Masters in Economics in USA: Comprehensive Course Guide
A masters in economics in USA is usually a 1-2 year long program costing up to 120,000 USD. With education giants like MIT, Stanford, UC, Berkeley, UCLA, etc, MS in economics becomes one of the best masters in economics programs in the world.
- Admissions to top economics colleges in the USA are offered mostly during fall session.
- Masters is the entry level requirement for becoming an economist in USA.
- Applicants can also apply for CPA USA, and sit for the CPA exam.
Why Study Economics in USA?
- 7 US universities have found prominent places in the top 10 Economics colleges in the world.
- Projected employment in the field of economics is around 22,800 by 2028 as per BLS, USA. This is the second most growing industry as projected for 2018-2028.
- Median pay of an economist is around 104,340 USD/annum.
- Top recruiters include Federal government (22%), scientific research and development services (19%), management and scientific technical consulting services (13%), state government (9%), and finance & insurance (6%).
Masters in Economics in USA: Course Highlights
|Tuition fees||24,000 USD- 62,000 USD per year|
|Admission process||Merit-based, GRE and TOEFL/IELTS|
|Entry-level Package||75,000 USD-110,000 USD|
|Job Roles||Economist, Consultant, Statistician, Policy Analyst, Market Researcher, Budget Analyst etc|
|Top Recruiters||Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Apple, Citi Bank, Chubb, Ernst and Young, The World Bank, Google, JP Morgan, McKinsey & Company etc.|
Top US Universities: Masters in Economics in USA
The QS Global Rankings 2020 for Economics enlisted 21 Universities in the USA amongst the top 50 Economics colleges of the world. Below are the top 10 USA colleges providing masters in economics studies:
|University||QS Ranking||Degree offered||Program duration||Annual Tuition Fees (USD)|
|MIT*||2||Masters in DEDP (Data, Economics and Development Policy)||2||53,450|
|Stanford University||3||Masters of Arts in Energy & Resources||2||53,088|
|University of California, Berkeley (UCB)||4||Masters of Arts in Energy & Resources||2||120,638|
|Columbia University||11||Master of Science in Financial Economics||1.5||84,000|
|New York University||12||Masters of Arts in Economics||9 months||36,544|
|UCLA||15||Master of Applied Economics||1.5||72,306|
|University of Michigan||19||Master of Applied Economics||1.5-2||115,800|
|Duke University||20||MS Economics and Computation||2||41,600|
|Cornell University||35||Master of Science in Applied Economics and Management||1||54,720|
|Boston University||44||MA in Economics||18-21 months||56,904|
|University of Minnesota||49||MS in Applied Economics||2||72,000|
|University of Wisconsin||49||Master of Science in Economics||2||106,900|
The economics program at MIT is a blended online/residency program. Students are required to first complete online MIT micromasters before applying for the DEDP program. The academic qualification for completing micromasters is judged on the basis of five rigorous courses along with in-person proctored exams.
Masters in Economics in USA: What is it About?
Masters in Economics programs in USA are available as online, residency, and blended programs. The program is often tailored for students who have a previous education background of mathematics or economics focussed degree.
The degree is more theory focused or applied/career focused. Some economics colleges in the USA offer students with a chance of undertaking internships or study-abroad options. The core course structure comprises of the following subjects:
- Macro & Microeconomics
- Developmental Economics
- Financial Economics
- Game Theory
- Interpretational Economics
|Financial Economics||Study facets of economics, domestic & international markets||Banking, investment, corporate financial management|
|Macroeconomics||Understanding of dynamics of economics agents||Public Policy Sector|
|Microeconomics||Analytical tools for market, consumer behaviour, distribution in market||Consumer Demand|
|International Economics||Exploring international finance & trade||Foreign Exchange, MNCs, Welfare implications of trade policies|
|Game Theory||Learning to create models on competing behaviour of agents||-|
|Industrial Economics||Learning to apply economics to management of modern businesses||Business & Management|
Masters in Economics in USA: Admissions
When planning to study in the USA, international applicants are required to fulfill specific criteria to be admitted to their college of choice. Various entrance tests are also required for pursuing higher education in the USA.
International students must be familiar with admission requirements for studying in the USA before making applications. The basic and university-specific requirements for pursuing masters in economics in USA are as follows:
Masters in Economics in USA: Eligibility
- To study in the US one must have 16 years of education, which is 10+2+4. Suggesting a 4 year bachelors is mandatory for pursuing masters in the USA.
- Language proficiency: Required for non-native English speaking applicants.
- Funding to support their studies
- USA student visa, applications for which can be made after acceptance in a university.
For admission at various top universities in the USA, applicants must fulfill the following eligibility requirements for getting accepted for a postgraduate economics degree.
|University||Minimum UG Requirements||Average GRE score||English Language Requirements|
|MIT||UG degree||Not required||TOEFL: 100|
|University of California, Berkeley (UCB)||83-86%||Required||TOEFL: 93|
|Columbia University||UG in relevant subject||310||TOEFL (iBT): 100, (pBT): 600|
|New York University||87-89%||150 (V)|
|TOEFL (iBT): 105|
|TOEFL (pBT): 560, (cBT):220, (iBT): 87|
|University of Michigan||80-82%||152 (V)|
|TOEFL (pBT): 560, (iBT): 84|
|Duke University||90-92%||160 (V)|
|TOEFL (iBT): 90; (pBT): 577|
|Cornell University||UG in relevant degree||160 (V)|
|TOEFL (iBT): 77|
|Boston University||UG in relevant degree||No minimum required score||TOEFL (iBT): 84|
|University of Minnesota||83-86%||153 (V)|
|TOEFL (iBT): 79|
|University of Wisconsin||UG degree with Calculus & Linear algebra||Not required||TOEFL (iBT): 92 (pBT): 580|
Masters in Economics in USA Requirements
International applicants must be aware of the deadlines, requirements and admission process to study in the USA. Given below are the details of the documents required for pursuing MA/MS Economics in USA:
- Official transcripts: Usually required at the time of accepting offers. May be required along with the applications. In other cases, applicants may be asked for certified copies of transcripts
- Letter of Recommendation: Mostly 3 LOR are required by economics schools in USA.
- SOP/Personal Statement/Letter of Intent: A statement of why the student wants to pursue the program and why the choice of university is included in these supporting documents.
- Resume: A detailed resume may be required by some of the institutions.
The decisions to your applications in most of the cases are made by judging your capabilities on a holistic level. However, the results may be announced in a time of 4-8 weeks. This may vary from university to university. Applicants are, therefore, suggested to keep an eye on the application tracking portals.
Masters in Economics in USA: Cost of Study
Cost of studying MS in the USA can be broadly categorized into pre-arrival expenses, tuition fees, cost of living, etc. The estimates for each segment are stated below:
Studying abroad involves expenses that one spends even before they have landed at their study destination. These include fees of various exams, USA student visa fees, application fees, etc. Some of these are:
|Type of Expenses||Expenses (USD)|
Tuition Fees for International Students
The overall cost of pursuing the program from top economics colleges from USA ranges from 40,000-120,00 USD. Detailed below is a graphical comparison of the annual tuition fees of pursuing MS in economics in USA.
Cost of Living in USA
Cost of living is an important fragment of the cost of studying in USA. It is important for an international student to be prepared to spend a humongous amount on the cost of living when expenses are not monitored well. Given below are minimum monthly expenses in USD:
|Categories||Average monthly expenses (in USD)|
This varies with the University chosen by an individual. The cost of living is also affected by the lifestyle choices made by the individual. However, monthly expenses of living in USA ranges from 1-2 lakhs in Indian currency.
Studying masters in USA can burn a hole in your pockets if the budget is not well planned. Students are henceforth suggested to ensure that they apply for the scholarship available to international applicantsto ease down this burden. There are a variety of funding options available to Indian Students in the USA. Read some of the popular scholarships available for international students in the USA:
|Scholarship||Scholarship Award (USD)||Deadline|
|Debesh Kamal Scholarships||1,385||April,2020|
|Hsiao Economics Scholarships||1000||NA|
|Ritchie- Jennings Memorial Scholarship||Variable||NA|
|KC Mahindra Scholarships||5,542||March,2020|
|Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program||30,000 USD||NA|
|Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program||Tuition fees, travel expenses, monthly stipend, computer subsidy, health insurance coverage.||Varies by country|
In case you are unable to get any of the scholarships, loans available for international students in USA are another option for funding your studies.
One of the most reputed job designation for applicants who have completed their masters in economics is CPA in USA. Apart from CPA, you can be hired as an economist and at other posts. Some of the job trends related with the field include:
- Masters in the entry-level degree in the field in USA.
- Largest employment is offered by the federal government (22% of the total).
- Around 65% of economics graduates get employed within six months of completion of degree and around 15% go for further studies.
- Financial analysts’ jobs will grow by around 11% by 2026.
How International Student can Pursue CPA in USA
CPA USA (Certified Public Accountant) is an accounting qualification were an individual with required education and experience is granted a license to practice in USA. For obtaining the license international applicants are required to sit for the CPA exam conducted by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). The details of CPA USA are given below:
Some of the popular jobs in USA for a postgraduate in economics are given below along with their minimum entry-level annual salaries.
|Job Roles||Annual Entry-level Salaries (USD)|
|Compensation and Benefits Manager||57,500|
|Investor Relations Associate||17,355|
|Financial Risk Analyst||54,503|
Masters in economics in USA, a degree best suited for students with a previous background in economics or advanced mathematics can cost you anywhere around 40,000-120,000 USD. But, the degree is capable of offering you lucrative jobs with cushy median salaries of up to 200,000 USD. The degree opens your pathway to pursuing a PhD from the USA, which can offer you a hike of as much as 23% on your previous salaries.