Many of the top economics programs in the country do not offer master's degrees in economics. Instead, these universities -- including Harvard, Princeton and the University of Chicago -- grant only doctoral degrees in the field. A small number of schools offer master's degrees in various fields of economics, and these programs prepare students for Ph.D. programs or advanced careers in the field.

Yale University

Yale University is ranked the seventh best economics graduate school in the country, according to the 2013 rankings from "U.S. News and World Report," and the university is one of the highest ranked to offer a standalone master's program. The program offers a Master of Arts in International and Developmental Economics. In addition, the program offers two joint degrees through either the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies or the School of Public Health.

New York University

In 2013, "U.S. News and World Report" named New York University's economics department the 11th best in the country, and the school offers one of the top standalone master's programs in economics. The NYU program takes a minimum of three semesters to complete and provides students with advanced training in public policy and economic analysis. In addition, the master's degree is designed to prepare students for Ph.D. programs at top schools like the University of Chicago and Georgetown University.

University of Michigan

The economics department at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor -- which tied for 13th best on the "U.S. News" list -- offers two master's degree programs: the traditional master's en route to a Ph.D. and a Master of Applied Economics. The MAE track is the university's only standalone economics master's program, designed to prepare students for the application of economics in public policy. Students can also combine studies in a variety of dual degree programs, including those in public health, statistics or business administration.

University of Wisconsin

The economics program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison tied with the University of Michigan for 13th best in the country by "U.S. News," and the university features a solid master's program in economics. The degree can be earned as a standalone degree or en route to the economics Ph.D. offered at the university. Students in the program receive training in analytical thinking, statistical analysis and economics, and graduates leave prepared to enter competitive Ph.D. programs or advanced careers in the field.