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Levy Economics Institute of Bard College to Offer New Master of Science Degree in Economic Theory and Policy Starting in Fall 2013

Mark Primoff
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College  Image Credit: Photo by Chris Kendall '82
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Bard College’s Levy Economics Institute will begin offering a Master of Science Degree in Economic Theory and Policy starting in fall 2013. Designed to meet the preprofessional needs of undergraduates in economics and related fields, this innovative degree program draws on the expertise of select Bard College faculty and the scholars of the Levy Economics Institute, an economic policy research institute with more than 25 years of public policy research experience. Headed by Levy Institute Senior Scholar and Program Director Jan Kregel, the new MS curriculum emphasizes empirical and policy analysis through specialization in one of four key Levy Institute research areas: macroeconomic theory, policy, and modeling; monetary policy and financial structure; distribution of income, wealth, and well-being, including gender equality and time poverty; and employment and labor markets.

“With a curriculum built on both the groundbreaking policy work of economists Hyman Minsky and Wynne Godley, and the Levy Institute's many years of independent research, this new program provides a unique training opportunity for students seeking to enter careers aimed at finding solutions for the world's pressing economic challenges,” said Levy Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou.

Students in the new MS program experience graduate education as a practicum, thanks to the close links between the Levy Institute’s research projects and the curriculum. All students in the two-year master’s degree program participate in a graduate research assistantship at the Levy Institute. While students may concentrate on individual specializations, the program’s core empirical competencies offer them a strong understanding of economic and policy models at both the macro and micro levels, with direct application to a broad range of career directions. This approach is particularly relevant in international settings, including the high demand at NGOs, government agencies, multinational firms, and global agencies such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and World Bank. Furthermore, the terminal nature of the M.S. degree offers a strong signal in business that the graduate is pursuing career-stage posts in policy or finance.

The new program also offers a 3+2 dual-degree option for undergraduates, in which students earn both a B.A. and the M.S. in five years.


Designed by participating Levy Institute scholars and select Bard faculty members, under the direction of Jan Kregel, the MS in Economic Theory and Policy program curriculum is an intensive set of 16 courses taught over two years, with a required practical yearlong research workshop and master’s thesis. Of these 16 courses, seven are core courses, three are mentored research (including the capstone master’s thesis), and six are electives. Second-year students can specialize through electives in one of four key research areas: (1) macroeconomic theory, domestic and international economic policy, and macroeconometric modeling; (2) monetary policy and financial structure; (3) distribution of income, wealth, and well-being, including gender equality and time poverty; and (4) employment and labor markets. These concentrations are in alignment with existing research of the Levy Institute and select Bard faculty, offering students access to expertise and materials not available at many campuses.

The 3+2 Program Option

In keeping with the College’s long history of curricular innovation, qualified students in economics and related fields may proceed directly from three years of undergraduate study at Bard to the two-year master’s degree program. Students earn both a liberal arts degree (B.A.) and a professional degree (M.S.) in five years. While the B.A. is granted only upon completion of the M.S., the 3+2 track offers highly motivated students the opportunity to expedite his/her graduate degree completion. Interested Bard students should apply in their junior year. Completion of Bard distribution requirements, successful Moderation into a program of study, and approval from their undergraduate adviser is required to qualify. Interested students should inquire as soon as possible to ensure they meet all requirements. Qualified non-Bard undergraduates wishing to take advantage of the 3+2 option may transfer into the program prior to their junior year. Students who have received an undergraduate degree from another institution may apply directly to the master’s degree program.


For more information on the Levy Economics Institute Master of Science in Economic Theory and Policy, including program requirements, course schedules, faculty, and scholarships, visit; contact; or phone 845-758-7776.


Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

The research and policy work of Levy Institute scholars spans a broad range of issue areas, featuring distinctive strengths in macroeconomic theory and policy analysis and the development and exploration of alternative measures of economic well-being and poverty, with applications for international comparisons and developed/developing world policy study. Their work also provides students with a unique focus on investigating the roots of financial crises and the reshaping of the financial regulatory structure. The Institute has already adapted some of its research to the classroom through its intensive summer seminar, an annual program thematically centered on the groundbreaking research of the late Levy Distinguished Scholars Hyman Minsky (financial fragility and financial structure) and Wynne Godley (stock-flow consistent macromodeling). The Institute also engages in research partnerships and collaborates with outside policy-making organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme and the International Labour Organization, offering students in the MS degree program an opportunity to be immersed in an environment in which leading scholars confront pressing economic problems at both the theoretical and the policy levels.

The Levy Institute’s main research and conference facility, located on the Bard College campus, includes a library of 10,000-plus print volumes dedicated to economics, finance, and policy—a collection specifically suited to the areas of specialization in the MS program—as well as the collected papers of Minsky and Godley. The Institute also subscribes to more than 10,000 journals, with the great majority available online, and to proprietary international financial statistics. All of the Institute’s own research publications are available on its website, Graduate students also have access to software packages with dedicated servers, including STATA, SAS, and EViews, offering computing power and speed.


Bard College

Founded in 1860, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is an independent, nonsectarian, residential, coeducational college offering a four-year B.A. program in the liberal arts and sciences and a five-year B.A./B.S. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music—and offers an M.Music in vocal arts and in conducting. Bard also bestows an M.Music degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College, a public school with campuses in New York City (Manhattan and Queens) and Newark, New Jersey; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and through the Bard Prison Initiative at five correctional institutions in New York State; M.A. in curatorial studies, M.S. in economic theory and policy, and M.S. in environmental policy and in climate science and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College), and American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan; and dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in the West Bank.

Bard offers nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions. Total enrollment for Bard College and its affiliates is approximately 5,000 students. The undergraduate college has an enrollment of more than 1,900 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. For more information about Bard College, visit

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This event was last updated on 10-24-2012