Master of International Economics and Finance

Known for International Economics
Connections for Life
Prepare to Lead
Learn from International Economics Experts

Timothy Geithner, former U.S. Treasury secretary and 1985 SAIS graduate, delivered the 2012 commencement address on May 24.

Our unique cohort structure and small class sizes foster a strong sense of community amongst MIEF students.

Rigorous training in international economics provides MIEF students with the analytical tools critical to addressing today's complex global issues.

SAIS faculty have a passion for teaching and are acclaimed for their accessibility, research and expertise.

Study with World-Class Thinkers
Gain a Career Building Edge
Current Student Profile
MIEF Candidates 2015-16
Academic Timeline
Skills Workshops
Capstone Course
Cost of Attendance
Contact Us

Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance

MIEF Brochure  MIEF Calendar  MIEF FAQs  MIEF Presentation

This challenging 11-month, full-time master's degree program is offered at the SAIS Washington, DC campus. The Master of International Economics and Finance (MIEF) positions early-career professionals to excel in rigorous economic and financial analysis roles. The curriculum prepares students to understand advanced economic theories, master professional quantitative and econometrics skills, and assess a wide range of international economic and financial scenarios. Students in this cohort-based program take courses together that increase in complexity throughout the year.

Study with World-Class Thinkers


The Students

The SAIS student body represents approximately 75 nations, promoting a diversity that lends richness and vitality to academic life.

The Faculty

SAIS faculty have a passion for teaching and are acclaimed for their accessibility and expertise. Students in the MIEF program are given tremendous opportunity to engage and interact one-on-one with world renowned experts in the International Economics program.

Recent Speakers

  • Timothy Geithner, Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury (SAIS Class of 1985)
  • John Lipsky, Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
  • Carmen Reinhart, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Gain a Career-Building Edge

Economics knowledge, analytical abilities and the capacity to apply economic analysis to real-world problems give our students a distinct professional advantage. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in international finance, public policy, economic development, or research, the MIEF program provides students with a firm grasp of the theory and tools of international economics and finance.


Career Services

Students in the MIEF program work with faculty in the International Economics department and Career Services professionals to help them explore careers and set goals and develop a network of professional contacts. This is accomplished through:

  • Group and individual assessments and counseling to help students develop focused career goals
  • Job-hunting workshops and employment fairs 
  • Professional skills courses designed to strengthen specific professional skills, such as presentation techniques and consulting skills 

A Global Alumni Community

As a SAIS graduate, you will join a 18,000-strong lifetime community of friends and colleagues around the world. Our accomplished alumni are leaders in government, business, journalism, nonprofit groups and multilateral organizations in more than 140 countries.


Common Paths

Students graduating from MIEF often pursue careers in:

Private Sector Public Policy Sector Research
Banks Central Banks Further Graduate Studies
Commercial Investing Finance Ministries
Consulting Firms Multinational International Financial Institutions Think Tanks
Development Banks Trade Ministries

Student Profile 2015-16

  • Number of Incoming Students
  • Average Age
  • Average Years of Work Experience
  • Countries Represented
  • Male/Female's %
45%(M), 54%(F)
  • Non-U.S. %
  • U.S. Minority
  • GPA (middle 50% range)
  • GRE Verbal (middle 50% range)

154-160 (61- 84 percentile)

  • GRE Quantitative (middle 50% range)

159-167 (74-94 percentile) 

  • GMAT Verbal (middle 50% range)
  • GMAT Quantitative (middle 50% range)
  • TOEFL (middle % range)

Khaled Al Masri

Interests: Macroeconomics, exchange rates, and commodities

Samyukta Balsubramani

Interests: Central Banking, macroeconomy and macroeconomic research 
(in developed and frontier markets), and focus on Asia-Pacific

Rongrui Bi

Interests: Risk modeling, applied econometrics, investment analysis, 
assest-backed securities, consulting
Dongxiao Cai
Shiyuan Chen
Kunxiang Diao
Siyi Ding
Jonathan Fortun Vargas
Dayuan Fu
Franco Gomes Ortiz
Meghan Greene

Interests: International trade, regional trade agreements, economic
intregration policy, open-economy macroeconomics, econometrics,
political economy, Latin America
Shaoyu Guo
Tunc Gursoy
Nana Esi Botsewa Hammah

Interests: Multilateral organizations, development economics, emerging
and frontier markets, trade and development, Sino-Africa relations, trade
and regional integration, development financing, industrial organization, 
antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, private sector development, and
political economy
Diliu He

Interests: International finance and consulting
Sebastian Herrador

Interests: International economic policy analysis, multilateral organizations
Arif Hoti

Interests: International macroeconomics, international finance, monetary
policy, and development economics
Ziyi Huang

Interests: Macroeconmics and Finance (corporate finance, financial
derivatives; investment banking (capital structure, M&A, credit risk), 
management consulting
Ni Li

Interests: Corporate finance, stock markets
Sibo Liu

Interests: Actuarial science, risk management, quantitative analysis, 
accounting, applied econometrics, financial modeling
David Longstaff

Interests: Finance for development, soveriegn debt, debt restructuring
(particularly in Latin America), international finance, trade theory and 
policy, emerging markets, political economy, multilateral development
cooperation and strategy, economic growth, sustainable development,
and poverty reduction
Joyu Mo

Interests: Trade policy, international trade, developing economies, and
development in China
Medha Nair
Ziheng Peng
Charles Plambeck

Interests: Economic development, international finance, behavioral
economics and game theory, international relations, political economy 
Marguerite Tall

Interests: Investment management, investment banking, private equity, 
consulting, impact investing, research, private sector development, DFIs,
frontier and emerging markets, Sub Saharan Africa
Natasha Verma

Interests: Public-Private Partnerships in developing countries,
microfinance, international trade, emerging markets, trade policy
Zihao Wang
Yiran Xin
Jinghan Xu

Interests: International trade and development, strategy and decision-
making, industry analysis and management, economic development
Yi Xue

Interests: International trade, political economy, corporate finance
Yizi Zhang

Interests: International finance, econometric modeling, mulitilateral
financial institutions
Huiyuan Zhao

Interests: International economics, monetary policy, financial markets, 
emerging markets, corporate finance
Yiyun Zhu

Interests: Financial decision-making, corporate finance, private sector
Jillian Zirnhelt


The MIEF degree provides you with a rigorous curriculum that is designed to meet your professional and personal goals. The MIEF degree is conferred upon successfully completing fourteen courses totaling 54 credit hours. In designing your academic plan, you are required to take the core MIEF courses, but you also choose a combination of International Economics electives.

The MIEF program has fourteen required courses, including three quantitative methods courses, three economics electives, skills workshops and the capstone course.

The MIEF program begins with a six-week summer term starting in mid-July, the MIEF then follows the regular fall and spring semesters at SAIS with the addition of a January intersession and capstone course. 




Summer Term

Quantitative Methods I

6 weeks
Fall  Quantitative Methods II* 
International Finance
International Trade
Financial Decision-Making
Economic Development
Applied Research Project**
14 weeks
January Intersession Skills Workshops
2 weeks
Spring Quantitative Methods III
Economics Elective
Economics Elective
Economics Elective
13 weeks
Capstone Policy of Research Project

*Quantitative Methods II meets the first 7 weeks of the Fall semester.
** Applied Research Project meets the second 7 weeks of the Fall semester. 

Academic Timeline 2016-17

For PDF of Academic Timeline, click here.

Sample Electives

Advanced Topics in Trade Game Theory Multinational Corporate Finance
Competition in Network Industries Global Macro Modeling Open-Economy Macroeconomics
Financial Derivatives International Financial Markets Public Finance Cost Benefit Analysis
Global Investment Management Microeconomics of Development Topics in Growth and Development

*Courses subject to change.

Intersession Skills Workshops

  • Skills Workshop 1: Econometric Modeling
    This workshops will hold sessions on EViews, MATLAB, PcGive, and R
  • Skills Workshop 2: Macro Measurement
    This course reviews the measuring methodology of several concepts that are widely used in macroeconomics
  • Skills Workshop 3: Project Finance and Financial Modeling
    This workshop will give an overview of project finance and fundamentals of financial modeling for project finance  

Capstone Course

Teams of students apply the knowledge, skills and tools they have learned in the MIEF program to address an international economics issue impacting the public, private or nonprofit sector. Teams present their findings in a detailed presentation to fellow classmates, faculty and outside professionals in mid-June. Examples of topics include current account sustainability, exchange rate exposure, investment case studies, studies on financial markets and growth and debt sustainability studies.

Professional Skills Development

At SAIS, we encourage you to focus on your professional development by seeking opportunities that will help you achieve your objectives. By taking our Professional Development Skills courses and participating in career-related internships during your time at SAIS, you can gain necessary skills and experience to make a successful transition to your chosen area of employment upon graduation.

Skill Development


Many of SAIS's academic programs and research centers host seminar series throughout the school year. Various topics are explored through lectures and presentations made by a wide array of experts, policymakers and scholars in the field.

Student Organizations

SAIS students are very active and involved in many student-led organizations. Students in the MIEF program are welcome to participate in all student organizations.

Prior to Attending


Given the intensive 11-month nature of the MIEF program, it is preferred that candidates have an undergraduate degree in economics or a related field with strong analytic skills. Qualifications for application may include the following:

  • B.A. or B.S. in Economics or Political Economy from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent international credential with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (especially in economics courses).
  • B.S. or B.A. in a natural science or an equivalent technical area from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent international credential with a GPA of 3.0 or higher AND successful coursework in basic economics (microeconomics and macroeconomics) AND at least one upper level economics course; preferably econometrics.
  • A solid academic background in quantitative courses including coursework in calculus statistics and/or econometrics.  This may be at either the college level or the high school level, via AP courses with test score of 4 or higher.
  • GRE Quantitative score of 157 or higher.

Non-Native Speakers of English

All non-native speakers of English must have proven English competence by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score (see the Admissions page for more information). The TOEFL/IELTS exam requirement may be waived for individuals who have done their undergraduate degree in English in a country where English is an official language.

Any admitted candidate that scores between 100-109 on the TOEFL will be required to take the supplemental English language course in the first MIEF Summer Term.


For Non-U.S. Students

Most non-U.S. students at SAIS enter the United States using either F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visas–student category. Since a student’s academic career can span several years, we encourage you to keep copies of all immigration-related documents related to your stay. This includes copies of your passport, I-20s, DS-2019s, as well as any applications and correspondence submitted to the government for immigration-related benefits, etc.

Estimated Cost of Attendance*

Tuition and Other Mandatory Expenses

  • Full Time Tuition $60,000**
  • Cafeteria Fee $200
  • Matriculation Fee $500
  • Health Insurance $2,000

Additional Expenses

  • Room $18,626
  • Board $5,500
  • Books and Supplies $1,500
  • Travel Allowance $1,220
  • Personal Expenses $3,670
  • Direct Loan Fees $1,200***

(The section above includes additional costs that students may incur outside of the mandatory program tuition and fees.)

*Based on 11 month calendar
**Subject to change. Tuition will be finalized by the Board of Trustees in May 2015.
***Estimated based on Average debt at SAIS from the 2014-2015 academic year. Loan fees will vary
    based on the amount that you borrow from year to year


Washington, D.C.

Kelley Kornell
Graduate Degree Manager
Master of International Economics and Finance
1717 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
+1 (202) 663-5790