Earn Your Applied Economics Master’s Degree at the Dyson School

Take a deep dive into applied economics and management with a research-focused graduate degree.

Among its rigorous, research-intensive graduate programs, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management offers a two-year, residential Master of Science program.

Rooted in applied research with an eye toward using business to make the world a better place, our MS in Applied Economics and Management is ideal for business-minded students interested in pursuing careers in research, consulting, and academia.

Why Earn an MS in Applied Economics and Management at the Dyson School?

As you explore applied economics graduate programs at the Dyson School, you might be wondering about the differences between the MS and the MPS—and which is right for you. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

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Master of Science in AEM

The MS in AEM is a two-year, research-focused graduate degree. The MS can also prepare you for continued study at the PhD level.

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Master of Professional Studies in AEM

The MPS in AEM is a shorter-term, career-focused graduate program designed to prepare you for various economics-related fields.

If you see yourself in an economics-rooted, research-driven role—whether in academia, consulting, or another sector—pursuing your MS in Applied Economics and Management at one of the top business schools in the country is a wise choice. 

After earning the MS in AEM, our graduates have earned PhDs in areas like accounting, food and nutrition policy, applied economics, marketing, and management. Our MS alumni also have pursued careers as analysts, consultants, and research associates in a range of sectors and specialties.

Program Overview: Our MS in Applied Economics and Management at a Glance

From degree type to program length, here’s an overview:

Degree Awarded

MS in Applied Economics and Management


Ithaca, NY

 Program Format

Full-time residential and STEM-designated

Program Duration

Two years

Our Curriculum: Required MS AEM Courses

As a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Management student at Dyson, your degree requirements will vary based on several factors, including your undergraduate coursework, your career goals, your research interests, and any plans to continue your education beyond the MS. But no matter what your trajectory, you can expect your Dyson experience to include:

Core AEM Classes & Seminars

During your first and second semesters, you’ll take a selection of graduate-level applied economics and management classes that explore topics such as production economics, consumer demand, and policy analysis. You’ll also attend engaging seminars with visiting lecturers.

Electives & Specialization Courses

The MS in AEM program offers the flexibility to choose a specialization area, which opens you up to a wide variety of classes. Plus you’ll have a chance to choose from hundreds of electives from across the college and throughout Cornell University.

PhD Track Course Options

If you plan to pursue a PhD, we suggest you take at least two 3000- or 4000-level math and statistics classes, such as Linear Algebra, Statistical Methods 1, or Introduction to Analysis. These courses prepare you for the world of big data.

Master’s Thesis & Exam

The heart of any research-based master’s program is the thesis. You’ll spend nearly a year working under the guidance of a faculty mentor exploring an AEM topic you’re passionate about. Before you graduate, you’ll defend your thesis via an oral examination.

A Sample Schedule: What You’ll Learn and When

After you build a foundation in graduate-level coursework in applied economics and management, including your core, elective, and specialization classes, you’ll spend most of your second year deeply involved in your thesis research. Here’s an example of how that might look for you:

A Closer Look: MS in Applied Economics Degree Requirements

Above, we covered what a typical two-year academic plan might look like. Here’s a closer look at some of the curriculum requirements.

Master’s in Applied Economics Specialization Areas

Your master’s thesis—your research topic, your faculty mentor, and your special committee—will all stem from your specialization area. Students on the PhD track often continue to build upon their master’s theses throughout their doctoral research.


Preparing for What’s Next: Why a STEM-Designated Master’s Matters

The Dyson School has a rich history of preparing students for an evolving global marketplace. Our students gain the technical competencies demanded by employers in industry and academia. Our STEM-designated MS in AEM program encompasses coursework in emerging areas such as analytics, machine learning, programming, and applied econometrics.

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Our Faculty: Research with Industry-Leading Scholars and Practitioners

If you like to ask big questions about the economy, you’ll fit right in. The spirit of intellectual curiosity is high at Cornell University. The Dyson School—and the greater college—is home to a renowned faculty of award-winning educators, widely published scholars, and industry-leading practitioners. As a master’s student, you’ll not only learn from this esteemed group of experts, but also receive mentorship from your advisor and special committee as you build your own expertise.

Meet Dyson Faculty

Connected and Collaborative: The Dyson Student Experience

Our business is a better world. When you choose to pursue an applied economics master’s degree at Dyson, you become part of a collaborative, collegial learning community dedicated to positively impacting people near and far.

Our Community

Beyond the Ivy League rigor, you’ll find a vibrant, collaborative learning community at Dyson. As a graduate student here, you will make meaningful connections not only with your classmates, but with graduate students across campus. You’ll learn from a world-class faculty, engage with ambitious peers, receive close research mentorship, and have access to a broad range of academic and career support services.

See More Reasons to Choose Dyson

Our Campus

With stately buildings, stunning scenery, and a steady stream of student activity, Cornell University is an incredible place to live, learn, and grow. We’d love to show you around our Ithaca, NY, campus, whether you meet us in person for an event at the AgQuad or join us for an online tour. Plus, with a prime location in the Finger Lakes region of New York, there’s so much to do and see near campus.

Explore Our Campus

Our Expertise

The Dyson faculty is well-known for its expertise in many areas, but perhaps most notably for consulting, consumer packaged goods, financial services, technology, and agribusiness. The breadth and depth of our knowledge and network benefit you in many ways, including the mentorship you’ll receive throughout your thesis work. Our alumni also enter—and excel in—these fields, expanding our global reach and reputation.

Discover Our Industry Advantages


How to Apply to the Dyson School’s MS in Applied Economics and Management Program

Does a research-based graduate program sound like a good fit for your educational and career goals? If so, we invite you to learn more about our admissions criteria and application process. Our MS in AEM admissions page outlines everything you’ll need to get started, including a checklist of materials you need to submit with your application.

View MS in AEM Admissions Requirements

Learn More: Your MS in AEM Questions, Answered

We know there’s a lot to consider as you research applied economics graduate programs, from admissions requirements and time commitment to tuition and financing. We created an FAQ that covers some of the most common questions our admissions team receives from MS AEM applicants.

Visit our FAQ

Next Steps: Applying to the MS in Applied Economics Program

Ready to embark on an exciting research journey in the world of applied economics and management? We encourage you to begin the application process today.

To get started, register or log in to the Cornell Graduate Admissions website.