Graduate study in economics

Proposed Program Changes
Preview some proposed changes to our graduate program, including a proposed program name change to Applied Economics & Data Science, pending approval.

Five reasons to choose an MA in economics

  1. Distinguish yourself with a master's degree that Forbes considers amongst the top jobs in 2015.
  2. Broaden existing training with skills transferable across industries and government.
  3. Develop analytical skills to independently model and research public and private sector issues.
  4. Build technical skills to create predictive models and metrics with actionable results.
  5. Refine technological skills to construct, display, and analyze large data sets.

What will you accomplish with a MA in Economics degree?

  • The Master's program in the Department of Economics will provide you with a balance between a core of microeconomic, macroeconomic, and econometric theory and a wide variety of applied courses.
  • You will get experiential learning in the form of internships and writing several research papers on current economic policy issues using empirical data.
  • After completing this program your core competencies includes critical thinking skills, hypothesizing and solving problems, data acquisition skills, data analysis techniques, the application of economic theory to analyze economic data, writing and reporting skills, and competency in the use of technical computer software.
  • After completing this program you have job opportunities in a wide variety of fields which include professional careers in business, banking, financial services, federal, state and local government, consulting, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • The Master’s program in economics also provides you with a solid foundation for pursuing a PhD degree in economics or further graduate studies in related fields such as business and law.
  • The University of Akron is proud to announce that the Master of Arts in Economics has been approved as a federal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.

Career outlook for those with a master's in economics

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its job outlook concludes that employment of economists is projected to grow by 6 percent between 2014 and 2024. The BLS states that “[j]ob prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and related work experience.”)
  • A recent Wall Street Journal article (March 17, 2014) observes a surge in demand for corporate economists as firms cope with “more data available than ever before and markets that are increasingly unpredictable”.
  • The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) conducts a biennial survey of its members about their base salary and their level of educational attainment. The results from their 2014 survey are summarized in the table below.

Median Base Salary   
for Economists
Bachelor's $71,000
Master's $111,000
Ph.D. $160,000

Source: National Association for Business Economics, Salary Characteristics, 2014.

STEM Designation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognizes graduates of this program residing on student visas as eligible for an optional practical training (OPT) extension. While regular international students are able to remain in the country and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months, students who graduate from a designated STEM degree program, such as our MSM in Information Systems program, may be eligible for an additional 24 months on an OPT STEM extension.

Information on the standard OPT and STEM OPT extension can be found on the Office of International Programs (OIP) website for OIP-STEM

Admissions requirements

About the degree