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Master in Applied Economics

The demand for workers with a background in economics is growing with the increasing complexity of doing business in a global economy. Employers, particularly in business and government, are seeking professionals with strong data analysis skills to aid in providing them with the information they need to make important business decisions.  

The University of Houston Department of Economics has designed a 12-month master’s degree program in Applied Economics to allow you to obtain these valuable skills.  The program was ranked 8th among MA Applied Economics programs in the United States by TFE Times in 2024 (and in the top 30 for all master's programs in general economics).  

Benefits of the program

With an increased reliance on quantitative methods for analyzing business trends and policy issues, the applied economics program at the University of Houston will help you gain valuable job skills that are important to employers in many industry and government positions. Students will develop the following in-demand skills:

  • Data management and statistical analysis
  • Trend monitoring and forecasting
  • Critical thinking/problem-solving
  • An understanding of how macroeconomic policy changes can be used to make better business management decisions
  • Regression analysis

And, earn a complete master’s degree in one year!  Our program is very affordable with resident tuition and fees for the entire program approximately $13,500 for 2024.


The Department of Economics at the University of Houston is made up of an innovative group of scholars who are dedicated to producing top-flight research while training our students in the latest techniques in economic analysis. See a our faculty page for more information.

Program Details

The masters in Applied Economics is a full-time,12-month degree with the courses you need to be competitive in the Houston job market and beyond. The 30 semester credit hour (SCH) program begins each fall  (12 SCH regular semester) and runs through spring (12 SCH regular semester) with one final 6 SCH class (those who are able to find a relevant internship or job may apply for 6 hours of internship credit) the following summer. Classes are held during the day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the fall and spring. If admitted, each student must begin their coursework in the fall semester (the program does not accept spring or summer applications).

Courses for the 30 hour program include the following regular term courses:

Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

  • ECON 6485 Microeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 6475 Macroeconomic Analysis
  • ECON 6465 Econometrics

Spring Semester - 12 credit hours (spring course options may vary)

  • ECON 6351 Economic Forecasting 
  • ECON 6345 Energy Economics
  • ECON 6340 Health Economics
  • ECON 6353 Capital Market Economics
  • ECON 6338 Social Science Data Mining

Summer Semester - 6 credit hours 

  • ECON 6691 Internship
  • ECON 6693 Research Project 


Admission to the program is competitive. To be considered for admission, each applicant should meet, at a minimum, the following pre-requisites:

  • Awarded a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in the most recent 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work attempted and have
  • completed the following pre-requisite courses (or equivalents):
  • Intermediate Microeconomics (UH ECON 3332)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics (UH ECON 3334)
  • Introduction to Econometrics (a regression analysis course) (UH ECON 3370, formerly ECON 4365)
  • Calculus I or Calculus for Business and Social Science (UH MATH 1431 or 1314) or Math for Economists (UH ECON 3362)
  • Submission of GRE score is optional.  The GRE may be helpful for applicants with weaknesses in other areas, but is not required for the application to be considered complete.
    • For those who choose to submit GRE scores, there is no formal minimum requirement to be considered for admission. However, successful applicants have typically scored at least 150 on the quantitative section & at least 3.5 on the writing portion.

All above pre-requisite courses in Economics will be offered in the spring semester, (except ECON 3362, semesters offered vary) with some being offered in the first summer term each year. See the Math department schedule for calculus course availability. Be aware that these courses represent the minimum requirement for consideration, and having more advanced coursework in economics will increase chances of admission.

The department only accepts applications for the M.A. in Applied Economics for the Fall semester. The department does not admit new students in the spring or summer sessions. The department will begin reviewing completed application packages in mid-February with a final fall application deadline of June 1 (domestic) and May 1 (for international applicants). Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis, so getting your application materials in early benefits you! Applications which are received after mid-February through June 1 will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please be aware that space is limited. Submitting your application materials early will increase your chances of acceptance. 

Please note that M.A. Applied Economics candidates are not eligible for fellowships or assistantships. There are funds available for Texas residents with financial need through the "Graduate School Fund".  You may find more information here:  All you need to do is fill out FAFSA and ACCEPT any offer of admission by the listed deadline.  While an award is not guaranteed, many students who submitted FAFSA by the listed deadline qualified for $6500-7500/yr from this fund in 2022.

In addition, there are a small number of $1000 annual masters program scholarships available to highly-qualified full-time applicants. Selection criteria include quality of previous academic record, GRE scores, and potential for excellence in the field.  All full-time masters applications will automatically be considered for a scholarship. You must have unofficial transcripts, personal statement, and emails of three recommenders (letters may arrive later) submitted to be considered for one of our scholarships, but applying early (by late March) will increase your chances of obtaining an award.  

See the Admissions page for more information.