Student in cap and gown standing in front of CDE signThe Center for Development Economics (CDE) at Williams College offers an intensive, 10 month (one academic year), master’s degree program designed for economists from low and middle-income countries who have some practical experience. The goal of the program is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the development process, emphasizing analytical techniques helpful to policymakers. The result is a successful mix of theory and policy application that enables students to be more effective in their home environment.

Over the years, the CDE has trained more than 1300 students from 110 nations around the world in an intellectual and residential atmosphere that is rigorous yet supportive and friendly. While individual graduates have risen to the highest levels of service in their governments, we are most proud of the commitment to development demonstrated by more than 90 percent of alumni who still live and work in their home countries.

CDE faculty members have Ph.D. degrees from among the most prestigious institutions in the U.S. and around the world. They also have extensive teaching and practical experience, many having either lived in developing countries (often as government consultants) or worked for international organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF. Small classes at the CDE allow individual attention from a faculty that is readily available to meet with students outside of the scheduled class time.

The admissions process is highly selective. Candidates for the CDE program include those with superior first degrees (often in economics) and who have demonstrated responsibility early in their careers in public sector institutions or in non-governmental organizations. The CDE works closely with foreign governments, with international agencies, and with admitted candidates to arrange funding for incoming students. We normally enroll up to thirty individuals per year. While the application deadline is December 1, we strongly encourage earlier submission to increase funding opportunities.

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