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Create positive change

New Mexico State University’s Doctor of Economic Development (DED) program provides the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on and improve the economic well-being of communities. Students discover how to design and implement programs that are driven by data and based on analytical and scientifically valid approaches to economic development.

Our students learn from and work with distinguished faculty who take a fresh look at economic development by blending theory and technical data with innovative, real-world practices. They equip students with a broad, comprehensive approach to economic development issues. The program is a joint effort by the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business, and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and Extension Economics.

Significant, valuable, hands-on experience is available through activities and internships that prepare students to solve real problems once they graduate. The learning experience is enhanced by flexible delivery methods, including face-to-face access to professors and day, night, weekend and online access to coursework. In addition, a student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1 means our students receive the attention they need to succeed.

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Find your path

As a student in the Doctor of Economic Development program, your training will have a solid foundation in economics and economic development with the opportunity to select elective courses and specialties reflecting your interests and goals.

Areas of specialization include international development, public finance and economic research. Other specialties can be arranged with the approval of the program director and the student’s graduate committee. All graduates will complete an internship and a major economic development project

To learn more about the Academic Program Outline, please visit the Degree Requirements page for the DED Program on the College of Business Website.

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Profile of a Doctor of Economic Development graduate


  • Ability to read and understand academic literature and apply that knowledge in the field to practical economic development problems.
  • Solid grounding in standard economic theory (micro/macro) and an appreciation for alternative theoretical perspectives.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences.
  • At least one area of specialization outside of economic development.
  • Proficiency in econometrics and other research tools useful in economic development.
  • Completed at least one substantial real-world economic development project that was put into practice.

Program Snapshot


Our program is the only professional doctorate focused on economic development. With the integration of classroom instruction and real-world know-how, our students become leaders with technical expertise and catalysts for economic development. Here are more reasons to apply to the Doctor of Economic Development at NMSU. Students will:

1. Learn in a unique setting where they explore a wide variety of economic development issues that span international borders.

2. Gain the knowledge and skills needed to help communities move forward

3. Profit from access to nationally recognized experts

4. Expand their professional network

5. Enhance their career options


Would you like to schedule an appointment to speak with the DED Director or one of our expert faculty about the program?

Click here to request an appointment

Discover the possibilities

DED students gain practical, firsthand economic development experience through internships and as graduate assistants. Here are some examples:

Graduate assistantship projects

  • Fred Owensby developed an econometric forecasting model for the major components of New Mexico’s revenue, examining the effects of oil price changes on personal income in New Mexico.
  • Griselda Martinez is investigating the effects of innovation on the growth of employment and per capita income at the county level for all 3,111 counties in the U.S.
  • Steven Chavez examined the economic impact of Western New Mexico University in Silver City, N.M., on four counties in the southwest part of the state.
  • Marcella Martinez Shelby is conducting a study of the changing industrial mix in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) located along the US-Mexico border. The study focuses on the time period since NAFTA was implemented in 1994.
  • J. Kramer Winningham studied the impact of technology transfer on state economic growth and developed a model for universities wanting to commercialize technologies.
  • Eduardo Saucedo studied the impact of high technology industries on economic growth in the U.S.
  • Brent Ziarnick developed a strategy for Sierra County in New Mexico to increase and diversify its economic base.

Internship opportunities

  • Washington Tru Solutions: Develop an economic development plan based on existing and possible expansion of the waste isolation plant.
  • The Paso del Norte Group: Develop the economic potential of arts and culture with major events that are distinctive and representative of the region’s culture.
  • Gila Economic Development Alliance: Develop a plan and apply for grant funds to support the development of a business incubator in Silver City.
  • Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance: Design and conduct a labor market survey for Chaparral, N.M.
  • El Paso Branch Federal Reserve Bank: Study the potential impact that the violence in northern Mexico might have on El Paso’s local economy.
  • Spaceport America: Conduct a comprehensive regional inventory of current facilities, infrastructure and accommodations to support tourism industry in the three surrounding counties, Sierra, Dona Ana and Otero.
  • Arrowhead Center: Work with Los Alamos National Lab to evaluate licensable technologies from LANL and speed the technology transfer process.
  • Hub of Human Innovation: Conduct business and regional analysis to support expansion of high tech industry.
  • New Mexico Economic Development Department: Develop an export strategy for New Mexico.

Application process

Begin by first applying to the NMSU Graduate School. You can find complete details and deadlines on its website, gradschool.nmsu.edu. Deadlines and forms for domestic students and international students are not the same.

Once you have applied to the Graduate School, you may submit required application materials to the Doctor of Economic Development program. You will need:

  • Unofficial copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • Three recommendations from qualified people addressing your oral and written communication skills, potential for successful doctoral-level study and potential for professional success.
  • A letter of interest, including a statement of intent explaining your purpose in applying for the program and particular interest in economic development.
  • Current résumé.

Admission requirements

To be considered for the DED program, the minimum academic requirements below must be met. Admission to the program is competitive.

  • Related master’s degree or equivalent coursework.
  • Additional coursework in matrix algebra recommended.
  • GRE or GMAT score is not required.
  • ‘B’ or better (or equivalent) in intermediate macroeconomic theory and intermediate microeconomic theory.
  • ‘B’ or better (or equivalent) in statistics (including regression analysis).
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Finance your future

There are many options available to help students pay for their education. Students may apply for assistantships, and financial aid is available. Residents of some western states may also be eligible for in-state tuition through the Western Regional Graduate Program. To learn more about the WRGP, go to wiche.edu/wrgp.

Request an appointment

The DED Program Director will contact you to set up an appointment.

Preferred method of contact:

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