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SNHU graduate Alaine Garcia looking at a computer with a colleague. With the text Alaine Garcia '20

Online Master's in Economics Applied Economics Program

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Register By: July 27 Classes Start: July 29

Earn an Economics Master's Degree

  • $637/credit (36 credits total)
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • 24/7 online accessibility – attend class when and where it's convenient
  • Median salary of $113,940 for economists1
  • Complete in as few as 15 months, or at your own pace
  • 6% projected job growth for economists through 20321

Online Master's in Economics Program Overview

Does an economic swing put your investigative mind into overdrive? Do you see the world through a mathematical lens? Do you draw dotted lines between local and global markets and the current events that surround them?

If you're the type of person who enjoys solving tough problems and working with numbers, a Master of Science (MS) in Applied Economics may be for you.

Economics is the weaving together of science, sociology, history, philosophy and mathematics to forecast futures and apply understanding to the past. Quite simply, economics is the ability to make informed decisions based on data.

"It all comes back to decision making," said Sutton Puglia, an adjunct instructor at SNHU and a government economist. "Economists want to understand why things are happening and why people are making the decisions they do."

Online master's in economics students will explore diverse theoretical schools of thought and focus on the analysis of economic variables and the efficient use of resources. Students can emerge from the program with a balanced understanding of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometric theory.

What You'll Learn

  • Communication methods for economic principles, findings & risk
  • Organizational analysis using economic theories & principles
  • How to merge data analysis & econometrics into research studies
  • Effective data analysis & reporting
  • Evaluation tactics for decision making

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Career Outlook

Sutton Puglia with the text Sutton Puglia

"In pretty much every field, there is going to be a place for economists," said Sutton Puglia, an adjunct instructor at SNHU and a government economist.

That's because economists study the reasoning behind decisions people make and are interested in using data to boost profits, create better public policy or conduct research.

As a student in the online master's in economics program, you'll develop necessary workforce skills like:

  • Data collection
  • Data processing
  • Investigative questioning techniques
  • Building advanced economic models
  • Formulating problem statements and hypotheses
  • Econometric and empirical analysis
  • Communication and presentation of findings

Graduate Alexia Engel '21 said she also frequently uses advanced statistical analyses from the program, while Nathan McBeath '20 often goes back to the research and presentation tactics he learned.

Because economists are responsible for so much of an organization's strategy, it's no wonder that the need for economists is on the rise. 

Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for economists are expected to grow 6% through 2032.1


The median annual salary for economists in 2022 was $113,940.1

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

According to the BLS, the largest employers of economists1 in 2022 were:

  • Federal government, excluding postal service: 27%
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting services: 20%
  • Scientific research and development services: 11%
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals: 10%
  • Local government, excluding education and hospitals: 7%

With your master's degree in economics, you'll be have a breadth of career roles to consider — many of which offer a job growth projection rate1 through 2032:

  • Budget analyst: 3%
  • Financial analyst: 8%
  • Market research analyst: 13%
  • Operations research analyst: 23%
  • Political scientist: 7%
  • Urban and regional planner: 4%

"The nice thing about economics is that you can build your skill set, grow and make a field for yourself in any number of industries," Puglia said.

For example, Engel built off the learnings from her sociology degree, where she learned that sociologists and economists often conduct research together. "While the case studies presented understandably focus on business problems, the concepts can also be applied to social problems," she said.

It all helped lead her to the right role.

McBeath took part in the program to advance his career.

"I wanted to hone my knowledge of the subject matter in hopes of being able to apply my learned concepts to the workplace," he said. "The program did meet my expectations by exposing me to new and challenging concepts that were highly relevant to the work that I now complete on a daily basis."

As a candidate for the master’s in applied economics degree online at SNHU, you'll acquire both the interpretive and scientific skills needed to become an expert decision-maker and thought leader in your chosen profession – whichever path you choose.

Where Could You Work?


Prepare reports and monitor spending for public and private institutions. 


Assess stock, bond and investment performance to help others make financial decisions.


Study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service.


Use mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations make better decisions.


Analyze data using mathematical models, statistical tools, and other software.


Develop land use plans that help create communities and accommodate population growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Economics Degree

Preparing You for Success

Alexia EngelAlexia Engel '21

"I was fortunate to land my dream job as I neared the completion of my program. This degree will help me meet the minimum qualifications for positions I may seek in the future."

Courses & Curriculum

The faculty team for SNHU’s online master’s in economics is replete with experts who bring their real-world experience to the classroom.

From corporate vice presidents with prestigious certifications and PhDs working in global marketplaces to certified small business advisors and government consultants, this cross-section of know-how is among the best in higher education.

Nathan McBeath with the text Nathan McBeath"The professors did a great job of supporting questions and presenting ample opportunities to learn the subject matter and be successful in the various tasks required within the curriculum," said Nathan McBeath '20.

The online master's in economics offers an exciting curriculum. A course in game theory allows you to grow confidence in negotiations and conflict resolution. Your mathematics and statistics class shows you the methods used today in the economics field. And your capstone gives you the opportunity to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills you've developed throughout your online master's degree program at SNHU.

"The Applied Economics Capstone really stood out to me because I was able to apply the economic concepts I learned throughout the program to a topic of my choosing," said Alexia Engel '21.

McBeath agreed.

"My favorite class was the economics capstone due to the rigorous research requirements and the in-depth final project and presentation," he said. "This course required a deep understanding and application of concepts and was overall enjoyable for me since I am fascinated by the subject matter and was able to select my own thesis topic."

Plus, you'll also have the chance to focus on other areas of economics through 4 elective courses, which are included to round out your program. Combine your passion for the environment with a natural resource economics class, or dive deep into global markets with an international corporate finance course.

The curriculum has had real-world value for both Engel and McBeath.

"I was originally attracted to applied economics because I wanted to learn more about the distribution of scarce resources while conducting quantitative analyses and making recommendations based on quantitative data," Engel said. Today, she has "colleagues tell me that hearing about my experience has inspired them to consider pursuing a graduate degree as well. Colleagues have also asked me about my experience at SNHU as they research programs they are interested in pursuing."

McBeath said that what he learned in the program has helped his resume and LinkedIn profile stand out.

"In most cases, I have been one of the only staff members to have completed a graduate degree at my level and age," he said.

Don't have an economics or business background? SNHU offers foundation courses for students who have neither an economics degree nor a business degree. Depending on your background, you may be required to take courses like:

  • Economics for Business
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Mathematics and Statistics for Business

For Engel, who entered the program with an undergraduate social science degree, found that the foundation courses were one of the benefits of studying at SNHU without having a business background.

"The instructors were always engaging and supportive," she said. "I recall one instance where an instructor spoke with me over the phone to help me with a concept I was having difficulty understanding."

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

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