The Best Online Master’s in Economics Degree Programs

| TBS Staff

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Money may make the world go round, but the world needs economists to understand how to manage it. Students in Master’s in Economics degree programs receive valuable analytical and quantitative training in the field of economics necessary to success in a variety of professional roles. Graduates have the opportunity to become a leader or analyst in banking, investment and wealth management, international finance and economics, corporate financial management, and in a variety of other sectors. Some graduates go on to acquire a Ph.D. in Economics to become a university professor or research economist.

A traditional Master’s in Economics program does not work for all students, however; online programs may better suit the needs of busy individuals with full–time jobs or familial obligations. This article ranks the 15 best online Master’s in Economics degrees available today.

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Online Master’s in Economics Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.

Our Methodology

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While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

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Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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The Best Online Master's in Economics Degree Programs

Purdue University View School Profile West Lafayette, IN Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University provides a variety of program options at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The school consists of two departments: the Department of Management, and the Department of Economics. Through online program options, field experience and scholarship opportunities, professional resources, and numerous research centers and initiatives, the Krannert School of Management serves a diverse population of students seeking higher education in business.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Science in Economics degree program with two concentration options to choose from, in Applied Economics, or Business. Regardless of the path chosen, the program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to success in a variety of economics professions.

The curriculum covers key topics in economics, such as econometrics, economic theories, implementing statistics and research, and making major decisions based on economic data. Students prepare to pursue careers in the private and public sectors, including economist, econometrician, financial analyst, economic consultant, statistician, and economic researcher.

The online Master of Science in Economics program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Behavioral Econometrics
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Econometrics I
  • Econometrics II
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Intermediate Economics I
  • Intermediate Economics II
  • International Economics

The program may be completed in 21 months.

Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores.

University of Missouri View School Profile Columbia, MO University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options across a diverse array of fields of study. The college houses a variety of departments, including the Department of Economics. Benefits of enrollment in the college include online program options, student organizations, internship and scholarship opportunities, and developmental resources.

Through the Mizzou Online platform, the Department of Economics offers an online Master of Arts in Economics degree program for students seeking to pursue or advance a variety of careers in economics, in public and private sectors, as well as academia. The program develops key knowledge and skills necessary for success in diverse applications of economics.

The curriculum covers fundamental topics in economics, including economic development, economic theories, banking, econometrics, and international trade. Students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of careers, including econometrician, economist, researcher, statistician, financial analyst, and economic consultant.

The online Master of Arts in Economics program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Applied Econometrics
  • Introductory Econometrics
  • Macroeconomic Theory
  • Mathematics for Economics
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Research Workshop

The program does not require the submission of GRE or GMAT scores.

Johns Hopkins University View School Profile Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across a diverse array of fields. The school consists of many different departments, including the Department of Economics. Krieger students enjoy numerous benefits, such as online program options, internship and scholarship opportunities, and professional development resources.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Science in Applied Economics degree program for students seeking to advance in economics careers in the public and private sectors. The program develops key knowledge and skills in the field through a flexible blend of core and elective coursework.

The curriculum focuses on advanced knowledge in economics, covering economic theories, statistics, and econometrics. Students may choose to focus their elective coursework in several areas, including public policy, financial economics, spatial economics, environmental economics, health economics, or quantitative methods. Students enhance their ability to successfully occupy a variety of roles in the public and private sectors, including economist econometrician, financial analyst, and financial consultant.

The online Master of Science in Applied Economics program consists of 10 courses, including the following core courses:

  • Econometrics
  • Macroeconomic Theory
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Statistics
American University View School Profile Washington, DC American University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The College of Arts and Sciences at American University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across a diverse array of fields. The college houses numerous departments, including the Department of Economics, as well as a variety of research centers and institutes. The college serves traditional and nontraditional students through a variety of benefits, including online program options, field experience opportunities, and scholarships.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Arts in Economics degree program with a specialization in Applied Economics. The program blends approaches from economic theory and practical, quantitative application.

The curriculum includes coursework in key areas, such as micro and macroeconomic theories, econometrics, mathematics, and statistics. Students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to address and solve economic and financial problems through the application of theory and statistics. Students prepare for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors, including economist, econometrician, market analyst, financial analyst, or financial consultant.

The online Master of Arts in Economics program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Applied Econometrics I
  • Applied Econometrics II
  • Introduction to Mathematical Economics
  • Macroeconomic Theory
  • Microeconomic Theory

Students in the online Master of Arts in Economics program must complete a capstone.

Students may complete the program in 20 months. The courses utilize an eight–week delivery model.

Applicants must submit GRE scores.

University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND The College of Business and Public Administration is regionally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The College of Business and Public Administration at the University of North Dakota provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options for studying various fields of business. The college houses several departments, including the Department of Economics and Finance. Through online program options, field experience opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and professional development resources, the college serves traditional and nontraditional students alike.

Through the Office of Extended Learning, the Department of Economics and Finance offers an online Master of Science in Applied Economics degree program for students seeking to pursue economics careers in the private or public sectors. The program builds a strong foundation in economic theory, statistics, mathematics, and data analytics.

The program includes thesis or non–thesis options for completion. Regardless of the path chosen, students engage with in–depth coursework and hands–on research. The curriculum covers key topics, such as economic analysis, econometrics, economic forecasting, international economic issues, and economic theories. Students prepare for a variety of careers in the field, including economist, econometrician, financial analyst, financial consultant, and market analyst.

The online Master of Science in Applied Economics program requires 31–32 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
  • Advanced Price Theory
  • Applied Economic Analysis
  • Econometrics
  • Economic Forecasting
  • Mathematics for Economists

Students in the online Master of Science in Applied Economics program must complete an independent study or a thesis project.

Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Georgia Southern University View School Profile Statesboro, GA Georgia Southern University is regionally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Georgia Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The College of Business at Georgia Southern University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options in various fields of business study. The college houses several departments, including the Department of Finance and Economics, as well as research centers, like the Bureau of Business Research and Economics Development. The College of Business serves student development though a variety of resources, including online programs and field experience opportunities.

The Department of Finance and Economics offers an online Master of Science in Applied Economics degree program designed for professionals seeking to advance careers in the private and public sectors. The program incorporates theoretical and practical approaches to the study of economics to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills.

The curriculum covers key topics in economics, including economic theories and their development, economic concerns in the global marketplace, and the application of econometrics. Students prepare for careers in financial institutions, industry, and government agencies.

The online Master of Science in Applied Economics program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Applied Econometrics I
  • Applied Econometrics II
  • History of Economic Thought
  • International Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

Applicants must submit GRE scores.

West Texas A&M University View School Profile Canyon, TX West Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). West Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M University provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options in a variety of fields of study. The college consists of three departments, including the Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance. The College of Business provides students with several benefits, including online program options, field experience and scholarship opportunities, and professional development resources.

The Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance offers an online Master of Science in Finance and Economics degree program for students seeking to pursue or advance careers in economics. The program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to a variety of economics professions.

The program features a flexible curriculum based around seven core areas of study. Within those areas, students pick the courses that best fit their personal and professional goals. Students engage with key concepts, such as analytics and econometrics, market valuation and portfolio management, economic theories, and legal and ethical issues. Students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of economics careers, including economist, econometrician, and financial analyst.

The online Master of Science in Finance and Economics program requires 36 credit hours and includes a selection of following core courses:

  • Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • Current Issues in Industrial Organization
  • Econometrics
  • Investment
  • Portfolio Management
  • Problems in Government Finance and Fiscal Policy
  • Quantitative Analysis in Business
  • Seminar in Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
  • Seminar in Advanced Microeconomic Theory
  • Seminar in Finance
  • Seminar in International Economics and Economic Development
  • Seminar in Money and Banking

Students in the online Master of Science in Finance and Economics program must complete a comprehensive exam.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).

The College of Online and Continuing Education at Southern New Hampshire University provides nontraditional students with over 200 career–focused degree program options at all levels of experience. With plenty of options for study, career development services, and internship opportunities, the college meets the unique educational and professional needs of nontraditional students from diverse backgrounds.

The School of Online and Continuing Education offers an online Master of Science in Applied Economics degree program for students seeking to pursue a variety of careers in the economics field. The program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for acting and advancing in economics professions.

Students enhance their ability to communicate economics principles and data, gather and apply statistical information and econometrics, design and execute studies, and accurately evaluate economic factors in decision–making. Students prepare for a variety of careers, including economist, econometrician, financial analyst, and economic consultant in private and public sectors.

The online Master of Science in Applied Economics program requires 36 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Applied Econometrics I
  • Applied Econometrics II
  • Game Theory and Industrial Organization
  • Introduction to Graduate Economics
  • Macroeconomics Theory and Analysis
  • Mathematics and Statistics for Economics
  • Microeconomics Theory and Analysis

Students in the online Master of Science in Applied Economics program must complete a capstone.

Ohio University View School Profile Athens, OH Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University traces its origins to the first liberal arts program offered at the founding of the university over 200 years ago. Since becoming a distinct college in 1902, the College of Arts and Sciences has grown to offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across a variety of departments, including the Department of Economics. The college serves student development through a variety of benefits, including online program options, internship and study abroad opportunities, and scholarship options.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Financial Economics degree program that prepares students to pursue a variety of careers in the financial sector. The program develops the knowledge and skills necessary for success in diverse professional roles in economics.

The program covers key topics in financial economics, including corporate finance, microeconomics and macroeconomics, accounting, and statistics. Students engage with in–depth coursework alongside hands–on experience in a project or internship. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in financial economics, including economist, financial analyst, financial manager, or financial consultant in private and public sector institutions.

The online Master of Financial Economics program requires 50 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fixed Income Analysis
  • International Trade and Financial Economics
  • Macroeconomics and Business Fluctuations
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Economics
  • Portfolio Theory
  • Quantitative Analysis for Financial Markets
  • Quantitative Analysis in Equity Markets
  • Statistics and Economics: Theory and Application

Students in the online Master of Financial Economics program must complete a master’s paper, internship, or financial report.

The program does not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission.

University of Detroit Mercy View School Profile Detroit, MI University of Detroit Mercy is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The College of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Detroit, Mercy provides over 45 programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The college features a variety of departments, including the Department of Economics. College of Liberal Arts and Education students enjoy a variety of benefits, such as online program options, scholarship opportunities, and field experience options.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Arts in Economics degree program, as well as a Master of Arts in Financial Economics. The MA in Economics places greater emphasis on research and theory, to prepare students for research positions or further study at the doctoral level. The MA in Financial Economics places more emphasis on practical, real–world applications of economic principles to prepare students for a variety of careers in the global marketplace.

Regardless of the path chosen, students in the online MA programs develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for understanding and advancing in the field of economics. Coursework covers topics such as economic policy, domestic and global markets, labor economics, and economic analysis. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including economist, economic researcher, financial analyst, and economic consultant.

Both online degree programs require 30 credit hours and include the following core courses:

  • Analysis of Economic Conditions
  • Economic Analysis of Enterprises
  • Economic Ideas in Perspective
  • Economics of International Trade
  • Financial Economics
  • Monetary and Fiscal Policy
  • Money and Capital Markets
  • Quantitative Foundations of Economics Analysis
  • Labor Economics

The programs may be completed in one year of study, and do not require GMAT or GRE scores for admission.

Youngstown State University View School Profile Youngstown, OH Youngstown State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Youngstown State University provides a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The college covers a diverse array of fields of study through several departments, including the Department of Economics. The college serves students through a variety of resources, including online program options, internship opportunities, and access to outreach programs.

The Department of Economics offers an online Master of Arts in Financial Economics degree program for students seeking to pursue economics professions. The program provides students with a strong background in economic theory, and knowledge and skills necessary to understanding and operating in economic markets.

The curriculum engages students with key concepts in economics, including gathering and implementing statistical information, financial management, accounting, economic theory, and global economic issues. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, such as statistician, economist, financial analyst, and policy analyst.

The online Master of Arts in Financial Economics program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Econometrics
  • Financial Accounting and Finance for Decision Making
  • Macroeconomic Theory
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Multinational Accounting and Finance
  • Research Seminar
  • Securities Analysis
  • The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions

Students may select a thesis or non–thesis completion option.

Regent University View School Profile Virginia Beach, VA Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The School of Business and Leadership at Regent University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various fields of business study. Students in the school enjoy several benefits, including online program options, field experience options, scholarship opportunities, and access to the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship.

The School of Business and Leadership offers an online MBA degree program with a concentration in Economics. The program develops key knowledge and skills in business and economics from a biblical perspective.

The curriculum blends core MBA coursework, in areas such as accounting, management, and marketing, with specialized coursework in economics. Students learn about applying economic data in decision making, understanding and implementing economic policy, and economic concerns in the global marketplace. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including economist, research analyst, policy analyst, and economic consultant.

The online MBA program requires 42 credit hours and includes the following Economics concentration courses:

  • Data Analysis for Decision Making
  • Economic Policy
  • International Business Law
  • Multinational Organizations
  • Principles of Economics

The program utilizes an eight–week course delivery model.

Eastern University View School Profile Saint Davids, PA Eastern University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The College of Business and Leadership at Eastern University provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in a variety of areas of study in business. In keeping with the Christian mission of Eastern University, the college integrates Christian principles into the core of its programs.

The College of Business and Leadership offers an online MBA in Economic Development degree program for students seeking to enact positive change through economics. The program blends in–depth economics and management coursework with hands–on field experience.

The curriculum develops the knowledge and skills necessary for students to make a difference in their communities while working in economic roles. Students engage with key concepts in economics and business administration, including financial management, microfinance, accounting, community development, and cross–cultural issues. Students prepare to pursue economics careers, such as financial analyst, economist, policy analyst, and statistician.

The online MBA in Economic Development program requires 44 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Advocacy, Public Policy, and Human Rights
  • Applied Research and Evaluation
  • Community Development
  • Cross–Cultural Skills and Understanding
  • Economic Development for Developing Countries
  • Global Financial Management
  • Introduction to Microfinance
  • Managerial Accounting for Developing Enterprises
  • Managing for Optimal Performance
  • Market Development for Microenterprises
  • Program Planning, Management, and Marketing
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing
  • The World Economy in Trade

Students in the online MBA in Economic Development program must complete a practicum experience.

Applicants must submit a GMAT score.

SUNY Empire State College View School Profile Saratoga Springs, NY SUNY Empire State College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The School for Graduate Studies at SUNY Empire State College provides graduate programs in a variety of areas, including business, education, liberal studies, and policy studies. The school serves the developmental needs of students through a variety of benefits, including online program options, professional development resources, scholarship opportunities, and community partnership programs.

The School for Graduate Studies offers an online Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development degree program for students seeking to make a difference through utilizing principles from economics. The program blends theoretical and practical approaches from the two fields of community development and economic development, resulting in an interdisciplinary body of knowledge and skills.

The program examines the role of economic development in community growth and betterment, focusing on achieving positive outcomes and improving the quality of life of community members. The curriculum blends in–depth coursework with hands–on research, covering topics such as public policy, ethics and community leadership, economic theories, and implementing research. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including policy analyst, economist, nonprofit organization director, financial analyst, and community organizer.

The online Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development program requires 36 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Ethics and Community Leadership
  • Policy Process
  • Principles of Community and Economic Development
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Research Methodology
  • Stakeholder Sensitive Business Models

Students in the online Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development program must complete a final project.

Mercer University View School Profile Macon, GA Mercer University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The economics program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB)

The Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and economics at Mercer University provides students with undergraduate and graduate options for studying business administration. The school serves traditional and nontraditional students through a variety of benefits, including flexible online and evening program options, field experience and scholarship opportunities, and professional development resources.

The Stetson School of Business and Economics offers an online MBA degree program with a specialization in Economics. The program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to success in administrative and economic roles in a variety of professional settings.

The program blends in–depth MBA core coursework with specialized courses in economics. Students engage with key concepts, including corporate leadership models, ethical decision–making, and operations management, as well as economic theories, econometrics, and managerial economics. Students prepare for a variety of careers in the field, including economist, econometrician, financial analyst, financial manager, and market analyst.

The online MBA program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

  • Corporation Finance
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Issues in Business Law and Corporate Responsibility
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Economics
  • Marketing Concepts and Practices
  • Operations Management Science

Students in the online MBA program must complete a capstone.

The program may be completed in 18 months.

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.

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What is a Master’s in Economics Degree?

Master’s in Economics degrees come in a variety of forms, including a Master’s of Science, Master’s of Arts, and Master’s of Business Administration programs. While each comes with unique qualities and concerns, all provide a strong grounding in core principles of economics. The curricula for these programs typically include coursework in economic theories, econometrics, financial analysis, statistics, mathematics, and implementing economic research. Some programs may include field experience or capstone components.

An MA in Economics may place greater emphasis on the research and theoretical aspects of economics, preparing students for careers in research or academic roles. An MS in Economics typically utilizes a more technical and practical approach, focusing on the application of economic principles in real–time, and preparing students for active careers in the public or private sectors. An MBA program treats economics as a specialization on top of core MBA coursework. Students in MBA programs engage with fundamental business administration concepts, alongside specialized courses in economic principles and practices, to prepare for leading economic roles in corporations and financial institutions.

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How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Master’s in Economics Degree?

Like most master’s degree programs, a Master’s in Economics degree typically takes two years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that may be completed in as quickly as one year, and some offer part–time programs that may be completed in three to six years.

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Master’s in Economics Degree Careers

Individuals holding a Master’s in Economics degree may pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Actuary
  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Credit analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Econometrician
  • Economic consultant
  • Economist
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Lawyer
  • Management consultant
  • Market researcher
  • Policy analyst
  • Professor
  • Statistician
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Master’s in Economics Degree Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 economists saw a median annual salary of $101,050. The following information portrays median annual salaries earned by economists in their top five industries for employment:

Career Median Salary
Finance and insurance $124,660
Federal government, excluding postal service $111,310
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $110,900
Scientific research and development services $102,000
State government, excluding education and hospitals $69,170
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Master’s in Economics Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job field for economists will grow from 2016–2026 at a rate of 6%, as fast as average for all other occupations

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Economics Professional Organizations

American Economic Association
Founded in 1885, the AEA has dedicated itself to the advancement of the field of economics for well over a century. Its membership, now greater than 20,000, includes individuals from all areas of involvement in economics. Membership comes with numerous benefits, including a large professional network, access to events and conventions, honors and awards, and access to resources and publications.
National Association for Business Economics
The NABE connects economics professionals with the goal of encouraging development, discourse, and the spread of information. NABE formed in 1959. Membership includes access to professional resources and publications, networking opportunities, and events and conventions.
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