Best Master’s In Economics Degrees 2021

A master's degree in economics can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top programs available.

Best Master’s In Economics Degrees 2021

Are you ready to find your fit?

Economics degree programs help learners cultivate an interdisciplinary understanding of resource distribution and usage. Degree-seekers explore concepts such as incentives and scarcity, and they develop skills in economic analysis and forecasting. While earning a master's degree in economics, students often complete core courses in sociology, history, and math. Applicants to economics master's programs usually need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree from an accredited school.

Economics graduates often work for governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and companies in finance-related industries. Potential job titles include budget analyst, market research analyst, and regional planner. Some master's degree-holders pursue doctoral studies to qualify for careers as economics professors and researchers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists earn a median salary of $105,020 per year. The BLS projects a 14% growth rate in economist jobs from 2019-2029.

FAQ on Master's Programs in Economics

What kind of jobs can you get with a degree in economics?

Graduates of economics master's programs often pursue careers as market analysts, researchers, economics professors, and urban planners.

Is there a lot of math in economics?

Economics degree programs help learners develop quantitative skills. Coursework typically covers math topics such as linear algebra and multivariate calculus.

Do economists get paid well?

According to BLS data, economists earn a median annual salary of $105,020. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for all occupations is $39,810.

How long does a master's program in economics take?

Full-time students typically complete their master's program in about two years. However, many accelerated programs feature six academic terms per year and usually require less time to complete.

mini icon

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

What Are the Goals of an Economics Degree?

Students can choose from several types of economics master's degrees. Learners planning to pursue a doctoral degree often earn a master of arts in economics or international economics. However, economics students more commonly pursue an MS degree in economics, applied economics, finance and economics, or agricultural economics and business. Some schools offer an economics concentration within an MBA or master's in finance program.

Students earning a master's degree in economics typically complete core courses in econometrics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantitative research methods. Many economics master's programs allow learners to further specialize in a field such as quantitative economics, applied economics, development economics, or financial economics.

Why Get an Economics Degree?

Obtaining a master's degree in economics can lead to many professional and personal benefits. Graduates often qualify for career advancement and salary increases. Additionally, master's students can access networking opportunities and improve their analytical skills. The following list details a few common reasons to pursue an economics degree.

Career Advancement
Many working professionals pursue a master's degree to advance their current career or transition to a new field. Economics master's programs prepare individuals to secure competitive, specialized positions.
Salary Increase
According to PayScale data from February of 2021, economics master's degree-holders earn an average salary of $90,000 per year, while individuals with an economics bachelor's degree earn an average annual salary of $70,990.
Professional Networking
Master's programs often attract high-performing students and professionals who may serve as valuable collaborators and references after graduation.
Advanced Analytical Skills
Economics programs help learners develop advanced skills in data collection and analysis. Degree-seekers analyze markets and global dynamics to inform data-driven decisions, policies, and recommendations.
Increased Understanding
Economics students explore various political, economic, social, and environmental phenomena. Graduates typically possess an advanced understanding of ways in which various systems influence events.

What Are the Requirements for a Master's Degree in Economics?

Many economics degree programs require applicants to have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, and above-average GMAT or GRE scores. Application materials often include official transcripts, writing samples, and a resume.

Master's in economics degree programs usually require about 33 credits. Students without a background in economics may need to complete prerequisite coursework. Economics master's programs typically require a thesis or capstone project, which allows learners to showcase advanced skills in econometrics data collection and analysis.

Professional Organizations for Economics Students

Economics students and professionals can join professional organizations to access diverse resources. Members may receive access to continuing education opportunities, networking platforms, career development resources, and political advocacy.

Many professional organizations also deliver publications and host conferences to help economists stay current on emerging trends in the field. Some organizations support economics degree-seekers through scholarships, local chapters, and discounted memberships.

This scholarly nonprofit organization connects economics professionals and produces research in the field. The AEA holds an annual meeting and publishes nine academic journals and conference collections. The association also delivers online seminars, research funding, and student resources.

Originally called the Caucus of Black Economists, the NEA creates and disseminates research related to economic development among communities of color. This organization offers research grants and fellowships and publishes the Review of Black Political Economy journal. The NEA also organizes an annual meeting in partnership with the American Society of Hispanic Economists.

The WEA connects and educates an international network of professionals in economics-related fields. This global association values inclusivity and pluralism. The WEA offers conferences, networking opportunities, online journals, and national chapters.

Best Master's in Economics Degrees

#1

The University of Texas at Austin

School Information
Location Austin, Texas
Admission Rate 32%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master's in economics program at The University of Texas at Austin appeals to students seeking career advancement. From its Austin campus, the public university meets the needs of diverse degree-seekers by offering flexible enrollment options. During the master's degree in economics program, learners take graduate-level courses in economics to enhance their understanding of the field.

While pursuing a master's degree, enrollees benefit from college resources and support services. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

The University of Texas at Austin at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 113

Total Online Master's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 32%

Graduation Rate: 86%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,998

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,966

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $52,200

Visit Site
#2

Ohio State University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ohio State University offers 119 master's programs, including a highly-ranked economics master's degree. Students gain advanced knowledge and skills in the master of applied economics. program. Flexible enrollment options make it easier for busy enrollees and working professionals to attend a graduate program.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and practical knowledge to build a comprehensive understanding of economics. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Learners select electives and concentrations to specialize their economics education in a specific area.

Ohio State University at a Glance:

Location: Columbus, Ohio

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 54%

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,560

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $35,144

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 79%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,176

Average Price After Aid: $18,706

Visit Site
#3

University of California, Los Angeles

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 12%
Graduation Rate 92%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The economics master's program at University of California, Los Angeles, one of 107 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The master of quantitative economics program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. At the school, programs offer flexible enrollment options that appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with other responsibilities.

During the program, learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical economics knowledge. Internships and experiential learning opportunities build professional connections and provide real-world experience. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their economics education around particular fields.

University of California, Los Angeles at a Glance:

Location: Los Angeles, California

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 12%

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 61%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $18,613

Average Price After Aid: $15,718

Visit Site
#4

Johns Hopkins University

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Johns Hopkins University offers several career-focused graduate programs, including a master's in economics. The private university offers programs on its Baltimore campus and online options designed for degree-seekers who require additional flexibility. During the MS in applied economics program, learners take advanced courses in economics that build on their prior training.

Master's candidates benefit from a generous selection of college resources and support services. Academic advisors recommend course selections, while financial aid counselors connect students with scholarship and grant opportunities. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking events and make use of library services.

Johns Hopkins University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 124

Total Online Master's Programs: 30

Admission Rate: 11%

Graduation Rate: 93%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $55,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $55,350

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $68,000

Visit Site
#5

Vanderbilt University

School Information
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 9%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The economics master's program at Vanderbilt University, one of 104 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The master's in economics strengthens subject-specific knowledge, allowing graduates to pursue advanced career opportunities. Candidates benefit from flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for full-time professionals.

Learners take advanced economics classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Internships and other hands-on learning opportunities apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Learners meet with faculty advisors to choose electives and concentrations to individualize the economics degree.

Vanderbilt University at a Glance:

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 9%

Graduate Tuition In State: $48,624

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $48,624

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 68%

Visit Site

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.