great business schools badge 2 27 20 copy 04

If you’re a working adult considering an online master’s in economics, price has to be a consideration. After all, making a bad investment isn’t a good look on an economist. One issue that someone faces when wanting to earn a master’s in economics is price. The average cost to earning a master’s degree is usually at least $30,000 to $40,000. However, some individuals spend much more than that. The cost varies based on the school and student’s location.

One way to save money is to search for cheap masters in economics. The first place to look for the cheapest masters in economics programs would be smaller regional public universities and private colleges, where tuition rates are reasonable. A cheap masters in economics program isn’t hard to find. One can also look into the option of employer-paid tuition, if you’re already working in a field related to economics. However, it’s important for a person to know that only certain programs may be covered, and that requires working it out with your employer. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Master’s of Economics

Obviously, price is important, so Great Business Schools has ranked the most affordable economics master’s degrees strictly by tuition rate, as reported to IPEDS. However, that doesn’t mean just anybody gets ranked. Only accredited, trusted institutions with a proven reputation for quality and return on investment make the cut. 

1. University of Oklahoma

u oklahoma

Topping the list of the most affordable masters of economics is the MA in Economics – Applied Track from the University of Oklahoma. The program starts in the fall and provides economics training for students who wish to advance their careers in economics. The first year of the program is the same as the first year of the Ph.D. Courses include math for economists, advanced macroeconomics and growth theory, seminar in price and welfare theory, and econometrics I.

The Department of Economics is part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. The department has an experimental economics laboratory where students can not only participate in research but earn money for doing so. The Department of Economics provides students with the skills they need to prepare for economics careers in business and technology.

Highlight: Graduates often obtain employment in commercial banks, consulting firms, investment firms, oil companies, utility companies, and healthcare organizations.

Degree: MA in Economics

2. Wichita State University

wichita state

The MA in Applied Economics at Wichita State University is another of the most affordable economics masters. This program teaches students analytical skills, price optimization, demand forecasting, portfolio analysis, data visualization, and economic environment analysis. Students gain an understanding of macroeconomic forces, competition, and markets. Graduates are prepared to advance their careers in the field of economics. There are four concentrations to choose from: general, international, financial, and data analytics.

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University provides top-notch programs for the best students in Kansas. The school provides students with all they need to succeed in their careers. Barton’s Career Development Center offers career opportunities and resources, including many high-profile internships that provide valuable real-world experience to students. The W. Frank Barton School of Business is student-centered and values innovation, critical thinking, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Highlight: The W. Frank Barton School of Business offers more AACSB-accredited programs than any other school in the state.

Degree: MA in Applied Economics

3. Texas Tech University

texas tech u

Next on the list of the most affordable masters of economics is the MA in Economics from Texas Tech University. There is a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The non-thesis option has a written examination in place of the thesis. Both programs consist of 12 courses, but in the non-thesis program, there are two more electives in place of the 6-credit-hour thesis course. Students in the thesis program must choose a supervisor and put together a thesis committee. There are scholarships and teaching assistantships available to students who need financial assistance.

The Department of Economics at Texas Tech University is dedicated to using quantitative and theoretical analysis in both research and teaching. The program offers several economics degrees that provide a solid foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in the field of economics.

Highlight: In addition to its degree programs, the Department of Economics offers a series of seminars on economics.

Degree: MA in Economics

4. Utah State University

utah state u

The MS in Economics (MSE) from Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business is one of the most affordable economics masters. The program is designed to get students ready to pursue a career in economics or continue on to study at the doctoral level. The program consists of ten courses, including a thesis research course. MSE graduates have gotten jobs with the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Reserve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other organizations.

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is committed to producing leaders in public affairs and commerce. The school seeks to promote growth in the community and throughout the world, and to prepare students to lead meaningful lives. The school values analytical rigor, a global outlook, and ethical leadership and strives to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in its students.

Highlight: The MSE program takes just one year to complete.

Degree: MS in Economics

5. Texas A&M University

texas am

The MS in Economics from Texas A&M University is available in two concentrations: financial econometrics and financial economics. Both programs require an economics core that consists of foundations of microeconomic theory, foundations of macroeconomic theory, economic analytics, and economic forecasting. There is an economics capstone at the end of both programs.

Texas A&M University receives top rankings for its programs every year. In addition to having one of the most affordable masters of economics, the college is located in one of the most affordable cities in the US, so housing costs are reasonable as well. The Department of Economics has top-notch faculty members and provides students with the training they need to succeed in their chosen field. Students can conduct research at the Economics Research Laboratory.

Highlight: Students can choose to complete a thesis at the end of their programs.

Degree: MS in Economics

6. University of Colorado Denver

u colorado denver

The University of Colorado Denver offers an MA in Economics that is one of the most affordable economics masters in the country. The program prepares students for employment in the field of economics or for further study. Students learn applied economic skills, quantitative and mathematical analysis, forecasting, and econometrics. They learn to work with large data sets as well as the latest statistical software.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver provides a strong liberal arts foundation that includes a firm grounding in science as well. The school adapts its curriculum to meet the ever-changing needs of this technology-focused world. UC Denver students are highly sought after by employers and are prepared to make a positive impact on the world.

Highlight: Recent graduates have earned placed in Ph.D. programs at Stanford, Harvard, Michigan State, and other top schools.

Degree: MA in Economics

7. University of Utah

u utah

The MS in Economics offered by the University of Utah’s College of Social & Behavioral Science is one of the most affordable masters of economics. The program helps prepare students for careers as professional economists. Students can specialize in industrial organization, economics, monetary economics, development theory, international trade, poverty, labor economics, feminist economics, and more.

The Department of Economics offers programs in economics that prepare students for careers in the field. The department conducts research on the history of economies, health and environmental resource economics, and economic growth and stability. Students can participate in research studies through partnerships with public and private organizations that offer research internships. The College of Social & Behavioral Science encourages interdisciplinary research and makes use of new instructional techniques to help students connect with the material.

Highlight: Students can also choose a Master of Arts degree, which has an additional foreign language requirement.

Degree: MS in Economics

8. University of Arkansas

u arkansas

The MA in Economics at the University of Arkansas is designed to prepare students to enter a doctoral program or begin a career in economics. One of the most affordable economics masters, this program combines applied economics and economic theory in a challenging program that is open to students from all academic backgrounds. Students who plan to pursue a doctorate must choose a concentration in statistics or mathematics. Students seeking a career after graduation can choose from accounting, information systems, finance, marketing, transportation, or quantitative methods.

The Sam W. Walton College of Business is a nationally competitive college that is working to become a top-tier business school. The school was founded in 1926 and has continued growing ever since. A $50 million gift from the Walton family has enabled the school to attract top faculty, create stronger programs, and upgrade its facilities.

Highlight: There is a thesis option and a non-thesis option.

Degree: MA in Economics

9. University of South Florida

u south florida

The MA in Economics from the University of South Florida is one of the most affordable masters of economics in the US. This is a non-thesis program that prepares students for careers in government or business or for further education in a Ph.D. program in economics. The program requires 30 hours of coursework. Students must take macroeconomics I, microeconomics I, econometrics I, and mathematical economics I. They can choose from a variety of electives to fill out their course schedules.

The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Florida believes that students should be broadly educated. The school focuses on the big issues facing society as it prepares students not only to succeed in their professional and personal lives, but to be agents of change in a society that desperately needs it.

Highlight: Students must pass an oral exam given by a panel made up of faculty members.

Degree: MA in Economics

10. Iowa State University

iowa state

The MS in Economics from Iowa State University is also one of the most affordable economics masters. The program is aimed at students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in agricultural economics or economics. Students can gain the additional credits they need to get into their Ph.D. program while earning their master’s degrees. Some students may be able to enter the Ph.D. program after completing the first year of the master’s program.

The Department of Economics at Iowa State University is under the joint control of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The department offers graduate and undergraduate programs that train students to think objectively and independently about the economic nature of the world’s problems. The Department of Economics relates its programs to real problems in the community, nation, and around the world.

Highlight: Students can choose the thesis or non-thesis option for this program.

Degree: MS in Economics

How Do I Save Money on a Master’s in Economics?

Besides finding the cheapest masters in economics programs, a person can also look into financial aid options to reduce the cost even further. A person can find scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans. The scholarships and grants don’t need to be paid back, but loans do. The state and federal government offer grants to help with the expenses of earning a masters degree. There are also private organizations that grants and scholarships to help individuals with earning a masters degree. It’s important to look at the qualifications for the scholarships or grants because they’re not always for individuals who want to earn a graduate while some are specifically for individuals who want to earn a graduate degree. 

What are Some Jobs in Economics with a Master’s Degree?

One master in economics jobs is market research analyst. This person is responsible for researching and reviewing marketing trends. This person assesses trends in the industry to determine which products and services might generate the most revenue based on the conditions of the economy. 

Another one of the master in economics jobs is an economic consultant. This is one of the masters of economics jobs that requires a person to have research and analytic skills. As one of the jobs with a master’s in economics, a person must search and critically think about how to help an organization or business improve performance. Master’s degree in economics jobs for this position may be in finance, healthcare, education, or business. Sometimes, masters of economic jobs for this position are with the government. 

Another example of one of the jobs with a masters in economics is a compensation and benefits manager. This person is responsible for conducting research about compensation and benefits for positions within a company.  Jobs for a masters in economics in this position require a person to determine what’s appropriate for employees within a company to make. 

Other of the master’s degree in economics jobs include a credit analyst, financial analyst, or a policy analyst. Another option is a management consultant. It’s also possible to become a business reporter.

How Much Demand is there for Economists?

Fortunately, there are plenty of job opportunities for masters in economics. This is especially the case since there are various job positions a person can take on with this particular degree. One of the job opportunities for masters in economics is an economist. As one of the masters in economics job opportunities, a person can earn an average of about $104,000 per year. This is the same as $50.00 per hour. In addition to a lucrative pay, this position provides job stability. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of positions for an economist were 21,000 throughout the United States as of 2018. This number is expected to rise by eight percent from 2018 until 2028. This job growth is greater than the average job, as noted by the BLS. 

A financial analyst is another one of the job opportunities for masters in economics. A person who takes on a position as one can expect to earn around $85,000 per year. This is the same as about $41.00 per hour. Besides a very reasonable salary, the masters in economics job opportunities for individuals in this area is expected to grow by six percent from 2018 until 2028. The BLS reports that this growth rate is about as fast as average for other masters in economics job opportunities and jobs opportunities in different areas of interest as well.  

Another option is a credit analyst. An individual who takes on this position can expect to earn about $82,000 annually. This is the same as about $39.00 per hour. Fortunately, a person who holds this position not only will make a very decent salary, but he or she will also have job stability. As of 2018, the number of positions for a credit analyst was 72,930. This number is expected to grow over the course of a 10-year span. 

Related Rankings:

25 Best Master’s in Economics

15 Best Online Master’s in Economics

10 Fastest Master’s in Economics