Last Updated on October 26, 2021
If you are considering pursuing a degree in applied economics, you may be confused or have questions about what exactly this academic program entails. Applying economic concepts to your chosen field of study is the basis of the major. Answering questions such as, “What makes this degree unique?” and “What can I do with this degree?” will help you select the best accredited college for your interests and goals.
Masters In Applied Economics
The Master of Arts in Applied Economics (MA-APEC) degree program provides students with a solid understanding of the fundamental tools of economic analysis that are employed to conduct rigorous study of economic issues and economic policies. The focus of the program is applied economics. This focus contrasts with that of alternative professional degrees, such as an MBA, which provide the relevant training for a career in business or management. The program’s focus on applied economics also is distinct from that of a masters degree in economics, which is frequently considered a stepping stone to a PhD in Economics and concentrates on contributions to academic research.
The MA-APEC program is divided in two parts. The first part, corresponding to the fall term, consists of a set of four core courses – Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and Data Analysis. These courses provide students with a solid grasp of the key models employed in Economics and equips them with the main tools for econometric investigation and data analysis. After completing these core courses, students will understand in depth the empirical analyses pertinent to the discussion of economic issues and will have the skills needed to undertake original research projects and their own data analyses.
In the second part of the program, corresponding to the spring and summer terms, students focus on the application of economic analysis to a range of contemporary economic problems. These applications are the subject of a set of elective courses that span the main areas of economics. The choice of electives will depend on the particular academic track a student selects: Standard (the default), Computational Economics, or Financial Economics.
The electives use relatively advanced textbooks, articles published in professional journals and recent working papers. Readings generally cover both theoretical and empirical results and range from classic contributions to work closer to the frontiers of economics. In addition to assigned homework and exams, students typically write papers, give presentations, and are often required to conduct empirical work as a component of their course assignments.
A distinguishing feature of the MA-APEC program is the involvement of Georgetown senior faculty in the teaching of the core courses. Our faculty consists of leading scholars in their respective field. The program also draws on the large community of economists in the Washington, DC area to act as instructors of the specialized classes. The unique combination of academics and practitioners who participate as instructors in the program provides a high intellectual return for the students.
Course of Study
The MA-APEC program begins with a mandatory two-week non-credit “Math Camp” that reviews basic results on calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics. To fulfill the degree requirements, students must then complete four core courses (12 credits) and six elective courses (18 credits).
Full-time students take the required core courses – Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and Data Analysis – in the fall term. These four courses are prerequisites for the elective courses that students will take in the spring and the summer terms according to the academic track they select.
- Standard: is the default track. It provides students with a solid foundation in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and the applied fields of Economics. Students gain the ability to comprehend the empirical analyses pertinent to the discussion of economic issues. They also gain the skills necessary to undertake original research projects and data analysis.
- Computational Economics: provides students with a skill set that can be immediately applied to a range of employment settings. It will also strengthen the quantitative capabilities of students who intend to pursue a PhD in Economics or an advanced degree in another highly quantitative discipline.
- Financial Economics: provides students with a skill set relevant to banking and financial services. It is also intended for students planning to pursue further graduate studies, such as a PhD in Economics with an emphasis on financial economics, an advanced degree program in finance, or in specific areas of business and law.
masters in applied economics rankings
The researchers and writers at Best Master’s Degrees do not make recommendations based upon preference. See below for a breakdown of how we organize ranking data:
- Finances (40%)
- Academic Rigor (35%)
- Student Gratification (25%)
Nearly half of the data used to score each ranking involves finances from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education (ED), Glassdoor, and PayScale. Financial data encompasses the cost of tuition and fees, the average price of living, access to financial aid and social services, and the projected annual salary acquired from degree outcomes and income for loan repayment.
The second largest category of information involves the quality of education, how competitive degree applicants should be for consideration, and a program’s overall exclusivity. The final 25 percent of collected data depends upon student and alumni reviews from sources such as PayScale, Rate My Professor, and Students Review.
Best Master’s Degrees in Economics
1. Yale University
Yale’s master of international and development economics started in 1955. This one-year cohort program enrolls just 30 students annually, which allows for close mentoring between students and professors.
All students enroll in five core courses: microeconomics, econometrics, growth and macroeconomics, development econometrics, and advanced economic development. To complete the degree’s credit requirement, students must enroll in two additional electives. With their professor’s approval, learners can choose electives offered by another Yale graduate school.
Degree-seekers can stay in this program or pursue a joint program with two other schools: the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies or the School of Public Health.
Learners must complete a research project toward the end of their studies, which serves as the program’s culminating activity.
Yale University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
2. Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia offers a free-standingmaster of arts in economics for students who wish to earn an MA without committing to a doctorate. The program considers applications only from full-time students.
The degree consists of seven core classes and three electives that learners can complete in three semesters. In addition to coursework, students must write a research paper based on one of their elective classes.
Students with a bachelor’s in a non-economics field may apply, but they must have a strong background in subjects such as linear algebra, college-level calculus, and statistics. The program prefers applicants who have completed some undergraduate courses in economics, such as intermediate macroeconomics or principles of economics.
Columbia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
3. Stanford University
Stanford offers amaster’s in economics as part of a doctoral program. Students must complete at least 45 quarter credits beyond a bachelor’s degree. Of these credits, 40 must be offered by the Department of Economics.
Learners must complete at least two term papers or a master’s thesis on an advanced economics topic. Students can earn a maximum of five units of credit for their graduate-level thesis. In lieu of a master’s thesis, degree-seekers can submit a term paper on a dissertation course. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all their master’s-level coursework.
Many first-year graduate students receive department fellowships that cover their tuition and fees and come with a stipend to cover basic living expenses. The university offers several research and teaching fellowships during each school year.
Stanford University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
4. Duke University
Duke’s master’s in economics comprises 30 credits that learners can complete in four semesters. The curriculum includes courses such as applied econometrics in microeconomics, international monetary economics, non-market valuation, and industrial organization. Students must enroll in at least three classes in computational methods, computer science, mathematics, or statistics. Learners must also complete a capstone course.
The program encourages, but does not require, students to complete an internship. Toward the end of their enrollment at Duke, students compile a portfolio of their academic work, which should include at least one major research paper. Degree-seekers can also include written presentations, research reports, and project summaries and descriptions.
Students’ portfolios should contain a summary of their educational experience at Duke and future professional objectives. An examining committee recommends students for the master’s degree based on the quality of work contained in their portfolios.
Duke University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
5. Rice University
The master of energy economics at Rice comprises 40 credits that full-time students can complete in 12 months. The university spreads the courses out during the fall and spring semesters and two seven-week back-to-back summer sessions.
The curriculum includes courses in applied econometrics for energy markets, transportation economics, microeconomics of the energy sector, and the economics of energy and the environment. Degree-seekers must complete an internship or practicum prior to receiving the degree. Students who work in the energy sector can fulfill the internship requirement by working on a special project with their employer in an area directly related to their program.
The program recommends, but does not require, the submission of GRE or GMAT scores taken no longer than five years prior to the application date. Applicants do not need an undergraduate degree in economics, although they should possess a strong background in college-level mathematics and calculus.
Rice University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6. Vanderbilt University
The graduate program in economic development (GPED) at Vanderbilt requires students to complete 30 credits that include 12 credits of core coursework, six field credits, nine elective credits, and a three-credit research project. The curriculum includes required coursework in econometrics, statistical analysis, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Students can enroll in elective classes in other Vanderbilt schools with their advisor’s permission.
The GPED follows a cohort model of education. Each cohort includes 10-35 students, usually consisting of enrollees from at least 10 different countries. In the GPED international field seminar, students travel to a developing country for an immersive learning experience in economic policy development.
Advisors work closely with students to create an individualized learning plan that supports each student’s educational goals and professional objectives. The program offers free tutoring assistance for all GPED courses.
Vanderbilt University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
7. Johns Hopkins University
The master of science in applied economics at Johns Hopkins consists of 10 courses or 30 credits. Students enroll in four core courses, one advanced econometrics class, and five electives. The university offers online and on-campus courses. Students can enroll full time or part time. Most students earn the degree in 12-24 months.
Degree-seekers can declare a formal concentration in financial economics, which requires them to follow a specific plan of study. The university notes this concentration on a student’s official transcript.
Johns Hopkins allows students to earn two additional credentials on their way to the MS degree: a certificate in financial management and a certificate in investments. Learners enroll in eight applied economics courses and seven courses for the certificate. The university also offers a dual degree that allows students to graduate with an MS in applied economics and an MBA. For this option, students enroll in eight applied economic courses and 21 (two-credit) courses for the MBA.
Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
8. University of Southern California
USC offers a 32-credit master of science in applied economics and econometrics (MS AEE) consisting of eight, four-credit courses that most students complete in 12-18 months. The program only accepts learners who study full time. Students can choose from six tracks including economic policy and development, big data economics, economic consulting, and behavioral economics. Students must enroll in at least 12 units in their chosen track.
Applicants must have a strong background in mathematics, including multivariate calculus and at least one semester of an advanced statistics course. Applicants must also submit GRE scores. The MS AEE is a designated STEM program, which means international students can apply for a 24-month extension of their student visa for optional practical training.
Exceptional MS AEE students can apply for research assistantships at the Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory to work on projects in experimental economics.
University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
9. Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University offers a master’s in economics only for students accepted to their doctoral program. Students complete 36 credits of master’s-level coursework in micro and macroeconomics, quantitative methods in economics research, and applied econometrics. The department requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Degree-seekers must demonstrate mastery of the three core areas of study — microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics — to earn the master’s degree and to proceed to the doctoral program. Mastery is evidenced by a grade of at least an A- in all three areas or passing the preliminary exam. Students who opt out of the doctoral program at this point can still receive their master’s in economics provided they complete all other degree requirements.
Students who maintain good academic standing receive financial support from the department through five years of study. Economics graduate students can also apply for university-wide fellowships.
Washington University in St. Louis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
10. University of Michigan Ann Arbor
The master’s in applied economics at U-M comprises 38 credits and typically takes 18 months to complete. Students enroll in five core courses that are four credits each. Electives comprise the remaining required credits, enabling learners to take courses in areas that hold their professional interest.
Applicants must show proficiency in intermediate macroeconomic and microeconomic theories, calculus, and statistics. Applicants must also submit GRE scores no older than five years. In addition to transcripts, a resume, and recommendation letters, applicants must include a statement of purpose, which demonstrates how the program can help them achieve their career goals.
Learners who declare a major must complete at least six credits in that field (2-3 courses) and earn a grade of C- or higher. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout the program to earn the degree.
The University of Michigan Ann Arbor is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
masters in applied economics salary
As of Oct 19, 2021, the average annual pay for an Applied Economics in the United States is $79,265 a year.
Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $38.11 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,524/week or $6,605/month.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $178,000 and as low as $24,000, the majority of Applied Economics salaries currently range between $41,000 (25th percentile) to $102,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $148,000 annually across the United States. The average pay range for an Applied Economics varies greatly (by as much as $61,000), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.
Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Applied Economics job market in both Lagos, NG and throughout the entire state of is not very active as few companies are currently hiring. An Applied Economics in your area makes on average $79,265 per year, or the same as the national average annual salary of $79,265. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Applied Economics salaries.
masters in applied economics uk
The study of how goods and currency flows through a community or society on both macro and micro levels is how we define the field of Economics. Master of Economics programs delve into the Economics discipline with higher-level theory and also encourage students to concentrate on a particular field within the area of study.
University of Sussex Business SchoolBrighton, United Kingdom
Become a policy-oriented development economist in government, financial institutions, international organisations or university.
GCU – Glasgow School for Business and Society
Glasgow, United Kingdom
With a master in microfinance and social business, you can be a part of the real social change. Already a proven model for helping people out of poverty in developing economies, microfinance is now expanding to the US and UK.
University of Lincoln
Lincoln, United Kingdom
The understanding of international business provides a context for identifying opportunities and analysing risks inherent in the global environment. MSc International Business Economics is designed for those who have a solid background in business and management studies and want to expand that knowledge internationally with a clear focus on economics.
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Economics studies the behaviour of individuals, businesses, and governments in the face of various constraints. Our MSc Economics, Banking and Finance degree is designed to combine the analytical rigour of an Economics course with in-depth coverage of major areas of Banking and Finance. You will systematically analyse and understand decision making in the context of economies and financial systems in a globalised world. You will learn to critically evaluate the behaviour of key players in economies and financial systems and to assess the consequences for individuals, society or the sustainability of economic and financial development. The course is distinctive for applying a strong policy focus, particularly emphasising aspects of financial development, stability and crises as well as sustainability. You will have the opportunity to work hands-on with economic tools and techniques, including the use of our state-of-the-art Business Lab. This is a real-time trading environment that provides access to sophisticated analysis tools and data on worldwide financial markets and gives you a simulated experience of working in the dynamic world of shares and trading and In your third semester, you’ll take part in a large scale Applied Research Project. This will give you the opportunity to use your skills in a real-life setting, tailored to your individual needs and aspirations. You can choose between pursuing academic research or undertaking a consultancy-style project.
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom
Do you have an interest in the world economy and in how economics can help us understand the world around us? Well trained economists are highly sought after in the labour market and are employed by consultancy firms, the government economic service, financial institutions, and other international organisations and businesses (even the tech giants). Do you want to combine an advanced understanding of core economics and the latest developments in economics with the opportunity to specialise in economic theory, applied economics, or economic history? If you are interested in advanced study in economics that is ‘post-crisis’ in both structure and content, delivered at one of the UK’s leading universities, then this degree is for you. On successful completion of this Masters, you will have a deep understanding of the world economy past and present and the advanced analytical and quantitative skills that are so highly sought after by employers.
University of Stirling
Stirling, United Kingdom
This Finance and Economics MSc equips you with the practical skills you need to address the complex issues faced by businesses, governments and financial institutions. As you study, you’ll use evidence and real-world applications to challenge economic theories and models.
Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Specialised courses in economic theory and econometrics will give you a sophisticated understanding of policy issues as you prepare for your career in the industry. Studying on one of the Department’s MSc programmes will provide you with an excellent set of specialist and transferable skills.
Manchester Metropolitan University Online
UK Online, United Kingdom
The Global Online Sport Business, Management and Policy course from Manchester Metropolitan University is one of only a few management programmes taught by a UK institution which focuses solely on sports.
University of St AndrewsSaint Andrews, United Kingdom
The MSc in Economics provides advanced, rigorous training in essential elements of economics – microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics – plus a range of specialist options covering theoretical and empirical approaches that reflect the interests of the staff in the School.
University of Birmingham – College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Developments in mathematical optimisation and statistics have revolutionised system engineering and have created an urgent need, for a new generation of mathematicians trained to work at the frontiers of mathematical optimization, statistics and their applications to engineering, healthcare, finance and economics.
University of Bradford
Bradford, United Kingdom
This course will provide you with a systematic understanding of economic approaches to development and in particular, the role of finance and financial institutions. Students will be able to evaluate the merits of the various mechanisms of financing development and to understand the bases for fiscal policy.
University of Surrey
Guildford, United Kingdom
This course is based in one of the top schools of economics in the UK and equips you with the fundamental skills necessary to prepare you for a future career or PhD research in economics.
Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS)
Witney, United Kingdom +1 More
Over the course of two years and spanning two countries, this cross-border MA in Management program aims to develop in our students’ specialist knowledge in current management theories and real-world practices, in order to enhance their ability in conducting research on, as well as finding solutions to management issues and business developments.
SOAS University of London
London, United Kingdom
The MSc in Economics and Environment provides a unique specialisation in one of the most rapidly developing areas of economics. The effects of development on the environment and access to resources are one of the most challenging fields that have grown over the past decades and is now one of the key areas of study. At SOAS, we understand the environment in a broad sense and the scope of courses offered includes various areas such as natural resources, agriculture, economic development, finance, and regionally – specialised courses.
University of Westminster
London, United Kingdom
This innovative course has been designed to develop your ability to apply economic analysis to policy issues and business problems, which are often ambiguous and multi-faceted. Although there is a strong theoretical core, the course focus of the course is very much on the practical application of economic techniques to problems, and on developing the ability to communicate the insights that economic analysis can provide.