West Texas A&M University, also known as WT and WTAMU, is a public university in Canyon, Texas and part of the Texas A&M University System. Established in 1910 and originally known as West Texas State Normal College, the school was initially one of seven state-funded teacher schools in Texas. In 1916, the school hired famous artist Georgia O'Keeffe to be the head of the Art Department for the following two years. In addition to offering on-campus programs, West Texas is a leader in distance education. It offers bachelor's degrees, 13 master's degrees and individual classes that can be completed fully online. The school's online Master of Business Administration program was ranked third in the country on GetEducated.com's list of quality, affordable "Best Buys in Online Education."

West Texas A&M University Accreditation Details

West Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In addition, the programs it offers through its College of Business are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

West Texas A&M University Application Requirements

In order to be admitted into the Master of Science in Finance and Economics degree program, students must have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, write a statement of goals for pursuing a graduate business degree, submit a resume showing career progress and send at least three letters of recommendation, one of which must be a professional recommendation. In addition, graduate applicants must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in foundational business courses. Although all applicants may take the GMAT exam, those with an UG GPA of 3.0 or better may request a waiver for this requirement. The school may also provide consideration for excellence in military service, career progression in the industry, GMAT performance and/or excellence in previous academic programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

West Texas offers a guaranteed tuition plan that locks in a tuition rate for the student's entire education as long as he or she graduates on time. This is beneficial in that it allows students and families to plan for the full degree, knowing that the tuition will remain the same from the freshman year through the senior year. Students pursuing an online Master of Finance and Economics degree can expect to pay differential tuition. Graduate students have access to private, state, and federal financial aid, including student-employment opportunities, grants, scholarships and loans. Graduate research and/or teaching assistantships are also available. In addition, there are a number of various educational benefits available for veterans, active service members and their dependents.

Online Master of Science in Finance and Economics Degree

West Texas A&M offers a number of online degree options. WTAMU is committed to offering programs that are of the same high-quality and caliber as its on-campus degrees. Within the College of Business, the Master of Science in Finance and Economics (MSFE) degree provides students with the opportunity to show how they can use economic and financial analytical tools in order to understand difficult problems and recommend realistic solutions. Students in this program will have an understanding and knowledge of advanced theoretical concepts in financial management, macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Financial Engineer ranked the MSFE graduate program third on its list of best economics and finance programs in 2017. Scores for the rankings were based on several factors, including starting salary after graduation, employment rate after graduate, incoming students' undergraduate GPA and the program's acceptance rate. In addition, the online MSFE was ranked as the 26th best graduate business program by U.S. News & World Report.

Related Resource: 15 Best Affordable Online Master's in Finance

The degree is designed for students who want to further develop their understanding of finance and economics, particularly students who are already working in or who are interested in economic and financial advising and consulting as well as community service and policy-oriented service occupations in the public and private sectors. Students who are working in finance departments and finance institutions in government and business may also benefit from an online MSFE degree as well as those who wish to teach at the instructor, community college or high school level. In addition, the online MSFE program can help prepare students for law school or doctoral degrees in marketing, management, finance or economics. Since the program is geared more toward application rather than theory, graduates benefit from greater opportunities in a wider range of institutions and occupations.

Students may complete the 36-credit-hour degree within two years, although some students may be able to earn their degree in one year. Students may complete their courses online, on campus or combine the two delivery methods into a hybrid format. Students seeking an online M.S. in Finance and Economics must first demonstrate proficiency in statistics, accounting, finance and economics. This can be accomplished by taking specific courses at West Texas A&M University, completing advanced standing examinations in these areas or through a previously earned undergraduate program.

The curriculum includes 21 graduate hours at the core level. Topics of study are divided into categories, including quantitative analysis, international, asset valuation, corporate finance, corporate governance, monetary and fiscal policy and theory of households and firms. Topics of study include financial management of healthcare, a seminar in financial planning, problems in government finance and fiscal policy, economics of health and medical care, security analysis, international finance and quantitative analysis in business. In addition, students are required to take nine semester hours of graduate elective courses in finance or economics as well as six semester hours of graduate-level electives in computer information and decision management, accounting, finance or economics. After students complete the required coursework, they must pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive the degree.

West Texas A&M University indicates several learning objects for students pursuing the online M.S. in Finance and Economics. Students develop strong oral communication and writing skills as well as a solid foundation in critical thinking. Students must be able to use economic and financial tools to investigate complex problems and suggest feasible resolutions to the organizations with whom they work. Graduates who earn the online Master of Science in Finance and Economics degree from West Texas A&M University also demonstrate knowledge of the global business environment and business ethics as well as quantitative integration and theoretical integration.