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Master’s Degree Programs

The master’s degree programs at NC State allow students to tailor their experience to match their own research interests and career goals.

Master’s students may opt to pursue a degree with an applied focus (the terminal master’s track) or a more theoretically based degree designed to give them the best foundation possible for further graduate work in economics (the PhD-prep track). In both tracks, they may further tailor their experience by choosing to concentrate in one or multiple of the five fields: data analytics; financial economics; international economics; natural resource and environmental economics; and economic policy. Students can also choose between engaging in a research project culminating in a thesis (the MS degree) or simply pursuing a coursework only option (the MR degree). Students may enroll in our programs on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students can finish the program in 1 year, 18 months or 2 years, depending on their own pace.

Many of our master’s degree students choose to enter the job market after graduation. They typically are employed as consultants, analysts and researchers in private industry and government. Others choose to continue on to further graduate work, often in our own economics doctoral program or at other universities, most often studying economics or law. Here are the placements of some of the graduates from our master’s programs since 2014:

  • SAS
  • World Bank
  • RTI International
  • BB&T
  • NC Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Edward Jones
  • AIG
  • Vanguard
  • Institute of Consumer Money Management
  • Estancia Capital Management LLC
  • ROI Revoluution
  • XSinc
  • Worldwide Clinical Trials
  • Sageworks
  • US Department of State
  • Trivantage
  • Institute for Transportation Research and Education
  • Bank of America
  • Econometrica
  • NC Department of Treasury
  • Nabler
  • Momentum Research
  • Credit Suisse
  • American Journal Experts
  • Quintiles
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Aberdeen Group
  • Accelerant Research
  • Andrew Davidson & Co.

STEM Designation

All of our programs (Master of Economics, Master of Science in Economics, and PhD in Economics) are classified as STEM (CIP Code 45.0603: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics), and international students in these programs can apply for a 24-month STEM extension of F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).


An undergraduate degree in economics is not required for admission to our masters programs; however, applicants are required to have completed formal coursework in principles of economics. Self-study and personal inquiry into the discipline will not substitute for formal coursework. In addition, students applying to the terminal master’s track must have completed calculus I, II and a course in statistics and students applying to the PhD-prep track must have completed calculus I, II, III, linear algebra and a 300-level course in statistics.


Admission decisions are based on undergraduate academic record, three letters of recommendation, and the personal statement. The GRE scores are not required. Students who are admitted must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better.

Explore Tracks

The Graduate Economics Program offers several tracks toward pursuing a master’s degree.