Master's Degree in Economics: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Explore master's degree programs in economics. Learn about prerequisites and online study. Get information about the employment outlook in this field, too. Schools offering Economics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Master's Degree Programs Are Available in Economics?

Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs in economics and applied economics are most commonly available. Specializations are also offered in agricultural, environmental, transportation, health or business economics. Most programs will require you to study microeconomics and international economic policies, as well as the political aspects of economics.

Many graduate degree programs include classes in both economic theory and application. For example, you might learn how to use economic principles to provide consulting advice to companies or chart trends in the public's views of the nation's economy. Some schools require you to complete a thesis focused on a particular economics specialization.

Specialization Options Business, transportation, agricultural, environmental, health
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in economics or related field, minimum undergraduate GPA, prerequisite courses
Online Availability Online programs are available
Career Options Academia, consulting, strategic planning; public and private sector options
Job Outlook 6% increase between 2014-2024 (for economists)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites?

Programs usually require that you have a bachelor's degree in economics or a related field before applying. Some schools set a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement. You typically also must have taken microeconomic and macroeconomic theory courses, as well as math classes like calculus and statistics.

How Can I Earn the Degree Online?

You can find online master's degree programs in applied economics and economic development. There are also several programs that offer classes in the evenings or on the weekends for working professionals. Some online programs include an internship experience, so that you can work more closely with other economists in the field.

Many online programs contain asynchronous classes that communicate via discussion boards, but there are also programs where Web classes are presented at a specific time. For these courses, you might need a webcam, headphones and a microphone. Some online programs also have timed exams that you must complete by a set date. A cable Internet connection is often preferred for effective online participation.

What Can I Expect After Graduation?

With a master's degree in the field of economics, you could work for the government or a strategic planning company. Consulting firms also hire economists as part of their teams to evaluate effective business systems. You might choose to further your studies by pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in economics if you're interested in becoming a college professor.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economist jobs were expected to increase by six percent from 2014-2024, which was as fast as the average for other job fields ( However, more economists were expected to become employed in positions such as public policy consultant, financial analyst, researcher or other positions in private industry.

The BLS reported that most economists worked in larger cities, with the federal government employing 21% of economists in 2014. The mean annual wage for economists was $105,290 as of May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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