not required. An interview is required of all applicants. Admission decisions will be available approximately six weeks after you have submitted your completed application.
All students interested in the five-year BA/MA program are urged to carefully weigh its benefits and disadvantages before applying. Admissions decisions are made carefully and with the assumption that all students will complete the program.
To learn more about the program, take the following steps.
- Read about the Brandeis IBS program here.
- Attend an information session held at Wellesley or at Brandeis IBS.
- Discuss the program with a Wellesley advisor (Professor Susan Skeath), a Brandeis admission counselor, the BA/MA Program Advisor, Meredith Robitaille, or with the director of the MA Program, Professor Carol Osler.
- Talk with a current student to get a student's perspective on the program. Contact the Office of Admission if you would like to get in touch with a current student or alum.
- Visit program courses or seminars. Check the Brandeis IBS website for upcoming events.