15 Best Economics Masters Programs |Schools, Requirement, Cost

A bachelor of Science in Economics allows you to begin your career as an economist by offering you an edge and enabling you to climb the professional ladder faster. This article on the Best Economics Master’s programs in 2023 reflects where you can get them and how much they may cost.

Just as its name suggests, a master’s degree helps you gain mastery in your area of study. A bachelor of science degree is perceived as an introduction to your subject. Most of these undergraduate degrees will teach you about all the sectors in the economics world.

In the labor market, some industries will demand you gain mastery in a sub-segment of economics. Studies show that many students become lackadaisical towards furthering their education and obtaining a master’s degree. Some of these reasons revolve around finances, options to opt for, and where to enroll for one.

A glance at the table of contents below will give you a glimpse of what is discussed in detail in this article. The article addresses all your concerns about where to get a master’s degree and what it requires.

What is a Master in Economics?

A master’s in Economics is a postgraduate degree in economics that comprises training in economic theory, econometrics, and applied economics. To become a certified economist in any society, you will need a degree in Economics.

A bachelor of science in economics allows its graduate students to begin a career as an economist. However, some industries may demand different certifications for entry-level or managerial positions.

The degree in economics may be offered as a terminal degree or as additional preparation for doctoral study. A Master’s in economics is sometimes referred to as a professional degree. As an obligation to earn this certificate, students are expected to submit their thesis, especially when offered a terminal degree.

Read: Earn a degree in economics from any of these Best Economic Schools in the world.

Why a Master’s Degree in Economics?

Undoubtedly, a bachelor’s in economics can land you a job. However, a graduate degree will allow you to climb the path to greatness faster. If you are gifted in quantitative methods such as statistics and data, you must consider earning a master’s in economics.

Earning a master’s in economics often provides students with better job opportunities. This program prepares graduates to pursue private or government jobs requiring economic, analytical, and statistical expertise.

To attain the peak of education, which is the doctoral level, earning a master’s degree in economics is essential. Whether you get this degree online or on campus, this master’s degree is ideal for every student because it teaches foundational skills and networking opportunities and even provides placement resources upon graduating.

It is important to note that the relevance of your certificate will depend on several factors, including the program’s accreditation and the school’s reputation. Read this article to find the best economics programs for you.

What can I do with a master’s degree in economics?

While a bachelor’s degree may get you an entry-level position, a master’s degree opens more professional doors than you may initially imagine. With a master’s in economics, you attain better positions in companies and industries as financial analysts, market research analysts, actuaries, and financial managers.

A master’s in economics in addition to quantitative solid, business, and statistical skills will land you a managerial position. Interestingly, you can learn these competencies during your study period as a master’s in economics student.

Subsequent paragraphs will identify job roles for the above professional positions and how much they can earn with a master’s degree in economics.

Apply to any of these 25 Master’s degree Scholarships to aid in paying off your educational expenses.

How much will I earn with a master’s degree in economics?

Well, becoming a well-paid economist demands you earn a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. Also, how much you earn with this degree is influenced by several factors. One of the significant factors is where you work and what type of job you do.

First and foremost, you can take up different roles in different companies with a degree in economics. However, these jobs require you to get more education, including certifications. The Bureau of Labor Statistics opines that the expected job growth rate for individuals with a master’s in economics between 2016 and 2016 is 6 percent.

This article will analyze how much your master’s degree in economics can fetch you depending on which of the jobs you undertake. Below is how much you will earn :

With a graduate degree in economics, you can work in the private sector or government establishments. Generally, as a financial analyst, you offer investment and financial advice to individuals and businesses.

To excel in this carer path, you must be conversant with the stock market, bonds, and other investments. While you can take up this role with a bachelor’s degree and years of work experience, a graduate degree is of great advantage as it allows you to cut the number of years spent working to attain this position.

In summary, being a financial analyst with a master’s degree may fetch you about $84,300 annually. The profession’s projected growth rate is 11%, so you should start your career journey already.

With a projected growth rate of 19%, this profession is one you should opt for. And, earning a master’s degree in economics is the right way to launch this career. You will oversee the organization’s entire financial strategy and operations. You may be required to create five years and ten year plans, write reports and lead investment portfolios.

Towing this career path with a master’s in economics will fetch you about $125,080 annually.

Another career path that could fetch you enough yearly is Actuary. Becoming an actuary, you will assess and quantify such risks in financial terms. You can work for insurance companies, government agencies, or any organization wing. However, most vacancies may be managerial positions, and you would need a master’s in economics to attain this position.

Actuaries earn around $101 560 annually with a master’s in economics.

What are the Requirements for a master’s in economics Program?

What you need for a master’s in economics program is determined by your choice of school and program mode. For instance, an online master’s in economics program may have a different requirement from an on-campus master’s program, even if they are both offered by the same university.

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Generally, graduate degrees demand evidence that you have completed your bachelor’s degree program. So, one essential requirement is to complete your BSC in economics before applying to a master’s program. Depending on the program, you may need professional experience of about two years.

However, most master’s programs, whether online or on-campus, will demand transcripts from any universities, statements of purpose, and two or three letters of recommendation.

Once you earn your master’s degree, you should consider a Ph.D. See how long it takes to do a Ph.D. here.

How much does it Cost to Earn a Master’s in Economics?

How much it costs you to earn a master’s in economics will be significantly influenced by your choice of school, mode of classes, and the particular program.

Generally, to earn a master’s, most students pay the average cost of $30,000 and $120,000, according to FinAid.org.

However, it is essential to note that public schools are cheaper than private institutions. At the same time, an online master’s program costs more than an on-campus master’s program in economics.

Apply for these fully funded scholarships now.

What are the Best Masters in Economics Programs in the World?

Your determinant factor for the best master’s in economics programs in the world is what you need. Obviously, there are tons of master’s programs for economics students; however, you should only settle for what will benefit you.

So, you must list all your expectations from your master’s class. With these lists, you can choose the best program for you. For instance, would you want an online program or a traditional degree program? How much are you willing to let go of or invest in this new study?

Well, based on school reputation, affordability, and reputation, we have carefully selected the best programs for your master’s degree in economics. Also, we consider the national and regional accreditation status in selecting our top 15 best economics programs in the world. The relevant authorities fully accredit all programs here.

Below are the best economics masters programs in the world:

1. Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Applied Economics Program

John Hopkins University is one of America’s first research universities. It is truly a global university that has proven its relevance for over 140 years.

Programs at JHU are dual-track. Hence, it offers one of the best master’s degree programs as a Master of Business administration and Master of Science in Applied Economics.

This program takes a minimum of three years to complete, and students take 31 courses. Also, the school allows both sections of its master’s program in economics to be completed online or in a hybrid format.

However, students who intend to earn this certificate must have earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. They must also earn a B grade in introductory courses in micro and macroeconomics alongside a calculus course.

In addition, the MBA section includes core courses, electives, and specializations chosen from six different options, while MS in Economics consists of eight courses, of which three are electives.

The program is relatively affordable hence its position as number 1 in our rankings. It costs about $27,352 on average to earn this dual-track degree. This master’s in economics program will cover core areas like:

  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Macroeconometrics
  • Accounting and Financial Reporting
  • Business Leadership and Human Values


2. Duke University Master of Arts in Economics Program

Duke University is known globally for its outstanding law, business, engineering, arts, and sciences programs. Located in Durham, NC, Duke offers a single-track Master of Arts in Economics.

The graduate degree program consists of 30 credits, of which 15 must be in economics. The MA program at Duke is very flexible and quite transitional as it allows students to take doctoral-level courses in other departments at Duke University, like Political science, Public Policy, Finance, Statistics, and Mathematics.

Majorly, the degree equips students with a quantitative approach to economics. Students can choose various areas in the discipline; students can decide to specialize in computational economics, economic analysis, or financial economics.

This Master of Art in Economics Degree Program at Duke University costs about $19,950.Degree candidates may take classes such as:

  • Game Theory with Applications of Economics and Other Social Sciences
  • Advanced Microeconomic Analysis
  • Industrial Organization
  • Time Series Econometrics


3. Boston University Master of Arts in Economics PROGRAM

Located in Boston, MA, the university offers a Master of Arts in Economics as a terminal program that prepares students with the required skills and knowledge to become an economic analyst in the business world or government.

The graduate degree program requires 32 credit hours to be earned through eight courses. The remaining four courses are core elects and must cover micro and macroeconomics theory, statistics, and econometrics.

This program is available for students with bachelor’s degrees in economics. The program can be accelerated and completed in a year. Students must conduct independent research or scholarship to meet most of the elective courses.

Master of Art in Economics Program at Boston University costs about $31,539. To earn this degree certificate, students must complete core courses in the following areas:

  • Market Structure and Industrial Organization
  • Money and Financial Intermediation
  • Race and the Development of the American Economy: A Global Perspective
  • Energy and Environmental Economics


4. The University of Southern California Master of Arts in Economics Programs

According to US News & World Report, the University of Southern California ranks twenty-first among all national universities in the US. The institution offers a Master of Arts in Economics with 32 credit hours and eight courses.

Its master’s in economics program is one of its most populous programs. Interestingly, full-time students can complete this master’s program in one year.

Out of the 32 credits, 20 of them are electives; however, 12 out of them must be Economics courses. Students who intend to pursue this graduate degree must submit GRE scores with a minimum score of 150 on the verbal section and 151 on the quantitative section.

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One of the fantastic facts about this outstanding master’s program is that exceptional students in the program are offered research assistant positions at Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory. This master’s in economics program costs about $32,932.

However, students must complete the following courses;

  • Mathematical Methods in Dynamic Economics
  • Theory of Value: Classical Origins and Neoclassical Critique
  • Contracts, Organizations, and Institutions
  • Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy


5. University of Maryland Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics Programs

The school offers a master of Professional Studies in Applied economics. The program emphasizes analytical skills and the ability to use evidence-based quantitative methods.

The master’s in Economics program is a 30-credit program that can be completed in two years full-time.

The program teaches and enhances students’ proficiency in collecting, evaluating, understanding, and analyzing economic data. Students will also learn to interpret statistical results and articulate and apply micro and macroeconomic theory to policy discussion.

Amazingly, the employment rate of students who graduated from this program is almost 100 percent. This master’s in economics program costs about $15,757. However, these courses are only offered in the evening, and students must take classes in

  • Economics of Health Care
  • Information, Game Theory, and Market Design
  • International Macroeconomics and Finance
  • Applied Time Series Analysis and Forecasting


6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Master of Science in Policy Economics

The university offers a Master of Science in Policy Economics. The Masters in economics Program is offered as a STEm designed program.

Generally, the program prepares students for challenging roles in government and business and doctoral studies.

Students who enroll for this course must complete 40 credit hours which consist of 16 electives with a minimum of two studies in economics. Eight classes of the 40 credit hours are from chosen specialization.

Students can choose from any of the ten different areas of specialization. These specializations include Labor Economics, Industrial Organization, and Environmental and Natural Resources. 

Master of Science in Policy Economics at the University of Illinois may cost about $16,683.

Students may take courses such as:

  • Development and Growth Policy
  • Government Regulation of Economic Activity
  • Economics of Innovation and Technology
  • Public Goods Theory


7. University of Delaware Master of Arts in Economics Program

Founded in 1734, the University of Delaware is known to be a research-focused institution. The institution offers a master of Arts in Economics. This Master In Economics program offers maximum elective options for students.

The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours, with only nine being core courses. The program is designed for maximum flexibility and is best for undergraduate students in fields like Economics and Applied Econometrics, Economics and Entrepreneurship for Educators, and International Business.

Mandatorily, students take coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometric theory. The program is available to bachelor’s degree holders with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In economics Program at Delaware University costs about $15,894.

Some of the elective coursework for this Master of Arts in Economics Programs include:

  • Economic Analysis for Business Policy
  • Econometrics of Cross-Section and Panel Data
  • International Trade and Development
  • Contemporary Issues for Economic Educators


8. Texas A&M University Master of Science in Economics Program

According to Money Magazine’s “The 50 Best Colleges You Can Get Into” ranking, Texas A&M University took first place. The institution offers a Master of Science in Economics, which requires the completion of 36 credits in three years or just four semesters.

Well, as an obligation, students must complete the Capstone project upon graduation. They must also complete all requirements for core courses which are focused on economic theory and analysis. Students must also take electives in accounting, finance, or statistics with topics like Economics of the Multinational Firm, Behavioral Financial economics, or Financial Econometrics.

To graduate from this Masters In Economics program, students should prepare their minds to complete the thesis, final examination, oral defense, and research project. However, these requirements will cost about $15,455.

This is worth your investment as students who complete their program are usually hired by big brands like Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and the International Bank of Chicago.


9. North Carolina State University Masters in Economics Programs

Master in Economics at North Carolina State University is offered as a dual-track program. One session is a terminal program, while the other is a Preparation program for doctoral studies. On a full-time basis, students can complete the terminal program within 18 or 24 months.

Students can specialize in these areas of concentration; Financial/Macro Econometrics, International Development and Trade, Natural Resource & Environmental Economics, and Economic Policy.

To complete this program, students must complete a thesis and oral examination for an MS degree. The doctoral degree preparation program’s core courses are theoretical, while the terminal program focuses on applied economics.


10. New York University Master of Arts in Economics

New York University is a private nonprofit research institution. Its Masters in Economics program requires a minimum of three full-time semesters. The master’s in economic program is a 32 credits program, of which five are core courses and five electives.

To complete this master’s degree program, students must complete a unique project in economic research. Electives can be completed through either economics courses or relevant topics in the NYU School of Business.

The cost of this economics master’s program is about $35,147, and students must take core courses in the following areas:

  • Mathematics for Economists
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Macroeconomic Theory
  • Applied Statistics and Econometrics


11. University of California San Diego Master of Arts in Economics

The University of California offers a master’s in Economics program that is quite versatile and intensive and allows students to pursue concentrations in fields like Econometrics, Labor, International trade, and others.

The economics program at the University of California San Diego is only available to students who have once been admitted to study in the Ph.D. program but decided not to continue. However, students seeking to qualify for a summer or part-time job amid their doctoral program may also enroll.

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To complete the economics master’s degree program, students must take core courses in Macro and microeconomics and Econometrics. Students will also complete electives like Behavioral/ Experimental Economics and Development.

This master’s in economics program costs about $14,770; interestingly, students may earn a doctorate without an MA.


12. University of Texas at Austin Master of Arts in Economics Program

Established in 2013, The Economics graduate program at the University of Texas is essential for students who decide to pursue a doctoral-level degree. The program graduates students who pursue job opportunities in big firms, private or government sector.

The Master of Arts in Economics at the University of Texas imbues students with economic, analytical, and statistical expertise.

The economics master’s program can be earned through three pathways: a 10-month track, an 18-month track, and a 24-month track. Students must complete 30 credit hours with ten courses in whatever track they choose.

 Students who choose 18 or 24 months enjoy flexible options that suit working students or students with more responsibilities. Interestingly, students may participate in internships as the program does not require a thesis option. Without scholarships or sponsorship, students will pay as much as $16,010.

To earn this degree, students must complete courses that cover topics such as :

  • Mathematics for Economists
  • Real Analysis for Economists
  • Markets for Electricity (Energy Policy and Economic Issues)
  • Statistical Learning and Data Mining


13. Tufts University’s Master of Science in Economics Program

Tufts was established in 1852. It is a private institution with a main campus in Medford, MA. It offers an economics master’s program through two different mediums. 

One medium is a research-based MS in economics, while the other is an interdisciplinary MS in Environmental Economics and Urban Planning.

The research-based MS in economics can be earned within two years, while the course-based master’s in economics can be earned within one year. To complete these programs, students must submit a master’s thesis.

The Research-Based MS in Economics and the interdisciplinary MS in Environmental Economics and Urban Planning have the exact requirements. Students must complete 30 credits and an extra 13 credits.

To complete these 13 credits, students must complete two master theses, a research seminar, and an additional elective course. This will cost about $28,076 on average. For the core courses, students must choose topics that cover microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. However, two of their electives courses must include:

  • State and Local Public Finance
  • Resource and Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Income Inequality, Poverty, and Economic Justice
  • Advertising and Imperfect Competition


14. University of Oklahoma Master of Arts in Economics Program

The University of Oklahoma is a public research institution established in 1890. Today, it offers various degree programs covering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

The university offers a Master of Arts in Economics program, which requires students to complete 32 credits. 14 of these 32 credits are core courses, while the remaining eight are electives and just two completion credits courses.

To earn these completion credits, students must pass a comprehensive exam that must be taken within the same term they take a two-credit hour course.

Students must complete core courses that cover a wide range of topics like Statistics for Decision making, Managerial Economics, and Contemporary Economic Methods and Analysis. This accelerated degree program features 16-week classes that are designed to accommodate the schedules of working adults. This flexible degree program will cost about $17,966.


15. University of Missouri Master of Arts in Economics Programs

The University of Missouri is a public institution that was founded in 1839. US News and World Reports currently rank the university’s graduate program in Economics sixty-third nationwide.

The institution offers a master of Arts in Economics program, which requires students to complete 30 credits. 12 of these 30 credit hours must be of core courses, and students may choose either of these options: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics.

The program trains and prepares students to compete for jobs in government, colleges, universities, research institutions, and even private enterprises. The institution also offers dual degree master in economics programs like the famous MA in economics and JD in Law, Master of Science in Applied mathematics, and MA in Economics.

Numerous scholarship opportunities and even student loans help alleviate the cost of obtaining this degree from the University of Missouri. On average, students will pay as much as $16,317.


FAQs On Economics Masters Programs

What is the difference between MBA and MA in economics?

MBA and MA in economics are both good graduate degrees to consider. However, obtaining a master’s in business is more expensive than earning a MA in economics.
While an MBA may be completed in two years, Ma in economics can be completed in 18 months.

What is the best for MA in Economics?

John Hopkins University is the best for MA in Economics. It offers a dual degree, has a high graduation rate, and all courses are fully accredited.

How long does a master’s in Economics last?

A master’s in Economics may last between 12 months to 2 years, depending on the institution.

What does it cost to earn a masters in economics?

To earn a master’s, most students pay the average cost of $30,000 and $120,000, according to FinAid.org.

What is MA in Economics?

MA in Economics focuses on studying economics as a discipline at an advanced level, whereas an MSc in Economics focuses on studying scientific principles in economics.


A master’s degree in any field gives you room to gain mastery and choose a specialization. A master’s degree opens up more doors which consist of better job opportunities, resulting in high pay.

However, you must earn this degree from a reliable and accredited university. A master’s in economics earned from a reputable institution is the best way to launch a career as an economist or any other job offer available to students with a master’s degree in economics.



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