Program Structure

The Economics curriculum at NYU Abu Dhabi is designed to introduce students to these fundamental dynamics of human life and, in doing so, is grounded in three basic pedagogical principles:

  1. Undergraduate students must be exposed to the “big ideas” and pressing social issues of our world and given economic frameworks for thinking about them.
  2. Meaningful study of economics requires being able to think about problems from local, regional, and global perspectives.
  3. Effective economic reasoning increasingly involves a multi- disciplinary approach combining the best economic thinking with the best thinking in psychology, history, and politics.

Foundations of Social Science

Students come to NYUAD with a great diversity of backgrounds in terms of their grasp of societal development and globalization, with a vision that is often narrowed by regional foci of high school curricula. Foundations of Social Science (FSS) is designed to broaden and amplify students’ understandings of the world and global processes. Required and elective courses in each of the majors will be able to build on this foundation, thereby fostering intellectual growth. There are four components:

  • intellectual traditions in the social sciences
  • global development in historical perspective
  • quantitative reasoning and numeracy
  • gateway courses into the majors

Beyond their role in the programs, FSS courses are open to all students and will deliver high value to any student curious about the development of societies and social thought; the substance and skills students learn in these courses will be applicable across the liberal arts spectrum. They are designed to foster informed world citizenship.

Specializations and Tracks

Economics choose one of two specializations: Finance or Theory. Elective courses are organized into tracks:

  • Behavioral and Experimental
  • Data Science and Econometrics
  • Development and Economic History
  • Economic Theory
  • Entrepreneurship and Finance
  • Global Macroeconomics
  • Labor and Health Economics

Electives culminate into a track-specific Capstone Seminar.


Classes helped me to prepare for a job in a technical sense, while extracurricular activities taught me to work in a team more effectively by recognizing my strengths and areas for improvement, as well as develop my curiosity about various industries, geographies, and trends.

Paulius Urbonas, economics alumni, now working in the finance sector

Global Studies

In addition to providing its students with a rigorous theoretical foundation and methodological training in the study of human decision-making, considered in relation to the economic tasks of life, the NYUAD Economics program believes in the importance of pre-professional training as a preparation both for advanced study and global careers. Global Studies in Economics is designed to combine the study away opportunities for NYUAD students at the NYU campuses in the United States in New York or Washington, DC and at the NYU campus in Abu Dhabi with the experiential education and pre-professional opportunity for a paid internship in the United States over the summer.

Students apply in their sophomore year into our competitive application process, which looks at cumulative GPA, requires a presentation and academic plan, and the approval of the Program Head for Economics, the Dean of Social Sciences, and the Office of Global Education.

Earn Credit Toward Your Master of
Public Administration

NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers a dual-degree program that enables NYUAD Social Science students to earn the Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration in less time than it would take to complete the programs separately.

NYUAD students who major in Economics can accelerate progress on the master's degree during their undergraduate studies. How?

  1. Earn course credits (typically five courses) toward the Wagner MPA.
  2. Choose to get started on 280 hours of field experience required by Wagner.

Interested students usually apply to Wagner during their junior year at NYUAD, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.