Joint Programs

The Joint International and Development Economics/Forestry & Environmental Studies Master’s Degree Program

Natural resources are important to the economic development process. Forests, water, minerals, and hydrocarbons comprise the inputs to basic industries. Without careful management, the by-products of development can despoil local environments with consequent costs to public health, life quality, and further development itself. Natural resources and environmental concerns also play an increasingly important role in the relationships among developing and economically advanced nations.

In 1984, the faculties of the Economics Department and of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies recognized the value of integrating instruction in economic development and in natural resources and formalized a degree program that, in two and one-half years, leads to both the Master of Arts degree in Economics and one of four degrees from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (Master’s of Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Forestry, or Forest Science) The program is designed for individuals who envision careers whose central missions relate natural resource or environmental issues to economic development or trade

Program of Study

The joint IDE/F&ES program requires a minimum of two and one-half years in residence and the successful completion of 20 courses. Students in the joint program must complete all requirements of the IDE program in the two and one-half year period. The F&ES component of the program requires eight core and four elective courses, which are designed to develop a broad multidisciplinary foundation for problem solving. Students will choose an advanced study area and will be required to complete courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and quantitative methods, along with an independent study course.  The nine advanced study areas include: Ecology, Ecosystems & Biodiversity; Environment, Health & Policy; Forestry, Forest Science & Management; Global Change Science & Policy; Industrial Environmental Management; Policy, Economics & Law; the Social Ecology of Conservation & Development; Urban Ecology & Environmental Design; and Water Science, Policy & Management.

Linkage of the summer internship (between the first and second residence years) and the independent project is desirable but not required. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss potential independent projects with their advisor(s) during their first year in residence in F&ES. With sufficient planning, the independent project can be completed in absentia.

Finally, joint IDE/F&ES students are required to complete the three-week technical skills training module prior to beginning at F&ES.  These modules are offered every August and cover plant identification, ecosystems management, land measurement, and urban ecosystem analysis.


Students may enter the joint IDE/F&ES program by two alternate routes. Applicants may apply to both the Graduate School and to the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at the same time and state their intention to pursue a joint degree, or they may apply to one school before the end of their first year of study at the other. In either case, application is made separately to the two schools, and each school makes its own admission decisions. Applicants will be admitted only at the beginning of the fall term except for those applying after one term of residence.

The Joint International and Development Economics/School of Public Health Master’s Degree Program

In recognition of the increasing relationship between international development and public health issues, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the International and Development Economics Program (IDE) in the Department of Economics offer a joint degree program in public health and international development. This program is especially oriented to individuals who plan careers in international health and economic development.

The joint degree program normally requires two and one half years of study.  Successful candidates are awarded the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and the Master of Arts (MA) degree at the conclusion of the two and one half year period.  A joint degree student will pay tuition to YSPH for three semesters and to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for two semesters.  

A joint degree is more than simply a list of courses taken at both Schools.  It is an integrated educational program which is designed to achieve a combination of the two programs in a way that is complementary to both while protecting the integrity of each separate program.  The DGS in International and Development Economics and the Dean of Student Affairs at YSPH will consult regularly to review the progress of students in the joint program.


 Admissions decisions are made independently by YSPH and the Yale Graduate School.  Students may apply to both schools at the same time, or they may apply to one school during their first academic year at the other.  Applicants who apply simultaneously must indicate that they are doing so on each application. Students who are already enrolled in one of the programs must inform both programs of their intention to apply to become joint degree students.  Students who are enrolled in IDE and wish to apply to YSPH must talk to the Director of Graduate Studies in International and Development Economics.  Students who are enrolled in YSPH and wish to apply to IDE should see the Dean of Student Affairs at YSPH.  Students must formally apply and be accepted into both the YSPH and IDE programs before enrolling as joint degree students.


The normal pattern for joint degree candidates is to spend the entire first year almost exclusively in one program and the entire second year almost exclusively in the other.  In the fifth semester, students combine international development and public health courses. The two schools have made accommodations in order to make possible the completion of the joint courses of study in five semesters without burdening students with extraordinary course loads in any term. 

Course planning for joint degree candidates should be carried out in consultation with the appropriate educational officers at YSPH and the Graduate School, and must satisfy the following general requirements:

 The Epidemiology and Public Health Component

Joint degree candidates must complete all of the normal departmental required courses as described in theYale School of Public Health Bulletin.   All students must complete a set of core courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy, and social and behavioral sciences.  Students must also complete all required courses in the division of their concentration and the internship and thesis requirements. Students in any of the YSPH academic specializations are eligible for the joint degree program. 

The following exceptions to the standard YSPH curriculum apply to joint degree students:  

The total number of YSPH course units for the joint degree is reduced from 20 to 15.  (If a student obtains a waiver for a required course, an elective must be substituted; an exemption does not reduce the total number of required course units below 15.)  The YSPH Committee on Academic Progress reviews each student’s progress toward the YSPH component of the joint degree. 

The IDE Component

Joint degree candidates must complete all of the normal requirements for the IDE program as stated in the program guide.  They are only required to complete eight courses. 

The IDE required courses are:

Econ 545 - Economic Analysis - Microeconomics

Econ 546 - Economic Analysis - Macroeconomics

Econ 558 - Statistics and Econometrics

Econ 559 - Development Econometrics

Econ 591 - Economics of Poverty Alleviation

Econ 732 - Advanced Economic Development

Graduate School academic regulations and degree requirements apply to the courses completed to meet IDE requirements.  This includes the quality requirement: a minimum of an average grade of High Pass with at least one term grade of Honors. 


A joint degree student will have a transcript at YSPH and a transcript at the Graduate School.  The YSPH transcript will list the 15 course units required for the MPH degree; the Graduate School transcript will list the eight courses required for IDE portion of the joint degree.  Each course taken may only be counted toward one degree.   

Joint and Separate Governance

The Graduate School, the International and Development Economics Program, and the Yale School of Public Health shall share information on each joint student’s status.  Information to be shared includes registration status, course enrollments and grades, disciplinary actions, and any other information that is normally a part of a student’s record.  In addition, the academic officers of the two programs may share other information that they believe to be relevant to understanding a student’s overall performance. 

YSPH and the International Development and Economics Program shall separately apply their rules governing a student’s academic performance.  In applying their standards, either program may consider the student’s performance in all of his or her course work.  A student whose performance does not meet the standards of one school may be recommended or required to withdraw or may be dismissed from that school.  Withdrawal or dismissal on academic grounds does not automatically require dismissal or withdrawal from the other school. 

The Graduate School and YSPH shall jointly apply their rules governing a student’s conduct.  A charge of academic dishonesty in a course shall normally be handled by the school in which the course is offered.  If the course is jointly offered by IDE and YSPH, or offered by another department, school, or program at Yale, the charge shall normally be handled by the school granting credit for that course. 

A charge of general misconduct not related to a particular course or to an event in one of the schools shall normally be handled by the program in which the student is currently registered.  Jurisdiction of any case may be transferred if the disciplinary officials or committees of both schools agree.  The final determination of fact, and any penalty, shall be communicated to the appropriate officials of both schools.  A penalty of suspension, expulsion, or loss of course credit shall apply to both schools.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Joint degree candidates will owe three terms’ tuition to YSPH and two terms’ tuition to the Graduate School.  Students requesting financial aid during a particular semester must make arrangements with the school charging tuition during that semester.  Tuition, fees, and financial aid policies may differ between the two schools. The Graduate School does not provide financial assistance to students in the IDE program.  Students should consult the financial aid officers in each school for a description of their respective policies.

Withdrawal from the Joint IDE/Public Health Program

Occasionally, a student in the second year of a joint degree program wishes to complete only one of the two degrees for which he or she has enrolled. In this event, the student must submit a request in writing to the DGS for the IDE program and the Dean of Student Affairs at YSPH. The request must include a plan for completion of the single degree. 

The DGS and Dean of Student Affairs will review the request. If a student wishes to transfer courses from the program to be dropped, he/she will also be advised as to whether the plan for completing the single degree program is satisfactory. When a student’s request to transfer credit has been accepted, tuition payment will be reviewed. If the per-term tuition charge in the program to be completed is greater than the per-term tuition charge in the program to be dropped, the student will be obliged to pay the difference. It is possible that a student will have to enroll for an additional semester (or two) in order to satisfactorily complete the single program.