Online Programs

Online MA in Economics, Applied Economics Specialization


KARA REYNOLDS: My field especially is international trade policy, so I like to look at why do countries pass certain trade policies, and that's really looking more at the intersection of politics and economics. But then I also look at what impact do those trade policies have on firm decision making?

MARY HANSEN: The agenda that takes up much of my time right now is a big program on the history of bankruptcy. I'm collecting data from the court records of thousands of bankruptcies going back to about 1900. My second research agenda is about the policies that protect abused and neglected children. I've spent several years studying what incentivizes the adoption of kids from foster care.

MAHMUD YESUF: Econometrics helps us to sort out sound ideas from crazy ones and to find quantitative answers to important quantitative questions.

KARA REYNOLDS: To me, economics is macroeconomics. That's the part of economics that I really love. And I guess in particular what I like is the role that policymakers play in making macroeconomic policy decisions. And whether it's a central bank or a government, they all face a complicated set of trade offs between the political interest and the economic interests.


Cultivate Your Potential to Make a Quantifiable Difference

Any thriving society relies on a healthy economy. To make an impact as an economist you need a solid understanding of economic theory, the analytical skills to interpret how policies will affect markets and the ability to translate these complexities for a wide audience.

American University offers an online Masters in Economics with a specialization in applied economics to give you the knowledge, credentials and analytical and communication skills to make a difference in your career—and in the world.

This online economics master's degree is taught by a group of esteemed economists and scholars. Their research accomplishments and experience influencing policy bring real world application into the online classroom. They will prepare you to quantify and analyze human and organizational behavior, interpret economic models, test hypotheses, apply statistical and mathematical theories and know the financial system—to ultimately make a positive impact on the economy.

As an online MA in Economics student, you understand the time value of money. In our innovative and flexible online program, you can graduate in as little as 20 months while continuing to meet your personal and professional commitments. As a result, you will qualify for economics degree jobs with the potential to increase your earning power and have the opportunity to make pivotal economic decisions locally, nationally or globally.

Accepted applicants to the online master's program in economics may be eligible for scholarship opportunities. Request more information to learn more.

Master the Analytical Skills to Change Your World

Based in Washington, DC, the epicenter of economic policy, American University’s online Master of Arts in Economics provides a policy-oriented curriculum with hands-on statistical guidance. This graduate program is influenced by its location in the nation’s capital, connecting you with the people and organizations impacting the global economy today.

The curriculum will prepare you to analyze data, apply your analysis to economic policy and translate its meaning for a wide audience. This meld of theory and practical application coursework will enable you to interpret complex mathematical concepts in order to solve real-world challenges and solidify your skills for leadership roles.

In this MA in Economics program you will learn to:

  • Solve complex mathematical economic models
  • Communicate the reasoning behind construction of economic models
  • Interpret and explain the meaning of solutions to economic models
  • Utilize models to predict the changes in various economic indicators (such as price, output, growth, employment, inflation and welfare) and impacts to the economy
  • Use economic models to develop clear and specific research questions and hypotheses
  • Employ the appropriate data and statistical tools to test your hypotheses
  • Use Stata, a state-of-the-art statistical software tool employed throughout the industry, to analyze data.

Graduates of this online economics degree will emerge with the ability to understand and predict how policy changes will affect economic markets—a skill that is highly valuable in jobs for economics in government agencies, corporations, think tanks, NGO’s and financial institutions alike.

Master’s Jobs in Economics - Prepare for Extensive Opportunities in Diverse Organizations

This graduate degree provides a clear understanding of economic growth concepts along with exploration of domestic and global fiscal and monetary policies. As a result, graduates are prepared for economics jobs in a variety of settings:

  • Government agencies
  • Congressional committees
  • Financial institutions
  • Economic consulting firms
  • Think tanks
  • Multilateral organizations
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Business finance

Nearly all (98 percent) of the graduates from American University’s MA in Economics program are working in the field, in graduate school or both. This master’s degree enhances your marketability in a field that is growing at a rate of six percent a year.* Graduates work at organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice, AARP, Deloitte, Federal Reserve, JP Morgan Chase, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Master's in Economics Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual economist salary in 2016 was $101,050, and typical entry level education was a Master’s degree.* Learn more about jobs for economics degrees.

Learn from First-Class Scholars

Our highly credentialed faculty of scholars, with varying backgrounds, policy and international expertise, will bring D.C. to you in this online MA in Economics. You will learn from experts who prepare you to answer pressing questions at the forefront of economic debates. You will engage in on-screen problem demonstrations, interactive media and documentary style case studies influenced by real-world economic issues and current events.

You will find the thought leadership of American University faculty members published repeatedly in the most selective peer reviewed industry journals including the Review of International Organizations, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management. They have also been quoted in The Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, and The Peninsula.

In addition to being world-class scholars, this faculty has cultivated a reputation for being dedicated, responsive teachers with their students’ best interests and success as the backbone of their instruction. To learn more about the online master’s in economics influential faculty, click here.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017 Edition, Economists, on the Internet at

Take the first step to advance your career in economics. Call us at 855-725-7614 to speak to an admissions representative, or request more information here.