Virginia Tech is partnering with one of India’s leading universities to develop a dual degree master’s program in economics. This program, the first of its kind in India, will allow students to earn two master’s degrees in two years from universities in two countries.

The program was developed through a partnership with Mumbai-based NMIMS, formerly called Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, by Virginia Tech's College of Science and Outreach and International Affairs. Students will complete their first year at NMIMS. Then, they will complete their second year at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. Upon graduation, students will receive an Master of Science in economics from NMIMS and a Master of Arts in economics from Virginia Tech. 

Sudipta Sarangi, the head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Economics, said NMIMS is one of the leading business schools in India. “This dual degree master’s program is designed to play to the strengths of both institutions. Students will cover the foundation courses at the master’s level in India and take a whole host of electives, like Big Data Economics, Game Theory, and Behavioral Economics, when they arrive at Virginia Tech,” he said. “This will provide cost-effective education to students and also train them well for the global workforce.”

Because economics graduates are in demand in many industries, the curriculum is designed to encompass a wide variety of problem-solving skills. Through close collaboration, Virginia Tech and NMIMS faculty members filled the curriculum with unique electives that will prepare students to use mathematical models and interpret statistical evidence to solve complex problems. Students also will get a deep dive into economic theory and hands-on practice building and testing economic models.

The dual degree program follows a similar integrated degree program between NMIMS and the Pamplin College of Business. That interdisciplinary program allows students to earn three degrees in the rapidly growing fields of business analytics and cybersecurity.

Amita Vaidya, director of the Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics at NMIMS, said that in India “graduates coming from a reputed university are needed and very much in demand. Furthermore, international exposure can give students an added advantage when applying for jobs. Many prominent economists in India received at least one degree from a university outside their native country. With this program, we aim to provide students with the skill sets employers are seeking in their future employees.”

The program, which Sarangi said could accommodate up to 30 students each year, is set to launch in July, with the first cohort of students arriving in Blacksburg by 2024 to finish studies. Enrollment for the first cohort has just opened.

“Virginia Tech is a university with global reach and is increasingly recognized as an institution with a worldwide focus on advancing its instructional, research, and engagement mission. This partnership between two great institutions — Virginia Tech and NMIMS — is an example of our commitment to empowering graduates to solve global challenges and make an impact on people’s everyday lives.” said Guru Ghosh, vice president for outreach and international affairs. “Economics and global affairs have never been more intertwined than they are today. This program, focused on experiential and skills-based learning, will give graduates the tools they need to be global leaders engaged in resolving the world’s most intractable societal problems.”

Sudipta Sarangi
Sudipta Sarangi. Photo by Amy Stanford for Virginia Tech.
Amita Vaidya
Amita Vaidya. Photo courtesy of Vaidya.
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