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Getting Your Master’s Degree in Economics

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Master’s Degree in Economics 

The field of economics is about collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and how to best allocate resources, goods, and services. Economics is a social science that studies how human beings interact with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Within the field of economics, you can find macroeconomics, which focuses on countries and governments, and microeconomics, which focuses on individuals and businesses. 

According to BLS, job growth in the field of economics is expected to grow 14% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Economics has a big impact on businesses and industries as a whole. By going into the field of economics, students can feel more linked with the societies and cultures in the world. Economics is a part of daily life and can be used in many different places and situations. 

Working in economics means you can find jobs in the private sector, government agencies, and international organizations. 

Online or In-person Master’s in Economics

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in economics, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience. 

A Master’s in Economics   

Some jobs in the field of economics only require a bachelor’s degree, however, going to get your master’s in economics will open more doors. Having that degree will also allow you to make more money, and move further on in your career. 

Concentrations in Economics

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some concentrations that you might find in a master’s of economics program:

Applied Economics

Students will focus on developing different economic models to help make decisions about national and foreign policy. 

Economic Theory

Students will focus on developing and examining theories on different economic models. They will also focus on decision theory, game theory, and contract theory.

International Economics

Students will study international relations as it relates to economics.


Students will focus on large-scale economic systems, with some focus on topics such as a country’s GDP or income.

Economic and Political Development

Students will study poverty and the causes for it, as well as policy planning and advocacy.

Classes in Economics

The classes you take in a master’s of economics program will depend on your concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree. 

  • Global Economic Environment – this class is about learning the external economy-wide factors that affect the performance and management of firms in today’s global economy. 
  • Economic History  – this class is where you would learn about world economic history and historical experiences. 
  • Behavioral Economics– this class studies the effects of emotional, cultural, social, psychological, and cognitive factors with both individuals and institutions. 
  • Research Methods in Economics – this class teaches the foundations for research within the field of economics. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students most likely will need to have a bachelor’s degree in economics or another similar field.

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

How to Choose a Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right economics master’s program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Most programs are two years long, but students might also be able to find an accelerated program and be done in a year. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost. 

Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the profession. 

Top Master’s in Economics Programs 

There are many different master’s in economics programs, some are in-person, and some are online. 

Here are 10 of the top master’s in economics programs: 

  • The University of Wyoming
  • The University of Arizona
  • Texas A&M University
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • North Carolina State University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Stony Brook University
  • The University of Kansas
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Top Online Master’s in Economics Programs

Here are 10 of the top online master’s in economics programs: 

  • American University
  • The University of North Dakota
  • The University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Ohio University
  • Purdue University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Youngstown State University
  • The University of Detroit Mercy
  • Southern New Hampshire University 

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Economics   

Market Research Analyst

Annual Median Pay: $54,734

Market Research Analysts analyze market conditions to help clients understand what the public is buying.  


Annual Median Pay: $78,247

Economists study the economy and economic issues. You can find this type of job with just a bachelor’s degree but most would require a master’s degree. 

Senior Financial Analyst

Annual Median Pay: $82,013

Senior Financial Analysts help corporations make strategic investments and business decisions, evaluating trends, demographics, and economic factors that affect finances.  

Credit Analyst

Annual Median Pay: $52,479

Credit Analysts conduct microeconomic analyses of prospective clients to assess the risks involved with loaning funds to people or businesses. 

Investment Analyst

Annual Median Pay: $66,462

Investment Analysts collect information, perform research and analyze assets, stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities. 

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Economics

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in economics or a similar major. You can also find other scholarships on College Recon. 

Hsiao Memorial Social Sciences Scholarship 

This scholarship was established in honor of Liang-Lin Hsiao who was a professor of economics at Indiana State University. It is open to a graduate student attending a US-based college or university, pursuing a graduate degree in social sciences. Economics is preferred but not required. There is also a preference for Asian heritage though not required. There will be one winner, in the amount of $1,000.

The Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco

This scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate women who are juniors and seniors. They must be enrolled at the main physical campus of a Bay Area accredited college or university or be enrolled and be attending a school satellite campus located within 1 of 9 Bay Area counties in California and taking at least 80% of classes at a satellite campus. Students will also need to be following a course of study to attain a degree and pursue a career in finance or in the financial services industry. Undergraduates will receive $10,000 and graduate students will receive $15,000. 

Joseph K. Heyman Scholarship 

This scholarship is by the Atlanta Economics Club. The award will go to an outstanding student in economics. It is open to any undergraduate or graduate student that is enrolled at a metropolitan Atlanta college or university. There will be multiple awards for $1,000. 

The Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

The Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship is to help recognize and encourage outstanding minority students enrolled in a course of study preparing for a career in state or local government finance. This is for full or part-time, graduate, or upper-level undergrads. Those studying a variety of majors qualify, including accounting, finance, and economics. There will be one award given for $10,000.

Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship

This scholarship was previously called the Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship and is funded by the Girard Miller Foundation. The scholarship is open to full-time graduate students who are pursuing an advanced degree and have a relationship with state and local government finance. There are multiple winners with award amounts between $5,000-$20,000.


Find Scholarships for Economics with the CollegeRecon Scholarship Finder!



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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.