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Online Master's of Economics

by Kristie Sweet, studioD

Graduates of a master's program in economics possess critical thinking skills and other analytical tools preparing them for jobs in areas such as marketing, sales, banking, demographics and government. Online programs attract students that want to save time, that need flexibility regarding class schedules due to family or employment and that want to avoid driving time and expense. An online master's program in economics includes the best of both worlds, offering various delivery methods and significant information in the field.


Admission to an online master's in economics program typically requires the completion of a bachelor's degree. Although undergraduate majors may vary, such as those in science, technology, engineering and math, schools often set a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Schools usually design programs that take part-time students approximately two years to complete. Some entry-level positions appropriate for economics majors require only a bachelor's degree, but most careers within economics require a master's.


Many economics master's programs allow students to take some courses online and attend others in a traditional setting or choose just the online format. Some schools, such as Purdue University's economics program, create student cohorts, so your classmates remain the same from course to course. You may find individualized courses among the requirements to allow you to personalize your program. For instance, Purdue students take a one-credit individualized course in economics, and University of Detroit Mercy students select five out of 13 upper-level economics courses, one of which is Individual Readings and Research. Accredited online schools take care to present the same information and uphold the same standards for master's in economics programs as those in traditional format.


Courses in online master's degree in economics programs begin with economics foundations and theory classes. Class titles at the University of Detroit Mercy include Economic Analysis of Enterprise, Quantitative Foundations, Analysis of Economic Conditions and Theory of International Trade. On the other hand, Purdue's program, heavily focused on math and science, provides general theory and then two levels of statistical applications in economics along with Behavioral Economics and International Economics as the base courses in the program.


Students typically may select a concentration area within the program that determines the remainder of the coursework. For instance, options through the University of Detroit Mercy and Purdue University include theory or applied economics. Some institutions, such as the University of North Dakota, offer only the specialized master's degree in applied economics. UND's program also differs from many others in that classes meet online at particular times rather than asynchronously as most other online programs do.

About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

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