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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Economics

Current Students

MA Graduate Degree

Alumni Profiles

Nathaniel Cline 

Thesis: Kaleckian Analysis of the Corporate Profits Tax

Current Employer: Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Redlands

How did you become interested in studying Economics?
I became interested in economics because I was concerned with social justice issues. The year I graduated high school in DC was the year they held large anti-WTO/IMF protests. In addition, I worked as an organizer in south Baltimore during college for ACORN. These experiences convinced me of the relevance of economics for my political interests. I was initially turned off by the microeconomics course I took as an undergraduate however as it both conflicted with my politics, and its methodological individualism rubbed me the wrong way (though I couldn't really articulate why at the time). It was a radical Urban Economics course that convinced me to switch my major (from Peace and Global Studies). 

Why did you choose to get an MA degree at DU?
What attracted me to DU was its history of thought approach, and its heterodox offerings, and the fact that it was a terminal MA degree. I wasn't sure that academia was the right path for me, so I wanted to try out a MA before going any further.

What knowledge and skills that you picked up in our MA program have proven most valuable to your job?
In terms of knowledge, I suspect the list is too long to mention here. Virtually everything I learned at Denver was relevant to my job. In terms of skills, I learned an enormous amount about lecturing, course design, grading, and general issues of pedagogy as teaching assistant for both Tracy Mott and Yavuz Yasar. Perhaps most importantly, I got my first introduction to academic culture (as distinct from the undergraduate experience). I also acquired a taste for scotch, ouzo, and movies with Andy Devine, which I would now consider general life skills. 

What did you enjoy most about the program at DU?
I enjoyed the community most. The department felt a bit like a second home (including the grad student office). The invited speakers, movie nights, parties, and dinners all offered opportunities to continue my education outside of the classroom and build lasting relationships with professors and students. 

What unique aspect of our program do you most appreciate now?
I'm not sure I can pick one. Perhaps the course offerings. I don't know of another terminal MA program where I could have taken courses in the modern history of economic thought, Marx's Capital Vol. 1, and international trade from a classical perspective.

What was your favorite Class at DU? 
My favorite class is another difficult one... Three classes were probably the most influential for my intellectual development (because of the subfield I went into): Origins of Modern Economics, Advanced Macroeconomic Theory, and Marxian Economics. 

What advice would you give to someone considering getting an MA in Economics from DU?
My advice would be to do it of course! Beyond that, I would suggest becoming as involved in the life of the department as possible. I built relationships with faculty and fellow students that have been extremely rewarding both intellectually and personally. I would also suggest taking advantage of the Korbel School of International Studies and its course offerings. This is one thing I regret not doing while at DU.