Online master’s in economics programs can prepare graduates for lucrative careers in a growing profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists made a mean annual wage of just over $100,000 in 2017, and jobs for qualified professionals in the field are increasing at a steady rate. Master’s in economics online programs allow interested students to earn their credentials conveniently. In this ranking, we explore the 25 best online economics master’s programs. For more general information regarding online learning visit our ranking of the top online colleges.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $25,000—1 point
- Under $20,000—2 points
- Under $15,000—3 points
- Under $10,000—4 points
- Under $5,000—5 points
U.S. News & World Report’s Ranking
- Top 25—6 points
- Top 50—5 points
- Top 100—4 points
- Top 150 –3 points
- Top 200—2 points
- Top 250—1 point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations, Specializations, Areas of Emphasis, Dual Degree Options, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
Featured Online Schools
Ranking the Best Economics Master’s Programs Online
Our initial pool of master’s in economics online programs included 38 programs. Our editors carefully evaluated each of these options, considering critical factors like affordability, national recognition, scheduling options, course delivery, specialization options, and more. In the case of a tie, the more economical online master’s in economics program received the higher ranking.
#25 –The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Online Master’s in Behavioral Economics
The unique online master’s in economics program from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an MS in Behavioral Economics. The program is designed to be pursued on a full-time basis and completed within two years. The curriculum for the program covers topics such as economics and finance, consumer psychology, public policy, statistics, social psychology, and game theory, for instance. Sample course titles include Consumer Motivation, Choice Architecture, and Brain and Behavior. The capstone component of this master’s in economics online program requires both a research project and a journal article submission. Graduates go on to have successful careers as researchers, marketers, consultants, and more.
In-State Tuition: $27,048
#24 –American University
Master’s in Economics Online: Applied Specialization
The online master’s in economics program from American University is an MA offering with a specialization in applied economics. The program is an accelerated one, allowing students to earn their degrees in just 20 months. Courses comprising the core curriculum include Introduction to Mathematical Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Microeconomic Theory. Students can also choose from elective classes like Labor Economics, Financial Stability and Growth, Survey of Economic Development, and Public Economics. Those who complete their economics master’s online programs are qualified for advanced positions with government agencies, think tanks, financial institutions, economic consulting firms, multilateral organizations, and more.
In-State Tuition: $29,556
#23 –Northeastern University
Online Master of Science in Commerce and Economic Development
The economics master’s online option from Northeastern University is an MS in Commerce and Economic Development offered through the school’s College of Professional Studies in collaboration with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Designed for mid-career professionals, the program can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis and completed within 1 ½ to 2 ½ years. Core courses include Applied Macroeconomic Theory, Intercultural Communication, and Mathematical Methods for Economics. Students will also take elective classes like Environmental Economics, Global Corporate and Social Responsibility, and Cultural Economic Development. Students who receive their online master’s in economics degrees from Northeastern go on to advance within universities, nonprofits, government agencies, and private corporations.
In-State Tuition: $23,408
#22 –Southern New Hampshire University
Online MS in Applied Economics
Southern New Hampshire University offers a 36-credit hour master’s in economics online program featuring required courses such as Mathematics and Statistics for Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Macroeconomics Theory and Analysis. Enrolled students will also choose from elective classes like Fiscal and Monetary Policies and Practices, International Corporate Finance, and Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management. Courses are delivered via five ten-week terms. Students who earn their online master’s in economics degrees go on to pursue careers in real estate, nonprofits, banking, government, data management, transportation, and more.
In-State Tuition: $18,810
#21 –Regent University
Online MBA: Economics
Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership offers an online master’s in economics degree program that emphasizes innovation. The 42-credit hour offering features a prescribed curriculum and includes courses such as Principles of Economics, Corporate and Personal Ethics, Data Analysis for Decision Making, and Managerial Economics. The program is fully AACSB-accredited. Once they finish their online MBA in economics programs, students are qualified to work as economists, research analysts, financial reporters, financial consultants, and more.
In-State Tuition: $12,726
#20 –Gardner Webb University
Online MBA: Economics
Gardner Webb University offers a 36-credit hour economics master’s degree online program through its Graduate School of Business. The curriculum features a strong, 30-credit hour core covering complex topics in accounting, economics, and marketing, while only six credit hours are devoted to the emphasis area. Students gain real-world experience throughout the program through internships, service projects, course simulations, networking opportunities, and more. A capstone in strategic management is also required. Students who earn their online master’s in economics degrees are prepared for successful careers in finance, accounting, logistics, marketing, and senior administration, for example.
In-State Tuition: $9,000
#19 –University of Southern Mississippi
Online MS in Economic Development
The 30-credit hour online MS in economics from the University of Southern Mississippi is a hybrid offering, requiring one weekend visit per semester. Required courses for the program include Marketing and Business Development, Economic Development Theory and Research Methods, Entrepreneurial and Technology-Based Development, and Real Estate and Land Use Planning. A written or oral exam is also required prior to graduation. USM’s online master’s economics students can also choose to add a minor in Technology Commercialization.6
In-State Tuition: $8,108
#18 –North Park University
Online MBA: Graduate Certificate in Economics
The economics master’s degree online program from North Park University is a flexible, asynchronous option that can be completed fully online or via a blended learning model. The program’s curriculum features an MBA core, including classes like Global Macroeconomics for Managers, Ethical Leadership and Decision Making, Managerial Accounting, and Organizational Behavior and Ethics. Economics students will also complete a graduate certificate program, including courses such as Industry and Competitive Analysis, Econometrics, and Multi-Sector Convergence and Social Responsibility. An MBA capstone is also required prior to graduation from this online MBA economics program.
In-State Tuition: $13,068
#17 –Youngstown State University
Online MA in Financial Economics
Youngstown State University’s online master’s in economics program is offered through its College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The 33-credit hour curriculum for the program is comprised of core courses like Corporate Financial Management, Econometrics, The Economics of Financial Markets and Institutions, and Finance for Decision Making. Students will also choose three elective courses to round out their course of study. Students can complete their MA in economics online degrees in just 6 semesters.
In-State Tuition: $8,752
#16 –University of Detroit-Mercy
Economics MA Online
The MA in economics online option from the University of Detroit-Mercy is versatile, allowing students to choose an optional applied concentration and pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. Required courses for the program include Financial Economics, Analysis of Economic Conditions, Theory of International Trade, and Quantitative Foundations of Economic Analysis. Students will also complete an equal amount of coursework in elective classes, enabling them to customize their plan of study to align with their interests and career goals. After receiving their online MA in economics degrees, students will advance in law, government, business, finance, and related fields.
In-State Tuition: $28,422
#15 –Southern Illinois University- Carbondale
Online MBA: Agribusiness Economics
The MBA economics online offering from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale focuses on agribusiness. The comprehensive 43-credit hour program is offered through the SIU College of Business in collaboration with the College of Agricultural Sciences and can be completed in just under 2 years. In addition to the core MBA curriculum, students will take four concentration courses, including Agribusiness Economics Research Methods, Resource Allocation in the Agribusiness Firm, Agricultural Development, and Problems and Policies of the Agricultural Sector. Students can complete their online MBA economics degrees completely online.
In-State Tuition: $11,050
#14 –Ohio University
Online Master of Financial Economics
Ohio University offers a 2-year comprehensive financial economics master’s degree online program. Enrolled students will take core courses, including Statistics and Econometrics: Theory and Application, International Trade and Financial Economics, Managerial Economics, and Corporate Finance. They will also complete advanced coursework in classes like Financial Derivatives and Quantitative Analysis in Equity Markets, for example. Students who finish their online economics master’s programs online go on to take on advanced roles in money management firms, insurance companies, brokerage firms, and investment banks.
In-State Tuition: $9,444
#13 –University of Houston-Victoria
Online MS in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
The online master’s in economics degree program from the University of Houston-Victoria is a standout MS option in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. The 30-credit hour program can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis and can be completed in two years or less. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and includes courses like Economic Development and Entrepreneurial Finance, Theory and Practice of Regional Economic Development, Methods in Economic Development, and Nurturing and Growing the Fledging Venture. Students must also complete an Economic Development and Entrepreneurship project as the culminating element for this online MS in economics program.
In-State Tuition: $5,992
#12 –University of Missouri
Online MA in Economics
The University of Missouri offers a fully online master’s in economics program through its College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Economics. The curriculum is a balance of core courses and electives. The five required courses include titles like Problems in Economics, Introductory Econometrics, and Mathematics of Economics while the five electives span classes like Introduction to Game Theory, Economics of International Trade, and The Banking System and the Money Market. Upon completion of their MA in economics online degrees, students are qualified for advanced roles in economics as energy market managers, data scientists, research directors, economics lecturers, and more.
In-State Tuition: $8,640
#11 –Georgia Southern University
MS in Applied Economics Online
Georgia Southern University offers a master’s in applied economics online program from its College of Business and Department of Finance and Economics. This 2-year program is fully online, and classes are small. Required courses include International Economics, History of Economic Thought, and Applied Econometrics. Students will also choose from elective classes like Regional Economic Development, Health Economics, and Financial Economics and Risk. This applied economics master’s degree online program is accredited by the AACSB.
In-State Tuition: $6,636
#10 –Mercer University
Online MBA: Economics
Mercer University offers an accelerated master’s in economics online program through its Stetson School of Business and Economics. This AACSB-accredited offering features a 21-credit hour core, which includes courses like Managerial Accounting, Issues in Business Law and Corporate Responsibility, Operations Management Science, and Marketing Concepts and Practices. An MBA capstone course is also required. Five start dates per year make it convenient for students to start work on their degrees. Students who desire more interaction than a purely online experience can provide have the opportunity to choose a hybrid option. Dual degree options are also available. Students can earn their master’s in economics online degrees from Mercer in just 18 months.
In-State Tuition: $14,370
#9 –Wright State University
Online MBA: Business Economics
Wright State University offers a versatile online master’s in economics degree program from its Raj Soin College of Business. The 33-credit hour program enrolls students on a part-time or full-time basis and includes concentrations in Applied Microeconomics and Applied Macroeconomics Analysis. The core curriculum for the program features course titles like Leadership and Ethics, International Business Management: Operations and Environments, Developing and Implementing Competitive Strategies, and Economics for Managers. Students can complete their economics master’s degrees online either fully online or via a hybrid format.
In-State Tuition: $13,880
#8 –Xavier University
Online MS in Health Economics and Clinical Outcomes Research
The master’s in economics online program from Xavier University is a unique MS in Health Economics and Clinical Outcomes Research (HECOR) that emphasizes experiential learning. The program takes two years to complete and includes core courses like Applied Epidemiology, Health Ethics in Informatics and Research, and Introduction to HECOR. Other courses included in the curriculum include Global Health Systems, Health Economics, and Economic Evaluation and Simulation Modeling. After receiving their online MS in economics, graduates are qualified for advanced positions in biotech firms, insurance companies, clinical research organizations, medical technology companies, hospital systems, pharmaceutical companies, and more.
In-State Tuition: $11,070
#7 –University of Georgia
Online MS in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics
The online master’s in economics offering from the University of Georgia is a unique MS in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics. Offered through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, this program follows a cohort model and can be completed within two years. The curriculum is prescribed and features course titles such as Financial Planning and Analysis, Practice Management and Financial Planning, Wealth Management, and Financial Counseling and Client Communication. Master’s in economics online graduates are also prepared to sit for the certified financial planner (CFP) examination. They go on to advance in careers in banking, insurance, and brokerage.
In-State Tuition: $8,704
#6 –University of North Dakota
Online MS in Applied Economics
The online master’s in applied economics program from the University of North Dakota is technically a hybrid option as it blends in-person and online components. Offered through the university’s College of Business and Public Administration, the program features a prescribed curriculum and includes standout courses such as Topics in Applied Econometrics; Economic Development: Global, National, and Regional Issues; Advanced International Economics; and Demographic Methods for Economics. A thesis and research internship are also required. In addition to this MS in applied economics online, the university also offers a graduate certificate in applied economics.
In-State Tuition: $7,688
#5 –University of Oklahoma
Online MA in Economics
The University of Oklahoma offers an accelerated MA in economics online. The program is technically a hybrid offering, and students can opt to complete their residency requirement during a one-week intensive or by spending two separate weekends on campus. Sample course titles include Statistics for Decision Making, Research in Economic Problems, Managerial Economics, and Contemporary Economics Methods and Analysis. Students must also complete 12 credit hours in economics electives and 6 credit hours in non-economics electives. A research paper and comprehensive examination are required prior to students receiving their online master’s economics degrees.
In-State Tuition: $5,119
#4 –West Texas A&M University
Online MS in Finance and Economics
West Texas A&M University offers an online MS in economics from the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and the Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance. The 36-credit hour offering includes course titles such as Seminar in Advanced Macroeconomic Theory, Corporate Governance and Ethics, Economics of Health and Medical Care, and Financial Management of Health Care. This online master of science in economics is designed to be completed within 2 years, but it is possible to graduate in just one.
In-State Tuition: $4,496
#3 –Johns Hopkins University
Master’s in Applied Economics Online
The applied economics master’s online program from John Hopkins University is offered through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. The program is versatile, featuring six available concentrations: Public Policy, Financial Economics, Spatial Economics, Environmental Economics, Health Economics, and Quantitative Methods. Students who desire a more individualized program also have the option of designing their own concentration. Core courses include Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, Statistics, and Econometrics. Students can choose to pursue their online master’s in applied economics degrees on a part-time or full-time basis.
In-State Tuition: $52,170
#2 –Ball State University
Online MBA: Economics
The online master’s degree in economics program from Ball State University is an MBA offering with a concentration in Health Economics, Policy, and Administration. Students have the option of studying on a full-time or part-time basis and can take classes completely online or via a hybrid format. The curriculum for the program is comprised of core classes like Economic Analysis for Managers, Accounting and Decision Making, Statistics and Quantitative Methods, and Information Systems. Students will also take classes in the health economics concentration such as Health Economics Analysis and Health Economics and Policy. Students can enroll in this online master’s in economics program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer.
In-State Tuition: $8,554
#1 –Purdue University
Online Master of Science in Economics
Purdue University offers its 30-credit hour MS in economics online program through the Krannert School of Management. Although it is a part-time offering, students can earn their degrees in as few as 19 months. The program is also flexible, offering concentrations in both applied economics/business and advanced theory, and a hybrid option is also available. Core courses include Intermediate Economics, Financial Econometrics, and Behavioral Economics. Depending on their chosen concentration, master’s in economics online students will also take classes like Law and Economics, Mathematical Analysis for Economists, Economics of Information, and International Economics.
In-State Tuition: $9,208
This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Online Master’s in Economics. Thanks for checking it out!
By BCR Staff
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