Study Plan

Semester Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours 




First Semester

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English for Economics
0 Credit Hours
MDE602Internship3 Credit Hours 
MDE610Economic Development: Theories & Practices3 Credit Hours 
MDE611Empirical Methods in Development3 Credit Hours 
MDE612Macroeconomic Theories and Practice3 Credit Hours 



Second Semester

MDE614Research Methods in Development3 Credit Hours 
MDE616Microeconomic Theory 3 Credit Hours 
MDEXXXElective Course from The Program3 Credit Hours 
Elective Course from The Program 3 Credit Hours 

Third Semester

MDE613Economics of Labor and Human Capital 3 Credit Hours 
Political Economy: Institutions & Development Issues

3 Credit Hours  

MDEXXXElective Course from The Program3 Credit Hours 
MDEXXXElective Course from The Program 3 Credit Hours 



Fourth Semester  

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MDE698Capstone Research3 Credit Hours 
XXX XXXFree Elective Course 3 Credit Hours 
MDE699Master Dissertation in Development Economics6 Credit Hours 
Total Cr. H  
42 Credit Hours 


 Elective Courses

MDE 621 - Introduction to Development Practice by International Organizations

International development organizations often differ by area of expertise, mission, and type. They are classified by what they do and how they do it. They can be either donor organizations, advocacy organization, and implementer organization. Nonetheless, they serve basic functions, which are common to all: they look after the disadvantaged (the poor, women, and children) and promote development agenda. This course will review development practices by international organizations from a political economy viewpoint. Which interest do they serve and are they effective?

MDE 624 - International Trade Theories and policies

The aim of this course is to equip students with sufficient training in international trade theories to examine the causes and consequences of international trade and the implications of trade policies. This course is divided into three parts. The first part will cover the leading theories of international trade, including the classical international trade theories and the new trade theories. The second part deals with the macro and micro consequences of trade policies and the political economy of international trade. The third part focuses on the empirics of international trade, especially the bilateral trade flows in the MENA region.

MDE 626 - Economic integration and Development in the ME

This course examines the causes and consequences of the low Intra-MENA trade. The course is divided into three major parts: In the first part, we study the latest theoretical and empirical advances in measuring economic integration, including gravity models. In the second part, we study and assess the economic integration in Middle East by applying the various measures of economic integration taking into consideration migration and capital flows across Middle East countries. The third part, investigates the impediments of economic integration in the region and the potential welfare gains from advancing intra-MENA trade and migration.

MDE 634 – History of Economic Thought

This is a course that is offered infrequently and is basically designed to cover contemporary issues not covered by the programs regular courses. The special topic will be taught by academics and/or practitioners covering topics that vary from time to time.

MDE 635 - Environmental Sustainability and Energy Policy in the Middle East

The course focuses on two major and interrelated themes: the environment and energy. We will focus on several key topics: the depletion of natural resources and the increasingly aggressive search for their replacement; the quest for oil and the divide between oil-rich ME countries and resource-poor countries; we will spend some time reading and discussing one of the most intractable problems, that of global climate change and its impact on the MENA region; the challenges associated with fossil fuels, particularly coal, and the production of electricity; the promise, demise, and resuscitation of nuclear power; sustainable energy sources—geothermal, wind, solar; water resources and sustainability (scarcity, salinity, desertification, soil degradation…etc.), global and regional institutions and policymaking; environmental governance in the MENA region; finally, we will look toward future decades to see what challenges global and regional policymakers will face especially in meeting the challenges of the SDGs.

MDE 636 - Special topics in Development Economics

This is a course that is offered infrequently and is basically designed to cover contemporary issues not covered by the programs regular courses. The special topic will be taught by academics and/or practitioners covering topics that vary from time to time.

MDE 641 – Behavioral Economics: Development and International Institutions

The new field of behavioral economics is the intersection of economics, in particular self-interested rational choice, and psychology, in particular the emotions and ethical concerns of choice. The unifying theme is the role of "rationality" with respect to decision making of everyday decision makers who are the subject of i) temptations (weakness of will), ii) the power of habits and heuristics; iii) perspectives, framing, and dogmatic beliefs; iv) intrinsic motivation. The course draws implications for institutions, development and environmental economics.

MDE 646 - Economic development of the ME

Economic Development of the Middle East explores in detail the current and historical state of economic development in the region from 1800 to the present day. The course will provide an understanding of the different development issues faced by Middle Eastern economies with an emphasis on issues of economic growth, poverty and inequality. Students will study current literature and economic data related to the economies of region. The course will also build the students ability to critically analyze and propose policy solution to development issues.

 Core Courses

MDE 002 – English for Economists

This course aims at enhancing the students understanding, reading, writing, and speaking content-specific skills. The content is specialized English language in economics. Thus, the evaluation criteria will be goal oriented; i.e comprehension, writing and presentations. The readings may vary and cover different fields within economics.

MDE 698- Capstone Research

The capstone seminar is a platform for students to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge in development economics. The outcome of the seminar can be a case study or a research paper, which is subjected to multiple hand-ins and feedback; the topic is open to the students and instructor to determine. The seminar may also include several presentations throughout the semester to report on progress and get feedback.

MDE 699 – Master Dissertaion in Development Economics

The Capstone Thesis course offers the required training to choose, analyze, and recommend solutions to issues that pertain to economic development particularly in the MENA region. It also provides the students with deep knowledge in their concentration or area of interest to increase their potential for better labor market opportunities. Applications in the master's thesis track can be in any of the fields of development and /or area of interest

MDE 602 Development Economics Internship

This course gives students credit for supervised work in a public, quasi-public, or not-for profit organizations. It may include more than one placement, but the total of all placements should amount to a minimum of 300 hours of work experience. It should be undertaken after the completion of at least half of the compulsory courses in the program.

MDE 610 – Economic Development: Theories & Practices

This course studies the different theories that underline the economic development paradigm. The course begins by offering a historical overview of economic development under different contexts, highlighting the importance of inclusiveness, gender participation and human rights…etc. Students will gain insights into the various theories regarding the role of the state and the market, from Keynes to neoliberalism. Students will also learn how developing countries can achieve development, through which mechanisms and policies and under what horizon. This course finally will review international experiences with a focus on Arab countries and will present each case according to the theoretical typology defined along this course.

MDE 611- Empirical Methods in Development

This is a basic course in applied econometrics, it begins with an introduction to probability theory to provide a foundation for inferential statistics. Then the course covers applications of the simple regression model and incorporates issues such as prediction, functional forms, and units of measurement. The course also covers applications of the multiple regression model, testing linear restrictions and model selection. Finally, the course concludes with an introduction to simultaneous equation modeling and its applications in development.

MDE 612 – Macroeconomic Theories and Practice

This course provides in-depth analysis of modern macroeconomic theories and policy applications. Topics include: introduction to growth theories, business cycles, consumption and saving, unemployment, and stability policies. A substantial part of this course will deal with the intriguing intersection between macroeconomic performance and the developments of financial system. By the end of this course, students should have a firm understanding of the working fundamentals of the macro-economy and be able to assess the current macroeconomic policy debate.

MDE 613- Economics of Labor and Human Capital

The economics of labor markets are key to the study of development. As such, this course will cover both theoretical aspects of labor markets (such as supply and demand for labor, wages, inequality, migration, productivity, trade, and unions and collective bargaining) and labor market empirics. The labor market frictions and its implications for developing countries are used to analyze the phenomenon and suggest policy recommendations. Of particular interest is the discussion on the evolution of the economic structure and status of employment, employment and poverty, informality, education and the labor market, and labor market institutions.

MDE 614 – Research Methods

This course will offer technical tools to conduct a research project in specific research development projects where students will be required to collect data, review literature and use models. The course trains students in understanding development problems, conducting fieldwork, recognizing the problems faced in collecting data, and running econometric specifications. The course also focuses on policies that should be addressed to achieve greater development and how fiscal governance in particular will affect development outcomes. During this course, students are expected to develop a research proposal that will form the basis of their capstone seminar or thesis.

MDE 615 – Political Economy: Institutions and Development Issues

Institutions and Development Issues. The idea that institutions play an important role in economic development has been gaining momentum in the last few decades. The multidisciplinary nature of this role will be the underlying theme of this course, involving economics, public administration, political science, and history. The possibility that development has a feedback mechanism on institutional building will be explored. The course will review theoretical aspects of institutional development and its interplay with growth. It will also offer analysis of country experiences to draw conclusions and policy implications.

MDE 616 – Microeconomic Theory

This course aims to equip the students with analytical tools to analyze decision making, on one hand, and the market equilibrium, on the other. It covers the theory of consumer choice, including applications to income-leisure choice and intertemporal consumption; isoquant theory of production; allocative efficiency and competition and monopoly; models of monopolistic competition and oligopoly; input pricing; microeconomic policies to address problems of market failure.