Faculty of Economic Sciences

‘Master of Arts’ (M.A.) in Development Economics


The English-language Master of Arts in Development Economics is jointly offered by the Department of Economics (Faculty of Economic Sciences) and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences). It builds on the successful Master of Arts in International Economics and Master of Arts in Agribusiness; these programmes already had a strong specialization in development issues. This research-oriented master programme now offers a comprehensive four semester programme dedicated solely to the study of development economics issues.

General information

  • The Master's Programme in Development Economics is accredited (ZEvA Hanover).
  • Language: English
  • Standard period of study is four semesters.
  • Enrollment is possible every winter semester and summer semesters.



Application deadline

  • Application period for studies beginning in the winter semester: 1 April to 15 May of the same calendar year
  • Application period for studies beginning in the summer semester: 1 October to 15 November of the previous calendar year
  • An application to a Master's programme is already possible even if you have not completed your current programme of study at the time of application, but have acquired at least 150 credit points in a related bachelor's programme.
  • You can only apply during the application periods. If you wish to apply for the degree programme, you have to fill in the online application form, print it and finally send it together with all necessary documents by mail to the Service Centre for Students of the Faculty of Economic Sciences. You will find the online application form and more detailed information on the application and admission procedure by clicking on "Application and Admission" in the right hand column.

The application deadlines (see above) are also valid for international applicants and also international applicants have to fill in the online form. Please note that the application form is only available during the call for application periods!


Programme objective

The English-language Master of Arts in Development Economics is jointly offered by the Department of Economics (Faculty of Economic Sciences) and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences). This attractive master's programme offers a wide array of development relevant courses, a specialization in quantitative or agricultural economics, one semester stay abroad at one of our many partner universities around the globe or opportunities for field work in a developing country. All these features together with the concluding master's thesis will enable students to analyze current issues in development economics and prepare them for successful careers as development specialists in government agencies, supra-national or non-governmental organizations, research, and the private sector.


Selection procedures and criteria

The selection procedure takes place in two steps with a pre-selection of applicants based on their written application documents followed by a personal selection interview with some of the applicants.

The following points are evaluated in the pre-selection procedure:


  • final grade of the bachelor's degree (or the comparable university degree)
  • CV and letter of motivation (proof of special interest in development field)
  • sound knowledge of economic theory documented by a corresponding specialisation and performance in the programme, on which application is based.


Suitable candidates may be invited to a selection interview, if not already admitted based on their application material alone. This interview will be held online (skype) in case of international applicants. German residents will be scheduled during the so-called "application day" and have to appear in person. The admission committee will inform the applicants of the selection process results in writing.


Programme structure

The Master's Programme in Development Economics is four semesters in length during which 120 ECTS are to be completed. It is divided into the course phase and the master's thesis. There are three compulsory modules (18 credits) in development economics and one compulsory module in quantitative methods (6 credits). Students can then specialize in quantitative or agricultural economics, each requiring a further 12 credits (two modules) from a list of four pre-specified courses in the field of their specialization. Then students can choose another 36 credits (six modules) in development or agricultural economics from a wide variety of course offerings, of which one course (6 credits) has to be a seminar to be selected from a pre-specified list of currently 15 different seminars in the field of development or agricultural economics. Three modules can then be chosen freely also among other subjects (including language courses) and the master's thesis completes the programme (in practice compulsory, specialization, and elective modules will be taken simultaneously).


For an overview of the particular modules offered please click here.

German applicants and foreign citizens holding a German undergraduate degree must study abroad for one semester (or alternatively do field work abroad leading to their thesis). This semester can be spent at one of our numerous partner universities.
Students may apply for the following programmes:

  • Exchange programme with the Stellenbosch University, South Africa, funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) or with the University of Pretoria
  • Exchange programme with universities in Latin and South America (e.g. Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, El Salvador)
  • Exchange programme with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies
  • Exchange programme with universities in Asia and Australia (for example China - funded by the DAAD, India, Indonesia, and South Korea)
  • European Exchange Programme ERASMUS
  • or alternatively any other university abroad which is part of the University of Göttingen international network


For questions and/ or applications please contact the "Foreign Affairs" team of the Service Centre for Students.

The following description gives an overview of the structure of the Master's Programme in Development Economics:

Grafik Studienverlauf DevEcon 800px


Career perspectives

The degree in Development Economics will offer excellent career perspectives in a wide range of fields. Building on a track record of successful placement of students of our existing master's programmes, the opportunities for this programme include employment in:

  • government and aid agencies working on development issues,
  • international organizations such as the World Bank, organizations of the UN system (e.g. ILO, FAO, UNIDO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, etc.), the OECD, EU, or regional development banks,
  • policy research institutions such as those of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research as well as national and international development policy think tanks,
  • international business in multinational companies,
  • further education at the Ph.D. level in Göttingen or abroad.