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COVID-19 Announcements: 

  • Vanderbilt University updates: please visit
  • Remote work: Until further notice, GPED staff members will be working remotely and our office in Calhoun Hall is closed. For assistance, please contact us at We will respond as quickly as possible.
  • Fall 2020 admission for international students: If you are unable to obtain a visa due to restrictions or closures caused by COVID-19, we will permit you to defer your admission to begin in Spring 2021. We plan to offer the three core courses students must complete in their first semester in both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters (ECON 6100: Microeconomic Theory, ECON 6200: Macroeconomic Theory, and ECON 6500: Statistical Analysis).


The Graduate Program in Economic Development (GPED) is a tight-knit and supportive community, which provides students with the tools they need to better understand the process of economic decision-making and data analytics. The program leads to the M.A. degree in economics (STEM designated) and is designed to meet the needs of participants who come from a diversity of backgrounds all over the world.  The GPED provides training that is appropriate for a variety of career paths, including careers in government, international organizations, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. The program also prepares students for further graduate study in Economics and other fields.

May 2020 Student Spotlight

Fangyu “Brian” Zhong is a May graduate of the GPED hailing from Beijing, China. Before joining the program, he graduated from Renmin University of China with a degree in Economics, where he engaged in several research projects highlighting economic conditions in rural areas of his home province, further deepening his interest in the field of economic development. During his time in the GPED, he was a recipient of the James S. and Rosemary Worley Award, offered to outstanding students at the end of their first year who exhibit a strong commitment to economic development and interest in pursuing further study. At the beginning of his second year, he was chosen to teach the week-long math workshop offered each year to incoming students to help refine their math skills before the start of fall courses. After the GPED, Brian plans to attend the University of Missouri, where he received a fully funded PhD offer to study economics at the doctoral level. When asked how the program helped prepare him for PhD study, Brian remarked that the research courses he took provided him with hands-on experience working with topics in economics. In addition, he noted that the flexible and autonomous curriculum helped solidify his mathematical foundation in preparation for advanced studies. Congratulations, Brian, and best of luck as you begin this new chapter!

Fangyu Zhong

Spring 2020 GPED Newsletter

Read about the semester in review and recent student and alumni happenings in the Spring 2020 edition of the GPED newsletter!

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