An economist keeps their finger on the pulse of world trade and industry, and uses their measure of market vitality to inform better business practice and strategy. In the same way that IT professionals constantly iterate on technology and data science to create more efficient systems, economists iterate on business and financial strategies to create more efficient markets and business models.
Given this broad definition of the economist’s profession, individual economists can work in vastly different settings and professional capacities. Professional economists can work from a micro or macro perspective, work as financial consultants, or work as high-end educators at the country’s top universities. Though whatever an economist’s chosen speciality is, it all begins with a Bachelor’s of Economics.
Thankfully students have more options than ever before both in terms of the number of programs available, and the number of specialized tracks available within each program. Moreover, prospective students of economics no longer have to choose between a college education and earning a living. Many online economics degree programs are designed specifically to accommodate students who need to hold down part-time and even full-time employment.
With this in mind, our researchers have compiled the best of the best Bachelor’s of Economics programs that can be completed entirely online. The programs listed in this ranking have earned their places according to metrics that we think will matter most to you: graduation rates, tuition costs, and recognition of excellence in trusted publications such as US News & World Report, and The Princeton Review.
1 Arizona State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $14,094
Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the most innovative online universities today. ASU offers one of the most robust selections of online degree programs in the world, and as such has one of the largest and most impactful alumni networks–made up of more than 530,000 students. This contributes to the jaw-dropping figure of ASU’s economic impact in 2020 reaching $4.6 billion. ASU’s online programs are helmed by more than 400 top-tier faculty who have demonstrated success both in professional and academic dimensions.
ASU offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Economics – Liberal Arts. The liberal arts distinction is what makes this program unique. Students will have greater freedom to pursue unique electives and personal interests contextualized in an economics-curriculum. Beyond this flexibility, students will delve into a comprehensive examination of both practical and theoretical topics:
- Brief Calculus
- Mathematics for Business Analysis
- Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
- Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
- Applied Regression Analysis and Forecasting
- Macroeconomic Principles
- Microeconomic Principles
- Business Statistics
- Elements of Statistics
- Capstone in Economics
2 The University of Utah
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $14,364
The University of Utah is a large state university that has recently expanded into online education with continued success. A distinguishing element of what makes the University of Utah such a great option, is that its online programs combine the flexibility of online education with the student-instructor engagement of traditional on-campus programs. The University utalies state of the art digital education technology that facilitates collaborative projects, real-time discussions, and long-term research objectives.
The University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers a fully online Bachelor’s Economics that emphasizes evidenced based inquiry and statistical methods. Specifically, students will progress through a curriculum designed around the following core subjects: international banking and trade, economic development, international policy, inequality and sustainability, and trade laws and regulations.
The programs include these core courses:
- Principles of Microeconomics
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- Mathematics for Economists
- Probability and Statistical Inference for Economists
- Intermediate Microeconomics
- Intermediate Macroeconomics
3 West Texas A&M University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $13,185
The West Texas A&M University Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is a top-tier hub for degrees in the areas of business, finance, and economics. The College is helmed by world class faculty who work at the forefront of their respective fields. The College’s degree programs consistently rank among the best of their kind and have earned recognition with numerous publications. Its online degree programs have received particular recognition for offering working students and adult learners career-focused programs at an affordable price.
The West Texas A&M University Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business offers two economics programs that can be completed entirely online: an economics minor track, as well as a B.B.A. in Economics with a Law & Economics Specialization. Students of the program will master skills of critical thinking, communication, and negotiation–skill sets that will position students for success in the job market upon graduation.
4 Washington State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $15,768
Washington State University is one of the country’s premier hubs for online education at the undergraduate level. Since the launch of the WSU Global Campus in 1992, the University has honed its specialization in offering effective degree programs to adult learners and working students that prepare students for successful careers. WSU Global Campus constantly updates its program offerings and curriculums to reflect the changing demands of the job market, so that students can devote their studies to subjects with the most impact on career-outcomes.
WSU Global Campus offers a Bachelor’s of Economics with a number of options for specialized study. The program’s core curriculum is designed to cover the fundamentals of economics with a number of electives and business specializations available to further focus one’s studies. Specifically, students can choose from the following specialized tracks and courses:
- Commodity Marketing (9 credits)
- Introduction to Food and Agricultural Markets
- Advanced Food Economics and Marketing
- Transportation Economics and Supply Chain Analysis
- Management (9 credits)
- Principles of Management and Organization
- Upper Division Management Course
- Upper Division Management Course
5 East Tennessee State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $11,206
The East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology Department of Economics and Finance offers a number of future-facing degree programs at the undergraduate level that can be completed either entirely online or in a traditional classroom format. The Department designs program curriculums to reflect the trending of increasingly global industries and business. Students of these programs will learn how to stay competitive in markets and industries that continue to expand around the world. These efforts are informed by the Department’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the Center for Banking.
Students have two options for earning their Bachelor’s of Economics. They can choose between a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, or earn a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Economics. The Business Administration in Economics offers two further specialization options: a business economics option, and a financial economics option. A third option is available for students who want to delve into General Business studies, which constitutes a more broad investigation of business principles and theories framed in the context of a economics-focused curriculum.
6 Colorado State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $19,800
Colorado State University is one of the nation’s premier institutions for earning a Bachelor’s degree entirely online. CSU designs its online programs around three core learning objectives. Firstly, students are trained in employing critical thought to penetrate both practical and theoretical problems–a skill that will be continuously valuable throughout any career. Secondly, customized curriculums empower students to customize their studies in such a way as to maximize learning outcomes. And lastly, CSU’s online programs are designed to reflect a societal perspective, that is, students are encouraged to think about the bigger picture and how their careers might benefit communities, small and large.
CSU offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Economics that simultaneously covers the fundamentals while providing the flexibility for students to pursue interests. Specifically, students will be able to compliment their studies with a comprehensive list of available minors and electives in the following subjects:
- Agricultural Business
- Business Administration
- Global and Environmental Sustainability
- Media Studies
- Political Science
7 Fort Hays State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $12,340
Fort Hays State University is another institution of higher education that has made a name for itself by catering to the rising demand for online degree programs that employ modern technology and paradigms. The FHSU Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting offers a number of modernized curriculums designed to confer the increasingly global climate of business and trade. The Department’s degree programs are meant to represent a foundational investigation of a subject’s core topics, acting as a springboard into related career paths.
Specifically, FHSU students can earn a fully online Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in International Business and Economics. The program will introduce coursework that is meant to familiarize students with global cultures, international business customs, geography, politics, and world languages. Students will choose from a great selection of available electives, and core coursework covers the following topics:
- International Economics
- International Finance
- International Business
- International Marketing
8 Utah State University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $13,150
Utah State University offers a number of top-tier degree programs at an affordable price. The University has been recognized for offering some of the best accounting, entrepreneurship, and business programs in the nation. Most of which are offered through The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. The School of Business not only offers nationally renowned degree programs, but it also offers some of the most generous scholarship programs in all of higher education. Students have received $14 million in Huntsman scholarships to date.
Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Economics or a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, either of which can be completed entirely online. Students can choose between one of our degree emphasis tracks: Economic Theory, Managerial Economics, Pre-law Economics, and International Economics and Trade. For a better idea of the base-curriculum, consider the first year’s course schedule:
- Introduction to Economic Institutions, History, and Principles: Introduction to Microeconomics
- Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose
- Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode
- College Algebra: Making Decisions with Data
- Breadth Humanities
- Data and Information in Business
9 American Public University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $9,718
American Public University is one of the nation’s fastest growing centers for online education. Today, APU offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs that can be earned entirely through online coursework. Not only are its programs tremendously competitive in terms of affordable tuition costs, but you will be hard-pressed to find a more flexible or more accommodating schedule system. Courses begin every month and run for 8 to 16 weeks, which gives students many opportunities to balance schedules around demanding work schedules or life-responsibilities.
Students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration that can be completed entirely online. The program allows students to essentially build their own curriculum, starting with the choice for majoring in one of the following subjects:
- Business Analysis
- Business Project Management
- Data Analytics
- Digital Retailing
- DoD Project Management
- Entrepreneurial/Small Business Management
- Information Technology Management
- International Business Management
- Leading the Digital Workplace
- Operational Crisis Management
- Real Estate Construction and Portfolio Development
- Real Estate Marketing Management
10 Indiana University
Average Tuition Cost after Aid: $8,875
The Indiana University East School of Business and Economics offers a number of affordable career-focused degree programs at the undergraduate level. These programs look to position students for success by supplementing program curriculums with universally valuable skill-sets. For instance, the School of Business and Economics looks to ingrain in students an advanced understanding of both qualitative and quantitative problem solving skills. And specifically, the School looks to promote self-awareness in students, so that they can identify personal strengths and weaknesses in order to grow as both students and professionals.
Students at Indiana University can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics that is designed to position students to capitalize on the growing opportunities in international business. Despite being an online program, cutting-edge technology allows for faculty to work closely with students to help cultivate their skills and abilities both as students and as budding professionals.