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Mountain and river
From the REDA Director

Here’s why we believe REDA is an excellent program for individuals interested in using economic analysis to help build a sustainable future:

  1. Although the REDA program can be completed in less than a year, the master's degree you earn is not a shortcut degree; it is not a "Master's lite". The name of the degree, and the number of credit hours required, is exactly the same as that for our standard master's degree. It is structured to cover the same amount of material as a standard master's degree in applied economics in a much shorter period of time. It is intensive and it is not easy. On the positive side, you will be free to pursue your professional career much sooner and with much less debt than would be the case in our standard master's program. REDA students graduate with top-notch training in applied economics and outstanding quantitative skills.
  2. UW-Madison is a world-ranked research university: #27 here, #35 here. Why does this matter? Employers go into an interview with the presumption that graduates from stronger universities are stronger applicants.
  3. REDA's job placement record can't be beat. Since the program began in 2015, 89% of REDA graduates found employment that requires the skills for which they were trained, the vast majority of them in energy analysis. Check out our job placement page for more info.
  4. We have world-renowned faculty teaching in REDA.. Here are a few highlights.
    1. Dan Phaneuf recently published a new graduate text in environmental economics, and is managing editor of Land Economics. Recent papers are here and here.
    2. Sarah Johnston joined the department in 2018 after earning her PhD at the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on energy economics. A recent paper is here.
    3. Nick Parker recently has done innovative research featured on BBC on the impact of U.S. legislation on conflict minerals. Recent papers are here and here.
    4. Corbett Grainger has interests in both climate change and fisheries, and has consulted for a number of governments and organizations around the globe: Chile, Iceland, Norway, India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and others. Recent papers are here and here.
    5. Xiaodong (Sheldon) Du teaches graduate energy economics at UW, has done extensive research on biofuels, and is currently examining wind energy's impact on the wholesale market. Recent papers are here and here.
    6. Greg Nemet recently published the book, "How solar energy became cheap", and contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Recent papers are here and here.
  5. You will not find a program focused on graduate training in resource/energy/environmental economics with better connections to the private sector. Both Bethany (REDA program coordinator) and I have developed contacts with many firms and individuals during our time working in the private sector. Our professional connections provide us with real-world datasets for class assignments, share their research via the REDA seminar series, mentor student research via the practicum projects, and recruit REDA graduates for job openings within their firms.
  6. All REDA graduates are skilled in the use of the R programming language for statistical analysis. All econometric work in the program is done in R, including data analysis for the practicum projects. In a recent (February 2017) analysis of job postings seeking expertise in data science software, R ranked 5th out of 25 software packages, the highest ranked of those typically used for statistical analysis (the others, such as SQL and Java, focus on database management or general computing). By comparison, the package used most often for teaching in statistics in economics departments, Stata, ranked 21st. We teach our students R because, even though it is harder to learn than Stata, we know that it is ascending as the software of choice for statistical analysis in the private sector. As a side benefit, it's free, so anyone can use it anywhere, anytime.

Thanks for taking the time to consider REDA. We are proud of our program and its potential to help students do good work. We like to say that we provide graduate training for a smart green world. We look forward to reviewing your application.

Best wishes,
Bill Provencher