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COVID-19 Announcements: 

  • Vanderbilt University updates: please visit
  • Remote work: Effective March 16 through April 10, Vanderbilt University has instituted an initial remote work period. 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.

March 2020 Student Spotlight

Arika Kayastha is a second-year GPED student from Kathmandu, Nepal. Before joining the GPED, she completed her undergraduate studies at Kathmandu University, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Information Systems, after which she served as a Program Assistant and National Staff Consultant for UNESCO Kathmandu, where her achievements involved programming and coordinating research and workshops with the Ministry of Education on Nepal’s informal education and girls’ education. She also had the opportunity to experience and learn about trade in Nepal by starting her own import-export business.

Throughout her time in the GPED, she has been active in the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures. As part of her participation in the TFC’s Project Pyramid course, Arika traveled to Guatemala for spring break 2020 to take part in a consultancy project for a social enterprise startup that aims to work towards sustainability in the coffee industry. As part of her project, she was engaged in numerous conversations with coffee farmers, cooperatives, baristas, importers, and exporters in Guatemala about challenges in the coffee value chain and potential solutions. After graduation, she aspires to work in the field of research and social policies for poverty eradication and serve as an international civil servant. Congratulations, Arika!

Arika Kayastha

Fall 2019 GPED Newsletter

Catch up with all the exciting things our students were up to last semester by taking a look at our Fall 2019 newsletter!