Master of Arts in Economics, Data, and Policy 2 year program (NEW!)

Why study for an MA in Economics, Data, and Policy at CEU?

Top reasons:

  • Modern curriculum. Emphasis on understanding society and economics and gaining essential quantitative skills for the future.
  • Flexibility. Tailored to your skills and unique ambitions --- be it data analysis, policy work, consulting, or research. Choose the track that suits you in your second year, there is no need to commit ahead of time.
  • Accredited in the US and Austria. 
  • Career prospects. Our graduates are in high demand on the job market, and we also have a great placement record into world-class PhD programs.
  • Scholarships. Top applicants will be offered a full tuition waiver and a 10,000-euro scholarship per year; additional substantial tuition waivers and smaller stipends are also available.
  • Internationally diverse. Cultural diversity is a highly valued part of the CEU-experience.  Countries of origin of recent students include Afghanistan, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Ukraine, United States, among many others.
  • Top faculty. Courses taught byresearchers holding PhD’s from Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, LSE, etc., and practitioners from central banks and leading companies such as Meta, Morgan Stanley, etc.
  • Study in Vienna. Consistently rated as the world's most livable cities.
  • Fully English language university. Knowledge of German is not required at CEU. 

Choose one of four tracks:

  • The Data Science track gives you cutting edge data science skills to analyze and correctly interpret economic data. It prepares you to be a business intelligence analyst, data scientist, data engineer, or business consultant.
  • The Research (pre-PhD) track puts special emphasis on quantitative skills and exposes you to the frontiers of economic research. This track prepares you for a PhD or for technical research jobs in the public and private sector. If you decide to go on to a PhD in Economics at CEU, most of your coursework will be counted toward it.  
  • The Global Economic Policy track gives a broad view of the economy and a deep understanding of the economic policy process. It also provides you with the analytical ability to evaluate economic policies. The track is an ideal steppingstone if you want a job in government (ministries, central banks), in international organizations, or in the private sector (banks, consulting firms, etc.).
  • The Finance track gives a detailed view of the financial system based on the principles of economics. You will understand how finance can serve society, preparing you for analyst jobs in central banks, commercial banks, and consulting firms.

Looking for a one-year version of this program?

Design your own curriculum to match your ambitions

Year 1: Build Your Foundations

Mandatory courses (qualified students may choose an advanced PhD-level course as a substitute, indicated in parenthesis):

  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods (or Advanced Pre-session in Mathematics)
  • Data Analysis 1, 2 & 4 (or Statistics for Econometrics and Advanced Econometrics 1 & 2)
  • Microeconomics (or Advanced Microeconomics)
  • Macroeconomics (or Advanced Macroeconomics)
  • Current Economic Issues Seminar (or PhD Research Seminar)
  • Coding for Economists (or Scientific Python)
  • Academic Writing


Sample Electives (can also be taken in the second year):

  • Competition Policy
  • Designing Markets that Work
  • Ecological Economics
  • Economics of the Public Sector
  • Energy Markets
  • Fintech in Depth
  • Future of Work
  • International Political Economy
  • Labor Economics
  • Monetary Policy
  • Python Programming, Visualization and Text Analysis

+ you may start taking some courses from the second year tracks below

Year 2: Choose Your Track

By the beginning of your second year, you choose one of four tracks that best suit your career plans and interests. You must take the courses required in your track, but this still leaves you with substantial flexibility to choose courses from other tracks or electives that you are interested in.  

Data Science Track

  • Data Analysis 3: Prediction and Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Data Engineering 1: SQL and the Different Shapes of Data
  • Date Engineering 2: Cloud Computing

+ take at least three courses from the following list:

  • Data Science: Machine Learning Tools
  • Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing 1
  • Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing 2: Deep Learning
  • Theory and Practice of Economic Forecasting
  • Statistics for Econometrics
  • Research Internship
  • Advanced Econometrics 1
  • Advanced Econometrics 2


Research (pre-PhD) Track

  • Game Theory and Asymmetric Information
  • Statistics for Econometrics

+ take least two of the following:

  • Advanced Econometrics 1 & 2
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics

+ take at least three courses from the following list:

  • Research Internship
  • PhD-level research electives (offer changes by year). If you took Advanced level core courses in your first year, you may take more research electives in your second year.


Global Economic Policy Track

  • Global Economy: Emergence and Current Issues
  • International Economic Policy
  • Economic Policy Seminar Series

+ take at least three courses from the following list:

  • Policy Internship
  • Economic Policy and Global Strategy
  • International Economic Integration
  • Fiscal Policy in Practice
  • Development Economics
  • Impact Evaluation: Policy Applications with R
  • Theory and Practice of Economic Forecasting


Finance Track

  • Financial Management
  • Trading and Portfolio Theory
  • Corporate Finance and Risk Management

+ take at least three courses from the following list:

  • Asset Pricing
  • Banking and Financial Institutions
  • Fixed Income Analysis
  • Financial Reporting and Control
  • Games and Asymmetric Information


In the Spring term of the second year, students on all tracks will participate in a Thesis Seminar and write a masters’ thesis.

Build critical, in-demand skills for a successful career

The MA in Economics, Data, and Policy will equip you with a solid foundation in economics and quantitative methodology and the ability to interpret data and link them to economic and social processes. The skills you gain will enable you to pursue a variety of exciting careers. In recent years, graduating students have:

  • Continued their studies in highly ranked PhD programs: Boston University, Duke University, CEU, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland), University of California at San Diego, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Michigan.
  • Engaged in policy and research work in the public sector, at international organizations or think-tanks: European Commission, European Investment Bank, ECB, International Monetary Fund (IMF), RAND Corporation, United Nations (UN), World Bank.
  • Embarked on careers in banking, finance, or consulting: BlackRock, Boston Consulting Group, Citi, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, PWC, Raiffeisen.

Applications and scholarships

Can I apply?

You must possess a BA degree (or higher) or be enrolled in the last year of your university studies. Successful applicants come from a variety of vocational and educational backgrounds; given the flexibility of the program, a previous degree in Economics is not required.

Since the program is flexible, you can choose the mathematical rigor of courses according to your background. Therefore, there is no mandatory mathematics test required for admission. Nevertheless, especially if you are considering the “Research (pre-PhD)” track, you are encouraged to take a math test. A good math score may increase the chance of getting a scholarship.  

For more details, see the Admissions Requirements webpage.


There are different application deadlines depending on your circumstances:

  • October 18, 2023 – if you seek financial aid and are from a country with a lengthy visa processing time
  • February 1, 2024 – for all other countries and if you seek financial aid
  • March 15, 2024 – if you do not seek financial aid, but need a study visa
  • August 15, 2024 – if you do not seek financial aid and do not need a visa to study in Austria


Financial aid is granted on the basis of academic merit. The top candidates in the MA in Economics, Data, and Policy will receive a full tuition waiver and 10,000 EUR per year as a scholarship. Partial tuition waivers and smaller stipends will also be offered.