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The IDE Program

The IDE program started out in 1955 as a program in International and Foreign Economic Administration. It has since taken on a much more academic focus, with many of our students heading to Ph.D, research and policy analyst positions that require a working knowledge of economics at the graduate level. The program enrolls about 30-35 students a year. Many of the IDE students are from developing countries, but the key characteristic of all IDE students is that they have a strong interest in international and development economics.

Unique atmosphere for students

The IDE program retains its original environment of small cohort sizes. This allows a close relationship among advisors, lecturers and students. The relationship enables truly personal mentorship. This level of attention is very rare among similar master programs. IDE is a highly selective program, particularly with regards to the need for the skills necessary for cutting-edge graduate level work in economic and econometric theory, policy analysis and development economics.  While most of our students come directly to the program from undergraduate programs, many others come  after working for between 2 and 5 years in either the private sector, government agencies, or policy analysis and research organizations. We truly welcome these varied experiences. Students benefit from the diversity in the cohort as each individual CV and experience enriches class debates.


The year-long program is structured around five core courses which teach the key tools that any researcher or practitioner needs. In addition to these core courses, students take at least three electives from any course offered by the graduate school that the students feel supplements their learning and development objectives. With the permission of the instructor, students can also take electives at any other Yale graduate school such as the School of Forestry, Yale Law School or the School of Management to truly tailor their program to their aspirations.

Collaboration with other programs

In addition to the regular IDE program, there are two joint degree options available to students: the joint IDE program with the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) and the joint IDE program with the School of Public Health. Application to the School of the Environment or to the School of Public Health may be made simultaneously with the application to the IDE program or within the first year of the IDE program. Students may also elect to stay on the program for a second year. In this second year students can take more electives to supplement their portfolio of skills. Students need to continue to pay tuition for this year and non-US citizens or non-greencard holders must also maintain their student status. It is possible to apply for the second year while being enrolled in IDE. About one third of IDE students enroll in Ph.D programs within the first two years after graduation.  The IDE program does not allow for an automatic progression to Yale’s Ph.D in Economics. Although IDE students have been accepted into Yale’s PhD programs, we encourage graduates who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics to consider other universities, too. Of course, students who desire to obtain a Ph.D. in Economics are encouraged to apply to the Ph.D. program offered by Yale’s Department of Economics.


After graduation, our non-US students are currently eligible for 12 months of OPT as well as an additional 24 months of STEM extension if they wish to work in the United States. Many of our students make use of this great opportunity. While several of the program’s graduates head to Ph.D programs in Economics or other related fields after finishing the IDE program, virtually all of them do so after a year or two of working for policy and research groups, such as J-PAL, IPA, EPoD, IDinsight, the World Bank or the IMF. Equally many graduates start their career at governmental or international organizations such as a Singaporean ministries, Bank of Japan or the UN. Many others start working in the private sector at consulting firms (McKinsey, Compass Lexecon) or in the finance sector (Nomura, Goldman Sachs).

female students with manicure that reads Y.A.L.E.