Public Policy and Development (Applied Economics)

Bannière PPD
Program type Initial Training
Degree Master's
Domain(s) Humanities & social sciences
Discipline(s) Economics
Teaching language(s) French, English
Place Paris

PSL host school

Student Story

The Applied Economics (Public Policy and Development) Master’s degree is delivered by PSL or the EHESS or the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, with the support of PSE-Ecole d’économie de Paris. Created in 2008, the program is designed to face the rising demand for evaluation and expertise on public policies to evaluate public policies in both developed and developing countries.

Learning outcomes

The Master's program focuses on the acquisition of modern techniques for the analysis and evaluation of public policies, whether they are tools of economic theory or quantitative methods in the social sciences. The Master's degree focuses on economic analysis, but training also includes economic history, political science and more generally to all disciplines likely to help students understand and put into perspective the different kinds of public action and its tools. Public policy practitioners will share their practices.
The program combines classes with a traditional lecture format introducing students to methodological and conceptual frameworks of policy evaluation, individual and team projects (especially in the first year) and classes emphasizing policy applications over pure theory (concentrated in the second year). Most policy areas are covered following a thematic approach.


2-year course of study
First year (M1) focuses on deepening basic skills in quantitative methods, microeconomics, macroeconomics, political economy and economic history. Students also follow courses presenting social policies in developed and developing countries, as well as the challenges of globalization. The programme also includes a series of lectures by experts and policy makers. At the end of the year, students must complete a compulsory internship in an institution that manages the development or evaluation of public policies.
During the second year (M2), students can choose their course of study, which enables them to specialize. The curriculum allows them to choose from a wide range of courses covering social policies, global policies, economic history and quantitative methods. The writing of a research thesis, under the supervision of a researcher from the Paris School of Economics, is the culmination of the two-year Master's program.

- Read the Year 1 program
- Read the Year 2 program

Who can apply?

Students may apply if they own a Bachelor's degree in Humanities and Social Sciences with a strong focus on economics and a substantial background in mathematics. Students should be especially interested in the design, analysis and evaluation of public policies both in developing countries and in developed countries.

Career opportunities

After the Master's degree, graduates may pursue with doctoral studies in economics, or they can find positions in national administrations, international organizations, development agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private companies.

 Read the story of Mónica, a student in this Master's program


The Master's program is for students who hold a bachelor's degree in the social sciences with a strong focus on economics and a substantial background in mathematics

Pre-requisites for entering the M1:
A Bachelor’s degree in economics, with good knowledge of micro, macro and econometrics. We are very interested in applicants with a Bachelor in other fields, but you must show that you have the skills to take technical lectures in economics.

  • English proficiency: Non-native English speaker applicants must include in their application file a certificate of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, Cambridge ESOL) of C1 level. Applicants who have been trained in programs in English are exempted from this requirement. However, in this case, we need a letter from the administrative office of your university mentioning that the language of instruction for your courses was English. If you have studied in an Anglophone country, there is no need to prove any document related to the language. 
  • A strong level in mathematics: The required level of mathematics corresponds to appendices B and C of the book: “Introductory Econometrics” of J. Wooldridge. These appendices include some exercises that you are strongly advised to try before applying.
  • The M1 is very demanding: you will have many assignments, tutorials and projects each week. Be ready to work every day after class including most of the week-end and the holidays. There will be at most one-week revision break before the exams: you are expected to be able to organize yourself during the year and work for the exam while learning new materials and preparing your assignments.
  • Upon admission, you will be required to validate your knowledge in Statistics and Microeconomics using an online platform, Didask. This online platform provides tests and exercises meant to refresh your memory before school starts. This is not a course: you are assumed to know these notions already and work on a series of (sometimes tough) questions while referring to a textbook or a previous course. Please organize your summer break schedule accordingly.

Pre-requisites for entering the M2:
A few applicants can enter directly into the M2 year, if they have already taken and passed coursework that provides a level of preparation equivalent to that of Year 1 of the PPD Program (in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and public policy evaluation).

2024/25 Admission process and calendar

Students should complete the admission package.
Applications should be sent online on PSE's applications website between February 11 to March 11, 2024.

Tuition fees

243 euros for the academic year 2023-24 (all nationalities) + 100 euros of CVEC fees

School for registration: ENS - PSL
Degree issued: French Master’s degree delivered by Université PSL or EHESS or the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech

Mónica, student in the Public Policy and Development (Applied Economics) Master's program

"Our actions should enable us to break the vicious circle of poverty"

Mónica is a committed student of the Applied Economics master's degree at the ENS-PSL. She shares with us her career path and the subjects that drive her, first of all the fight against social inequalities.

Read her story

More PSL student stories


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