M.Sc. Development Economics, Heidelberg University

The Master’s program in Development Economics at Heidelberg University, Germany, welcomes students who wish to increase their knowledge of and methodological skills in development economics following successful completion of a Bachelor’s program in economics.

The structure of the program offers economic education at the graduate level that is based on international standards and addresses students with sufficient mathematical and analytical prior knowledge. The main objective of the Development Economics Master’s program is to enable students to independently conduct scientific work in development economics. The program’s teaching focus is on current academic methods and research findings. After graduation, students have an overview of the interconnections within Development Economics as well as the ability to analyze scientific publications on (Development) Economics and to independently apply scientific methods and findings on issues of economic development.  

The program enables graduates to work in the public or private sector, an international development organization or to complete a doctorate in development economics. In order to prepare students for the international labor market for economists, all courses in the Master’s degree program are held exclusively in English.

Application for the Winter term 2024/25

Applications for the winter term 2024/25 will (presumably) open in April/May 2024 (application portal).

Course Structure

The Master of Development Economics is designed to ensure that students understand the implications of their subject well, are able to make appropriate use of sophisticated academic methods and findings, and are capable of independent economic research in accordance with academic principles. The program follows a modular system that takes 4 semesters to complete, including sitting for exams and the completion of a thesis. First semester compulsory sub-modules include: Development Economics (Macro), Development Economics (Micro), Advanced Macroeconomics, and Advanced Econometrics.

In the second and third semesters, students are expected to choose from a range of development economic and interdisciplinary elective modules and seminars to complement their research. Development economics elective lectures at Heidelberg University typically include topics such as Impact Evaluations for Social Programs, History and Development, Topics in Development Economics, and Geospatial Analysis for Development Economics. In previous terms, we have offered seminars on Research in Development Economics, Empirical Methods in Environmental and Development Economics, and Development Economics more broadly, among others. In addition to courses offered at Heidelberg University, students are eligible to enroll in courses offered at the nearby University of Mannheim.

In the third semester, students have the opportunity to apply for a study stint abroad, including the ERASMUS program, the EU-exchange program to promote greater mobility and cooperation between partner universities. Credits obtained from the partner universities are transferable towards the Master’s degree.
The fourth semester is reserved for the completion of the Master’s thesis.

Completion of the Master’s program requires a total of 120 ECTS credit points, out of which 32 credits come from compulsory modules, 58 credits from elective modules and 30 credits from the Master’s thesis. Graduates will be conferred the degree “Master of Science (Development Economics)” (M.Sc.).

Study Guide

Entry Qualifications

The admission statutes include the following criteria:

  1. The prospective student has to have a first university degree in a study program in Economics or with at least 40% in Economics with a minimum of six semesters. Students of natural sciences (mathematics, physics, informatics or related) have to have a minor in Economics with at least 35 ECTS. If the degree is not completed at the date of admission, it is sufficient to apply with an official transcript of records issued by the examination office stating the current grade point average. If the prospective student will be accepted, the official degree certificate has to be shown by the time of enrollment.
  2. The grade point average of the first academic degree has to be at least 2.7 or better, on a German grading system from 1.0 (highest grade) to 4.0 (lowest passing grade, 5.0 not passed). Applicants with a lower grade point average than 2.7 won’t be accepted. There is no such thing as waiting semesters. Academic awards or internships won’t be considered. The grade point average of the first official degree is the only considered criteria.
  3. Proof of certain knowledge of English language skills
    The proof can be made by handing in one of the following different types of documents:
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with at least 570 paper-based or 230 computer-based or 90 internet-based TOEFL-Test Points
  • International English Language Test System (IELTS) with a results of 6,5 or better
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • The language certificate for English of the “Zentrales Sprachlabor“ of Heidelberg University with at least “good“
  • A full study program taught in English or a written bachelor thesis in English can be used as an equivalent.
  • If you have completed your university-entrance degree in an English speaking country, this is also sufficient.

The documents have to be issued no longer than 4 years ago. German language skills are not required.

Questions regarding the application process can be addressed to:

Applicants with German citizenship or a German Bachelor’s degree

Mr. Fabian Pohl, Academic Advisor, fabian.pohl@awi.uni-heidelberg.de

International Applicants with an International Bachelor’s degree

International Office, studium@uni-heidelberg.de