Throughout the ebbs and flows of rapidly changing economies around the world there is one constant–that even amongst the greatest changes, there are fundamental rules that predict and even determine the outcomes of economic fluctuations. A strong foundation in economics can open many doors, leading to careers in business, finance, and even in academia–just to name a few. But, in fact, the list will be smaller to name the things you cannot do with a background in economics.
And due to the recent and near-ubiquitous adoption of online education over recent years, there are more options for prospective economics than ever before. Even some of the most traditionalist and conversative universities around the world have recently adopted online education in response to the worldwide pandemic, which has led to many of the best master’s of economics programs shifting offerings to the digital education space.
This widespread adoption of online education has simultaneously unraveled cynical skepticism toward online education on both the side of employers and educators, meaning that there have simultaneously never been more options and these options have never had such acceptance and approval. So with this in mind, our researchers have done the legwork and compiled some of the best options to consider for earning your master’s of economics online.
Our researchers have organized this ranking according to metrics that we believe will be most meaningful to prospective students–including overall prestige of the institution, graduation rate, tuition costs, and aggregate scores from parallel education rankings.
1 West Texas A&M University
The West Texas A&M University Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business offers a renowned economics program that can be completed as a fully online master’s degree. The program has racked up numerous accolades that recognize it for outstanding standards of excellence and promising outcomes for program graduates. Students of the program will master the skills needed to succeed in careers of economic and financial consulting and advising in either the private or public sector.
The program can be completed through 36 to 45 credit hours of coursework that is completed through an asynchronous schedule. The program also offers excellent flexibility for students who wish to progress through the program while holding down full-time employment. As such, hard working professionals have up to six years to complete the program so as to ensure a comfortable work-life balance.
Net Price: $13,185
2 Purdue University
The Purdue University Krannert School of Management is one of the most prestigious and respected business schools in the country and beyond. Students of the Krannert School of Management go on to achieve their goals through exemplary careers. Among other top-notch degree programs, the Krannert School of Management offers a fully online Master of Science of Economics.
Students of the program will learn from top-tier faculty who specialize in cutting-edge quantitative and empirical instructional methods. As such, students will progress through a high-tech curriculum that enforces study in the following areas: econometrics (big data, machine learning), statistical software applications, modern computational and programming tools (Python), business outcome-forecasting, game theory and more.
Students of the program will be able to choose from a four degree specialization tracks:
- Business and Data Analytics
- Financial Economics
- Public Economics and Policy
- Advanced Theory
Net Price: $12,527
3 University of Missouri
The University of Missouri offers a number of career-centric degree programs that are designed to propel students to the next threshold of professional advancement. Particularly in the case of the College of Arts and Sciences, programs are designed to position graduates to capitalize on market needs and job market opportunities. Specifically, the College offers a fully online Master of Arts in Economics.
Esteemed faculty cultivate students’ skill sets with hands-on learning opportunities meant to cultivate mastery in the following areas: public sector business development, international trade, international finance, economic development.
Students who graduate from the program will be prepared to take on employment in any of the following roles (evidenced by recent graduates who hold these titles):
- Data Scientist
- Director of Institutional Research
- Economic Development Incentive Specialist
- Energy Markets Manager
- Lecturer in Economics
- Quantitative Modeling Analyst
Net Price: $18,480
4 University of Detroit Mercy
The University of Detroit at Mercy College of Liberal Arts & Education offers some of the most recognized and awarded degree programs on this list. This particularly true for one program in particular, the fully online Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics has racked up numerous accolades recognizing it for its top-tier education and promising outcomes for recent graduates.
While not listed as an economics program in the name, the program is specifically designed to position students within the field of global economics. In fact, the data analytics curriculum represents a well-informed strategy to position students to capitalize on the rising prominence of data-centric strategy in economic careers.
For students interested in the technical side of global economics, few programs replicate this commitment to a high tech, career-centric curriculum.
Net Price: $20,415
5 Ohio University
Ohio University offers a globally-minded, STEM-designated Master of Arts in Economics that is particularly accommodating to international students. The STEM designation allows for a program classification, which grants up to 24 months of extra training after graduation for international students.
The program can be completed at jaw-dropping pace, with completion in as little as one year. Class sizes are kept to a small number to encourage full integration and engagement between students. This is meant to convey a focus on socially aware collaboration, which is an integral part of the economist’s profession.
Specifically, graduates of the program will be prepared to excel in any of the following career paths:
- Data Analyst
- Research Analyst
- Financial manager
- Policy analyst
- College instructor
Net Price: $6,677
6 Johns Hopkins University
John Hopkins University is a school that confers tremendous clout to graduates of its programs. JHU is at the forefront of research in countless fields, and produces industry-shifting professionals year after year. Most of its programs commit to industry-relevant research methods, so that graduates enter the job market armed with knowledge of the current market needs and opportunities.
JHU’s Online Master of Applied Economics offers one of the most flexible and accommodating degree programs on this list. Students can choose from a robust catalogue to facilitate building a unique profile of training. Students will be able to choose from 7 concentrations and 27 electives in order to build the program that is best suited to individual career aspirations.
Moreover, students can complete the program in as little as 12 to 24 months. Making this one of the most prestigious, flexible, and efficient programs on this list–which more than justifies the comparatively high tuition costs.
Net Price: $30,701
7 American University
American University is a school that focuses on providing students with a foundation to build professional thriving and success. Its online programs are helmed by top-tier faculty who hold at least 20 years of experience in their respective specialties, and who work to stay on top of the most current trends and opportunities.
American University offers a host of online degree programs, among which is a fully online Master of Arts in Economics. As with many of its programs, American University offers tremendously affordable tuition rates which are further tempered by generous financial aid packages and transfer credit policies.
American University is an ideal option for students who want quality education that can bring them into the job market quickly and affordably. From enrollment to graduation, students of the program will complete the following required courses:
- Introduction to Mathematical Economics
- Microeconomic Theory
- Macroeconomic Theory
- Applied Econometrics I
- Applied Econometrics II
- Economics MA Capstone Seminar
Net Price: $9,656
8 Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University offers a fully online Online Master of Arts in Financial Economics Program, which is designed to accommodate students with even the busiest of work schedules. The program’s curriculum is designed to cultivate an awareness of global economics and international business, so that students can analyse data sets from all angles.
To this end, coursework is strongly positioned in data science fundamentals in the context of financial analyses. As such students will become well-accustomed to research methods and protocols for assessment of an entity’s financial operations–which will position graduates for success in both public and private sectors.
Students will complete the following required courses:
- Microeconomic Theory
- Macroeconomic Theory
- The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions
- Research Seminar
- Finance for Decision Making
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Corporate Financial Management
- Securities Analysis
Net Price: $11,595
9 Georgia Southern University
The Georgia Southern Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies provides students with a strong career-centric foundation from which to build professional advancement. Specifically, students at the College will have the opportunity to earn a fully online Master of Science in Applied Economics (M.S.A.E.).
Students of the program will delve deeply into topics relating to business development, performance metrics, and financial analyses. As such, graduates will be prepared to work in any industry which participates in economic development, public utilities, or federal and state regulation.
For students interested in a curriculum that tackles state and federal regulation practices and policies this program is an ideal option.
Net Price: $15,795
10 University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is a research-centric school that leverages a large network of research partners and facilities to offer industry-aware programs that capitalize on market opportunities. This is particularly beneficial in degree programs that benefit the most from cutting-edge research methods, such as is the case with the fully online Master’s in Applied Economics & Predictive Analytics.
The program is completed through 30 credit hours either online or on-campus, which typically takes around 2 years. Students of the program will build toward specialization in key areas such as the following:
- Statistical analysis
- Utilizing industry standard software (such as STATA)
- Programming languages (such as ‘R’ and Python)
- Operational Metrics
Net Price: $15,970