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2023 Best Online Economics Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 6/27/2023
2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Economics Badge

Economic factors, including supply and demand, labor supply, laws and policies, and government activity, drive U.S. marketplace stability. An online bachelor's in economics can help prepare students for careers where understanding these economic drivers that impact business is crucial for financial health. Attending online provides convenience and scheduling flexibility for students living far from campus or juggling multiple responsibilities. 

We've ranked our list by online enrollment so you can see which programs are popular with students who may share similar interests and goals. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU. If you're looking toward the future, our list of the most affordable online master's degrees in economics can provide insight into what may lie ahead in graduate school.

2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Economics Badge
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Online Economics Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In

List Of Accredited Online Economics Schools

School Online Enrollment Annual Tuition
Liberty University 34,092 34,092 $11,700 $11,700
Arizona State University 33,410 $24,413
Florida International University 10,922 $18,963
Pennsylvania State University 8,636 $35,514
Oregon State University 5,999 $31,215
Park University 5,473 $11,190
Fort Hays State University 4,411 $15,360
Old Dominion University 3,948 $30,840
Utah State University 3,906 $23,042
SUNY Empire State University 3,754 $17,515
Regent University Online 3,146 $18,620
Colorado Christian University 3,040 $33,434
University of Arizona 2,558 $11,800
Washington State University 2,437 $26,419
University of Massachusetts - Lowell 2,164 $33,574
Indiana State University 1,894 $20,160
University of North Dakota 1,851 $15,895
National University 1,849 $13,320
Texas A&M University - Commerce 1,717 $21,628
Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus 1,514 $8,448
Eastern Oregon University 1,365 $21,729
West Texas A&M University 1,356 $9,541
Colorado State University - Fort Collins 1,253 $30,622
Southeast Missouri State University 1,223 $13,830
PennWest California 1,141 $15,726
University of Utah 1,071 $27,220
Bemidji State University 998 $8,940
North Carolina A&T State University 722 $20,167
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth 695 $30,103
Wayland Baptist University 670 $22,658
University of Maine 596 $31,748
Western Illinois University 589 $13,256
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater 504 $16,416
University of Nebraska at Kearney 487 $13,854
Bryan College - Dayton 376 $27,900
University of Hawaii at Manoa 370 $34,218
Southern Wesleyan University 348 $25,516
Hawai'i Pacific University 339 $27,500
Ottawa University - Phoenix 319 $11,770
Ottawa University Online 205 $12,316
Lakeland University 185 $29,880
Cardinal Stritch University 168 $31,798
Ottawa University-Milwaukee 109 $11,770
Graceland University 65 $13,050
Spring Hill College 2 $40,648
Ottawa University-Ottawa 1 $30,805

Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Liberty University (LU) is a large, private, Evangelical Christian institution based in Virginia offering an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Economics, which focuses on providing training in accounting, finance, business strategy, economic forecasting, and international trade. This 120-credit program takes full-time students about 3.5 years to complete. Students may transfer in up to 75% of degree requirements, with the potential to finish faster. LU accepts 99% of applicants, and 36% of students graduate with degrees.

LU's distance learners access the Canvas learning management system to participate in classes. The online business degree in economics has courses that include Modern Political and Economic Ideas, Business and Economic Forecasting, Money and the Financial System, and International Market Integration and Trade Agreements.

It's important to note that LU is not an LGBT-friendly institution. According to its 2022-2023 Student Code, "statements and behaviors that are associated with LGBT lifestyle are prohibited."

Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,413
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Popular for its online programming, Scottsdale's Arizona State University (ASU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Economics - Business that can help students build the competitive skills necessary for careers in banking and finance or help prepare for graduate studies. Graduating requires completing 120 credits — 41 classes — taking about four years of full-time study. Courses last 7.5 weeks. ASU has a 70% acceptance rate and a 47% graduation rate. Additionally, ASU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Economics - Liberal Arts.

ASU's distance learners access online coursework and instruction via Canvas. Economics distance learners take courses such as Principles of Management and Leadership, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, and Applied Regression Analysis and Forecasting. This online bachelor's degree program culminates in a capstone project.

Florida International University

  • Annual Tuition: $18,963
  • Locations: Miami (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida International University (FIU) is a public, Hispanic-serving institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Economics that helps students develop an understanding of economic problems and institutions and the analytical tools used to solve contemporary challenges. The economics program curriculum is designed for students with careers in state and federal government and nonprofits in mind. Students complete 120 credits to graduate, taking about four years of full-time attendance. FIU has a 65% graduation and a 58% acceptance rate.

FIU delivers online lessons and lectures to its distance learners via Canvas. Those enrolled in the online economics degree participate in courses such as Measurement and Analysis of Econ Activity, Introduction to Econometrics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Statistics for Business and Economics. Students complete an undergraduate seminar right before graduating.

Pennsylvania State University

  • Annual Tuition: $35,514
  • Locations: State College (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Economics. Either of these online economics degrees focuses on developing students' analytical strategies and mathematical theory understanding, as sought by today's employers. While the curricula for the online BA and BS programs are similar, the online BA focuses more on the qualitative aspect of economics, while the online BS focuses more on technical and quantitative skills. Graduating from either program requires 120 credits and can generally be done in four years if attending full time. Penn State has a 92% acceptance rate, and 70% of its students graduate (which is much higher than average).

Penn State uses Canvas to deliver online coursework and instruction. Economics distance learners access Canvas to log in to classes such as Environmental Economics, Money and Banking, Decision Making and Strategy in Economics, and Labor Economics.

Oregon State University

  • Annual Tuition: $31,215
  • Locations: Corvallis (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts/Science in Economics through its Ecampus. This online program aims to help students gain quantitative and analytical skills to understand what motivates human behavior and grow as logical thinkers. Students complete 120 credits, and those attending full time can usually finish in four years. OSU accepts 89% of applicants, and 65% of students graduate with degrees.

OSU's Ecampus students access Canvas to complete assignments and participate in classes, such as those in the online economics degree program. These courses may include Public Policy Analysis, Introduction to Statistical Methods, Advanced Microeconomic Theory, and Pre-Econometrics. Ecampus students receive online student support services, such as success coaching, career guidance, and tutoring.

Park University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,190
  • Locations: Parkville (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Missouri's Park University (PU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Labor Economics that deals with the supply and demand of employees. This online labor economics degree can be part of PU's undergraduate to graduate program that enables bachelor's degree students to work toward a master's degree (MBA) after completing 60 undergraduate credits. Graduating with this online business administration degree requires approximately 120 credits, taking about four years of full-time enrollment. PU has an open admission policy, which means that it accepts 100% of applicants who want to attend. Meanwhile, 30% of students graduate with their degrees.

PU delivers online coursework and instruction via Canvas, a popular learning management system. Online labor economics students take 24 credits of specialized courses, such as Employment Law, International Negotiations, Labor Relations, and Intermediate Macroeconomics.

Fort Hays State University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,360
  • Locations: Hays (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Midwest's Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Kansas is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Economics that focuses on the international dimensions of product and resource markets and global business practices. Students complete 120 credits, with 36 in the international business and economics major. It generally takes full-time students four years to complete this online bachelor's degree program. FHSU has a 90% acceptance rate and a 57% graduation rate.

FHSU distance learners access online programming through Blackboard. Online international business and economics courses include Insurance Planning, Options and Futures Markets, Intermediate Finance, and Financial Markets and Institutions. Students may also choose to complete an internship.

Old Dominion University

  • Annual Tuition: $30,840
  • Locations: Norfolk (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Economics - Economic Problems that explores public economic policies and how economics influences policymaking. It's available as a degree-completion program for students with at least 30 transfer credits or a full-degree, start-to-finish program.

This is a 120-credit program generally takes full-time students four years to complete if completing the entire program. Students can potentially lessen this amount of time if participating in degree-completion programs. ODU has a 95% acceptance and has a 58% graduation rate.

ODU uses Canvas as its online learning platform, so distance learners can access coursework and instruction 100% virtually. Those enrolled in the online economic problems specialization participate in classes that cover urban economics, labor economics, the public sector, and transportation. Some example courses that are part of the major include Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, International Economics, and Macroeconomics.

Utah State University

  • Annual Tuition: $23,042
  • Locations: Logan (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Utah State University (USU) in Logan is a public, Native American Non-Tribal institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts/Science in Economics. This online degree in economics allows students to analyze the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, as well as how they impact the economy. The main difference between the BA and BS is that the former requires students to gain proficiency in at least one foreign language. Graduating requires completing 120 credits, which generally takes full-time students about four years. USU accepts 93% of applicants, while 55% of students graduate.

USU distance learners use Canvas to access the online curriculum in programs such as the BS/BA in Economics. Depending on the emphasis, the curriculum is built around courses such as Industrial Organization - Game Theory, Corporate Finance, History of Economic Thought, and Financial Modeling. Additionally, students may choose an area of emphasis, such as Economics Theory, Managerial Economics, and International Economics and Trade.

SUNY Empire State University

  • Annual Tuition: $17,515
  • Locations: Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

SUNY Empire State College (SUNY Empire) is a public institution in Upstate New York offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Business, Management, and Economics - Marketing to help students develop decision-making skills in order to deliver value to customers and their organizations. It addresses topics such as technology, consumer awareness and fatigue, globalization, ethics, and the drive for product development. Students complete 124 credits — including 24 in the marketing concentration—which usually takes about four years of full-time study. Due to its open admissions policy, SUNY Empire accepts 100% of applicants. Forty-seven percent of students graduate with degrees.

SUNY Empire uses Moodle to deliver coursework and instruction to distance learners. Those enrolled in the online bachelor's degree in business specializing in marketing take courses such as Business Analytics, Ethics and the Ecology of Business, Business Ethics, and Business Communication.

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Overview of Online Bachelor's Degrees in Economics

Earning an online bachelor's degree in economics can provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between the economy and society. Students can develop their math, statistics, and research skills to solve problems and make informed economic decisions. To graduate, students are required to complete approximately 120 credit hours of this coursework, and in some programs, a senior capstone project is generally required. Programs often take full-time students four years to complete and longer for part-time students.

An online bachelor's degree in economics can provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between the economy and society.

Large corporations may prefer to hire economists with a master's degree or doctorate in economics. However, many government agencies hire economists with undergraduate degrees. Skills gained in an economics program may prepare students for work across different industries and occupations to evaluate economic health and identify factors for risk.

Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for online bachelor's programs in economics are similar across schools and may include:

  • High school diploma or GED test scores.
  • Official high school or college transcripts.
  • Minimum GPA, usually between 2.0 and 3.0.
  • Completed application.
  • Application fee of approximately $50.

An increasing number of schools are eliminating the submission of standardized test scores as part of their enrollment policy, but check with your program to confirm whether they are required.

The Importance of Accreditation

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education recognize 19 national and seven regional boards awarding accreditation based on academic quality. Most nonprofit universities are regionally accredited, preferred over national accreditation because of its prestige and age.

Students can verify an online school's accreditation status at the Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Students should choose an accredited institution not only for its verified academic quality, but also because accreditation is generally necessary to transfer credits and qualify for federal financial aid.

In addition to university accreditation, economics degree programs may be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB recognizes colleges and universities that meet specific standards of quality in their business and business-related educational programs. The AACSB website also maintains a directory of accredited programs.

Common Economics Courses

The curriculum in an online economic bachelor's degree program explores economic philosophy, how financial markets function, and the economy's impact on society. Economics majors usually study subjects such as intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, international trade, and supply and demand. While the titles of required courses and electives may vary from program to program, learning objectives for these online courses are similar:

Applied Regression Economics and Forecasting

This course includes statistical modeling and is used in business and institutional settings to predict future economic outcomes and influence policymaking.

Survey of International Economics

In this course, students explore international trade issues, theory, and monetary topics. Topics include global economic policies and currency issues.


Theory, math, and statistical methods are used in this course to explain economic phenomena. Students practice making qualitative statements into quantitative statements by applying economic theory and modeling.

Economic Statistics

This course covers sampling, estimation, probability distributions, and confidence intervals. Students examine the practical application of current statistical data to current economic trends.

Public Economics

The focus of this course is on the role of government in the economy. Students gain an understanding of the potential benefits of government policy and the response of economic agents to government decisions.

Concentrations within Economics Programs

A concentration is appealing because it demonstrates expertise and may make you more competitive in the job market. There are several concentrations in economics for online students to choose from:

  • Banking and financial economics focuses on the fundamental business, economic theory, and practices of financial institutions. This concentration also examines changes in policy or economic outlook that can affect the world's economy.
  • Business economics explores the financial situations and challenges corporations face and how the economy impacts an organization, its management, potential expansion, and implementing strategies for economic development.
  • International economics studies how countries interact economically with each other. It includes international trade, global investments, and the scientific prediction of production patterns around the world.
  • Political economy examines the relationship between a nation's population, its government, and how officials administer public policy with respect to the economy. It also includes the study of wealth and income across various populations.

Careers with an Online Economics Degree

Graduates with this degree can help companies weather economic ups and downs and evaluate financial risk. Businesses often rely on these individuals' data analysis skills to inform financial decisions for the health of the company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies several occupations that require skills gained through an online economics degree program:

Median Annual Salary: $111,030
Job Outlook: 24%

Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the economic cost of risk and uncertainty. They often support the insurance industry by conducting economic research, compiling statistical data, presenting findings to organizational leaders, and designing and testing new policies.

Financial Analysts
Median Annual Salary: $83,660
Job Outlook: 6%

Financial analysts help businesses and individuals make financial decisions to increase profit and retirement account balances and assess the performance of investments. They study economic trends to guide business and investor decision-making.

Financial Managers
Median Annual Salary: $134,180
Job Outlook: 17%

Financial managers oversee a business' financial activities and plan for long-term financial goals. They help business leaders with decision making based on financial reports, economic trends, and budget forecasts. Financial managers also supervise other finance staff.

Market Research Analysts
Median Annual Salary: $65,810
Job Outlook: 22%

Market research analysts study market conditions and how they impact the sale of goods and services. They monitor and forecast sales trends, gather consumer and competitor data, and analyze statistical data to report back to management.

Interested in learning about employment outcomes for alumni of online programs? OnlineU studied ten popular online colleges across the country and found strong career results.

Associations for Economics Graduates

Economics graduates and professionals can join associations that help build community in the industry by offering networking opportunities, discussion forums, and continued online learning. Members can take advantage of an association's resources, including best practices, job listings and academic journals.

American Economic Association

Benefits of AEA membership include access to academic journals, magazine discounts, data sources, and opportunities to connect with other professionals at meetings and conferences. Membership is open to economics students, established economists, and anyone interested in advancing their career.

National Economic Association

NEA supports issues promoting economic growth among African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities. Members can access meetings and conferences, grants and scholarships, and job listings. Economic professionals across disciplines and industries are encouraged to participate.

National Association for Business Economics

NABE members can access up-to-date economic news, surveys, roundtable discussions, conferences, and educational and career development opportunities. Membership is available to economists and any other professionals who use economics in the workplace.

Is an Online Economics Degree Worth It?

Pursuing an online economics degree may be worth it if you are curious, reflective, and enterprising by nature and are looking for a satisfying career. If you also enjoy math, statistics, and problem-solving, it may make this degree and career path a natural fit. However, a degree's worth ultimately comes down to your career and financial goals.

Potential Benefits

Earning an economics degree can help you sharpen strategic thinking skills. Analytical, critical thinking, communication, and statistical analysis skills can be applied across occupations, industries, and even your own financial situation.

An online bachelor's degree in economics has social relevance. Individuals skilled in economics and data interpretation who hold a broader perspective of the relationships between the economy and society are needed to help advance economic and social progress.

Enrolling in an online program may suit your schedule. If you juggle multiple responsibilities, the flexibility of asynchronous courses may be appealing.

Potential Drawbacks

Economics involves a lot of numbers and math. While completing complex calculations may be stimulating for some, it may not be for everyone. You'll be working with equations, graphs, data tables, money, and statistics, which could present some obstacles.

Earning your economics bachelor's degree online can be isolating. It may be difficult to network with others for future job opportunities or find support. Distance learning can be difficult to navigate if you are trying to complete complex assignments and need immediate help.

Interested in learning about similar degrees? Explore online bachelor's degrees in accounting, business, and finance.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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