MA in Economics

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ISET's MA program in Economics was launched in fall 2006 as a graduate program at Tbilisi State University. The program takes students through a challenging two year curriculum, comparable in content and quality to the first two years of study in reputable Ph.D. programs in North America and Western Europe. All courses are taught in English by highly-qualified international faculty.

Our faculty is diverse, comprising resident professors with PhDs from universities such as Columbia University, Hebrew University and the University of Pennsylvania, and regular visitors who are world leaders in their fields, including several Fellows of the Econometric Society. The entire faculty is committed to helping students design individual study plans, supervising their thesis research, and supporting their applications for both professional jobs and PhD studies abroad. The quality of research and teaching at ISET is guaranteed by the International Faculty Committee, which brings together the ISET faculty and prominent academics from around the world.

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Each year, ISET enrolls up to 60 students from around the world. The program of study includes a major research component. In their second year at ISET, students may choose to specialize in a specific sub-field of economics. They can join the Energy EconomicsAgricultural Economics and Human Resource Economics concentrations. Alternatively, they can design an individual study plan focusing, for example, on international economics, macroeconomics, money and banking, financial economics, labor markets and social policy.

In addition to regular coursework, students in a particular concentration go through summer internships and conduct writing projects on topics of relevance to their field of study.

From a total of 169 ISET graduates, 97% are currently employed or studying abroad. ISETers hold leading analytical positions in the National Banks and ministries in all three South Caucasus countries and study in PhD programs at Stanford University, University of Chicago, New York University and University of Pennsylvania, among others. 

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“Third Year Program” with ISET and the ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) provides a few top ISET graduates with the opportunity to apply to top PhD programs with the full support of ISET’s senior international faculty. While senior professors write strong support letters, ISET covers the cost of standardized tests, such as the GRE and TOEFL, reimburses all application fees and postage costs. As “third year students”, graduates have a chance to do a bit of own research, work with ISET-PI on interesting policy projects, contribute to the ISET Economist blog  and take online math classes to get ready for the “boot camp” experience awaiting them in the US or Europe. 

Every year, up to 15 of our graduates receive Teaching Fellowships from the CERGE-EI Foundation to teach undergraduate economics courses at partner universities in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. These Teaching Fellowships allow ISET graduates to earn a competitive salary while gaining professional experience as economics teachers and giving back to their communities. All Teaching Fellows receive intensive pedagogical training in Prague.

Graduates receive a Master of Arts in Economics diploma from the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University. ISET is recognized by The World Bank as one of five "centers of excellence" in economics education and research in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. While the only institution of its kind in the South Caucasus, ISET is not alone when it comes to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet space. A small family of teaching and research institutions that propagate and practice modern economics includes the Moscow-based New Economic School (www.NES.ru) and the Kyiv School of Economics (www.KSE.org.ua). ISET is a part of an academic network created and coordinated by the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE). 

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