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Top Economics Masters Programs in the U.S.

Economics master's degree programs, which teach students concepts in financial economics, macroeconomics and economic analysis, are often offered in conjunction with Ph.D. programs. Find out about rankings, available programs and additional distinctions for the top economics master's programs in the U.S. View article »

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  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 0:42 University of Chicago…
  • 1:22 New York University in…
  • 2:04 Columbia University in…
  • 2:36 Top Economics Master's…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Students looking for master's programs in economics can find some top-ranked programs across the country. Let's explore a handful of these top schools and what makes their programs distinct. Nationally ranked schools for economics include the University of Chicago, New York University, and Columbia University. The University of Chicago gives students the opportunity to earn an economics master's degree on the way to a Ph.D. New York University (NYU) and Columbia University offer stand-alone master's degree programs. All three received top ranks from the U.S. News and World Report.

University of Chicago in Illinois

The University of Chicago was tied for the best economics graduate program in 2013, according to U.S. News and World Report. Princeton Review named the University of Chicago a 'Best Midwestern College' and a 'Top 50 College That Pays You Back' among private schools in 2015. Students admitted into the Economics Ph.D. program can obtain a master's degree by meeting basic course requirements. Courses are offered in price theory, quantitative methods, economic research and analysis, mathematical economics, and economic history. Although the Ph.D. program is completed after five years of study, the master's degree component may be obtained after nine courses.

New York University in New York City

Located in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighborhood, New York University (NYU) is the country's largest private university. NYU's economics graduate program, offered through the Department of Economics, was ranked tied for 11th-best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2013. Students in the department can pursue a Master of Arts in Economics, a degree program that requires five core classes, five electives, and a comprehensive economics research paper. Students take courses in applied microeconomics, international finance, and economic development. Though students have a 5-year time frame to complete the program, the degree can be obtained within three semesters of study.

Columbia University in New York, NY

U.S. News and World Report ranked Columbia University as the 10th best economics program in 2013. The school offers a Master of Arts in Economics that focuses on research and preparation for a doctoral program. The program is flexible to allow students to customize their studies to match their future career goals. Students must complete seven core classes and three elective classes in areas like microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and more. Students should complete the program in one year.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Applied Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Econometrics
  • International Economics

Top Economics Master's Degree Programs

The following institutions also offer top economics master's programs.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Johns Hopkins University Offers a Master of Science in applied economics part-time or full-time bases, online or through evening classes held at the university's Washington D.C. campus Baltimore, MD
Northwestern University Has a competitive BA/MA program in economics that can be completed in four years; students apply for admission by invitation during their junior year Evanston, IL
Purdue University Offers a Master of Science in Economics in a part-time, online format or in a hybrid format which requires time on campus during the second year of study West Lafayette, IN
Syracuse University Features a Master of Arts in Economics that can be earned in a calendar year of full-time study, though students may need a summer session to complete studies Syracuse, NY
University of Michigan Offers a Master of Applied Economics (MAE) program offered for students who want to pursue field work in economics instead of a career in academics; students may choose to do interdisciplinary study or earn a dual degree in economics and public health, social work, law, or business administration Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas at Austin Master's degree in economics can be earned in 10 months of study Austin, TX
University of Wisconsin - Madison Students earning a master's degree in economics study a 7-course core curriculum that encompasses microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics; program may be completed in three semesters Madison, WI

Top-ranked institutions across the nation offer master's degree programs in economics. The schools we discussed feature strong foundational curricula, flexible enrollment options, and unique specialization paths.

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