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Master of Science in Economics

Online with an On-Campus Option

Purdue Fountain

Numerous job sites rank a Master of Science in Economics among the most versatile and lucrative graduate degrees. With expanding access to extensive datasets, both public and proprietary, there is increased value to individuals who have the tools to analyze and interpret economic data and the ability to apply those results to decision making in business and public policy environments.  

Ranked among the best in the nation, the online master's program in economics at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management teaches you the analytic and quantitative methods necessary to evaluate, optimize, and forecast key economic and business outcomes such as stock markets, product prices, production, growth, employment, inflation and welfare.

Our leading and dedicated economics faculty members use cutting-edge quantitative and empirical instructional methods, including econometrics (big data, machine learning), statistical software applications (Stata, Matlab, EViews), modern computational and programming tools (Python), business forecasting, game theory and experimental economics among other areas. See below for further information on various curriculum options.

Our economics master's program is affordable and flexible. You have the option of completing the degree fully online in as few as 20 months or spread out over 36 months. There is a hybrid format that combines online and classroom learning and allows for an on-campus experience. See below for further information on alternative program schedules.

The program offers study tracks for students interested in data analytics, applied economics, or those interested in pursuing PhD studies in economics, management, or political science at first tier universities. No matter where you take your career, a master degree in economics from Purdue's Krannert School will provide the differentiation you need for success — all on your own timetable and terms. For further information on how to apply, click on the following link: MS application process.

Highlights

  • Program among the top-ranked programs: #2 Best Online Master's in Economics (BestColleges.com)
  • Purdue University is one of the leading research universities in the world; Top 5 public university in the U.S.
  • Program can be completed fully online in as little as 20 months or spread out over 36 months.
  • Program offers option to study fully online, hybrid (online with an on-campus option), or fully on-campus (for domestic students)
  • High value program - tuition fees: $1,075 per credit hour.
  • In 2017, the median entry level annual salary for students with economics master degrees was $102,490, see median salary.

The MS degree in Economics at Purdue University is a 30-credit-hour program (standard for MS programs).   The curriculum is demanding, and taught by a talented and dedicated staff of instructors drawn from the full-time faculty members of the Department of Economics at Purdue University.   

Program

Students take a minimum of 14 courses (30 credit hours). Core courses are mandatory (12 credit hours).  Students specialize in at least one of four areas by earning at least 8 credit hours in that area.  Students have the option of pursuing more than one specialization, such as obtainiing specializations in both financial economics and business analytics.  Other courses can be taken as free electives. The program can be completed in as little as two academic years (20 months). Students begin the program in August. Courses usually last eight weeks. Students have the option to study part-time or full-time and choose between a fully online (for all students), a hybrid (for all students), and a fully on-campus (for domestic students) study program.

Courses

Purdue Mall

The credits for each course are reported in parentheses. Note that the specific list of course topics is subject to change.

Required Core Courses: Theoretical and Applied Concepts

  • Math for Economists (1 credit)
  • Econometrics I (3 credits)
  • Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • Econometrics II (2 credits)

Specialization I: Business Analytics

  • Machine Learning: Big data (2 credits)**
  • Financial Econometrics (2 credits)**
  • Microeconometrics (2 credits)
  • Advanced Programming with Python (2 credits)
  • Applied Game Theory (2 credits)

Specialization II: Financial Economics

  • Financial Economics (2 credits)**
  • Financial Econometrics (2 credits)**
  • Behavioral Economics (2 credits)
  • International Economics (2 credits)
  • Investments and Portfolio Management (2 credits)

Specialization III: Public Economics and Policy

  • Public Economics (2 credits)**
  • Health Economics (2 credits)**
  • Energy Economics (2 credits)
  • Industrial Economics (2 credits)
  • Law and Economics (2 credits)

Specialization IV: Advanced Theory (requires on-campus period)

  • Mathematical Analysis for Economists (2 credits)**
  • Advanced Microeconomics (2 credits)**
  • Advanced Game Theory (2 credits)**
  • Economics of Information (2 credits)**

** Required for Area Specialization

Course Schedule

Purdue Quad

representative for 2-year program

1st Semester:

  • Math for Economists (1 credit)
  • Econometrics I (3 credits)
  • 1 Elective: Personnel Economics (2 credits)

2nd Semester:

  • Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • Macroeconomics (3 credits)

Following (8-week) Modules:

Take 9 elective courses, of which 4 have been chosen from the same Specialization Area. 

For a 2-year schedule, students take 6 credit hours of elective courses each semester and 6 during the summer after their first and second academic years. For the 3-year schedule, students take 4 or 5 credit hours each semester. Students interested in pursuing PhD studies on completion of the master degree take all advanced theory courses on campus. Given each semester is divided into two eight-week modules and 2-credit elective courses span each module, students opting for a 3-year schedule typically do not take more than one course at a time. 

Prerequisites and Qualifications

Students are expected to complete an application and provide undergraduate transcripts (minimum GPA 2.7). Applicants are evaluated by a committee consisting of Economics faculty and administrators.  Students who plan on pursuing PhD studies are encouraged to take the Advanced Theory Specialization on campus. Minimum requirement for pursuing the Advance Theory specialization is an (online MS econ) GPA of 3.5.  Students with good credentials in any discipline may apply to the master’s program. For more information, go to the MS economics webpage (insert link), request the brochure (insert link to brochure on the right bar).or contact:

STEM OPT Extension Available

The MS Economics program is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) certified. Graduates are eligible for the STEM optional practical training (OPT) extension.  The STEM OPT extension, which extends another year of resident status to students with STEM degrees, has helped ease some of these challenges that international students face when searching for long-term employment in the United States.

Purdue STEM Majors and Combined Degree Option

Purdue undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors can count up to nine credit hours of course work toward the MS degree. On graduating with a STEM BS degree, they can complete the MS after the STEM BS degree by taking one additional online courses over the subsequent 12 to 24 months.  Undergraduate students pursuing a STEM BS degree should contact our Assistant Director, or request the brochure for more information, at the start of their junior year. For further information on this combined degree, click on the following link: BS/MS combined degree

Application and Additional Information

MS in Economics Admissions

Sarah Lee, Assistant Director
Krannert School of Management
Purdue University
Rawls Hall, Suite 2021
100 S. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2076

Telephone: 765-494-9336
Email:  Sarah Lee    lee2328@purdue.edu
                                 Sarah Lee website

MS (Economics) Adviser Sara Lee