An online bachelor's degree in economics puts you at the forefront of today's global economy. As a student, you will learn advanced principles of supply and demand and how they function in a complex marketplace. This knowledge, in turn, helps businesses understand consumer choices and improve their bottom line. Because graduates from online bachelor of economics programs study the nuances behind company and consumer decision making, they acquire skills that are essential to any organization or business enterprise. Graduates can go on to become economists, financial analysts, personal financial advisors, and statisticians — professions that are all projected to grow over the next six years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Association of Colleges and Employers also shows that professionals with bachelor's degrees in economics exceeded the average starting salary for most professions.
Choosing a Program
Choosing the right program will depend on a student's unique interests and circumstances. In the first place, it is important to distinguish between a bachelor of arts in economics and a bachelor of science, and which programs offer one or both degrees. A bachelor of science degree in economics has a heavy quantitative emphasis, digging deeply into the math and statistics that underpin economic behavior. A bachelor of arts will focus more on qualitative analysis of broader economic, behavioral, and social phenomena.
On top of general education courses, programs usually require students to take a sequence of core economics courses in subjects such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and finance. Students can also customize their degree through a choice of subfields like accounting, business, or public affairs, and by selecting any number of upper-division and elective courses including econometrics, political economy, and economic history.
Much will depend, though, on the unique requirements of each online program. Students may need to strike the right balance between core classes and program-specific classes. Some programs are also more generous with transfer credits than others, and program cost is always a cardinal consideration for prospective students. In addition, many colleges charge different tuition rates for residents and nonresidents for both online and on-campus classes.
What Are The Best Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs?
|Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
A private, evangelical university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University emphasizes excellence in teaching and learning from a Christian perspective. Founded in 1971, Liberty provides academic training and education across 17 different schools and colleges. The 600+ degrees conferred in these programs advance the school's mission of preparing individuals to make a lasting impact on the world. For learners interested in pursuing careers in finance, accounting, and management, Liberty's School of Business offers a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in economics.
This online economics degreeconsists of 120 credits, which most students can complete in 3.5 years. Learners enroll in eight-week courses that cover the basics of business administration and its intersections with economics and commerce. Topics include principles of macroeconomics and microeconomics, human resource management, business and economic forecasting, and international market trade and integration.
The university delivers all content completely online through asynchronous, flexible learning formats that allow degree seekers to pursue their education with ease. Instructors in the program are experts in their respective disciplines and hold valuable professional experience in the business sector.
Liberty boasts a broad transfer policy that allows prospective learners to bring in up to 75% of required credits, expediting their path to degree completion. Successful applicants must submit official academic transcripts indicating a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Each candidate must also complete an online application and pay a fee ($50). International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency, usually in the form of TOEFL exam scores.
|Virginia Beach, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Founded in 1978 and located in Virginia Beach, Regent University confers graduate and undergraduate degrees in more than 130 distinct program areas. As a private, Christian research institution, Regent promotes the values of integrity, excellence, and innovation in its academic programs. Among these programs stands Regent's bachelor of science in business with a concentration in economics. This online economics bachelor's degreeequips learners for successful careers in business and economics, often at the highest levels of industry.
The program involves 120 credits allocated across eight-week course sessions. The curriculum covers both general education and major requirements. Degree seekers enrolled in the course of study can explore political economy, entrepreneurship, marketing processes, and macro- and microeconomics.
Taught by leading experts with executive leadership experience, the degree uses a completely online format to accommodate busy learners and working professionals. The program delivers all course materials through asynchronous learning so that students can access grades, assignments, and readings anytime and from anywhere.
Learners interested in this online economics degree must provide official transcripts for all previous academic work. Each candidate must also supply recent ACT or SAT results and a written document that outlines their personal spiritual journey and long-term professional goals. Applicants with previous college coursework can transfer up 90 credits into Regent, facilitating their completion of the program and quick entry into the workforce.
Oregon State University
|Corvallis, OR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Nestled between Portland and Eugene in the western Oregon city of Corvallis, Oregon State University serves learners from every U.S. state and more than 100 countries around the world. Founded in 1868 as a land grant institution, OSU now stands as the largest public research school in the Beaver state, serving over 30,000 degree seekers each year. OSU advances its mission of forging a smart, healthy, and prosperous future in all its academic studies, including a bachelor's in economics program for students seeking careers in finance, business, and marketing.
The program uses a quarter-term system and requires 180 credits, equal to 120 semester credits. This online economics degreeboasts several opportunities for individual customization. Learners can choose to earn a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts in economics, depending on their long-term plans and professional goals. The program also offers several concentrations to allow enrollees to focus their studies around their individual areas of interest. Options include general economics; managerial economics; or law, economics, and policy.
OSU provides all program content completely online through flexible, asynchronous delivery methods. Interested applicants must submit recent SAT or ACT scores, along with official academic transcripts verifying a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Each candidate must also provide a current resume highlighting personal accomplishments, professional achievements, and skills and activities that lend themselves to future academic and intellectual success.
University of West Georgia
|Carrollton, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
Located near the Little Tallapoosa River, just west of Atlanta, the University of West Georgia began as a two-year mechanical and agricultural school in 1906. Since achieving standing as a four-year college in 1957 and receiving university status in 1996, UWG now ranks as the sixth largest public research institution in Georgia.
The university is home to six colleges and one school, providing quality higher education to some 13,000 learners each year in 87 distinct fields of study. For learners interested in professional employment in banking, marketing, and finance, UWG offers a bachelor of business administration with a major in economics.
The program requires 120 credits split between general education and major requirements. Most degree seekers complete the course of study in four years or less, going on to obtain employment in government agencies and the private sector. The university offers approximately 60% of its material online through synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. Remaining instruction takes place in intensive sessions held on the school's Carrolton campus. Learners enrolled in this online economics bachelor's degreestudy topics such as business and accounting, marketing and finance, forecasting, statistics, and management.
The school boasts a simple and straightforward admission process. Interested students must provide copies of all relevant academic transcripts. They must also submit recent ACT or SAT scores demonstrating their intellectual aptitude and proficiency in business and economics.
Utah State University
|Logan, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Utah State University, a public land grant research institution located in Logan, provides academic instruction in an array of graduate and undergraduate programs. Established in 1888 in the northern Utah mountains, USU cultivates diversity of thought and culture through public service, innovative learning, and intellectual engagement. Offered by its Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, USU's baccalaureate program in economics is a suitable option for individuals seeking work as economic specialists, statistical and financial analysts, and management consultants.
The university's program ranks among thebest online economics degrees by giving each learner the option to pursue a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts in economics. Course requirements remain the same for either path — 120 credits in total — but the BA also requires proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
The program also offers several areas of emphasis which allow learners to specialize in subfields such as economic theory and international economics. All students enrolled in this online economics degreetake classes in the history of the field, basic econometrics, statistical methods of analysis, and applied economics.
USU delivers all course material for the program completely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning technologies. Interested applicants must supply current ACT or SAT scores, along with official academic transcripts evidencing a cumulative GPA of 3.5. International learners must also demonstrate English language proficiency, typically in the form of TOEFL exam results.
Colorado State University
|Fort Collins, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Founded in 1870 as the Centennial state's premier land grant institution, Colorado State University is the flagship campus of the Colorado State University System. Located in Fort Collins, near the eastern face of the Rocky Mountains, CSU supports the values of inclusion, responsibility, and leadership. For degree seekers interested in advancing their education and training in the industry, CSU offers a bachelor of arts in economics.
CSU's online economics degreerequires 120 credits. The program prepares learners for successful careers in business and economics and offers an array of valuable minors in disciplines such as agricultural business, business administration, political science, media studies, and global and environmental sustainability.
Enrollees receive online instruction through synchronous and asynchronous formats. The curriculum includes courses in the history of economic institutions, macroeconomics and microeconomics, calculus, and management sciences. Graduates of the program are poised to assume fulfilling, profitable careers in economics-related jobs such as real estate, government, nonprofit work, and finance.
Timeframes for completion can vary based on enrollment status, intensity of study, and previous transferable coursework. Successful applicants to this online economics bachelor's degreemust provide recent SAT or ACT scores and submit official academic transcripts indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Each candidate must also demonstrate proficiency in basic algebra and arithmetic. Applicants can complete this requirement through transfer credit or a mathematics placement exam offered by the university.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
A public coeducational school located in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University is the third largest of six institutions managed by the Kansas Board of Regents. Founded in 1902 in an abandoned Army post, FHSU is now a comprehensive, regionally accredited university offering affordable academic programming across four colleges and nearly 80 fields of study. Housed in its Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting, FHSU offers a bachelor of business administration with a major in international business and economics.
This online economics bachelor's degree, a 124-credit program with a global focus,prepares learners for a diverse range of careers as auditors, tax specialists, accountants, and financial fraud investigators. FHSU offers all program coursework completely online through innovative and interactive distance learning technologies. Degree seekers explore the history and foundations of the discipline by enrolling in courses that cover quantitative research methods, global business communication, cultural geography, and managerial finance.
FHSU provides learners with many opportunities for peer networking and collaboration through student organizations in economics and finance. Learners holding at least 45 transferable hours from an outside institution can transfer these credits into FHSU, accelerating their path to graduate studies and professional employment. Applicants interested in this online economics degree must submit official academic transcripts verifying a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Each candidate must also provide current SAT or ACT scores and complete a short online application.
Washington State University
|Pullman, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
Serving learners in the Pacific Northwest and around the world since 1890, Washington State University focuses on leadership and service through scholarly research and instruction. Located in Pullman, WSU is the second largest higher education institution in the Evergreen state, offering academic programming to nearly 30,000 combined graduate and undergraduate learners each year.
WSU's bachelor of science in economic sciences provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in advanced data analysis and apply integrative economic concepts to everyday scenarios at every level of industry.
Most learners graduate from this 120-credit online economics degreein four years or less. Graduates often go on to obtain successful employment as revenue agents, loan officers, and statisticians. WSU offers the program completely online, allowing degree seekers to pursue their education with convenience and flexibility. WSU's interactive distance learning technologies enable learners to access course materials anytime they choose. The curriculum covers topics such as labor economics, business marketing, industrial organization, and financial accounting.
WSU boasts small class sizes with individualized instruction, and its online economics bachelor's degree allows learners to choose between two concentration areas: management and commodity marketing. Applicants to the program must provide official academic transcripts and recent SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students and associate degree holders can also transfer credits into their course of study.
SUNY Empire State College
|Saratoga Springs, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
One of 13 affiliates comprising the State University of New York public education system, SUNY Empire State College focuses on nontraditional teaching and learning. Established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees as a distance learning epicenter, ESC advances the SUNY mission of providing quality, accessible higher education from its administrative headquarters in Saratoga Springs, New York. ESC provides directed instruction in a variety of academic disciplines and professional programs, including a bachelor of science in business, management, and economics.
The school's program of study involves 124 credits delivered completely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning modules. Instruction is administered by the same business and economics experts who lead SUNY's on-campus program. Learners enrolled in this online economics degree survey a diverse range of topics, including financial accounting, business law, strategic and marketing management, and modern information systems.
Online degree seekers at ESC enjoy the benefits of a personal concierge who acts as the single point of contact for administrative questions related to the program, as well as a personal tutor for any academic needs. Applicants to this online economics bachelor's degreemust provide proof of high school completion along with official transcripts for all previous academic work. Each candidate must also submit an application essay of at least 300 words that discusses how earning an undergraduate degree will help them achieve their personal and professional goals.
West Texas A&M University
|Canyon, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Located 13 miles south of Amarillo in Canyon, West Texas A&M University provides innovative, rigorous, and advanced learning experiences. Founded in 1910 by the Texas State House of Representatives, WTAMU confers graduate and undergraduate degrees in nearly 100 different programs across five colleges and graduate schools. The university's Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance offers a bachelor of business administration in economics with a specialization in law and economics.
This online economics degreerequires 120 credits, typically achievable in four years or less, depending on personal circumstances and individual rate of pace. E-learning courses share the same faculty and learning objectives as residential programs at WTAMU, but deliver all content completely online through distance learning technologies. Learners study the fundamentals of the discipline by examining pertinent issues in emerging media law, sports economics and business, and industrial organization and regulation.
Graduates of the program stand fully prepared to assume professional positions as credit analysts, loan officers, insurance adjusters, government officials, and economic theorists. Degree seekers interested in applying to the program must provide official academic transcripts evidencing a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Candidates must also supply current SAT or ACT exam results. Learners with previously earned credits can transfer them to WTAMU, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the school's articulation agreements.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Economics Program?
Every economics program is unique, though most share a few common characteristics. The field of economics is broad and intersects with a number of interrelated disciplines. Some economics programs emphasize the business dimension of the field, while others treat economics as a social science. Prospective students will need to carefully evaluate these differences when selecting a program.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN ECONOMICS
Course names, objectives, and learning outcomes may differ by school, but in general, schools offer a common set of courses that introduce students to economics in its many facets. Below, we've highlighted a few courses you'll see in most economics programs.
- Introduction to Econometrics: Econometrics is a discipline that uses statistics and mathematics to illustrate economic principles. This class will help students extract simple relationships between different datasets while also using this data to solve common economic dilemmas. Distance learners who plan to pursue careers as financial advisors and examiners will benefit greatly from this course.
- Principles of Macroeconomics: Macroeconomics is a branch of economics that seeks to define the structure and behavior of economies as a whole, rather than individual behaviors within these economies. Among other areas, students explore fiscal policy and how it affects national unemployment and inflation rates. They will also develop theory-based tools to help them explain GDP, national income, and price indices.
- Labor Economics: In this class, online bachelor's degree in economics students learn how labor relations, wages, and government policies affect the workforce. In addition to studying present and future employment and wage trends, students learn about the influence of labor unions and the reasons behind their creation. This course would be ideal for those seeking careers as market research analysts.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN ECONOMICS?
A student's enrollment status and a school's credit hour requirements will directly affect the length of an online bachelor's degree in economics. Enrollment status is up to individual students, but full-time enrollment will enable you to complete your degree in less time. Most programs expect you to be enrolled in at least two to three courses per semester to be considered part-time. Another factor affecting program length is that some students have the option to take courses asynchronously — at their own pace — while others take online classes as a cohort, synchronizing their schedules with prescribed class times. In order to graduate, schools require students to complete around 120 credit hours taken over the course of four years, but transfer credits may reduce the time it takes to get the degree.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Economics Degrees
Regional accreditation is the most popular and widely-recognized form of accreditation among the many public and private higher learning institutions in the United States. Regional accreditation agencies exist throughout the country and are tasked with monitoring the academic standards of individual programs. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees the six U.S. regional accreditation agencies. An example of a regional accreditation agency is the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools which oversees institutions in the midwest.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) works with CHEA to ensure the accreditation process runs smoothly between agencies and academic institutions. National accreditation is handled by CHEA-supervised agencies. Specialized accreditation also exists and is reserved for programs in a particular field. An example is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which grants accreditation to business schools that provide an excellent standard of education in traditional business subjects like economics.
Overall, accreditation is an important consideration in determining the quality of online economics programs, and prospective students should ensure the programs they are considering are either nationally or regionally accredited. A list of regionally and nationally accredited schools can be found on the DOE and CHEA websites.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Economics Graduates
A bachelor's degree in economics is a prerequisite for many professions in business, economics, and financial analysis. Graduates of economics programs might forecast market trends or analyze consumer behaviors to optimize a company's strategic decision making. They must also be capable of evaluating and communicating the results of economic analyses to stakeholders, which is why a well-rounded baccalaureate education is a must for most employers. Salaries vary, but many economics graduates go on to take high-paying positions in the public and private sectors.
BACHELOR'S IN ECONOMICS SALARY
Once you earn an online bachelor's of science degree in economics, your salary is determined largely by the type of job and level of experience. Entry-level employees with economics degrees can make in the range of $50,000 to $66,000 a year, and experienced professionals can earn upwards of $69,000 to $132,000 a year. Below is a list of common career paths for economics graduates. The overall median salaries are calculated along with typical salaries as individuals progress through their careers.
Economist Careers by Experience
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20 years)|
|Market Research Analyst||$51,439||$50,000||$66,000||$69,000|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
BACHELOR'S IN ECONOMICS CAREERS
A bachelor's of economics degree prepares graduates for a wide range of job opportunities. Graduates can work in the public sector or private sector, while some go on to pursue more specialized research roles in academia. In the business sphere, economics graduates will be able to predict and assess the financial performance of companies. Economists and financial analysts can also forecast patterns such as recessions and rates of inflation, and are integral to the understanding of job markets, job growth, and productivity.
- Financial Examiner
Examiners oversee company tax records, loan documents, and other materials to ensure businesses are adhering to federal rules and regulations. They also assist companies with corrective actions when they find violations.
Median Annual Salary - $60,000
Projected Growth Rate - 10%
Statisticians utilize theories of applied science to analyze data and use these results to give advice to their clients. They also manage and execute surveys to ensure data accurately reflects the current business climate.
Median Annual Salary - $71,000
Projected Growth Rate - 34%
- Financial Analyst
A financial analyst oversees company investments, stocks, and bonds. They also help companies understand their investment portfolio and its viability in the current marketplace.
Median Annual Salary - $59,000
Projected Growth Rate - 12%
- Financial Advisor
A financial advisor works at banks, investment firms, and insurance companies to help clients plan and navigate their financial future. They explain tax laws, help clients identify good investment opportunities, and assist with insurance issues.
Median Annual Salary - $58,000
Projected Growth Rate - 30%
- Market Research Analyst
Analysts review data gathered through interviews and surveys to improve company profit margins. They also collect data on competitors to determine the best prices and methods for product distribution.
Median Annual Salary - $51,000
Projected Growth Rate - 19%
Professional organizations provide a network for working professionals to connect with thought-leaders all over the world who work in their field. Organizations schedule conferences that give members the opportunity to meet peers and sharpen their skills. They also provide resources like exclusive job listings and educational materials. Economics majors can join these professional organizations while they are still students, or after college. These organizations also make great additions to resumes and social media profiles.
- American Economic Association (AEA)
Founded in 1885, AEA is dedicated to the publication and discussion of economic research. AEA hosts an annual meeting, provides career resources, and publishes scholarly journals and articles written by members.
- National Association for Business Economics (NABE)
NABE was created for professionals who use economics in the workplace. The organization also holds events, conducts exclusive courses for members, and has a number of chapters and roundtables that are hosted around the country.
- The Association for Social Economics (ASE)
The ASE was created in 1941 to conduct research in social economics. They publish papers, host several regional conferences, and provide awards and grants for researchers in the area of social economics.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Economics Program
Before you decide to pursue a bachelor's degree of economics, you should be aware of the many resources that can help finance your education, including the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) that schools require prior to enrollment. The FAFSA looks at a student's financial status to determine if they qualify for federal loans, grants, and scholarships. There are also exclusive private scholarships available for economic majors such as the Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship, the Daniel M. Bylander Economics Scholarship, the Dr. Harvey Paul Scholarship for Economics, and the Barbara Miller Memorial Scholarships.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.