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Masters in Economics in the USA: Detailed Information

Updated on 23 October, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Are you looking to pursue masters courses in Economics from the USA but are confused about which university to apply for? Look no further as we will try to resolve all your queries around the admissions in the USA such as the admission requirements, tuition fee, job prospects, top recruiters, a glimpse of the top universities, cost of living and university’s requirements to help you in finalising the decision. Before proceeding with the details around masters in Economics in the USA, it is imperative that you go through the module and curriculum of the program and whether you will be a better fit for this program or not.  

A Masters degree in Economics from the USA can be a boon for students who seek a rewarding career in major industries of the USA, like the federal government, finance & insurance and stock exchanges like NYSE.

Read More: Student Visa for the USA- Fee & Application Procedure

Course Highlights 

Given below are the course highlights for Master in economics in US

Type of Degrees


Duration of the course1.5-2 years
Admission processMerit-based, GRE and TOEFL/IELTS
Average Annual Tuition fees30,000 $- 70,000 $ 
Job Roles
  • Economist, 
  • Consultant, 
  • Policy Analyst, 
  • Budget Analyst, 
  • Statistician, 
  • Market Researcher and others
Average Salary79,000 $ (approx) - 84,000 $ ( approx)
Top Recruiters
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch 
  • Citi Bank 
  • Apple 
  • Chubb 
  • The World Bank 
  • Ernst and Young 
  • Google 
  • McKinsey & Company
  • JP Morgan

Reasons for Studying Masters in Economics in the USA-

There are many reasons for studying MS in Economics in the USA. They include: 

  • The USA is home to the world’s best universities and colleges for economics. 
  • The USA is one of the leading economies in the world.
  • Skilled graduates will have even more job opportunities over the next 7-8 years, with the country witnessing rapid economic growth. 
  • Median pay stands at roughly $104,340 per year or INR 77.75 lakh. 
  • Leading recruiters include scientific research and development firms, Federal Government organizations, consulting firms, insurance and finance companies, and State Government organizations. 
  • Excellent scope of future research and innovation

Read More: 50 Interesting Facts about the USA

Masters in Economics in USA: Subjects Covered

The Master in Economics program in the US is offered to students in practical and theoretical methods. The course is designed for students belonging to mathematics or economics backgrounds.  The following subjects are included in the core course structure of masters degree in economics from the USA:

  • Econometrics,
  • Game Theory,
  • Interpretational Economics.
  • Macro and Microeconomics

Moreover, students seeking master's in economics in the USA also have the option of specialization, such as Financial Economics, Labour Economics, International Economics, Business Economics, and International Economics, which allows them to gain practical knowledge. 

MS in Economics in the USA- Top Universities

The USA has some of the highest-ranked global universities for Economics. The QS Global Rankings (2020) showcased 21 American universities in its top-50 international Economics institutions. Here are some of the top institutions:

Name of InstitutionName of Course Cost of Program
New York UniversityMasters of Arts in Economics$36,544 
Columbia UniversityMaster of Science in Financial Economics$66,584
MITMasters in DEDP (Data, Economics and Development Policy)$1250-$ 5000 
UCLAMaster of Applied Economics$33,238
University of MichiganMaster of Applied Economics$26062
Duke UniversityMS Economics and Computation$31,987-$35,893
Stanford UniversityMasters of Arts in Energy & Resources$63,000
University of WisconsinMaster of Science in Economics$36,000
Boston UniversityMA in Economics$68,924
Cornell UniversityMaster of Science in Applied Economics and Management$20,800
University of MinnesotaMS in Applied Economics$ 30,438

The economics courses at some institutions are hybrid programs, i.e. combining on-campus and off-campus learning. 

Read More: Study Options in the USA for Indian Students After 12th Commerce

Cost of Studying MS in Economics in the USA

Here’s looking at the costs of studying MS in Economics in the USA: 

  • Application Costs- $100 or INR 7,452
  • TOEFL Charges- $180 or INR 13,413
  • Visa Application Fees- $190 or INR 14,158
  • IELTS Charges- $174 or INR 12,966
  • Flight Costs- $1100 or INR 81,968
  • GRE Costs- $205 or INR 15,276
  • Tuition Costs- $40,000-$120,000 or INR 29.81 lakh to INR 89.41 lakh 
  • Accommodation Costs- $600-1000 per month or INR 44,710 to INR 74,516 
  • Food & Groceries- $120-$160 per month or INR 8,942 to INR 11,923
  • Health insurance- $450-$700 or INR 33,532 to INR 52,161
  • Miscellaneous expenditure- $300-$600 per month or INR 22,355 to INR 44,710
  • Transportation Expenses- $100-$300 or INR 7,452 to INR 22,355

Read More: Cost of studying engineering in USA for Indian students

Requirements to study Masters in Economics in the USA 

Students have to furnish all necessary documents as well as check the eligibility criteria. 

Eligibility to study MS in Economics in the USA: 

  • 16 years of education under the 10+2+4 system is necessary. 
  • A four-year Bachelor’s degree is compulsory for doing your master’s in Economics in the USA. 
  • Proof of language proficiency for aspirants from non-English speaking countries. 
  • Student visa for the USA (you can apply after getting your acceptance letter from the university). 

Here are the specific requirements across top USA universities for masters in economics: 

Name of InstitutionMinimum CriteriaEnglish Language Proficiency Examination Scores
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)83-86%TOEFL: 93
IELTS: 6.5
New York University87-89%TOEFL (iBT): 105
IELTS: 7.5
Columbia UniversityUG in relevant subjectTOEFL (iBT): 100, (pBT): 600
IELTS: 7.5
University of Michigan80-82%TOEFL (pBT): 560, (iBT): 84
IELTS: 6.5
MITUG degreeTOEFL: 100
IELTS: 7.0
Duke University90-92%TOEFL (iBT): 90; (pBT): 577
IELTS: 7.0
UCLA83-86%TOEFL (pBT): 560, (cBT):220, (iBT): 87
IELTS: 7.0
Boston UniversityUG in relevant degreeTOEFL (iBT): 84
IELTS: 7.0
Cornell UniversityUG in relevant degreeTOEFL (iBT): 77
IELTS: 7.0
University of Minnesota83-86%TOEFL (iBT): 79
IELTS: 6.5
PTE: 59
University of WisconsinUG degree with Calculus & Linear algebraTOEFL (iBT): 92 (pBT): 580
IELTS: 7.0

When it comes to GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, they are not needed at some institutions like the University of Wisconsin and MIT, while some like Columbia University require GRE 310. Many universities require GRE scores between 150 and 170. 

Read More: Exams Required to Study in the USA

Admission Requirements & Formalities

  • Official academic transcripts with applications. 
  • 3 LORs (Letters of Recommendation). 
  • Personal Statement, SOP (Statement of Purpose), or Letter of Intent, stating why the candidate wishes to opt for a specific program and why the university is an ideal choice for them. 
  • CV or Resume. 

Universities usually announce admission results within four and eight weeks from the closure of the application deadline. The timeline for announcing the results will vary across universities. Candidates should keep checking the official portals for tracking their applications. 

Job Opportunities after MS in Economics in the USA

A master’s in economics in the USA is often the ticket to a fulfilling professional career in the future. Many aspirants choose to sit for the CPA entrance examination and clear it to get CPA certification. Many others also take up employment as economists and analysts. 

The Federal Government is one of the biggest employers of skilled economics graduates, and a majority of them get jobs within 5-6 months after completing their courses. Jobs for financial and economic analysts are also growing rapidly and are expected to witness double-digit increases over the next five years. International students may pursue CPA USA, by appearing for the examination organized by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). 

Graduates also take up positions like benefits and compensation managers, economists, financial analysts, credit analysts, economic consultants, financial managers, auditors, actuaries, financial risk analysts, investor relationship associates, investment analysts, and more. An MS in economics is ideal for those with academic backgrounds in advanced mathematics or economics. With leading institutions and a flourishing job market, the USA is the best destination for graduates in the field. After completing their courses, many students also pursue PhDs, leading to great future research prospects and hikes in average salaries if they venture into the corporate sector. 

Job RolesAverage Salary ($)
Credit Analyst90,277
Senior Economic Analyst85,653
Senior Business Analyst82,882
Financial Analyst66,767
Senior Economist127,671
Analytics Manager110,025
Economic Consultant81,596
Financial Analyst68,814

Read More: Part-Time Job Options in the USA for International Students

Visa Procedure for Aspirants

All non-native students need valid student visas for pursuing economics in the USA. The mandatory documents include the following: 

  • The receipt of application fee payment 
  • Passport that is valid for at least six months 
  • Form I-20 and Form DS-160
  • Original academic transcripts and mark sheets
  • Return flight ticket, showing intentions to come back home after finishing the course
  • Scores in standardized tests such as IELTS and TOEFL
  • Proof of funds for covering tuition and living costs 

After applying with all necessary documents, candidates have to appear for a personal interview. Upon clearing the interview successfully, they are issued their student visas for studying in the USA. 

Read More: A guide on IELTS Score to study in the USA


Scholarships available for MS in Economics in USA

A masters in economics may be costly for many students. However, there are many scholarships available to lower the study cost and cover some added expenses. Here is a list of available scholarships for students: 

Name of ScholarshipAmount of Scholarship 
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship ProgramTravel costs, tuition costs, computer subsidies, stipend for each month, coverage in terms of health insurance 
Hsiao Economics Scholarships$1000 
Debesh Kamal Scholarships$1,385 
KC Mahindra Scholarships$5,542 
Ritchie- Jennings Memorial ScholarshipMay Vary 
Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program$30,000

Even if you cannot get any of these scholarships, there are study loans available for international students. These are alternative options for covering your educational costs. 

Read More: A Guide to Settle in USA from India!

Popular Masters Programs in Abroad
MS in Data Science in GermanyMIM in Germany
MBA in GermanyMS in Computer Science in Germany
MS in Data Analytics in USAMasters in Business Studies in Ireland
MS in Data Analytics in Ireland

Related Reads:
Master’s in Project Management in USA
Master’s in Biotechnology in USA
MS in Engineering Management in USA
Master’s in Psychology in USA
Master’s in Business Analytics in USA
Masters in Data Science in USA


How many years does it take to study economics in the USA?

A Bachelor’s degree in Economics (BA or BSc) will require four years. At the same time, a Master’s of Economics degree will take two years on average. This is, however, applicable only for those doing full-time master’s courses in economics. Part-time courses and online programs may require comparatively lesser time.


How Can I Study Economics in the USA?

You can start by short-listing universities and applying to those where you meet the eligibility criteria. You will require a Bachelor’s degree of four years in economics or any relevant subject, while scoring the minimum percentage required by the institution. GRE scores may be necessary along with scores in English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL. The average IELTS and TOEFL scores should be ideally 7.0 and 85, respectively. Upon applying with all your documents, including the LORs, SOP, and academic transcripts, you will have to pay the application fees online as well. Thereafter, once your application is processed, you will be intimated through the university’s acceptance letter. You will then have to go through the procedure necessary for getting a student visa.


Should one take the GRE or GMAT to study masters in economics in the USA?

GMAT is considered by most B-schools in the US, GRE is also accepted by some of the universities (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, etc.)

Is it possible to study for a Masters in economics in the USA without GRE?

Some universities like the University of Wisconsin and MIT do not ask for GRE scores, while some universities like Columbia University require GRE score of 310. 

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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