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Principles of Economics

Gain a firm grasp of the theories and tools of economics, finance, and the functioning of the international economic system.

The 9-week Principles of Economics (PoE) is a non-credit course that covers introductory micro- and macroeconomics and can be used to complete the school's two-year Master of Arts in International Relations economics admissions requirement. It can also be taken as a prerequisite to take the school’s International Economics courses.

The PoE course is organized into weekly modules with each lecture recorded on a virtual whiteboard. Each weekly module contains lectures, a problem set, a practice quiz, and a short graded quiz. Students are required to submit assignments on a weekly basis. A typical week in the PoE course will involve the following:

  • A set of 6-8 video lectures, averaging 10-12 minutes in length
  • Textbook readings selected to support and supplement the lectures
  • Practice on both short-answer quizzes and more substantive conceptual problems
  • A final assessment for each module


Summer 2024 OPE Dates

Course is open to incoming SAIS MAIR and MAIA students only. Admitted students who have not completed the economics admissions requirement will be auto-enrolled in the course. (Admitted MA in Sustainable Energy students should enroll in the Economics Basics course offered through their program.)

  • Course dates: June 3 to August 4, 2024

Students must receive a B- or higher in Principles of Economics in order to meet the requirements for the MAIR and MAIA degree programs. This is a prerequisite for International Economics I and International Economics II (or Essentials).