Top Accredited Online Economics Degree Programs

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WHAT IS AN ECONOMICS DEGREE?

Economics degree programs take a look at labor, consumption, and wealth. They explore how goods and services are exchanged for money. And, they could help you prepare for career paths like Economist.

If you’re interested in the role of money in society, studying economics will shed some light. For instance, you could learn how banks operate, and why cost inflation occurs.

You could also prepare to solve economic problems. These include unemployment, stagnant wages, and income inequality. In short, economics is a topic that affects everyone. Understanding how it works could help you make a difference in your community and beyond.

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TYPES OF ONLINE ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAMS

Bachelor of Science in Business Economics

MA in Behavioral Economics

MBA in Business Economics

This program features a business core, with a focus on economics. You’ll study areas like cost and inflation theories, market structure, and capital budgeting. Plus, you’ll learn to think critically and solve problems in business, finance, and beyond.This program helps students understand economics from a psychological perspective. You’ll examine subjects like decision-making, negotiation, and how consumers make choices. And, you’ll apply theories to solve socioeconomic problems.The MBA covers core business knowledge, from managerial problem-solving to global commerce. The Business Economics specialization adds three additional courses that apply economics to the business world.
Course Examples:

  • Business Statistics
  • Political Economics
  • Macroeconomics
Course Examples:

  • Choice Architecture
  • Brain and Behavior
  • Consumer Motivation
Course Examples:

  • Macroeconomics of Financial Markets
  • Managerial Economic Analysis
  • Market Structure & Firm Strategy

ECONOMIC DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS

You could earn an economics degree at the undergraduate or graduate levels. What most programs have in common is a focus on math. You’ll typically take courses like calculus and statistics in an economics Bachelor’s program. These courses are often prerequisites for graduate economics programs.

Bachelor’s in Economics Programs

At the Bachelor’s level, prepare to pursue a broad overview of economics. That includes macroeconomics, which focuses on large-scale factors like national productivity. And don’t overlook microeconomics, which deals with how individuals and businesses make monetary decisions.

You’ll also explore economic schools of thought, like capitalism. And, you’ll study the nuts and bolts of economics – like how currency works.

Common programs include:
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics – This program takes a liberal arts approach. You may focus more on economic theory than applied economics. And, you may take more electives or language courses.
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics – This program tends to emphasize applied economics. That means you’ll apply economic theory to practical problems – often using business case studies or simulations. You may also focus more on math and quantitative analysis.
Bachelor’s programs include courses like:
  • Introductory Econometrics
  • Money and Banking
  • Applied Economic Statistics
  • Global Economic Policies
  • Economic History and Modern Development
  • Current Issues in American Economic Policy
  • Basics of Business

Some programs also offer concentrations. For instance, you could focus on managerial economics, finance, or marketing.

Master’s in Economics Programs

Earning a Master’s in Economics is often required for an Economist career path. You’ll build on your undergraduate foundations while pursuing more advanced coursework. Again, courses will span both macro- and microeconomics. So, you’ll study everything from U.S. fiscal policy to how consumers make choices.

Common programs include:
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Economics – This program may cover both theory and applied economics. As a STEM program, it may emphasize quantitative courses.
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics – The M.A. is also a STEM program, with a focus on quantitative and analytical skill areas. But, it may offer more flexibility to take electives that promote critical thinking, research, and problem-solving.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Economics – The MBA is a business degree. So, the program involves a broad overview of business topics, along with concentration courses in economics.
Master’s programs include courses like:
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Survey of Economic Development
  • Labor Economics
  • Economic Analysis of Multinational Corporations
  • Game Theory
  • Open Economy Macroeconomics

Master’s in Economics programs often include concentrations that could help you narrow your focus. For instance, a concentration in financial economics covers portfolio management and other skill areas. A concentration in advanced theory may be great for those considering a PhD program down the road.

Economics Doctoral Programs

Over half of Economists earn a doctoral degree. A Ph.D. in economics requires advanced coursework, usually during the first part of the degree. Candidates may also spend several years on in-depth research in the field. Research could take place in areas of study such as:

  • Theoretical and Applied Econometrics
  • Health Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Energy Economics

Earning a PhD in economics usually means writing one or more major research papers. In the final years of the program, students also write and defend a dissertation.

WHAT DO ECONOMICS DEGREE COURSES LOOK LIKE?

Some common courses include:

Comparative Economic Systems: How do economies around the world compare? This course may explore resources, income, and fiscal growth in different places.

Econometrics: In this course, you could learn how to use statistics on economic data. You may study tools, theories, and how to model data.

Public Finance and Fiscal Policy: This course explores how financial policies impact the public. You could look at areas like tax, social welfare, and public goods.

Financial Crisis: What can we learn from financial events like the Great Depression? This course covers the hows and whys of a crisis – and how to keep it from happening again.

Game Theory: Curious about how games shed light on economic behavior? This course may cover how to make models and predictions based on game play.

Behavioral Economics: In this course, you may apply psychology to economics. In other words, find out the feelings behind the choices we make about money.

Statistical Analysis: Study how statistics applies to economics. You could learn methods, tools, and theories that help solve problems.

Microeconomics: This course looks at the impact of smaller factors in economics. You could study areas like consumer choices and workers’ wages.

Macroeconomics: Big picture factors in economics are the focus of this course. You could explore ideas like national income, output, and fiscal policy.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE AN ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAM?

Full time students can usually earn a Bachelor’s degree in economics in about four years. A Master’s may be earned in about two years. And a PhD in economics calls for several years of study after earning a Bachelor’s.

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ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAM EXAMPLES

School# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Ashford University42Multiple22
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyN/AN/A24
Regent University42N/A16

THE AVERAGE COST OF AN ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAM

DataUSA put the average cost of attending a public, four year school at $7,427 per year. Private and for-profit schools had higher average tuition: $40,259 per year. Of course, you could find schools that cost more or less than these averages. Compare tuition costs for these online economics programs:

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Regent University42$650$27,300
Ashford University120$485$58,200
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyN/A$1,164N/A

TOP SCHOOLS FOR ONLINE ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAMS

According to the DataUSA states that 881 institutions offered general economics programs. From those schools, 45,704 degrees were awarded to students.

School2017 Degrees awarded2019/20 Tuition (out of state unless *)
University of California Los Angeles730$42,994
University of California Berkeley631$44,007
University of California San Diego602$44,169
University of Wisconsin Madison602$37,785
University of California Santa Barbara584$44,145
University of California Davis579$44,249
The University of Texas at Austin554$38,326
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign547$32,264
New York University541$53,308*
University of Michigan Ann Arbor537$51,200

Estimated for full time, beginning undergrad students

CHOOSING AN ACCREDITED ECONOMICS DEGREE PROGRAM

Accreditation could help you know if your economics program upholds certain quality standards. Economics degree programs may be accredited by the same organizations that accredit business programs. These include:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs ( ACBSP ): This organization accredits programs in business or related areas – like business economics. They focus on teaching quality, student outcomes, and a commitment to improvement.
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education ( IACBE): This organization accredits undergraduate and graduate business programs. That may include those with a focus on economics. IACBE looks for excellence in business education, faculty qualifications, and other factors.
  • AACSB This organization accredits business schools, some of which may offer economics programs. They evaluate areas like innovation, faculty, and professional engagement.

That said, it may be most important that your college or university is accredited – even if your program isn’t. Accreditation is a must if you plan to apply for federal financial aid. (Financial aid may be available for those who qualify.) And, employers may look for graduates from accredited schools.

GETTING A JOB WITH AN ECONOMICS DEGREE

According to the most recent data, there were 3.82 million Economics grads in the work force.

Career paths related to economics are growing. For instance, Economist roles are projected to grow 8% by 2028. Market Research Analyst roles were projected to grow 20% in the same timeframe. That’s much faster that average for all occupations.

Do you see yourself in the field of economics? There was a moderate gender gap, with 67.3% of economics graduates identifying as male. The average age of a graduate in the workforce was 42.9.

TOP SALARIES BY STATE FOR ECONOMICS DEGREE HOLDERS

The following information is for Economists. Salary and employment numbers will differ for other career paths.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
District of Columbia6,380$134,260
New York750$127,520
Virginia1,230$126,080
Ohio140$125,490
California1,430$124,430

WHAT KIND OF JOBS CAN YOU GET WITH AN ECONOMICS DEGREE?

Business and financial careers may grow 10% from 2016 to 2026. That’s faster than average for all occupations! Here are a few career paths to consider if you plan to earn an economics degree.

ECONOMISTS

Economists study how goods and services are produced and distributed. They also research solutions for economics problems, like unemployment. The largest employer of Economists was the federal government. But, many work in specific industries, like healthcare or energy.

Median Salary: $104,340 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 8% (Faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Master’s degree

MARKET RESEARCH ANALYSTS

Market Research Analysts help companies understand how to market products and services. They do so by looking at factors like market conditions, trends, and buyer behavior. Since most industries need market research, these professionals work for many kinds of employers.

Median Salary: $63,120 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 20% (Much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

CHIEF EXECUTIVES

Chief Executives are at the helm of companies and organizations. They provide strategic direction, set goals, and direct other top executives. Many Chief Executives are entrepreneurs and are therefore self employed. But, others worked for organizations in industries like healthcare and technical services. es from state to state.

Median Salary: $104,980 per year

Job Growth Through 2028: 6% (As fast as average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree.

© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.