5 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Economics in 2021

The state of the economy affects every industry. The following 5 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Economics teach students how to analyze, forecast, and optimize economic issues. 

In a capitalist society, business and economics are tightly interwoven. The state of the economy affects the success and stability of business organizations and vice versa. The following 5 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Economics are designed to build the analytical and decision-making skills individuals need to assess and solve economic problems. The programs listed cover core areas of economics such as big data, econometrics, economic forecasting, macroeconomics and microeconomics, quantitative analysis, statistics. Electives offer students opportunities to explore areas such as behavioral economics, game theory, international markets, and more. Each program can be completed either partially or entirely online.

Individuals with contemporary master’s degrees in Economics can be assets to a wide range of positions and industries. Graduates may work in data analysis, health care, government, international trade, public policy, or the stock market. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, economists earned a median salary of $104,340 in 2018. The demand for economists is growing at a projected rate of six percent. Individuals with advanced degrees and experience with modern statistical analysis software are likely to have the strongest job prospects.

Accredited Online College Programs

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Economics

  1. Purdue University

    West Lafayette, IN



    Grad School Hub's top master's degree in Economics is offered through Purdue University's Krannert School of Management. The Master of Science in Economics program can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. The degree program prepares students to analyze and forecast economic outcomes relating to employment and growth rates, inflation, stock markets, and more. The 30-credit curriculum covers areas such as econometrics, game theory, programming tools, and statistical software. Students can choose to specialization in Advanced Theory, Business and Data Analytics, Financial Economics, or Public Economics and Policy. The degree program can be completed in as few as 20 months or spread over 36 months.

    Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, the public research university is the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The university enrolls the largest number of students of any university in the State. It also serves the nation's fourth-largest university population of foreign students. U.S. News & World Report ranks Purdue at No. 56 in National Universities, No. 17 in Top Public Schools, and No. 6 in Most Innovative Schools. The university also ranks at No. 42 in Economics at the graduate level.

  2. Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, MD



    Johns Hopkins University provides a Master of Science in Applied Economics. The degree program – which can be completed online – is designed to build skills in the analysis and interpretation of economic data. It prepares students to then apply this data toward decision-making in a wide range of economic contexts. The curriculum consists of 10 courses. Students can choose to focus on an area of studies such as financial economics, environmental economics, health economics, or public policy. Core courses include Econometrics and Statistics. Elective offerings include Game Theory, International Finance, Real Risk, and Urban Economics. The degree program can be completed in one to two calendar years of study.

    JHU was founded in 1876 and name for its benefactor, abolitionist and entrepreneur Johns Hopkins. The public university is considered the first research university in the United States. In addition to its main campus in Baltimore, JHU has campuses across Maryland and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It also has international locations in China, Italy, and Singapore. U.S. News & World Report ranks JHU at No. 18 in both Best Value Schools and Most Innovative Schools and No. 10 in National Universities. The university ranks at No. 23 in Economics at the graduate level.

  3. University of North Dakota

    Grand Forks, ND



    The University of North Dakota awards a Master of Science in Applied Economics through its College of Business & Public Administration. The degree program is offered on campus and fully online. It is designed for students seeking careers in economic consulting, forecasting, and research. The 30-credit curriculum is rooted in advanced statistical methods, data analytics, economic theory, and mathematical economics. Students may choose to specialize in a specific area of research, such as business economics or economic development. Students have the option to join on-campus courses in real-time or to watch the recorded lectures later on their own time. Required courses include Econometrics and Economic Forecasting. Elective offerings include Government and Business and International Money and Finance. Students must also complete three credits of independent study, and they have the option to complete an economic research internship.

    Founded in 1883, UND is the oldest institution of higher education in North Dakota. Located in Grand Forks, it is a member of the North Dakota University System. The public research university was founded with a liberal arts foundation and now includes scientific research. A space-grant institution, UND is noted for its pioneering in aerospace and aviation. Its research facilities include the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the School of Medicine and the Health Sciences, and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. U.S. News & World Report ranks UND at No. 112 in Top Public Schools and No. 24 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

  4. University of Missouri

    Columbia, MO



    The University of Missouri offers a Master of Arts in Economics through Mizzou Online. The online degree program is designed to build students' understanding of big data and globalization and to build the hands-on skills required to succeed in the global market. The 30-credit curriculum covers areas such as banking, international trade; monetary systems; and macroeconomic and microeconomic theory. Required courses include Problems in Economics and a Research Workshop. Elective offerings include Applied Econometrics and Introduction to Game Theory. Most students take one to two courses per semester and complete the degree program in two years.

    Founded in 1839, Mizzou was the original higher education establishment west of the Mississippi and is now the flagship campus of the University of Missouri. It is also the largest university in the state by student enrollment. A land- and space-grant institution, MU is a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of North America's top research universities. The university is also noted for housing the world's most powerful university research reactor. U.S. News & World Report ranks MU at No. 129 in National Universities, No. 78 in Best Value Schools, and No. 61 in Top Public Schools. The university also ranks at No. 63 in Economics at the graduate level.

  5. Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro, GA



    Georgia Southern University offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Applied Economics. The degree program is designed to build students' skills in economic development, financial economics, market analysis, quantitative analysis, and regulatory industry issues. These skills are applicable to economic issues in health care, government regulation, international trade, and beyond. The program can be completed entirely online through asynchronous courses, meaning students can complete the coursework on their own schedule. Required courses include Applied Econometrics, Microeconomics, and Math for Applied Economics. Elective offerings include Behavioral Economics, History of Economic Thought, and Regional Economic Development. The degree program is designed to be completed in two years, or five semesters.

    GS began in 1906 as an agricultural and mechanical school. Today, it is a public research university and a member of the University System of Georgia. It is the largest institution of higher education in the southern half of the state. In addition to its flagship campus in Statesboro, GS operates the Armstrong Campus in Savannah and the Liberty Campus in Hinesville. The university is home to the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center, designed to enhance business and economic development in Georgia. U.S. News & World Report ranks GS at No. 45 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

  • Our Methodology, Explained

    Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.

    Metric Data Used Percentage
    Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
    Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
    Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
    Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
    Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%

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

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