Online Economics Degrees 2021

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Economics offers mathematics-oriented students the basic tools to develop quantitative reasoning skills. Students can gain skills and proficiencies for careers in economics in an online bachelor’s in economics program.

By gaining research and professional experience through an economics degree online program, students learn how to appraise and evaluate economic outcomes, institutions, and processes.

Economists earn a median salary of $105,020 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects employment for these professionals to increase 14% from 2019-2029, much faster than other occupations.

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Top Programs in Economics

Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
3 Utah State University Logan, UT
4 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
5 Washington State University Pullman, WA

FAQ


  • What is the highest paying job in economics?

    Quantitative analysts enjoy the highest earning potential of all economics majors. They use mathematical and statistical methods and other finance-related studies to evaluate risk. They often apply their research within public or private organizations to determine profitable opportunities.


  • What kinds of jobs can you get with an economics degree?

    Economics degree jobs include market research analysts, economic consultants, or financial analysts, to name a few.


  • Are economists in demand?

    Yes. The BLS projects 14% job growth between 2019-2029, much faster than other occupations.


  • What is the difference between economics and business?

    Business administration addresses individual business-related processes. On the other hand, economics evaluates the big picture, including economic processes in an entire society.


Why Get a Degree in Economics?

An economics major provides comprehensive preparation for a career or for graduate study in public policy analysis. Full-time students often finish an online bachelor’s degree in economics in four years — with 120 credits needed for an online degree. Graduates enjoy a lucrative career path and a great entry point for graduate school. Economists earn a median salary of $105,020 per year according to the BLS.

An online college education offers flexibility and gives students access to specialized degree courses not accessible through in-person classes. Online classes allow students to take classes anytime, anywhere.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does an Economics Degree Cost?


Per-credit costs for an online economics degree typically range from $290-$600.

Colleges and universities do not charge students additional fees for an online degree, such as activity fees or technology fees. Some schools often waive other fees or add fees related to online learning. In general, students pay less for online courses.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree



Affordable Colleges Online’s calculation tool helps students determine the affordability of a college degree using current income and cost of living amounts. Prospective students also enter costs for books and expenses, potential scholarships, and other financial aid. The calculator provides students with the amount they can afford for college based on these factors.

College Affordability Calculator

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.


How Much Do Economics Majors Make?


Median Salary


Economists earn a median salary of $105,020 per year according to the BLS. However, they often earn more depending on a number of factors, including level of education and certifications attained.

Bachelor's


A bachelor’s degree in economics often leads to master’s and Ph.D. programs in economics. A master’s in economics helps students succeed in financial services or as a consultant. Ph.D. programs help students pursue academia or positions in government, research, and policy.

MBA


Some students interested in economics pursue an MBA. As a business-oriented program, the MBA develops management and leadership roles and often leads to high salaries down the road.

Certification


Economics students can also get an income boost through additional licensing or certification for specific careers as financial advisors, actuaries, or securities traders.

Courses in Economics



Students develop research and analytical skills throughout all curriculum courses. Students often specialize in international economics, quantitative analysis, or applied microeconomics specializations.

The courses below classes represent a sample curriculum. Actual courses vary from institution to institution.

Microeconomics, a keystone course of economics, tackles the forces of supply and demand. This course focuses on how and why markets work, why they sometimes fail to work, and the policy implications involved. Students apply microeconomic concepts to topics of popular or policy interest. The course generally covers minimum wage legislation, international trade policy, tax policy, and the role of a market economy government.

Another cornerstone course, principles of macroeconomics introduces students to the study of the aggregate national economy. Students learn the basic theories of macroeconomics. They apply these factors to the causes of inflation, unemployment, recessions, and depressions in the United States. The course focuses on how government fiscal and monetary policy affects the economy.

The labor economics course dives deeper into the characteristics and structure of the U.S. labor force. The course relates directly to the field through its examination of the labor markets and microeconomic and macroeconomic factors. Students compare and contrast U.S. industrial relations and public policies with other western industrialized societies.

Certifications and Licensure for Economics



Licenses and certifications elevate an individual’s earning potential and map a specific career path.

Certification in Applied Economics and Data Analytics


The certification in applied economics and data analytics program from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) offers a baseline for professionalism in the field. Professionals must hold NABE membership and boast two years of work experience in applied business economics or a related field. Candidates need to complete NABE’s communication and presentation skills for business economists and writing skills for business economists certificate courses. They must also adhere to the NABE professional conduct guidelines.

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Economic Development Finance Professional Certification


NDC’s economic development finance professional certification allows professionals to translate development opportunities into results for their communities. Professionals need two years of education or training after high school and more than two years of work experience. Professionals take oral and written exams.

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Chartered Economist Certification


The Global Academy of Finance and Management requires an accredited degree in economics or a related area. Certification seekers also need three years of related work experience and continuing education. They must also agree to adhere to specific ethics requirements.

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Scholarships for Economics



When thinking about pursuing an online bachelor’s in economics program, consider a variety of scholarships. Also research your prospective institution for other sources of potential funding.


  • Helen D. Snow Scholarship Memorial Fund

    Who Can Apply: The Helen D. Snow Scholarship Memorial Fund welcomes applications from members of Phi Chi Theta in good standing. Members attend an approved U.S. institution and major in business and/or economics. Students need at least one completed semester of college in the United States. Applicants submit an application and one copy of an official transcript directly from the registrar’s office. Students also submit a copy of their 2021 spring semester course schedule, essay, resume, letters of recommendation, and a professional or business photo.

    Amount: $1,000

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  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship welcomes applications from women of any age pursuing a business program at an accredited institution. Eligible applicants plan to major in a specialization such as economics at an accredited institution. Applicants should demonstrate outstanding potential in the field and live in a Zonta district or region.

    Amount: $2,000

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  • Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Association Foundation Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Association Foundation Scholarship welcomes applications from high school seniors who have participated in the Stock Market Game, as well as current sophomore or junior undergraduates. Students in college must major in business, finance, or economics at a four-year private college or university. Eligible applicants hold U.S. citizenship status. Requirements include a completed application form, transcript, and 500-word essay.

    Amount: $2,000 for high school seniors from Maryland and Virginia who participate in the Stock Market Game. $5,000 college or university scholarships to candidates selected from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

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Online Bachelor’s In Economics Programs 2021



See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public research university, FIU offers on-campus and online degrees, including an online bachelor's in economics. The major emphasizes human behavior, economic incentives, and historical economic trends. Undergraduates build strong analytical and critical thinking skills in the fully online social science program.

    The 120-credit online economics degree covers macro and microeconomics. The curriculum includes training in econometrics, economic theory, and economic activity measurement. FIU incorporates 15 economics elective credits, allowing majors to customize their course of study.

    First-time college students apply with their high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. FIU admits transfer students with college transcripts. Transfer applicants must meet first-year admission requirements if they hold less than 60 college credits. Florida residents qualify for an in-state tuition discount. FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Location

    Honolulu, HI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Hawaii's flagship public university, UH Manoa offers an online bachelor's in economics program. The degree completion program admits students with prior college credits to finish their bachelor's degree with an economics focus. Majors study economic theory and practice, including economic policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

    At UH Manoa, economics majors learn about economic policymaking, individual decision-making, and economic analysis. The curriculum strengthens economic literacy skills, builds critical thinking abilities, and fosters strong quantitative reasoning skills. The 30-credit major admits students for fall or spring start dates. Distance learners complete coursework on a 16-week semester schedule.

    Designed for college students with two years of college credits, the degree competition option admits transfer students from accredited colleges. UH Manoa partners with Leeward Community College to help first-time college students complete their general education requirements. UH Manoa is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission.

  3. Utah State University
    Location

    Logan, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    USU, a public institution in Logan, offers an online bachelor's in economics program. The major examines the production and consumption of goods from a social science perspective. Majors learn about economics, study economic theory, and strengthen their research skills.

    The online economics degree includes 13 courses with four emphasis options. The core courses introduce economic institutions, microeconomics, econometrics, and data analysis. Majors then choose from economic theory, managerial economics, pre-law economics, and international economics and trade.

    Distance learners benefit from USU's virtual services, including career services and library access. Online students in Utah can access WiFi, testing services, and study spaces at any state university campus. The university awards transfer credit for college-level coursework at other institutions. The economics program admits new students with two start dates each year. USU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  4. Western Illinois University
    Location

    Macomb, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    From its campus in Macomb, WIU grants in-person and online degrees. The online economics bachelor's degree at WIU features both bachelor of arts and bachelor of business options. The BA builds critical thinking skills and the BB may appeal to students interested in business, banking, or financial services careers. Both options pair with WIU's master's in quantitative economics degree, offering a five-year path to a bachelor's degree and graduate degree.

    Economics majors study topics such as economic development, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and health economics. WIU supports online learners through its Analytics and Economics Student Association, career planning resources, and leadership opportunities. The university offers several scholarships, including departmental scholarship awards, to cover degree costs.

    WIU uses a test optional admissions process. Full admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA for freshman applicants or a 2.0 GPA for transfer applicants. The university admits students in the top 10% of their Illinois high school graduating class. WIU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public university in Pullman, WSU offers an online bachelor's in economics emphasizing the complexities of economic and financial systems. Majors investigate markets and economies at the local, national, and global levels. The fully online program strengthens critical thinking, data analysis, and communication skills.

    The 120-credit online degree trains students to evaluate economic concepts, apply quantitative methods, and communicate their economic analysis. The program focuses on core skills and knowledge, including basic problem-solving and complex data analytics. Curriculum includes training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic theory, and econometrics.

    Learners specialize their training with a focus in commodity marketing or management. At WSU, economics majors choose an internship, a special problems in economics course, or study abroad option to further customize the degree. WSU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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