Are you good with numbers and fascinated with human behavior? Then an advanced degree in economics may be the right fit for you. Check out the 35 Best Master's Degrees in Economics for 2020! 

Economists interpret economic data in a variety of settings to help businesses, government agencies, non-governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations, among others, make informed decisions regarding policy and strategy. A master's level degree in the field, therefore, can open up numerous pathways to consider pursuing. Whether you are interested in going into the health care administration, financial management, higher education, business, or the public sector, a master's degree in economics will make your application that much stronger.

Though individuals who hold degrees in economics can be found across hundreds of industries, there are some more typical jobs, including working as a government economist, serving as a consultant, working as a market researcher, a statistician, or a budget analyst. A large number of economists work for either federal, state, or local governments offering analysis and insight to elected officials and the wider public as they debate budgetary issues and policy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, traditional economist positions are expected to grow at about the average rate of all occupations – around 6 percent over the next decade. The median pay for such jobs, however, is well over the national average at about $104,000. Other potential positions, like Market Research Analysists and Financial Manager positions, are expected to outpace regular job growth, by as much as 17 percent. So, if you are thinking about entering the field or just enhancing your education, check out our list of the 35 Best Master's in Economics.

Methodology

The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 35 Best Masters in Economics for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:

  • Alumni Feedback: 20%
  • Continued Enrollment: 20%
  • Degree Selectivity: 10%
  • Graduate Expenses: 25%
  • Projected Annual Salary: 25%

A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page.

Here are the 35 Best Masters in Economics for 2019 – 2020!

#35 – Ohio State University

Master of Applied Economics

Columbus, OH

Website

Big isn't always bad, and Ohio State University is consistently one of the largest schools in the nation by enrollment. Over 61,000 students attend OSU annually, and the large public research university offers numerous programs to meet their needs. The Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics offer a Master of Applied Economics. The program is designed as a two-semester program for working professionals who want to gain additional skills in a wide array of practical skills. This is a terminal degree and is not designed as a pre-doctoral program.

Students take classes like Survey of Mathematical Methods in Economics, International Economics and Policy, and Game Theory in Economics. The total number of courses required for the degree is nine. Admission requires a 3.1 undergraduate GPA, as well as GRE scores, and some undergraduate coursework in statistics, calculus, and microeconomics. Students get to the work with world-class faculty who are at the forefront of their discipline doing relevant research in the field which students will be exposed to in classes and research projects.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,560 in-state; $34,064 out-of-state

#34 – George Washington University

Master of Arts in Applied Economics

Washington, DC

Website

Located in Washington, DC, George Washington University is a private research university with a student body of over 27,000 students. The Department of Economics in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Applied Economics. An MAAE degree is specifically designed to train individuals in the use of economic theories, statistical models, and quantitative tools so that they can then use those skills to solve real-world issues and problems. The program consists of ten courses or 30 credits which can be completed in three semesters for full-time students.

Students take classes like Time Series Analysis, Probability, and Statistics for Economics, and Econometrics. Students are also allowed to take elective courses outside of economics which fit with their interests, and GWU has an extensive offering given the numerous programs on campus. Students are given individualized mentoring through regular meetings with the Program Director. The program also allows students to simultaneously pursue a Graduate Certificate in one of seven different areas including Walkable Urban Real Estate, Sports Management, or Investments and Portfolio Management.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,780

#33 – West Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Finance and Economics

Canyon, TX

Website

West Texas A&M University is located in Canyon, TX, just south of Amarillo and is a public university with an annual enrollment of over 10,000 students. The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business offers a Master of Science in Finance and Economics. The program at WTAMU has received several awards including the No.14 spot on U.S. News and World Report's best graduate business program for veterans. The program is 36 credits and can be completed in two years or four semesters, though some students have completed the program earlier. Courses are offered both online and on campus, making it a convenient option.

Classes include Problems in Government Finance and Fiscal Policy, Financial Management of Health Care, and Corporate Governance and Ethics. Students are allowed to choose 21 credits worth of their courses, which means that the degree is remarkably flexible and allows individuals to tailor their coursework. In addition to training individuals in economic and financial skills and concepts, the program also emphasizes developing communication skills and becoming a critical thinker so that graduates can take the theory that they learn and apply it to real-world problems where they work.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,691 in-state; $5,518 out-of-state

#32 – Georgia State University

Master of Arts in Economics

Atlanta, GA

Website

With the largest enrollment in the state, Georgia State University offers numerous advanced degrees to its over 53,000 students. Located in Atlanta, GSU is a public research university and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program is specifically geared towards showing how the various theories and practices of economics can play a constructive role in data-driven public policy. Students learn how economic theories can be applied to a wide range of areas, including the environment, social welfare, healthcare, and public finance.

The program is 33 credits and can be generally be completed within two years. Students can choose between three different tracks of study, including a thesis, non-thesis, and policy option. Students take classes like Environmental, Urban, and Regional Economics, Causal Inference and Evidence-Based Policy, and Issues in Public Programs and Tax Policy. Admission requires a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendations, and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Students are also encouraged to join the Graduate Student Association lodged in the Economics Department, where they can gain additional valuable experiences to enhance their education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,020 in-state; $22,518 out-of-state

#31 – University of Missouri

Master of Arts in Economics

Columbia, MO

Website

A public land-grant institution, the University of Missouri is located in Columbia, MO and regularly enrolls more than 30,000 students. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics degree. Completion requires 30 credits, which can generally be completed over two years, though some students have completed the program earlier. Students take six core courses, that include classes in microeconomics, econometrics, and quantitative theory. The DE is primarily focused on understanding economics through a global lens and is particularly interested in the ways that economics can be used to practical ends.

Students can also choose an emphasis for their degree by taking a prescribed set of elective courses. The only focus available is in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. For qualified students, there is also the option of pursuing a dual Master of Science in Applied Mathematics with the MAE, or a dual Master of Arts in Statistics and MAE. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree, as well as GRE test scores. Applicants must demonstrate undergraduate work in economics, mathematics, or statistics.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $ in-state; $ out-of-state

#30 – Baylor University

Master of Science in Economics

Waco, TX

Website

Located in Waco, TX, Baylor University is a private research university with over 17,000 students enrolled annually. BU is the largest Baptist university in the world. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Science in Economics. The program can be pursued in a thesis or non-thesis format and can be completed in two years if pursued full time. The program is meant to serve students who are either preparing for advanced doctoral research degrees, or students who are preparing to enter a professional field. Graduates of the program have gone on to work for NGOs, public agencies, financial institutions, and private firms.

Students take classes like Experimental Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, and Health Economics. There are a total of six or seven required courses and four or five electives, depending on whether an individual chooses to do the thesis or non-thesis track. Admission to the program does not require a degree in economics, though students should have completed some undergraduate work in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students must also take either the GRE or GMAT and all international students must take the TOEFL or IELTS to prove English proficiency.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,888

#29 – University of Connecticut

Master of Science in Quantitative Economics

Storrs, CT

Website

A public land-grant institution, the University of Connecticut is a research university located in Storrs, CT, with around 32,000 students enrolled every year. UC has been widely recognized for a number of their programs and was ranked the No.18 public university in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Science in Quantitative Economics. The program combines a concentration on economic theory and with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The program is 30 credits which can be completed in 18 months if students are full-time and take a course during the summer.

Along with required courses in economics, statistics, and other quantitative fields, students take electives like Mechanism Design which deals with game theory, Operations Research which focuses on communication networks, and Convex Optimization with Python, which deals with problems in econometrics and economics. Students must complete all courses and maintain a 3.0 GPA through the duration of the program. Admissions require a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Faculty in the DE are engaged in cutting-edge research in a variety of subdisciplines within economics and often bring that work into the classroom to benefit students making this an exciting program for students interested in research.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,350 in-state; $36,962 out-of-state

#28 – California Polytechnic State University

Master of Science in Quantitative Economics

San Luis Obispo, CA

Website

California Polytechnic State University is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, CA. CPSU enrolls over 20,000 students each year, with close to 800 postgraduates. The Orfalea College of Business offers a Master of Science in Quantitative Economics. The program is designed to be completed in one year and helps to prepare graduates to enter the professional world, or to pursue a doctorate in an economics-related field. CPSU places a great amount of stress on experiential and practical learning, which in the case of this program includes close mentoring from faculty.

Students take required courses in economics, quantitative methods, and econometrics, and are also able to choose electives like Environmental and Resource Economics, Advanced Labor Economics, and Evidence-Based Decision Analysis. The DE regularly brings to campus international speakers through their Seminar Series. This program gives value-added experiences to further student thinking and reflection, as well as to learn from leading professionals in the field from all over the world. Students can also engage in networking experiences as well.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,7176 in-state; $16,680 out-of-state

#27 – University of Houston

Master in Applied Economics

Houston, TX

Website

The University of Houston is the third-largest university in Texas with over 46,000 students annually enrolled. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Applied Economics, which is designed as a one-year program. The program was ranked No.7 in 2018 by TFE Times. The program is particularly geared to prepare students for work in the business world where increased demand for workers with economics backgrounds has developed.

Most classes are held during the day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students take courses like Capital Market Economics, Energy Economics, and Economic Forecasting as part of the program. Admissions are taken only for the fall semester, and students must have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution. Students also need to have completed courses in mathematics, economics, and econometrics as prerequisites and must take the GRE to be admitted. The DE at HU is engaged in significant research in a variety of areas and has faculty teaching in areas as diverse as international macroeconomics; labor market flows, the effect of charter schools, and technology adoption. This expertise shows itself in the various courses that the department offers, making it a very attractive program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,214 in-state; $17,463 out-of-state

#26 – University of Utah

Master of Science in Economics

Salt Lake City, UT

Website

A large public research university, the University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City, UT and offers almost 200 different degree programs, including more than 90 graduate programs. The Department of Economics resides in the College of Social & Behavioral Science and offers a Master of Science in Economics. The program emphasizes both theory and applied areas of economics and students can specialize in one of several potential areas, including natural resource and environmental economics, quantitative analysis in economics, and labor economics, among others.

The program consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed in 18 months. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, and core classes must be passed with a B- or better. Elective courses include Topics in Latin American Economic History and Development, Poverty and Inequality, and Environmental & Natural Resource Economics. Students can choose between a thesis or research project option. The research project option is worth three credits, while the thesis option is worth six. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and completion of coursework in economics and econometrics, as well as GRE scores, letters of reference, and a statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,988 in-state; $24,665 out-of-state

#25 – Boston University

Master of Arts in Economics

Boston, MA

Website

Boston University enrolls around 30,000 students annually and is classified as an R1 institution because of the level of research it supports and produces. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics which is designed as a terminal degree for students who are interested in working in the business world or working with governmental agencies, industries, or in the financial sector. Students are trained in fundamental economic principles, mathematical and statistical models, and computer software which can handle big data.

The program requires 32 credits which include required courses as well as electives. Students take classes like Elementary Mathematical Economics, Statistics of Economists, and Econometrics. BU also offers a dual MAE and Master of Business Administration for interested students. The dual degree program can be completed in two years with summer courses and provides an even more well-rounded education for future professionals. BU's programs are highly selective, and students must exhibit sufficient prior training in economics-related coursework, among other requirements.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,816

#24 – Northeastern University

Master of Science in Economics

Boston, MA

Website

Located in the city of Boston, Northeastern University is a private research university with over 25,000 students annually enrolled. NU is a highly residential school and the Department of Economics in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities offers a Master of Science in Economics. The MSE is offered as a terminal degree for professionals working in the fields of economics, business, industry, finance, and government. The program consists of 32 credits which can generally be completed within two years to 18 months.

Students take 16 credits worth of electives in a wide range of offerings, as well as four courses in economics, statistics, and econometrics. They can also choose to substitute a class with either a thesis or an internship. NU has a long history of offering Cooperative Education programs which refers to on-the-job learning experiences and academic reflection. The MSE is no exception, and students who have a 3.5 GPA can qualify for an opportunity that turns a workplace into a classroom.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $ 24,027

#23 – Florida State University

Master of Science in Applied Economics

Tallahassee, FL

Website

Florida State University is a large public research university located in Tallahassee, FL. The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy offers a Master of Science in Applied Economics. The program has received recognition for excellence in the past and was ranked among the top five in the nation for MSAE programs by TFE Times in 2017. The program is designed to be completed in one year with summer courses, and students receive training in various forms of statistical software such as SAS, STATA, and REMI. The average class size is around 25, which means students will have access to their professors.

Students take classes like Analysis of Economic Data, SAS for Economists, and Leadership and Professional Development. The course in LPD is specifically designed to cultivate the professional skills and virtues required to succeed in the workplace, like communication, teamwork, and a robust ethical framework. Students are also required to complete an Applied Project course, which is meant to solidify the application of theory and skills for the resolution of real-world problems.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,684 in-state; $24,116 out-of-state

#22 – Columbia University

Master of Arts in Economics

New York, NY

Website

Located in the bustling metropolis of New York City, Columbia University is a world-leading Ivy League research university with an annual enrollment topping 33,000 students. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program is great for individuals who are looking to sharpen their knowledge of economics, for persons interested in going into an economics-related field, or for individuals interested in pursuing more advanced doctoral work. The program requires completion of ten courses, including seven required and three electives.

Courses include classes like Financial Economics, Advanced Econometrics, and Economic Policy Analysis. Students must also submit a research paper which is based on original research and shows their grasp of fundamental economic theories and dynamics. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be in good standing in the program. Students are also encouraged to join the Master of Economics Student Association, which provides numerous social and co-curricular events for networking, professional development, and personal growth. And lest we forget, CU is located in the heart of the North American financial world.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $46,216

#21 – Clemson University

Master of Arts in Economics

Clemson, SC

Website

Clemson University is a public research university that was founded in the late 19th century in Clemson, SC. CU regularly admits around 24,000 students, including almost 5,000 postgraduates. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics. Like many other programs of its type, the program offers a great combination of theory and hands-on practice and is particularly concerned to train students in how to bring theoretical knowledge and methods to bear on real-world problems. The program is designed to be completed within one year or two semesters and students can complete the requirements in a variety of different combinations.

The program can be pursued with or without a thesis, and potential elective courses include Development of the American Economy, Natural Resource Use, Technology, and Policy, and Economic Theory of Regulation. There are also several approved courses in agriculture, mathematics, statistics, and computer science that students can take to fulfill the required load. Students who choose to do a thesis are required to complete 24 credits, while students who do not want that route are required to completed 30 credits.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,386 in-state; $19,776 out-of-state

#20 – University of Michigan

Master of Arts in Applied Economics

Ann Arbor, MI

Website

A public research university located in Ann Arbor, MI, the University of Michigan has one of the largest alumni networks in the world. UM regularly enrolls over 45,000 students in its numerous programs. The Economics Department offers a Master of Arts in Applied Economics, which is designed as a terminal degree. It is especially useful for students who are interested in entering the field of economics or who have already begun working and want to shore up their knowledge of the field.

The program has recently beefed up the requirements for the program, moving from 33 to 38 credits. However, this increase does not change the actual number of courses that students take. The program can still be completed in three to four semesters. Students take 18 credits in electives, including classes like Strategies for Sustainable Development, Principles of Geographic Information Systems, and Analyzing Longitudinal and Clustered Data Using Statistical Software. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a statement of purpose. International students must also show proof of English-language proficiency.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,128 in-state; $46,678 out-of-state

#19 – Tufts University

Master of Science in Economics

Somerville, MA

Website

Tufts University is a private research university based in Somerville, MA. TU has a student body of over 11,000 students annually and is particularly attuned to emphasize the need for students to become active citizens. The Department of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Science in Economics. The program stresses rigorous training in the empirical and theoretical methods and models in economics to prepare students for further research and a variety of careers. The program can be taken in a Course-Based track or a Research-Based track.

The Course-Based track features eight courses and can be completed within one year. The Research-Based track consists of 12 courses and requires a thesis. It can be completed in two years. Students take required courses in statistics, economics, and econometrics, as well as electives. Students can take up to two courses at several other nearby institutions, including Boston College, Boston University, and Brandeis University. The DE has also been able to establish the Henken Family Endowed Graduate Research Fund through a generous donation which provides a fellowship each year for one or more students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $51,288

#18 – University of Southern California

Master of Arts in Economics

Los Angeles, CA

Website

Founded in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private research university with an average annual enrollment of over 45,000 students. The Department of Economics in the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Economics. This is the most popular graduate program at USC. The MAE requires 32 credits, which translates to eight courses that can be taken over the course of one or one and a half years. The program allows matriculation in either Fall or Spring, and students must submit transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Students take three core courses and then are allowed to take five electives. The program has developed six different emphases that shape the electives, including Antitrust Economics, Applied Analytics, and Behavioral and Experimental Economics, among others. There are research assistant positions open to graduate students at the Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory which is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. The DE also provides one-on-one career counseling and works with students to help them find positions with leading institutions.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,712

#17 – University of Minnesota

Master of Arts in Economics

Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN

Website

The University of Minnesota is a large public research university which is spread across the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The student body regularly approaches 50,000 students each year. The Department of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program consists of 30 credits, and students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA to maintain good standing in the program. Students take 16 credits worth of core classes, eight credits of electives, and six credits of courses outside the major. The latter are chosen in consultation with the director.

This program is configured as a component of the Ph.D. program so that students who apply are being accepted into the doctoral program. However, students can potentially opt to complete the MA and not go further. To do so requires that individuals not only complete the required coursework but also pass a final exam and finish a capstone project which generally consists of two outside field-work experiences where students are asked to bring their theoretical knowledge into contact with real-world problems and issues.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,064 in-state; $26,412 out-of-state

#16 – Johns Hopkins University

Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Applied Economics

Baltimore, MD

Website

Johns Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, MD, and is a private research university. JHU is widely considered the first research university in the US and was modeled after the University of Berlin when it was founded in the middle of the 19th century. Today the school matriculates over 26,000 students annually. The Carey Business School offers a dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Applied Economics. The program requires three years to complete and is comprised of 31 courses.

This is a program which seeks to bring together the best practices in business with cutting edge research in economics. The MBA courses can be completed online or on campus, though there is a residency requirement. The MSE courses can all be completed online or on campus. These options make this is a remarkably attractive program given the flexibility and comprehensive nature of the dual degree combination. In the MBA portion students are also able to pursue one of six concentrations, which include Marketing, Real Estate, and Infrastructure; or Financial Businesses.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,740

#15 – Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Economics

College Station, TX

Website

Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, enrolls nearly 70,000 students every year. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Science in Economics. Students can choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track and have the option of either concentrating in Financial Economics or Financial Econometrics. The program is 36 credits, which is spread across required and elective courses and a thesis if chosen.

Students can take classes like Economics of the Multinational Firm, Behavioral Financial Economics, and Money, Banking and Financial Markets. Students work with an advisor to develop their thesis proposal if they choose to follow the thesis-track. Admission requires a bachelor's degree as well as GRE scores. The DE regularly puts on workshops on a variety of topics which graduate students can attend for additional educational experiences and professional development.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,552 in-state; $17,904 out-of-state

#14 – Georgetown University

Master of Science in Economics

Washington, DC

Website

A private research university in Washington, DC, Georgetown University enrolls over 17,000 students every year in its numerous program offerings. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Science in Economics, which is a two-year degree and is officially recognized as a STEM degree. The program emphasizes quantitative and econometric economics and provides students with a solid foundation in macroeconomics and microeconomics. Students are required to complete 15 courses, which include five credits worth of electives. The DE offers a wide array of both quantitative and applied economic courses to choose from.

Classes the students might take include Empirical Industrial Organization, Open Economy Macroeconomics, and Behavioral Economics and Finance. Senior faculty are involved in teaching courses in the program and bring their valuable experience and research into the classroom. In conjunction with the Georgetown Center for Economic Research, the DE often holds seminars, conferences, and workshops. Admissions require a bachelor's degree, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and an academic statement of purpose.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $49,560

#13 – University of Illinois

Master of Science in Economics with Policy Economics

Urbana-Champaign, IL

Website

The flagship institution of the University of Illinois system is located in Urbana-Champaign, IL and is a public research institution of the first order. UI enrolls nearly 50,000 students every year in its over 250 programs. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Science in Economics with a Concentration in Policy Economics. The program is designed for both professionals who want to broaden their knowledge and skills, as well as students who are interested in moving forward towards a doctoral program in economics.

The program can be completed between one and two years. The program requires four required courses as well as six electives. Students also select between ten different specializations, which include Advanced Econometrics, Environment & Natural Resources, International Economics, Industrial Organization, and Development Economics, among others. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing. The DE also regularly hosts seminars and workshops where students are exposed to new research in a variety of areas of study.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,068 in-state; $28,221 out-of-state

#12 – Stony Brook University

Master of Arts in Economics

Stony Brook, NY

Website

Stony Brook University is a member of the State University of New York system and is a public research university located in Stony Brook, NY. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program does not require a background in economics, which makes it unique. Students take Ph.D. level classes which do require a strong mathematics background, however. The program is 11 courses and can be completed in three semesters. During the first year, students take foundational courses in economic theory and quantitative methods.

During their second year, students take elective courses which can include classes like Game Theory, Computational Economics & Dynamic Modeling, and Demographic Economics. Students must take a comprehensive exam at the end of the first year, or if necessary, before the beginning of the second year. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be in good standing in the program. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's with a 3.0 GPA, as well as GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,090 in-state; $22,650 out-of-state

#11 – University of Maryland

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics

College Park, MD

Website

An outstanding public research institution, the University of Maryland is located in College Park, MD close to Baltimore and Washington, DC. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics. The degree is specifically designed for working professionals and is meant to equip them with the latest skills and theories in economics, which can then be applied to real-world issues and problems. The program includes ten courses and can be completed within a year.

Students take five core courses and five field courses. Among the field, courses are Information, Game Theory and Market Design, Applied Time Series Analysis and Forecasting, and Economic Analysis of Law. Admissions require a bachelor's with a 3.0 GPA, and evidence of having taken economics and calculus courses. The DE stresses job placement for their graduates and works hard to help students develop professionally as well as academically. The UM Career Center assists in this endeavor and helps with potential placement for students. And their track record has been impressive. In 2015 they were able to place 100 percent of their graduates.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,906 in-state; $27,864 out-of-state

#10 – University of Wisconsin

Master of Economics

Madison, WI

Website

The University of Wisconsin is located in Madison, WI, the state's capital city. UW is a large public research university with almost 200 graduate-level degree programs. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Economics degree. The program consists of 30 credits and can be completed in four semesters. Students must complete at least 16 credits at UW. The program equips graduates with an understanding of core economic and financial principles and gives a solid grounding in econometric methods and empirical research.

Elective courses include Game Theory & Economic Analysis, Issues-International Finance, and Economics of Health Care. The program at UW is full-time, and admissions require many of the reasonable expectations you will find in other programs including a bachelor's degree, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. Students must also complete a Math Preparation Form which demonstrates adequate preparation for the program, and students must have completed undergraduate coursework in macro- and microeconomics, calculus, and linear algebra.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,728 in-state; $24,054 out-of-state

#9 – Lehigh University

Master of Science in Applied Economics

Bethlehem, PA

Website

Located in Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is a private research university which regularly enrolls over 6,000 students each year. The College of Business and Economics offers a Master of Science in Applied Economics. This is a STEM-designated program and serves individuals already working in business and industry to give them a better handle on economic theory, econometric methods, and research, as well as serving students who may be interested in moving towards doctoral work.

The program is 30 credits total and includes core courses, electives, and courses specific to the two tracks the program offers – Competition and Market Analysis, and Policy Economics. Sessions in the tracks could include Consumer Insights through Data Analysis, Predictive Analytics in Business, or Business, Government, and Macroeconomic Policy. Students can also opt for a thesis component, which would replace the six elective credits. Applicants must have taken macro- and microeconomics, calculus, and algebra in their undergraduate career. Lehigh also works to make sure that Graduate Students have access to all of the requisite career center offerings that the university has to offer so that after the degree is completed a smooth transition into a career is possible.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,000

#8 – North Carolina State University

Master of Economics and Master of Science in Economics

Raleigh, NC

Website

North Carolina State University is located in Raleigh, NC and is a large public research university which offers numerous graduate degree programs. NCSU offers both a Master of Economics and a Master of Science in Economics. The program allows students to take classes full-time or part-time and can be completed between one to two years. Students take ten courses, though there is a difference between the ME and MSE degrees. The MSE requires a thesis, while the ME does not, and the thesis requirement removes two courses from the degree.

Students take six elective courses in addition to four core courses, and the electives are organized according to concentrations that include International Development and Trade, Natural Resources & Environmental Economics, Economic Policy, and Financial/Macro Econometrics. There are additional electives that students can also choose from, making this a remarkably flexible degree. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, and sufficient work completed in economics and mathematics.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,917 in-state; $25,405 out-of-state

#7 – New York University

Master of Arts in Economics

New York, NY

Website

New York University is based in Manhattan, though they currently have campuses around the world. The student body is annually over 50,000 students. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program requires three semesters to complete if you enroll full-time but can be completed in five years at half-time. Students complete 32 credits and submit a writing project as well. The program is built both for working professionals who want further training in economics but is also a great degree for students who desire to pursue a Ph.D. Students from the program have entered prestigious Ph.D. programs in economics at schools like the University of Chicago, the University of Minnesota, and Oxford University.

Students take five core courses in economics, statistics, and econometrics, as well as five additional electives. The electives can be taken in the economics program or mathematics for those who are especially interested in the quantitative sciences. The Special Project component is taken in the final semester and is meant to draw together coursework by asking students to apply what they have learned to an actual economic problem in the form of a research paper. Students can also take a course in Advanced Practical Training, which is an internship, though it is not required.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $42,888

#6 – University of California Los Angeles

Master of Applied Economics

Los Angeles, CA

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A public research university in southern California, the University of California Los Angeles offers numerous graduate degree programs and regularly enrolls around 13,000 postgraduate students. Among the programs offered is the Master of Applied Economics. This is a full-time program that is meant to be completed in nine months. UCLA runs on a quarter system. Students are grounded in economics and quantitative methods in the first quarter and then application of these disciplines to various areas becomes the focus as the program progresses.

Students take classes like Data Analytics and Big Data, Exchange Rate Forecasting, Big Data and Portfolio Design, and Asset Pricing and Portfolio Theory in Practice. The degree research capstone focuses on a final elective course while providing tremendous flexibility for choosing the research subject. UCLA regularly brings speakers to campus on topics relevant to the field, and students are strongly encouraged to attend as these experiences can enrich their education and provide opportunities for professional development and networking.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,442 in-state; $26,544 out-of-state

#5 – Cornell University

Master of Science in Applied Economics and Management

Ithaca, NY

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An Ivy League research university located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell University has over 23,000 students, including over 8,000 postgraduates. The Graduate School at CU offers a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Management. The program at CU is led by the internationally recognized faculty at the Dyson SC Johnson College of Business and is research-oriented requiring a thesis. The program includes five distinct concentrations that students can choose to pursue including Applied Behavioral Economics and Individual Choice, Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics, Food and Agricultural Economics, International and Development Economics, and Management.

Each of these concentrations shapes the course of study that students will follow and also may lead to taking classes in other schools at CU, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, among others. The thesis requirement ensures that students are well grounded in research and can defend their findings in the context of an oral examination. Admission to the program requires recommendations, transcripts, and GRE scores.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,500

#4 – Duke University

Master of Arts in Economics

Durham, NC

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A private research university, Duke University is located in Durham, NC. DU has produced a significant number of scholars, and as of 2019, has produced the 5th highest number of Udall, Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, and Truman scholars of any American university. The Economics Department offers a Master of Arts in Economics, which draws on the university's strong emphasis on research. The MAE intends to produce graduates who are highly competitive in the job market, as well as deeply grounded in applied research.

The degree is 30 credits and requires at least five courses in economics. Students can take classes like Game Theory with Applications of Economics and Other Social Sciences, General Equilibrium Theory and Financial Markets, and Empirical Methods in Financial Econometrics. Students also take a capstone course and can pursue an internship if they wish which can count for credit. The program requires students to create a portfolio of their work at the end of the program, which evidences their participation in the creation of new knowledge.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,540

#3 – Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Economics

Atlanta, GA

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Originally founded to help rebuild Georgia after the Civil War, Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university located in Atlanta. The School of Economics is lodged in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and provides a Master of Science in Economics. The MSE program emphasizes applied theory and knowledge. The program is designed both for working professionals as well as students interested in further study and research in economics. The degree can be completed in one year, with students taking courses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Students take a total of ten courses which can include classes like Money & Capital Markets, Economics of Environment, and Discrete Choice Economics. There are courses available dealing with health care, energy, environment, and urban planning economics as well. Students can also choose to pursue an internship and will receive credit for it. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, as well as GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,788 in-state; $28,568 out-of-state

#2 – University of Texas at Austin

Master of Arts in Economics

Austin, TX

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The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship institution of the state's university system and is a large public research university with over 50,000 students annually enrolled. The Department of Economics at UTA offers a Master of Arts in Economics. UTA offers a highly ranked program with world-class faculty and a university context that is second to none. The degree is designed for students who want to complement their knowledge of another field, for professionals already working in business or industry, and for students who want to go on to further doctoral work. Placement in doctoral programs has been exceptionally high for graduates of the MAE at UTA.

The program can be completed in 10-24 months and requires a total of ten courses. The program does not have a thesis component and is coursework focused only. Students take classes like Probability and Statistics, Mathematics for Economists, and Real Analysis for Economists. The program also allows for an optional internship, which can count for credit. The DE consistently holds seminars and lectures which students can attend, exposing them to some of the brightest minds in the field.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,742 in-state; $22,564 out-of-state

#1 – Stanford University

Master of Arts in Economics

Stanford, CA

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A private research university, Stanford University is located in Stanford, CA, not far from San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The Department of Economics offers a Master of Arts in Economics. The program is only open to students who intend to pursue the Ph.D. at Stanford or students pursuing a law degree. SU operates on the quarter system, and the program is 45 credits, and students can pursue a thesis in the program. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, and all classes must be passed with at least a B- or above to count in the program.

Students can take classes like Game Theory and Economic Applications, Simplicity, and Complexity in Economic Theory; and Contracts, Information, and Incentives. The DE holds various student workshops which graduate students and faculty participate on topics as varied as Theory Economics, Labor and Public, and Experimental/Behavioral Economics. The department also stresses the need for students to find placement after degree completion and offers a variety of services for professional development and networking.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $50,703