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Online Economics MS

Application Deadlines: 

  • Fall – May 1 
  • Late applications accepted as space allows.

The Chambers College M.S. Economics is a 30-credit hour program, delivered fully online, that can be completed in one year.The flexible format allows students to maintain momentum in their career while pursuing their degree.

The job outlook for economics-related occupations is growing faster than average due to increasing demand for quantitative skills and critical reasoning associated with training in economics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of economists to grow six percent from 2016-2026. “Job prospects should be best for those with masters degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and experience using statistical software” (

Our M.S. Economics graduates will be high-level quantitative economists with the ability to analyze complex policy issues using modern data analysis and econometric methods. Graduates will not only have the technical skills in demand by national employers, they will be able to apply their learning to a large and diverse set of policy issues within our areas of program expertise, such as public finance, health economics, and regional economics.

Courses and Program Description

The M.S. Economics program contains 30 credit hours of material and is designed to be completed in one year. Students will begin the program with a set of economic theory and data analysis courses, followed with a field course focusing on topical areas of value to economists working in the local, state, and national policy context.

In the M.S. Economics, students will develop skills not limited to the following abilities:

  • Explain the choices of economic factors, such as consumers and firms, using microeconomic theory.
  • Evaluate the impacts of imperfectly competitive markets and government intervention on society and groups with society.
  • Synthesize the current state of knowledge on a policy.
  • Describe the efficient structure, storage, and usage of administrative data.
  • Build theoretically sound econometric models.
  • Employ R to obtain parameter estimates of magnitude and empirical relevance, and
  • Produce clear and straightforward summaries of empirical results across a number of written contexts.

Economics ABM (Accelerated Bachelor's-Master's)

Our accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s (ABM) program allows you to take 12 credit hours of graduate coursework while completing your undergraduate degree, leaving only 18 credit hours in order for you to achieve a master’s degree. Rather than 150 hours being needed for a bachelor’s and a master’s, this option allows you to finish with 138 hours.


ECON 510         

Microeconomic Theory (3 credits) This is a course in microeconomic theory for students in the MS Economics program. The course’s primary objective is to provide students with a strong foundation in microeconomic theory. Topics covered include costs and production functions, the theory of the firm, profit maximization, consumer choice and demand, market competition, consumer choice, and game theory.

BUDA 520        

Data Management. (3 Credits) This course provides an understanding of database design concepts and logic, including data modeling, database design, and the logic of database queries. In order to analyze data, one must be able to access, organize and query databases. The course focuses on relational databases and queries, but also includes object-oriented databases, large volume databases, database performance, scalability and live streaming considerations.

ECON 525         

Econometric Theory and Practice (3 credits) This course provides an introduction to mathematical statistics including probability. Linear regression, ordinary least squares, and panel data methods are covered. Students will use R to analyze data.  

ECON 509         

Research Design and Methodology (1 credit) This course focuses on basic research approaches using examples from the economics literature and the student’s course work. Focus is on structure of economic arguments, presentation of data, methods, and research design. MS in Economics students are required to take ECON 509 every semester during the program until they reach 3 credits.

ECON 526         

Causal Inference (3 credits) PR: ECON 525 This class introduces students to the modern theory of causal inference. Research designs included involve experimental approaches, propensity score matching, differences-in-differences, regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, and the synthetic control method. Students will gain competency at using R to execute these research methods.  

ECON 541         

Public Economics Theory and Practice (3 credits) ECON 525 This course covers the economic role of government. Economic roles of state and local governments emphasizing empirical research and policy implications. Particular attention is paid to intergovernmental competition, government performance, service provision, and revenue sources, and revenue estimation.

ECON 561         

Regional Economics (3 credits) ECON 525 This courses covers a regional economy's spatial dimension, emphasizing interregional capital and labor mobility, the role of cities, objectives and issues of regional policy, lagging regions, and other matters of place-based policy. Students will be introduced to methods of regional analysis such as shift-share analysis, input-output analysis, and spatial econometrics.

ECON 565         

Health Economics Theory and Practice (3 hours) PR: ECON 525 Analyzes and evaluates critical questions in health, health care, and health care policy using economic theory and tools.  Topics covered include: the demand for health and health care; economic approaches to studying healthy and risky behaviors; the economic causes and correlates of risky health behaviors and health disparities; the design and incentive structures of health care policy.

ECON 571         

Labor and Education Economics (3 credits) PR: ECON 525 Labor topics include wage and employment determination, human capital theory, discrimination, unemployment, migration, and the effects of unions and government labor regulation. Education topics focus on the economic study of education as an industry, with a focus on program evaluation.

ECON 582         

Economics Practicum (3 credits) PR: Departmental Approval (Final Semester) This course provides students the opportunity to apply applied economics tools and theories to data sets embedded in a non-profit or government organization. Students are expected to complete a final paper that uses R and the analytic skills obtained in the program to analyze a policy issue from multiple perspectives. 


Whether you are a veteran, a reservist, a National Guardsman, or still serving on active duty, West Virginia University is a great place to further your education. The Military Times ranked WVU as the 14th Best College for Vets in 2023. At WVU you will find faculty, staff, and students who want to support you and help you succeed.

WVU offers several resources for current and former military personnel and incentives for online programs as well.


West Virginia University has worked hard to make its programs affordable for military personnel and veterans. WVU is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant, meaning that the university agrees to waive a portion of tuition not covered by the GI Bill. Unlike most universities, WVU participates in the program for all graduate and professional programs. Additionally, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics offers a $100 discount per credit hour to all current and former service personnel pursuing the Economics MS program.


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