Economists spend their days studying economic trends, analyzing data, figuring out the impact of goods and services on businesses as well as consumers . . . and that's just for starters. By earning a bachelor's degree in economics, you will be ahead of the curve. Put your analytical mind to the test and jump into the ever-fluctuating numbers world of economics!
What kind of Online Economics degree should you get?
Maybe you're a busy professional who is returning to school later in life. Maybe you're interested in a career change but can't sacrifice the time of "traditional" schooling. It sounds like an online degree would be perfect for you.
This list of the 10 best online bachelor's degrees in economics should serve as a good starting point for your college search. If you're considering other fields of study online, take a look at our ranking of the top online universities.
What can you do with an Online Economics degree?
A Bachelor's in Economics or similar subject is a stepping stone towards a career as an economist. Ultimately, that career typically requires a master's degree or sometimes a doctorate.
However, many entry-level careers are available for those who complete an undergraduate degree in economics. You'll find roles especially in cross-disciplinary jobs that may involve any of statistical analysis, asset management, appraisal, financial analysis, public service, policy, journalism, forecasting, and more. This degree is the first step in a long and rewarding career in economics!
How much money can you make with an Online Economics degree?
Since your future career will be all about numbers, it just makes sense that a job as an economist will make you some big numbers. Around $102,500 per year, in fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, that's a number that is still in the future, since you'll need an advanced degree to work as an economist. So let's take a look at the earnings of a few economics jobs that you can land right out of college with a bachelor's degree:
- Actuary: $101,560/year
- Budget Analyst: $75,240/year
- Financial Analyst: $84,300/year
Clearly, you're still looking at a lucrative career right out of the gate. The numbers are on your side!
What are the Best Online Economics degrees?
Here at College Choice, we've put our best economist foot forward to crunch some data. The methodology team used the following three major factors to boil down to the Best Online Bachelor's degrees in Economics:
- Cost: In-state tuition, scaled from the initial list of candidate colleges. Lowest value is best.
- Graduation Rate: Undergraduate graduation rate. Highest is best; minimum 20%, weighted based on being above or below national average of 42%.
- Distance Education Ratio: This is the percentage of undergraduate students taking all their program courses as distance education, which includes online delivery.
The heaviest ranking weight is for the cost factor, with less expensive colleges scoring higher. Graduation rate has the second highest ranking weight. What do you foresee in your professional future? If it's an economics degree, then read on!
Pennsylvania State University
In-State Tuition: $17,514
Out-Of-State Tuition: $31,346
Net Price: $24,992
Pennsylvania State University leads this ranking for a variety of reasons, not least of all that it is one of the only schools that confers two online bachelor’s economics degrees. This university confers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. It is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
Both degrees require 120 credit hours of work, all of which can be completed online. As with all Penn State World Campus online degrees, a student must first finish the required Core Curriculum before moving onto the Major Core requirements. Sample courses include:
- Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
- Introduction to Econometrics
- Money and Banking
It’s an important distinction that this school offers both the B.A. and the B.S. in Economics. The B.A. track is perfect for online students who are looking for a degree that will help them understand social behavior in reference to economics while the B.S. track is best suited for analytically minded students interested in become statisticians and analysts.
Oregon State University
In-State Tuition: $10,107
Out-Of-State Tuition: $28,767
Net Price: $17,706
Oregon State University confers three different economic degrees online, including the B.A. and B.S. in Economics and the unique B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy. This is one of the best universities to attend for an online degree and it has been consistently ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report for its online bachelor’s programs. This school is accredited by the NWCCU.
OSU delivers an amazing program for its economics students that want to focus on the general area of economics. By providing both a B.A. and B.S. track in the subject, the school ensures that students can choose the economic role that fits them best. All three degrees require 180 credit hours to graduate, and the type of degree sought will affect the students’ mandatory courses. It is also important to note that these degrees currently do not require any on-campus residency. Sample courses include:
- Advanced Microeconomic Theory
- Economics of Traditional and Renewable Energy
The school’s Department of Applied Economics has also expanded the offerings made online by the department by offering the B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy. This is an industry-specific degree that focuses on environmental stewardship and the role of economic advisors in the industry. It is perfect for students who want to supplement their environmental studies with analytical courses in economics.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
In-State Tuition: $10,558
Out-Of-State Tuition: $27,267
Net Price: $15,664
Students at Colorado State University in Fort Collins are flocking to the school’s online portal, where a variety of online undergraduate degrees are available. Among the most popular programs lies the Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a fully online degree best suited for first-time college students. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This degree requires 120 credit hours, including a minimum of 20 credit hours for the minor. Students will also find that while transfer credit is welcome through another regionally accredited university, at least 30 upper-division credits must be completed at CSU Online. Sample courses include:
- History of Economic Institutions and Thought
- Economics of Public Finance
- Regional Economics
One of the main features of this online degree is that CSU requires students choose a major to accompany the B.A. in Economics. Because this degree is based in the liberal arts, the minors students can choose from tend to follow the liberal arts curriculum. Some of the minors include Political Science, Anthropology, and Media Studies.
Fort Hays State University
In-State Tuition: $4,654
Out-Of-State Tuition: $13,657
Net Price: $11,890
Fort Hays State University, known as FHSU to students, confers an interesting economics degree for business-minded students. This school confers the Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Economics online, a degree that focuses on international affairs through the lens of economics. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This degree requires 124 credit hours, all of which can be earned online. An internship is required as well, and this can be completed in a student’s community. This includes the General Education Core, the College of Business and Entrepreneurship Core, and the International Business and Economics Core. Sample courses include:
- Cultural Geography
- Global Business Communication
- International Economics
The B.B.A. in International Business and Economics focuses on the subject of economics in international situations. It was designed for students who are interested in geography, political science, international affairs, business, and economics. It is also a great foundational degree for students who are interested in obtaining an international MBA.
Utah State University
In-State Tuition: $7,260
Out-Of-State Tuition: $19,760
Net Price: $11,686
Utah State University has an expanding online portal, including undergraduate degrees that can be completed wholly online. This university confers the B.A. and the B.S. in Economics; there are also options to dual major economics with both finance and accounting. USU is regionally accredited by the NWCCU.
USU offers the traditional B.A. and B.S. degrees in Economics online, allowing students to choose either a liberal arts-based curriculum or a statistical-based curriculum. It is therefore a good idea for all students to research the differences between the degrees and to speak with an advisor prior to applying for the degree to ensure they are choosing the correct degree. Sample courses include:
- Intermediate Macroeconomics
- Mathematical Methods in Economics and Finance
- History of Economic Thought
- Economic Research and Methods
These degrees both require 120 credit hours. Dual majors should expect to add at least 20 credit hours to their requirements. This school does not require any on-campus residency, making it one of the best schools for online students.
University of West Georgia
In-State Tuition: $6,143
Out-Of-State Tuition: $16,717
Net Price: $14,565
The University of West Georgia is a school with a reputation for academic excellence with regard to its online programs. This university confers the Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Economics, a degree that is geared towards students who are interested in becoming economists within a government agency or in business. UWG is regionally accredited by the SACS COC, and the program is further accredited by the AACSB-I.
The B.B.A. in Economics is an interesting program that is relatively rare for online schools. It focuses on business, economics, and how the two influence each other. This means that this degree is based on empirical methods and research rather than liberal arts. This degree is also a great foundation for students interested in law school or who are planning on going on to graduate study to earn an MBA. Sample courses include:
- Management of Information Systems
- Statistics for Business
- Management in the Social-Political Environment
It is important to note that this degree is not fully online. Students will be required to take at least 40 percent of their courses on the school’s Carrollton campus. For this reason, the program is best for students who already live in Georgia and can commit to this on-campus residency. This degree requires 120 credit hours for graduation. This may also include an optional internship that takes place in a student’s home community.
Eastern Oregon University
In-State Tuition: $7,764
Out-Of-State Tuition: $17,979
Net Price: $14,929
With Forbes recently claiming that an economics degree is one of the best majors for job offers after graduation, it will come as no surprise that Eastern Oregon University has answered with offering an online degree. This school confers the Bachelor of Science in Economics. The university is regionally accredited by the NWCCU.
The B.S. in Economics at EOU requires 121 credit hours, including a capstone project. Of the total credit hours required, 61 must be from the major core. Students can choose from a wide-ranging curriculum of courses such as:
- Social Sciences Research Methods
- History of Economic Thought
- Principles of Microeconomics
One of the most interesting features about this program at EOU is that all of the courses offered in the economics major are available online and on-campus, although not at the same time. This means that students who live close to the campus and are interested in ensuring they finish their degree on time can take class on campus. However, this is not a necessity, as it is possible to get this degree fully online.
In-State Tuition: $25,050
Out-Of-State Tuition: $25,050
Net Price: $19,568
Lakeland University offers a business-specific economics degree for its online students. It confers the Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Business Economics, a program that can be completed wholly online. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The B.B.A. in Business Economics from Lakeland University requires a total of 120 credit hours. There are no on-campus residency requirements or internships needed for the completion of this program. Sample courses include:
- Health Care Economics
- Economics of Sports
- Money, Banking and National Income
Earning a B.B.A. in Business Economics online is a great way for any working student to begin building a strong foundation in business. This program, which has a general emphasis on business, allows students to obtain specialized knowledge in economics and how it influences the working business world. The degree is also a great stepping stool for further graduate education, which can lead to leadership opportunities in the business sector.
In-State Tuition: $10,720
Out-Of-State Tuition: $10,720
Net Price: $16,078
Ashford University has one of the online accredited degrees in economics. This school confers the Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a program that is specially accredited by the IACBE. The school is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.
This university requires 120 total credit hours before a student can apply for graduation. There are no on-campus residency requirements for this school, but students are responsible to ensure that all of their courses, including electives, are available online. Sample courses include:
- Business Law
- Management for Organizations
- Strategic Management and Business Policy
Ashford offers students the unique ability to use their previous work, life, military, or education experience and use it as transfer credits towards their degree. Up to 90 credits can be transferred, allowing students to lessen their degree requirements by 75 percent. Those interested in transfer credits are encouraged to speak with an advisor prior to enrolling in their preferred program.
In-State Tuition: $26,204
Out-Of-State Tuition: $26,204
Net Price: $20,094
Ottawa University offers a flexible, strong online undergraduate degree for economics students. It confers the Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics completely online. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This degree requires 120 total credit hours, including the Core Curriculum. Courses range from finance to management to international economics. Here’s a closer look at a few electives you can choose from:
- Discrete Mathematics
- Money and Banking
- Spatial Economics
Ottawa takes its online education seriously. All courses in this degree are asynchronously and available for download. Assignments and coursework are submitted through the school’s online learning management system, the same place where students can chat with classmates and faculty, all while working their full-time job.