2021 Best Online Economics Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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If you are interested in better understanding economic trends and why things happen as they do, you may want to consider researching further into online economics degrees.

Best Online Economics Degrees

An econ degree can help you develop your communication, analytical reasoning, and mathematical skills.

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One of the benefits of an online program is that it allows you the flexibility to study online and schedule your coursework around your personal obligations.

Online Economics Degrees

An economics degree program can teach you about how to obtain, conserve, and allocate resources. An economics major can help provide you with the necessary foundational skills to take on business or management roles in a multitude of industries.

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Professionals with an economics background are necessary in nearly every sector. For instance, they may work within business, government, or public policy sectors.

Common career paths in the field include:

  • Market research analyst
  • Budget analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Actuary
  • Auditor

To determine whether an economics degree is a good fit for you, it’s helpful to have an idea of the courses you may be enrolled in. Your course topics will likely include:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Economic theory
  • Public economics
  • Behavioral economics

Most of your coursework will likely require mathematical comprehension, excellent communication skills, and analytical thinking. You can learn how to implement long-term economic solutions, and students are also encouraged to look at the past, present, and future circumstances of an issue.

Common Bachelor’s in Economics Concentrations

Common Bachelor’s in Economics Concentrations

When pursuing an economics major, you may find yourself interested in focusing on a specialization. Here are a few common economics concentrations:

  • Behavioral Economics. This is the study of psychology and human behavior and how that can influence the economics of an industry or community.
  • Financial Economics. This specialization focuses on the allocation of resources in financial markets, such as stocks, investment portfolios, and more.
  • Agricultural Economics. This concentration focuses on the distribution of food to communities and the policies affecting agricultural economics.
  • Industrial Organization. This specialization looks at the impact of business activity and focuses on developing strategic planning for firms.
  • Public Policy. This concentration focuses on governmental issues and the guidelines and strategies that influence policy decision making.

Choosing a concentration is not mandatory, but it can be beneficial if you have specific career goals following graduation.

Economics Careers & Salaries

Economics Careers & Salaries

Economists are required in nearly every sector and industry. Because of this, the knowledge and skill sets that can be gained through degrees in economics can lead to opportunities in various fields.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of economists is projected to grow 14% through 2029, which is much faster than average. Here are a few careers related to the field of economics.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Financial Managers $134,180
Economists, Federal Government $125,350
Actuaries $111,030
Operations Research Analysts $86,200
Financial Analysts $83,660
Financial Examiners $81,430
Budget Analysts $78,970
Economists, State Government $73,510
Market Research Analysts $65,810
Manufacturing Cost Estimators $63,740

The job market for economists can be competitive and typically favors individuals with a masters or PhD. There are some entry-level positions, though, particularly in government, that are available for those with a bachelor-level education.

Economics Curriculum & Courses

Economics Curriculum

Coursework for an online degree in economics will vary from school to school, but here are some examples of courses you may take:

  • Microeconomics: This course explores how small factors, such as people or small groups, influence the economic behavior of demand, supply, pricing, and additional economic factors.
  • Macroeconomics: This course studies how large scale systems influence economic factors, such as financial growth, employment, supply, and demand. This course often looks at economic factors on an international scale as well.
  • Economic Theory: This course looks at theories and policies that influence economic decisions such as obtaining, managing, and allocating resources. You may also look at how the market influences policies and decisions.
  • Public Economics: This course explores how the government, financial market, and businesses all influence the regular economy of communities and cities.
  • Behavioral Economics: This course looks at how psychology influences individuals and organizations when it comes to making economic decisions.
  • Labor Market Studies: This course examines supply and demand as well as the impact this has on employment, public policies, and even taxes within markets.
  • International Trade: This course looks at how import and export fees influence international markets. It also examines policies and agreements between nations and looks at relationship building and communication between trade partners.
  • Government Policy: You’ll study how the government, on a state and federal level, allocates resources and implements financial solutions for their community.
  • Economic Development: You’ll look at real-world case studies and try to implement innovative economic solutions to large-scale issues.
  • Statistics: This mathematics course focuses on studying and analyzing data, and you’ll learn how to implement this research into solutions for financial and economic issues.

If you are interested in observing trends and influencing innovative solutions, then a degree in economics might be a good fit for you.

How to Choose an Online Economics Degree Program

Online Economics Degree Program

Choosing an online economics degree is a personal choice and can require extensive research. This is the case whether it’s an online bachelors or an online masters in economics. Once you have chosen your major, here are some additional factors to consider prior to enrollment:

  • Cost of the program
  • Length of the program
  • Full-time or part-time enrollment options
  • Admission requirements
  • Accreditation and credibility of the school
  • Location of the college
  • Offered specializations
  • Accelerated course options

It may help to compare colleges to your personal and professional requirements, ensuring a program aligns with your career goals.

Admissions Requirements

Online Economics Degrees admissions

Admission requirements differ from program to program, so it helps to research the requirements requested by each school that interests you. Since an economics program can be quite competitive, here are some requirements you may encounter:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5, on average
  • Statement of intent or personal essay

Some schools may also require you to take a beginners econ class, asking that you complete the class with a C grade or better to be eligible for the economics program. Others may have a mathematics assessment for you to complete in order to enter the program.

Accreditation

Online Economics Degrees accreditation

The accreditation status of your program and school is essential. Employers often prefer candidates who have graduated from schools that are held up to high-quality standards, adhering to accredited institutional policies.

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Using the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation information, you can ensure that your college or university is accredited. Accrediting organizations and agencies ensure that a school follows very specific procedures and criteria in order to be recognized. The strict regulations for accreditation help assure the credibility of your program.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Online Economics Degrees financial aid

There are numerous scholarships available to qualifying students who are seeking a business-focused educational career.

There are state funding opportunities and even employer benefit programs that can help you pursue your degree if you qualify. In addition, some schools award credit to students based on their secondary school accomplishments.

Your financial aid search can begin with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form can help determine your eligibility for financial aid, such as federal aid and state aid.

Economics Professional Organizations

Economics Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are not a mandatory part of your experience as an economics major, but they can have numerous benefits. They can provide information on conferences and workshops for professional development, and they can align you with numerous networking opportunities.

Here are a few professional organizations you may consider joining following your economics degree:

These professional organizations also have resources for students and graduates of economics.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in Demand?

Bachelor's Degree in Economics Demand

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of economists is projected to grow 14% over the next ten years. An economics degree can help you develop in-demand skill sets, such as strong analytical and communication skills that are applicable in a multitude of industries.

Some of the top earning careers in this field include actuary, operations research analyst, and financial analyst. These positions are expected to experience job growth of 18%, 25%, and 5%, respectively (Bureau of Labor Statistics). A number of roles in the field of economics are seeing faster than average job growth projections for the next ten years.

What Can You Do with an Economics Degree?

The analytical, communication, and financial skills you can develop in an economics degree online program are applicable to a variety of industries. Professionals with these abilities are needed in nearly every sector.

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Some economics professionals work as actuaries, financial analysts, budget analysts, cost estimators, or market research analysts. Workers with a bachelors in economics may also find work in government agencies as an economist. Most economist positions, though, require a graduate degree.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above average job growth for these careers as demand in a multitude of industries increases.

What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in Economics?

Here are some of the main differences between a BA and BS in Economics:

BA in Economics BS in Economics
  • More theoretical
  • Looks at the past, present, and future of the history of economies
  • Has more elective course options available
  • More statistically focused
  • Looks at calculations and more quantitative data for decision-making
  • Requires more math courses, including calculus

The key difference is that a Bachelor of Arts often requires more humanities courses while a Bachelor of Science involves more science and mathematics courses.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in Economics vs. Finance?

Though the fields are finance and economics are related, they do have some key differences:

Bachelor of Finance Bachelor of Economics
  • Looks at investments, budgeting, and financial systems, like banks
  • Emphasizes decision-making based on mathematics and statistics
  • Heavily focused on managing money
  • Looks at goods and services as well as economic systems, like global markets
  • Emphasizes theoretical concepts’ influence on economic decisions
  • Heavily focused on acquiring and distributing a variety of resources

Economics is not limited to a focus on financial wealth. It can also include behavioral economics, agricultural economics, and public policy implementation.

Is an Economics Degree Worth It?

Economics Degree careers

Yes, an economics degree is worth it for many students. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, many careers in this field are growing faster than average. This means that an economics degree can help provide you with the knowledge and skill set necessary for in-demand job opportunities.

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Common careers related to this field include financial analyst, budget analyst, cost estimator, market research analyst, actuary, and operations research analyst. Economics will always be a necessity, and professionals with this background are needed in nearly every sector and industry.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Economics Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Each class is 7.5 weeks long. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. ACT or SAT scores must be submitted to the school.

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Economics.

The program can typically be completed in 4 years and is designed to allow students to complete a minor. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED certificates when applying. SAT or ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and personal essays are all optional but encouraged by the school.

The California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. The online program requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. A minor of the student’s choice may be added to the degree. Those interested in the program must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Both programs can typically be completed in 4 years and require students to complete 180 quarter credits to graduate. Applicants must submit official transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores when applying.

Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Florida International University

Florida International University

Florida International University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Those interested in the program may start at the beginning of the spring, summer, or fall term. Official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores must be submitted when applying.

Florida International University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.25, an ACT composite score of 21, or an SAT ERW+M score of 1080.

FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Economics. Each course is offered online and is 8 weeks long. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher to be eligible for the program.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers a Bachelor’s in Economics. Students must complete 45 units related to the major while maintaining a GPA of 2.0 to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit official transcripts from their high school and any colleges or universities attended and a resume.

Northwestern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers both an online Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. The program lasts for 4 years and requires students to complete 180 quarter credits. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 and adequate SAT or ACT test scores to be accepted into the program.

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, with 26 credit hours dedicated towards electives. Those interested in the program must submit official high school or GED transcripts and must have completed introduction to economics courses.

The Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Regent University

Regent University

Regent University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business with a focus on Economics. To graduate, students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit high school transcripts, an admissions questionnaire, and a copy of their government-issued ID.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. The online degree is designed for students who have already started the process of obtaining a degree in the field. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have 60 transferable credits and a GPA of 2.4 or higher.

San Diego State University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Maine

University of Maine

The University of Maine offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. The online degree requires students to complete 120 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts, a recommendation, and an essay or personal statement when applying.

The University of Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts—Dartmouth offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours with a final GPA of 2.0 or higher. Applicants must submit official transcripts from high school and any post-secondary institutions attended, SAT or ACT scores, and a personal statement.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, with 33 dedicated to the major. Each class is 8 weeks long. Those interested in the program may apply online with their high school transcripts and either their ACT or SAT-I scores.

The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Utah

University of Utah

The University of Utah offers an online Bachelor of Science in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 122 credit hours, with 48 credit hours being required for the major.

When applying, applicants must submit a copy of their official high school transcripts. ACT or SAT scores are not required but may still be submitted for consideration.

The University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of West Georgia

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Economics. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate and have the option to take up to 60% of the courses online. Applicants must submit their official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores when applying.

The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater offers an online Bachelor’s in Economics. To graduate, students must complete 120 units and 20 hours of community service.

Additional developmental credits may be required based on the student’s application. When applying, applicants must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

UW-Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Utah State University

Utah State University

Utah State University offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Students may choose to add an emphasis to their degree or complete a dual major in accounting and economics. Applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Admission is based on a combination of the student’s grades and test scores.

Utah State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Washington State University

Washington State University

Washington State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. A specialization in Agribusiness, Management, Marketing and Analytics, or Supply Chain Management may be added to the degree. Applicants must submit their high school transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores.

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Degree in Economics Online

Degree in Economics Online

An economics program can help you develop problem-solving and communications skills to influence business decisions in innovative and strategic ways. The tools you learn as an econ major are applicable in nearly every industry, opening up many doors to potential job opportunities following your degree.

Pursuing an economics degree takes time and energy, but online programs can offer greater flexibility in structuring your courses around your additional obligations. You can start your educational journey today by comparing online econ programs from accredited universities.

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Claudia Amendola Alzraa
WRITTEN BY
Claudia Amendola Alzraa
Claudia has a Master's in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor's in Education, and a Bachelor's with Honors in English and Philosophy. With a history working in Special Education, Claudia is an advocate for diversified and equitable education, and student success initiatives.