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Master's in Economics Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's universities offer economics master's degree programs with a range of different strengths and focuses. This article lays out the various program options for master's degree programs in economics across the state.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University offers a two-year Master of Arts (MA) in Economics degree. The program emphasizes econometrics, quantitative economics, and economic theory in order to prepare students for professional careers as economists or for further research in a Ph.D. program.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh's 8-month Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MQE) prepares students with advanced quantitative and analytical tools that they can use to perform data-driven economics in a number of settings. This program is a professional degree, thus it focuses less on academic research and more on technical skills that will make graduates competitive applicants for jobs in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Temple University

The Master of Arts in Economics program at Temple University allows students to develop a specialization in econometrics, health economics, international economics, labor, or quantitative macroeconomics. Students can complete this degree in 2-5 years, depending on if they choose to study full time or part time (all classes begin at or after 5:30 pm to accommodate part-time students).

Lehigh University

Lehigh University's Master of Science in Applied Economics program emphasizes quantitative data analysis. After completing core coursework in managerial economics, econometric software, mathematical economics, and econometrics, students choose between two emphasis tracks: competition and market analysis or policy economics.

Drexel University

Drexel University offers a Master of Science in Economics program that can be completed in a full-time (in as short as 18 months) or part-time (with flexible scheduling based on a student's needs) format. Students choose a concentration track based on their career goals; the public policy track prepares students for work in the government or nonprofit sectors, the industry track prepares students for jobs in the private sector, and the academic research track prepares students to continue on to Ph.D. programs.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
Pennsylvania State UniversityMaster of Arts in EconomicsIn-state: $21,540
Out-of-state: $36,974
University of PittsburghMaster of Science in Quantitative Economics (MQS) In-state: $22,846
Out-of-state: $38,736
Temple UniversityMaster of Arts in EconomicsIn-state: $16,488
Out-of-state: $22,698
Lehigh UniversityMaster of Science in Applied Economics$27,000
Drexel UniversityMaster of Science in Economics$34,155

Source: *NCES

Completing a Master's Degree in Economics in Pennsylvania

Most of these graduate programs in economics allow students to pursue an area of specialization after completing core coursework. Examples of common required courses include:

Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Theory

Macroeconomic theory classes explore principles of economic growth in the long term. Students study historical theories as well as up-to-date research on the policies that affect global and national economic outcomes. Meanwhile in microeconomic theory classes or sections, students may study small-scale economic systems and the principles that guide them, including consumer demand, production theory, and game theory.

Mathematics for Economics

In this course, students can learn how to rewrite economic problems into the language of mathematics in order to organize data, pursue academic research, and solve real-world problems. To this end, students may study topics like partial derivation, total differentials, matrix algebra, and dynamic analysis. Students could also learn helpful statistics techniques for quantitative analysis and big-data research.

Econometrics

In econometrics courses, students can study how to apply their growing mathematical took-kit to solve economic puzzles. This course may include technical skills, like learning how to use computer applications of statistical techniques like regression analysis. Students practice using software to apply mathematical concepts like confidence intervals and regressions. Topics may also include multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, limited independent variables, autocorrelation, simultaneous equation models, and identification and estimation problems.

Entrance Requirements for an Economics Master's Degree

All applicants to a master's degree in economics must already have a bachelor's degree; however, most of these graduate programs do not require it to be in economics. Still, applicants are expected to have a strong background in mathematics (including previous classes in linear algebra, calculus, and statistics). Competitive applicants have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Some programs also have a minimum GRE test score. Students must send in their undergraduate transcripts along with letters of recommendation from previous professors and a statement of purpose essay.

Across the state of Pennsylvania, master's degree programs are available with concentrations that emphasize both academic research and professional skills. Thus, students who wish to study economics in the Keystone State have the flexibility to choose a program that best fits their career goals.