Best Online Masters in Economics 2021: Top Picks

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A master’s degree in economics prepares graduates for in-demand careers as economists, analysts and researchers. The flexible learning format of an online master’s degree in economics makes it easier for busy adults to advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

During an online master’s program, graduate students in economics take both theoretical and practical courses. Many programs allow degree applicants to specialize in areas such as economic theory, data analysis, and economic forecasting. After earning a master’s degree, graduates pursue opportunities in the public and private sectors, especially in finance, marketing, and government. We rank the best online masters programs to help applicants make an informed choice.

The best online master’s degree in economics

Our list ranks the best master’s degree programs in economics online. To create the list, ZDNet’s ranking methodology relies on reliable data sources. Prospective students can use our ranking to find the best solution for their unique needs and educational goals.

Unless otherwise noted, data is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. University of South Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

About the program: Georgia Southern’s online Masters in Economics builds analytical skills through training in economic development and financial economics. The program emphasizes applied economics.

Acceptance rate: 54%

Graduation rate: 50%

Annual net price: $ 15,536

Completion time : Two years

GRE / GMAT: GRE requirements were lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic; otherwise, “competitive” GRE scores required

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Registration periods per year: Of them

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Georgia Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

About the program: The online master’s program in economics offers career-focused specializations in public economics, financial economics, and business and data analysis.

Acceptance rate: 60%

Graduation rate: 73%

Annual net price: $ 13,986

Completion time : 20-36 months

GRE / GMAT: Not required

Minimum GPA: 2.6 GPA for STEM degrees, 2.8 for non-STEM degrees

Registration periods per year: Of them

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

About the program: The online master’s program in economics emphasizes data analysis and research. Applicants for a degree earn 30 credits, including econometrics and economic forecasting courses.

Acceptance rate: 81%

Graduation rate: 50%

Annual net price: $ 15,738

Completion time : Two years

GRE / GMAT: GRE or GMAT score required; some students may benefit from an exemption

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Registration periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. University of Missouri

Colombia, Missouri

About the program: Graduate students who earn an online master’s degree in economics complete 30 credits, including 12 industry-focused electives. The program emphasizes data analysis applications.

Acceptance rate: 81%

Graduation rate: 68%

Annual net price: $ 16,001

Completion time : Two years

GRE / GMAT: Not required

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Registration periods per year: Three

Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. American University

Washington DC

About the program: The online master’s program in economics emphasizes applied economics. Graduate students take ten courses, including electives, to graduate.

Acceptance rate: 36%

Graduation rate: 79%

Annual net price: $ 43,451

Completion time : Two years

GRE / GMAT: Not required

Minimum GPA: N / A

Registration periods per year: Not accessible to the public

Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: American University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

What to expect in an online economics master’s program

Economics programs at the graduate level offer an advanced and focused curriculum for degree applicants. In an online master’s program, graduate students in economics often take the same courses as those enrolled in an on-campus program. However, learners take courses online, in an asynchronous or synchronous format.

As with an on-campus program, the courses challenge graduate students through individual and group projects, analytical work, and research projects. Most programs incorporate specializations or elective courses to allow graduate students to customize their study program. Common economic specializations include economics and public policy, applied economics, business analysis, and economic theory. Strong time management and organizational skills help distance learners succeed in an online master’s degree program.

Economics course

Master’s programs in economics combine theoretical and applied courses. The curriculum of most programs includes core courses in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Graduate students also take elective courses to specialize.

Econometrics

Master of Economics students strengthen their skills in statistics, estimation and data analysis in econometrics courses. The class trains students in the use of econometric tools and the application of economic data in different fields.

Microeconomic theory

Students draw on their understanding of microeconomics at the undergraduate level to examine advanced microeconomic theories. The course covers market structure, business behavior and individual decision making. Learners also examine trends in microeconomic theory.

Public economy

The course examines the economics of government, including budgeting, government financing, and government intervention in economic systems. Topics can include tax policies, economic regulations, deficits, and political economy.

Experimental economics

Graduate students examine experimental methods in economics. The seminar covers key research in the discipline and its application to economics, including individual behavior, market outcomes, and forecasting.

Levels of study in economics

Colleges offer degrees in economics at the undergraduate and graduate level. Each degree leads to different career opportunities. For example, many entry-level jobs hire applicants with a bachelor’s degree in economics. However, economists and those in supervisory positions often hold a master’s degree. This section presents the cost, duration and career options for each degree level.

Associate in economics

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $ 7,000 – $ 16,000
  • Postgraduate careers: Finance clerk, appraiser, accounting clerk

An associate’s degree in economics introduces students to fundamental concepts in the field. Learners take courses in macroeconomics, microeconomics and finance. With a mix of economics, math, and business courses, the degree helps graduates launch careers in various industries or continue their education with a bachelor’s degree.

Many business careers require a bachelor’s degree for entry level opportunities. An associate’s degree in economics leads to a career as a financial clerk, tax collector, or appraiser.

Bachelor of Economics

  • Length: Four years
  • Cost: $ 35,000- $ 70,000
  • Postgraduate careers: Data analyst, financial analyst, business analyst

A bachelor’s degree in economics prepares graduates for entry-level careers that require strong analytical skills. The four-year degree includes general education, economics, business, and elective courses. During a degree in economics, undergraduates complete projects and pursue internships to gain practical experience.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, graduates pursue careers as a financial analyst and data analyst. The degree opens up opportunities in the fields of marketing, finance, accounting and public policy. Economics majors can also advance their studies with a master’s degree.

Master in Economics

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $ 25,000- $ 60,000
  • Postgraduate careers: Financial manager, economist, data scientist

A master’s degree in economics provides university-level training in econometrics, economic theory, and data analysis. Many master’s programs offer a specialization in applied economics designed for practitioners pursuing careers in industry.

Graduate students take basic economics courses as well as electives to customize their study program. Project-based assignments and experiential learning opportunities strengthen analytical skills. The degree can lead to a position as an economist, data scientist or statistician, in addition to a management position.

Doctorate in Economics

  • Length: Four to seven years
  • Cost: $ 48,000 to $ 100,000
  • Postgraduate careers: Professor of economics, economist, economic advisor

A doctorate represents the terminal degree in economics. During a doctorate, graduate students in economics take advanced courses, pass comprehensive exams, and conduct research for a doctoral thesis. Working in close collaboration with educational advisers, doctoral students specialize in a field of economics.

Typically, doctoral programs emphasize research skills and prepare graduates for careers as a professor or researcher in economics. Some programs, especially those with a doctorate in applied economics, prepare graduates for careers in business.

In conclusion

The analytical and research skills of a master’s degree in economics help graduates to work in the areas of business analysis, economic forecasting, and other in-demand fields. An online learning format prioritizes flexibility for working adults and busy students. Contact Masters in Economics programs directly for more specific information on cost, enrollment options, and placement records.


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