Masters in Economics in the USA: Detailed Information

ms in economics in usa

A master’s in economics in the United Nations of America (USA) is a course spanning 1-2 years, priced up to $120,000 or roughly INR 89.41 lakh. Top universities like the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and even Stanford University have courses for MS in economics. International students mostly apply during the fall session. 

Aspirants should have good TOEFL or IELTS scores and score well in the GRE to pursue a master’s in economics in USA. They should have good marks in their Bachelor’s programs as well. After completing their master’s course, aspirants may apply for CPA (Certified Public Accountant) USA. Economists and financial analysts have excellent job prospects in the USA, making this a rewarding field of study by all means!

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

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 houses 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. 

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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 the Program
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)Masters of Arts in Energy & Resources$120,638 or INR 89.89 lakh
New York UniversityMasters of Arts in Economics$36,544 or INR 27.23 lakh
Columbia UniversityMaster of Science in Financial Economics$84,000 or INR 62.59 lakh
MITMasters in DEDP (Data, Economics and Development Policy)$106,900 or INR 79.66 lakh
UCLAMaster of Applied Economics$72,306 or INR 53.88 lakh
University of MichiganMaster of Applied Economics$115,800 or INR 86.29 lakh
Duke UniversityMS Economics and Computation$115,800 or INR 86.29 lakh
Stanford UniversityMasters of Arts in Energy & Resources$106,176 or INR 79.12 lakh
University of WisconsinMaster of Science in Economics$72,000 or INR 53.65 lakh
Boston UniversityMA in Economics$56,904 or INR 42.40 lakh
Cornell UniversityMaster of Science in Applied Economics and Management$54,720 or INR 40.78 lakh
University of MinnesotaMS in Applied Economics$72,000 or INR 53.65 lakh

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. 

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 or INR 74,516
Debesh Kamal Scholarships$1,385 or INR 1,03,205
KC Mahindra Scholarships$5,542 or INR 4,12,970
Ritchie- Jennings Memorial ScholarshipMay Vary 
Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program$30,000 or INR 22,35,492

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!


How Many Years does it take to Study Economics in 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.

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