Masters in Economics: Top Universities, Entry Requirements, Job Opportunities

by rishika.saluja

A degree in economics helps you in manage the most dynamic tool, money. At macro level, this degree helps in knowing how to regulate the economies, by utilizing the available economic conditions of that place with the right tools and judgement. 

Why Masters in Economics from the US?

Masters in Economics degree can be considered as a terminal degree as well as a degree which is a stepping stone for doing further studies - PhD. A master’s degree gives you an opportunity to study the dimensions of economics in the detailed manner, helps you understand Statistics, take calculated risks and make better financial decisions. This degree also opens more avenues for jobs to apply in comparison to the bachelor’s degree.  

If you are an international student and you want to have good, in depth knowledge about economics, studying in the US is what you should do. One can find Economics in the top universities of the US, with the most advanced research openings at a later stage.

Duration and Types of Degree in Masters in Economics

When you chose studying a graduate course in economics from the USA, you are given options to choose from like, Masters in Economics, Master of Science in Economics, MA in Economics and MBA: Economics. You can make the choice based on your interest.

Duration of the course in the US ranges between 1-3 years duration. The duration of your master’s program mainly depends upon the university and type of course chosen. Also, some universities require you to do your thesis in the second year before you graduate.

Masters in Economics offered by the universities in the US are of different duration, ranging from a two years degree to a one year consolidated

Modes of Studying Masters in Economics

  1. On-Campus mode – Full-time and Part-Time
  2. Online mode


Popular specializations that the international students undertake when they apply to study Masters in Economics in the USA are:

  1. Econometrics
  2. Microeconomics
  3. Macroeconomics
  4. Financial Economics
  5. International Economics

Top University rankings for Masters in Economics in the USA 2019

According to the QS university rankings 2018, following are the top universities to study in the US. If you will observe these rankings closely, you will notice that out of the top 10 world universities, which are best for studying Masters in Economics, 8 are from the US.

RankUniversity Names
1Harvard University
2Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3Stanford University
4University of California, Berkeley
5Princeton University
6University of Chicago
9Yale University
10Columbia University
12University of Pennsylvania
13Northwestern University

What you need to have while applying for a Master’s degree in economics?

Having a bachelor’s degree in Economics is not mandatory for applying to Masters in Economics in most of the universities. But a strong background in economics in your bachelor’s is highly recommended. The universities expect the applicant to having studied subjects like, principles of economics, intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics along with college-level statistics, calculus and other related subjects.

Being an international student, you should also have good knowledge of Mathematics subject. For an international student of Masters of Economics in the US, having studied Mathematics in the bachelor’s, will make you look more prepared for this course. You will already be familiar with the Math topics on a broader level and won’t take much time in catching up.

Entry Requirements

An aspirant wanting to do a Masters in economics is required to submit the following documents:


These are the past academic documents the candidate must have obtained before applying for the Masters programs. These documents include the undergraduate marksheet and certificates along with the high school passing documents. The candidate is required to upload a scanned copy of all of them while making the application.

Letter of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation, or LOR is a document which certifies the caliber of the applicant by their professor or ex employer, under whose guidance they had worked. These supervisors, testify how fit you are to undertake this particular program. Some universities require to submit 2 LoRs whereas some universities require you to submit 3 recommendation letters.

Test Scores – GRE and TOEFL or IELTS

The candidates are required to submit the GRE score along with the score of English Proficiency Test. The universities, such as Harvard, ask the students to submit the TOEFL score. Though some universities accept IELTS score in lieu of TOEFL but majority of them don’t accept IELTS test score. Therefore, it is appropriate to check the entry requirements of the university in which you are planning to apply.

The universities also ask their applicants to submit an essay, statement of purpose, writing sample and other relevant certificates and awards in addition to the above stated documents.

Online Masters in Economics in the US

Some of the universities which top the ranking charts for offering an online Masters in Economics degree from the USA are:

  1. Purdue University offers Online Master of Science in Economics
  2. John Hopkins University offers MS in Applied Economics
  3. West Texas A&M University offers Online MS in Finance and Economics
  4. University of Oklahoma offers Online MA in Economics
  5. University of North Dakota offers Online MS in Applied Economics
  6. Wright State University offers Online MBA: Business Economics
  7. Mercer University offers Online MBA: Economics
  8. Georgia Southern University offers MS in Applied Economics

Job Opportunities

After completing the Masters in Economics, an international student may get job opportunities in the US for the following roles:

  1. Economist
  2. Professor
  3. Financial Analyst
  4. Market Research Analyst
  5. Budget Analyst
  6. Consultant
  7. Operations Research Analyst
  8. Data Scientist
  9. Statistician
  10. Securities Trader
  11. Pricing analyst, etc
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