Program Structure

The Master's program in International Economics and Economic Policy is structured in a modular fashion. It is composed of fundamental courses, specialization courses and the master's thesis. In order to be awarded a Master of Science in International Economics and Economic Policy, students have to accumulate a total of at least 120 credit points. It is recommended to distribute this workload evenly over the four semesters by alloting 30 credit points to each semester.

Plan of Study

By the end of this program each student will have to complete:

  • the three fundamental courses (equalling a total of 18 CP)
  • seven specialization courses (equalling a total of 36 CP), consisting of:

o   two courses in International Economics

o   two courses in Public Policy

o   two supplementary modules

o   one seminar

  • both components of the research segment (equalling a total of 30 CP)

o   thesis seminar

o   master's thesis

  • additional courses equalling a total of 36 CP that can come from the course lists of International Economics, Public Policy, seminars or electives

Fundamental Courses are intended to provide the basic tools for the subsequent courses and the thesis work. As such, they are required for all students. The three courses provide the necessary background in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. Each fundamental course is alloted six credit points and is taught three hours a week, with roughly a third of the time devoted to in-class discussion of problem sets.

Short descriptions of the content of the fundamental courses are provided here.

Modules from the area International Economics are part of the in-depth studies phase and should bring the student, starting from the competencies acquired in the fundamentals phase, into closer contact with current research contents and questions in the field of International Economics. International ties between states and economies are discussed, amongst other things, in the topic areas international trade, international macroeconomics or fiscal policy. Questions concerning international development cooperation also belong to this area.

Primarily autonomous application of the previously acquired methods to current, economic problems and the critical confrontation with contemporary literature are competencies which should be acquired in these courses from the field of International Economics. After completion of modules from the field of International Economics the students can interpret, evaluate and develop possible solutions for ideas and questions which they are not familiar with.

The list of courses is provided here, together with short course descriptions. The list is indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

Modules from the area Public Policy are part of the in-depth studies phase and should bring the student, starting from the competencies acquired in the fundamentals phase, into closer contact with current research contents and questions in the field of Public Policy. The main topics which are handled in this area are those from finances, the development economy as well as economic policy.

Primarily autonomously application of the previously acquired methods to current, economic problems and the critical confrontation with contemporary literature are competencies which should be acquired in these courses from the field of Public Policy. After completion of modules from the field of Public Policy the students can interpret, evaluate and develop possible solutions for ideas and questions which they are not familiar with.

The list of courses is provided here, together with short course descriptions. The list is indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

Courses from the area Electives should provide the students with the possibility to development their own main area of focus. They can occur, for example, through methodical courses. Examples of relevant methods for studies in “International Economics and Economic Policy“ are statistics and econometrics. Also courses which at the boundaries of economics to other scientific disciplines, are part of this offering. Examples of these include lectures, which connect the topic of Economics with theories and methods of Psychology or Philosophy.

Successful completion of a course from the area Electives enables the student to analyse complex problems or questions and to select suitable methods to find a solution. Furthermore, already learned theories and methods in the topic areas which go beyond classic economics are transferred over. Furthermore, students are enabled to have a critical confrontation with contents and methods they are not familiar with.

Modules from the area Elective can also be covered by modules from International Economics, Public Policy, seminars or import modules.

The list of courses is provided here, together with short course descriptions. The list is indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

The seminar contents are usually oriented on current economic topic areas or economically relevant methods. Examples of this include the development economy, finances or the European Integration with reference to economic and financial aspects.

As part of a seminar module the students should essentially autonomouslyfamiliarise themselves witha scientific topic. In this way their knowledge and capabilities concerning a meaningful economics working method should be deepened. One important goal is mastering the ability to show and present complex matters in a clear and understandable way. Furthermore the competence should be imparted to guide discussions about economic topics in a differentiated form.

The list of seminars is provided here, together with short descriptions. The list is indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

The module contents are usually oriented on current economic topic areas and example cases from economic, scientific or political practice. The module concentrates in particular on use of economic theory as part of practically relevant, economic question. The student should gain an insight into implementation of recognised research results in the context of practice-oriented problems. For this purpose usually lecturers and experts who operate outside the university in this area (e.g. the European Central Bank, Bundesbank etc.) explain concrete matters, which, for example, feature reference to central banks, exchange rate policies, financial markets or practical applications of fiscal policies.

Upon completion of a supplementary module the students should be in a position to reflect on some already previously acquired theories and methods on the basis of concrete example cases from the practical world and to evaluate their usability. Students develop an extended understanding of super-ordinate study contents which should help in combining theory and practice. They will be in a position to transfer/apply knowledge and capabilities to practical questions and make recommendations for action.

The list of courses is provided here, together with short course descriptions. The list is indicative and will be continually updated to reflect new trends in relevant research and changes in the composition of the pool of instructors.

The contents of the thesis seminar are oriented on the topics of the Master’s theses to be written by the participants. During the thesis seminar the students should enter into discussion with the lecturer as well as the other students about development of their own research questions and to evaluate the feasibility as part of a Master’s thesis. Furthermore the seminar offers an institutionalised forum in which, during the processing time of the Master’s thesis, students enter into mutual discussion with each other about their scientific questions, methods and any problems they may have. Under moderation of the lecturer the students should evaluate ideas of other participants, offer recommendations and receive continuous feedback concerning their own topic.

Find more information here.

The contents are oriented according to the respective topic of the Master’s thesis. The topic requires consultation with a supervisor.

The Master’s thesis should demonstrate that she or he is capable, within a given time limit to work on a topic autonomously, according to scientific methods, in a comprehensive and differentiated way. In so doing previous results from theoretical and empirical literature in this field should be analysed and assessed.

Find more information here.

Course duration

Course attendance is mandatory, and there is no distance-learning option (except for the provisions regarding master’s thesis research). Part-time studies are no longer available.

The normal duration of the program is four semesters. Students are not required to stay in Frankfurt during the fourth semester, provided that they have met all other requirements and they are working on their thesis. They are required to attend the research seminar, which will usually be offered as a block seminar over approximately 4 days.

If a student fails a fundamental course, the student has to retake the corresponding exam. Failure to pass all fundamental courses as planned in the schedules (i.e. after two semesters) results in automatic expulsion from the program. Failure to pass an elective, a supplementary course or a seminar, requires the student to substitute it with another course from the relevant category or to retake the specific course when it is offered again. In making this choice, students are encouraged to consult with the instructors in order to make sure that the course they intend to repeat or use as replacement is offered in the relevant semester.

The maximum duration of study is eight semesters. Failure to obtain a passing grade in any of the three fundamental courses after two semesters or to meet the complete requirements of the program by the end of the eight semester results in expulsion from the program.

A leave of absence interrupts the normal schedule, but is given only in exceptional circumstances (typically for well-documented medical reasons).

Please note that this page only provides a broad overview of the program structure. The official rules and regulations of the master program are binding and should be taken into account; they can be found here (in german) and here (in english, please note that for legal purposes only the original German version applies).

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