Program Description

Engage with George Mason’s unique approach to economics that fuses the scholarship of public choice, Austrian, and experimental economics. Our nationally ranked graduate economics program has received international attention for its focus on comparative institutional analysis and its practical approach to the relationships among economic, political, and legal sectors.

Graduate students in the flexible, fully online Master’s in Economics program will learn from world-renowned faculty and study real-world economic problems. Students will begin developing informed and thorough research in government, policy institute, business, or nonprofit settings, both individually and as team members.

On-Campus Resources for Online Students

George Mason is Virginia’s largest research university and has an abundance of invaluable resources. One clear benefit from these resources is George Mason University’s Career Center, which helps students identify and secure internship and job opportunities.

Application Deadline

The Master’s in Economics online program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is currently accepting applications. Applicants for the online program should apply here.

Virtual Open House

The George Mason University faculty dedicates time throughout the year to hold interactive sessions online for those who want to learn more about the programs we offer. If you would like to find out more about what you can expect from an online Master’s in Economics, visit our pre-recorded Virtual Open House and watch at your convenience. For information on upcoming sessions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Wiley University Services maintains this website in cooperation with George Mason University. Admissions standards and decisions, faculty and course instruction, tuition and fee rates, financial assistance, credit transferability, academic criteria for licensure, and the curriculum are the responsibility of the Institution and are subject to change. We aim to keep this site current and to correct errors brought to our attention. Education does not guarantee outcomes including but not limited to employment or future earnings potential. Learn more about Wiley University Services.

Learn more about how to file a complaint.

Request Info

Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Economics (MA)

Degree: MA

College/School: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Credits: 30 total

Who should apply?

George Mason’s fully online master’s in economics is the perfect program for professionals looking to take the next step in their careers. Our flexible format can accommodate any schedule, and students have the option to attend full- or part-time.

Though a degree in economics is not required, applicants must have earned a U.S.-equivalent bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. It’s also recommended that applicants have completed the following before enrolling in our graduate courses:

  • Intermediate microeconomics
  • Intermediate macroeconomics
  • At least one semester of calculus
  • At least one semester of statistics

Why choose George Mason?

  • Internationally recognized faculty
  • Financial aid programs to make your degree more affordable
  • Access to competitive internship and job opportunities through George Mason University’s Career Services
  • Flexible, fully online degree format to accommodate all schedules

Program requirements for the online Master of Arts in Economics are subject to change; please refer to the University Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements

The online MA in Economics follows an asynchronous format, and it consists of 10 total courses equal to 30 total credit hours.

Core Courses:

ECON 535 – Survey of Applied Econometrics

Applied introduction to estimating economic relationships. Includes simple equation and simultaneous equation system estimation.

ECON 611 – Microeconomic Theory

Covers theory of behavior of consumers, firms, and resource suppliers; theories of choice under risk and uncertainty; partial equilibrium analysis of competitive and noncompetitive markets; general equilibrium analysis; and welfare economics. Introduces capital theory.

ECON 612 – Microeconomic Theory II

Nature of the firm; theory of supply; and production functions, factor pricing, and supplies. Introduces microeconomic foundations of theories of public finance and public choice.

ECON 615 – Macroeconomic Theory

Survey course covering monetary theory, theories of consumption and saving, budget deficits, economic growth, international finance, and monetary and fiscal policies.

ECON 630 – Mathematical Economics I

Topics covered include; constrained maximization, differential calculus, integral calculus, linear algebra, matrix algebra, probability, and set theory. Emphasis is placed on economic applications.

Elective Courses:

Causal Inference in Economics

The class is a very hands-on course. Students will learn to write programs in the econometrics software package, STATA, in addition to learn the numerous research designs economists and statisticians have developed to estimate causal inference when experiments are not feasible. Students will also develop a basic understanding of the logic contained in directed acyclical graphical models. We will cover matching estimation, linear and nonlinear regression models, panel methods, differences-in-differences, synthetic control, instrumental variables and regression discontinuity. The majority of the class will focus on selection bias and treatment assignment.

Comparative Economic Systems

This course provides an analytical framework for assessing economic systems and pressing issues of public policy. It also provides historical context to the various theoretical debates related to different economic systems, and explores the empirical results of the performance of alternative systems. These theoretical and empirical insights cannot be ignored if intellectual progress is going to be made in our understanding of the political and economic realities of our present time.

Economics Capstone

The Economics MA Capstone course is designed for students who have completed all core theory and quantitative methods requirements for the Econ MA program. This course provides a platform from which students can further develop and refine these skills by conducting a research project relevant to some field of economics. The main objective for the course is to provide a structure that will guide students in the application of the set of skills and tools acquired in the core theory, quantitative methods, and field courses taken by students in the MA program.

Experimental Economics

This class provides an introduction to experimental economics, drawing heavily from the work of Mason’s Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith. Methodologically, students learn the design and analysis strategies that form the foundation of experimental economics. Substantively, students are introduced to the science of economic exchange, including both personal exchange (covering trust, cooperation and reciprocity) and market exchange (covering market design and coordination). Through their time in the course students discover that experiments allow one to bridge from the “constructivist” rationality of economic models to the policy relevant “ecological rationality” that governs actual economic exchange behavior.

Gender Economics

This course draws on empirical and theoretical insights from multiple fields within economics. The objective is to understand the role of gender in economic decision-making, and the changing significance, timing, and meaning of work, career, and family. We will also consider the interplay between culture, norms and gender, and the impact on economic decision-making and outcomes. The course focuses mostly on the developed world, but we will occasionally contrast this with a global perspective.

Market Process Theory

This course investigates various aspects of the Austrian school of economics. The main goal is to introduce you to the theories and insights of the Austrian school. In addition to introducing the ideas that constitute Austrian economics, a second aim is to demonstrate how Austrian economics provides a set of tools for analyzing a variety of “real-world” issues.

Public Economics/Public Choice

The course first examines the foundations of welfare economics, using the various forms of market failure as an economic rationale for the existence of government. Then, market failures are used to examine the major types of public expenditures in many countries: public goods (including impure public goods, benefit‐cost analysis, and preference revelation mechanisms), externalities, and asymmetric information. The second part of this course investigates the foundations and applications of public choice economics, drawing on works from the Bloomington, Chicago, Rochester, and Virginia Schools. We will explore how applying the economic way of thinking to politics, or collective action, sheds light on the costs and benefits of various political institutions and government policies.

Tuition & Fees (2023-2024):

Tuition is $1,065 per credit hour. An additional charge of $35 per credit hour applies for a Distance Learning fee.

Financial Aid:

For information on grants, scholarships, and loans, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Graduates of our online masters in economics have entered successful careers in government, nonprofit, research, and private sector settings. Regardless of your geographic location, Mason uniquely offers the benefits and connections of the D.C. community at your fingertips. As a result, our graduates have benefited from employment opportunities in an array of government, public policy, nonprofit, and business positions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for economists is projected to expand over the next decade. A master’s degree is the typical entry-level degree for economists.

Graduates of George Mason’s online master’s in economics can qualify for a number of desirable career positions, including:

  • Actuary
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Economic Analyst
  • Investment Analyst
  • Legislative Correspondent
  • Market Researcher
  • Operations Associate
  • Quantitative Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Program Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Consultant
  • Statistician

If you are unable to find the answers to your questions, submit a Request Information Form or contact our admissions representative via the contact information below.

Phone: 703-348-5006

How do I apply?

In order to apply, applicants must have earned a U.S.-equivalent bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Even though applicants do not require a degree in economics, it is still recommended that applicants have satisfactorily completed the following before enrolling in our graduate courses:

  • Intermediate microeconomics
  • Intermediate macroeconomics
  • At least one semester of calculus
  • At least one semester of statistics

Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Application fee

Click here to apply today.


Do I need to have an Economics background?

While a degree in economics is not required, it is recommended that applicants have satisfactorily completed the following before enrolling in graduate courses:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics.
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics.
  • At least one semester of Calculus (MATH 113 or equivalent – search for course descriptions).
  • At least one semester of Statistics (OM 210 or STAT 250 and STAT 350, or equivalent, see catalog for course descriptions).

What are the admission criteria?

Applicants must hold a BA or BS degree or equivalent from an accredited university or college with a GPA of at least 3.00 in the last two years of undergraduate work and in all economics courses.

Can I complete the program entirely online?

The MA in Economics can be completed entirely online. Classes are offered on a part-time or full-time schedule.

What accreditations do George Mason and this program have?

George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The online MA in Economics is 30 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Can I transfer credits from another University?

Please visit the Economics Transfer-Reduction-Waiver for more information.

When are classes offered?

Courses for the MA in Economics online program are offered online in synchronous and asynchronous sessions.

What tuition assistance is available?

Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides information on potential scholarships and aid packages for the online MA in Economics.

How much does it cost to apply?

While there is a $75 application fee, there are multiple times throughout the year that the fee may be waived.

What are the admissions recommendations?

  • Completed Online Application
  • $75 application fee
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement Essay
  • Undergrad GPA-minimum 3.0 (submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts)