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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Applied Economics

Majors Overview April 30, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in applied economics and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Applied Economics

The broad field of applied economics encompasses the economic analyses that affect governments, international corporations, and private businesses, among others. Students enrolled in applied economics master’s degree programs hone their grasp of economic theory in order to learn to collect and analyze data and solve practical problems.

These programs feature a combination of student-directed research, experiential learning, and lecture-based courses to give them the opportunity of pursuing concentrations in areas such as economics of developing nations, corporate economics, and public policy.

Schools offer master’s programs in applied economics in various formats, including online, part-time, and full-time. It takes enrolled students about two years to complete most programs.

Education Requirements

Applicants with an undergraduate degree in economics gain preference for admittance to some programs; however, most schools require only a bachelor’s degree in any field. Schools may require applicants that have never studied courses in economics to complete prerequisite introductory courses in subject areas such as statistics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics.


The core requirements of these programs feature advanced economic theory, often accompanied by a local internship and focused study in a specific area of interest. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Consumer behavior and price theory
•International economics
•Economic model building
•Microeconomic theory
•Corporate finance
•Macroeconomic theory
•Introductory econometrics

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, an as fast as average job growth rate of 14% have been predicted for economists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $91,860 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Licensure may be compulsory for professionals in an economics field, although this may vary by specialization and industry. For instance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issues licensure to those in the securities industry. While a Ph.D. in Applied Economics is not a requirement by employers, those seeking careers in academia or research may pursue it.

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