online masters in economics at Mizzou

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by zetro332, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. zetro332

    zetro332 New Member

    Hi guys,

    I've been looking to pursue an online masters in economics to add some quantitative skills to my repertoire, and I'm leaning towards the University of Missouri-Columbia program. It is relatively cheap compared to other programs and doesn't require the GRE (as a mid-career guy with family obligations, I don't have the time to study for it). My first choice was Northeastern's mid-career MSc in Commerce and Economic Development but not worth the 34K price tag.

    I know Mizzou's had on-campus issues which has affected their intake, but that doesn't really affect me. Has anyone had experience with this program? Is Mizzou considered respectable institution? Would a PhD program be open to accepting online masters graduates from Mizzou if I decided to go that route?

  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Economics is an area that frequently gets paired with something else (Development and Economics, Finance and Economics, etc.) as you indicated in your own post. With this in mind you should decide if you want a program slanted toward one of these other disciplines or "just straight Economics." Also, since cost seems to be an issue for you I suggest that you look at the programs offered at North Dakota and Oklahoma as I believe they are cheaper than Missouri.
  3. zetro332

    zetro332 New Member

    Thanks for the heads up Kizmet. I did look at North Dakota, but there's just way too many requirements including the GRE and completion of econ prereqs to even be considered (I don't have an econ undergrad degree). Oklahoma doesn't seem to be offering anything online in economics not that I see anyway.

    Yes you are correct in terms of pairing. My ideal choice would be a masters in International Economics, but there's nothing online for that. What I would do is I would take all the international economics based electives as part of any straight economics degree to make up for that. Thanks for the suggestions though.

    Any thoughts on Mizzou as a school?
  4. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I would not be afraid to study for the GRE. You can take practice exams and study if needed. At the very least I would purchase some exam prep materials and test yourself. Your potential score might be fine just as it is.

    The GRE can be more meaningful at some schools and help make up for a lower GPA, and a mediocre or lower score may not mean as much at some non-selective programs. Even if you do poorly on the GRE, your GPA or other career experiences might make up for it, but you would have checked the GRE box. The quantitative portion is only up to a high school algebra level; at least that was the case when I took it several years ago. I don't think it has changed. Exam prep material on the market can do well in helping you boost score if you need to revisit concepts and feel it is necessary.

    The short of it is I would not let the GRE deter you if there is a school you would prefer that requires it.

    I can't speak to this school or this program in particular. My recommendation is a regionally accredited nonprofit school. That would include this school. I would only consider an alternative if there are none available, e.g. for some more specialized degrees, or circumstances make it such that some schools are not feasible.

    If you are interested in a Ph.D. program, it is imperative that you get a regionally accredited degree. preferably from a nonprofit school. Some others may work, depending on the school, but could present issues. So, yes, this online program would be sufficient for getting into a Ph.D. program. Now if you are thinking Ph.D. and are considering on campus and have your eyes on a very competitive program, then you may wish to consider a program's reputation, and how selective the institution is that you obtain the master's from. This is especially the case if you are hoping to obtain an assistantship on campus and if the field is competitive. (I cannot say if that is the case with economics.) If you are thinking Ph.D., think of ways you can distinguish yourself and get a good letter of recommendation from a professor. That may be harder to do online, but certainly possible. If you are thinking of doing Ph.D. online, many of them are through for profit universities, depending on the discipline, and they will not be as selective as long as you can pay and meet the academic requirements (which is still no small feat). I cannot speak to Ph.D. opportunities for Economics. There is also the possibility to do a Ph.D. through a hybrid of some distance and on campus, and that probably would be the best route to pursue if you are a mid-career individual with a family, etc.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    dlbb has raised a couple of issues that I was going to let slide but, what the heck, Ill throw them out there now. Please note that these are opinions and I haven't done any exhaustive research to back them up. First, you have no Economics prerequisites on your transcripts - some grad programs are almost open admission but many are fairly competitive and you may not even get admitted without at least some coursework in the subject area. To put it bluntly, why should they let you into a Masters degree program in Economics when you haven't even taken Economics 101? You don't have the background to do grad-level work. Second, don't be afraid of the GRE. Choosing a grad school based on avoiding a standardized test is foolish, IMHO. This is especially true if you plan to get a PhD. There are very few online Economics doctoral programs and admissions are competitive. You'll want to go to the best Masters program possible and typically that means the Masters will have higher admissions standards too (like decent GRE scores). Finally, if you don't have time to study for the GRE because of work/family obligations then you won't have time to do Masters level coursework either. Give yourself a month to study and then just take the test. Best of luck with your plans.
  6. zetro332

    zetro332 New Member

    Thank you guys for your insights. It has made me think, and I will consider all the advice to make a thoughtful decision.
  7. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Additionally, some programs may admit you with conditional undergraduate perquisites, so if you lack some foundational courses and they still find you worthy, you could still be admitted, but would need to make those up. Your undergrad need not be in Economics or related to it, but it probably would help to have at least had one economics course. But if you have not, that may not necessarily be a barrier at many schools.

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