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Description of Economics of Public Policy

National-level finance and planning involves big numbers: pensions, health systems, income support, social programs, and so forth. Successful public policies can make all the difference for the lives of millions of individuals, with numbers and effects become much larger for developed countries and faster growing in developing ones.

Students will be drilled in commanding advanced empirical public policy evaluation tools, and will be ready to use these tools in practice.

Students will be exposed to the views of experts from fields other than Economics in order to build an appreciation for the multidisciplinary nature of public policy design and evaluation. A master's advisor will guide each student in completing an independent master's project by the end of the program, allowing specialization in a policy topic of the student's choice.

Our graduates will be prepared to take on analytical positions at public institutions, international organizations, consulting firms, research institutions, and think tanks.

Graduates will also be well-prepared to pursue advanced post-graduate study of Policy or Economics.

Skills acquired in this master program

  • A rigorous understanding of economic theory behind the design and evaluation of public policies.
  • Ability to apply state-of-the-art empirical tools to evaluate public policies.
  • An understanding of institutional frameworks in which public policies are designed and implemented.
  • Ability to write technical and non-technical reports on public policy.

Who will benefit from this program?

  • Graduates from business administration, economics and other social sciences (demography, political sciences, sociology) with a quantitative background.
  • Professionals from governmental and nongovernmental institutions who want to upgrade their skills.
  • Aspiring PhD students who want to build a solid foundation.

Potential employers of program graduates include:

  • Public Institutions
  • Non-government Organizations (NGOs)
  • International Organizations
  • Consulting Firms

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline Non EU: June 25th
Tuition fee
  • EUR 16000 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 16000 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016 - Applications open for 2016-17 programs: November 15, 2015 - First round applications: November 15 - January 15
Credits (ECTS) 60 ECTS

The degree requires the successful completion of 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits of graduate courses (6 credits are equivalent to a 40 hour course).

Duration full-time 9 months
Partnership Joint
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis awarded jointly by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


The Master program is a full-time nine-month program structured in three terms: Fall term (from September to December), Winter term (from January to March) and Spring term (from April to June). For more information, please download the academic calendar.

Students are strongly advised to take the Math and Statistics review course offered in September.


The degree requires the successful completion of 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits of graduate courses (6 credits are equivalent to a 40 hour course).


The academic performance of each student is reviewed regularly. Attention is given to the maintenance of normal academic progress, through a combination of formal written examinations and coursework. All courses will award grades.


The Economics of Public Policy Program is located on two campuses. Master courses in the fall and spring terms are taught at the Ciutadella campus of Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (UPF) and the Bellaterra Campus of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). All courses in the winter term are held at the Bellaterra (UAB) campus location.

Both campus locations are connected to Barcelona's city center through public transportation (35 minutes from UAB station in Bellaterra Campus to the heart of the city at Plaza Catalunya, 12 minutes from Ciutadella campus to Plaza Catalunya). Students can take advantage of a wide array of services and activities offered by both the UPF and the UAB.

Requirements for Economics of Public Policy

There are two main application requirements for master programs at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics:

  1. Undergraduate/bachelor/grado/laurea, or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university (for Bologna degrees, a minimum of 180 ECTS are required)
  2. Advanced level of English language skills

However, possession of the minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee that you will be offered admission.

There are four main areas considered for admission:

  • Academic preparation
  • English language requirement
  • Quantitative skills (GRE/GMAT)
  • Reference letters

Academic Preparation:

Applicants must have:

  • Undergraduate/bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university **
  • Outstanding academic record
  • Most common undergraduate degrees: Economics, Finance, Engineering, Sciences, Mathematics.

English Language Requirement:

All Barcelona GSE master programs are taught entirely in English. Applicants must have an advanced level of English to follow the program.

Quantitative Skills:

All Barcelona GSE programs require good or advanced quantitative skills.


Applicants have the option to provide GRE/GMAT test scores to demonstrate proficient quantitative skills.

Applicants who have taken the GMAT are welcome to submit their exam scores, but should note that the GRE is preferred by the admissions committee. Normally, scores in the 80th percentile or above in the quantitative section are considered to be good scores.

While it is not compulsory to include scores with the application, good scores will be positively valued by the admissions committee and could be a decisive factor in those cases in which the application does not contain enough information to determine the candidate's potential for academic success in the master program.

  • GRE code: 2531
  • GMAT code: Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management(the same code used by Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

You are responsible for uploading GRE or GMAT scores to your application. You can enter the application form at any stage of the application process and upload scores to the system. You may also update your scores by uploading new scores to replace the document you uploaded previously.

Letters of Reference:

The two letters of reference are an extremely important element in the application package. The Admissions Committees normally prefer letters from Faculty members. If you cannot provide two faculty referees, you may include a professional referee instead.

Your referees will upload their letters directly to the online system on your behalf. You will include email contact information for your referees when you submit your application. Once you submit your application, your referees will receive an email containing instructions and a link for submitting letters via the online system.

Please note that your application will not be reviewed until the Barcelona GSE has received your letters of reference from your referees.

Work Experience for Economics of Public Policy

No work experience is required.

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Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Spain

Spain Graduate education at the Barcelona GSE rests upon two renowned international doctoral programs in economics: the Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management (GPEFM) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and the International Doctorate in Economic Analysis (IDEA) at Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona (UAB). Many of the PhD students in GPEFM and IDEA are graduates of the Barcelona GSE master's programs. They participate actively in all Barcelona GSE research activities.

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