Online Economics Degree Programs

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Are you interested in learning about the dynamics of the free market and how public policies can affect the value of money? If so, an economics degree programs may be right for you. Students majoring in economics learn the big picture view of money and how it works in the world. They also take a closer look at how broad policy decisions can impact the finances of individual households.

With this knowledge, graduates may find work in several occupations devoted to analyzing economic data and making recommendations. Professionals in the field may be involved in influencing both business and government decisions.

Ready to get started? A bachelor's degree is a common choice for those seeking entry-level positions. If time or distance is a factor, you can earn an online economics degree from a number of schools. Keep reading to learn more about the top schools for economics, where to find financial aid and more.

Best Colleges for Economics Degree Programs 2018-19

There's no need to spend a lot of money on an elite private school to major in economics. We found some of the best colleges for economics degree programs are public institutions. The following schools rose to the top according to our methodology that considered student success outcomes, program prominence and more.

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Methodology
1Utah State University+
Admission Rate
89%
Graduation Rate
49.59%
Number of Degrees Offered
6
Number of Degrees Conferred
345
At least 1 program offered
Yes

Utah State University tops the list for both on-campus and online economics degrees. Founded in 1888, the university's Huntsman School of Business is the oldest continuously operating business college in the West.

The business school houses USU's undergraduate economics degree programs which are available in four emphases: international economics and trade, economic theory, managerial economics and prelaw economics. Those seeking online degrees for economics can earn an undergraduate degree without an emphasis from USU. There are also four graduate degree options.

In these rankings, Utah State University is notable for the number of degrees it offers. It also ranks 11th overall for its admissions rate and has the second most affordable tuition and fees among the schools listed here.

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2University of Vermont+
Admission Rate
68%
Graduation Rate
76.33%
Number of Degrees Offered
4
Number of Degrees Conferred
100
At least 1 program offered
Yes

With a history dating back to 1791, The University of Vermont ranks second among the best colleges for economics degree programs. Known as UVM -- representing the Latin words for University of the Green Mountains - the school is a Public Ivy institution and attracts more than 10,500 undergraduate students each year.

Its economics program offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in economics. Classes are taught primarily by faculty, not graduate assistants. Students start their tenure at UVM with introductory seminars to lay the foundation for their education and end with senior seminars that serve as a research capstone to their studies.

The University of Vermont ranks seventh among the schools on this list for its graduation rate.

Additional Info
3University of Utah+
Admission Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
69.5%
Number of Degrees Offered
8
Number of Degrees Conferred
300
At least 1 program offered
Yes

The University of Utah is an education destination for students who reside both in and out of the state. It is known simply as the U to many of the more than 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students who enroll annually

As a part of the College of Social & Behavioral Science, the Department of Economics offers a number of degree options. There are two bachelor's degrees in economics as well as a minor available to undergraduates. Meanwhile, graduate students can select from a Master of Economics, Master of Statistics in econometrics and a Ph.D.

Among the best colleges for economics degree programs, The University of Utah ranks high for the academic support it provides students. It also has an affordable tuition rate and offers flexible scheduling options.

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4University of California, Santa Cruz+
Admission Rate
47%
Graduation Rate
74.47%
Number of Degrees Offered
9
Number of Degrees Conferred
507
At least 1 program offered
Yes

As the first of two University of California schools on the list, the University of California, Santa Cruz describes itself as bold, progressive and fearless. It opened in 1965 and has grown to enroll more than 18,000 students annually.

The Economics Department is one of the largest at UC Santa Cruz. What's more, it's known for producing a significant amount of research in the field. Overall, more than 10,000 students take economics classes each year, and there are approximately 1,000 declared majors at any given time. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are available through the department.

The University California, Santa Cruz provides its students with ample support resources. That may be partly why it has the fifth best graduation rate among the schools on this list.

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5University of California - Los Angeles+
Admission Rate
14%
Graduation Rate
90.51%
Number of Degrees Offered
7
Number of Degrees Conferred
1018
At least 1 program offered
Yes

UCLA, as the University of California - Los Angeles is usually known, is the largest and most prominent school in these rankings. It can boast of 13 Nobel Laureates, 12 MacArthur Fellows and 113 NCAA titles.

Among UCLA's more than 100 academic departments, economics is among its largest. Approximately 3,300 students major in the field. At the undergraduate level, there are degrees in both economics and business economics. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Applied Economics or earn their Ph.D. from the University of California - Los Angeles.

Among the best colleges for economics degree programs, UCLA has the best graduation rate and the fourth most prominent program. The school is also notable for the number of student support services and career development opportunities it provides.

Additional Info
6SUNY at Binghamton+
Admission Rate
40%
Graduation Rate
81.43%
Number of Degrees Offered
4
Number of Degrees Conferred
347
At least 1 program offered
Yes

On the east side of the country, Binghamton University is a top school for economics. The institution was founded in 1946 and is part of the State University of New York system.

Binghamton's Department of Economics offers two bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D. in the field. There is also an accelerated master's degree option. This allows undergraduate students to add one more year to their studies to earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees. Undergraduate specializations include financial economics, economics analysis and economics policy analysis.

In these rankings, Binghamton University has the fourth most affordable tuition and fees of the schools listed here. It also has the third best graduation rate and the third most prominent program among the top colleges for economics.

Additional Info
7St. Mary's College of Maryland+
Admission Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
79.95%
Number of Degrees Offered
1
Number of Degrees Conferred
32
At least 1 program offered
Yes

St. Mary's College of Maryland is another top school for economics students in the east. Named for St. Mary's City, the institution is Maryland's public honors college. It is one of only two institutions nationwide to carry a Public Honors College designation.

The Department of Economics offers both a major and a minor in the field. The curriculum for each is focused on theory and research methods that can be used for economic analysis. Students have the opportunity to enroll in experimental courses or study across disciplinary fields.

When it comes to program prominence, St. Mary's College of Maryland ranks first among the best colleges for economics degree programs. It is also notable for its affordable tuition and graduation rate.

Additional Info
8Covenant College+
Admission Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
70.52%
Number of Degrees Offered
2
Number of Degrees Conferred
27
At least 1 program offered
Yes

With a campus in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Covenant College provides a liberal arts education through a Christian lens. As the official college of the Presbyterian Church in America, it stresses the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things.

That worldview extends to the Department of Economics and Community Development where there is a focus on being stewards of creation. Covenant College offers both a major and minor in economics. What's more, students have access to research internships through The Chalmers Center for Economic Development.

Covenant College earned its spot among the best economics colleges for having the second most prominent program and the second best admissions rate among the schools on this list. It is also notable for its student support services, including academic counseling and career placement assistance.

Additional Info
9University of Wisconsin - Madison+
Admission Rate
52%
Graduation Rate
87.22%
Number of Degrees Offered
8
Number of Degrees Conferred
723
At least 1 program offered
Yes

In the Midwest, the University of Wisconsin - Madison is a top pick for economics students. The institution is considered the flagship school for the University of Wisconsin system and was founded in 1848.

Economics students will be in good company at UW-Madison. The Department of Economics has 1,200 undergraduate majors and 300 graduate students. As one of the largest majors in the university's College of Letters and Science, the undergraduate program allows students to earn either a general economics degree or one with a mathematical emphasis. Its master's program is appropriate for those without a formal undergraduate education in the field. A doctoral degree is also available.

The University of Wisconsin - Madison has the second best graduation rate among the schools ranked here.

Additional Info
10Florida State University+
Admission Rate
37%
Graduation Rate
82.88%
Number of Degrees Offered
4
Number of Degrees Conferred
359
At least 1 program offered
Yes

Florida State University rounds out the top colleges for economics degree programs. With a campus in Tallahassee, Florida State is home to the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state. It enrolls nearly 42,000 students representing every county in Florida and 140 countries.

Within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, economics is served by the largest department. At the undergraduate level, students can pursue specialized studies in advanced economic analysis, markets and institutions, applied economics and political economy. The master's program at Florida State focuses on applied economics. Graduate students can earn a Ph.D. in economics as well.

In addition to providing a supportive learning environment for students, FSU ranks high for having the lowest tuition and fees of the top schools for economics.

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Economics Degree Programs and Common Career Paths

Students may expect to become economists after graduation, but they could be just as likely to fill positions with titles such as analyst or actuary. Companies across a variety of industries use workers with an economics background to make business decisions. What's more, governments employ economists to analyze and direct public policy. Whether you want to pursue private or public employment, you'll likely need at least a bachelor's degree for most entry level positions.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Economics
At the end of four years of study, those earning a bachelor's degree in economics should understand the basic theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Most importantly for employers, they should be able to analyze data using various research models. Then, they'll be able to work in one of the following occupations, among others.
Actuary
Actuaries are employed primarily in the insurance industry to analyze financial risk. Their findings can determine whether coverage is extended to a person or business and the level of premiums assessed for a policy
Market Research Analyst
Businesses employ market research analysts to analyze data related to sales, their competitors and consumers. Analysts monitor market conditions and make recommendations to improve a company's financial standing.
Compensation and Benefits Manager
Some companies may prefer to hire economics majors to serve as their compensation and benefits managers. These workers need to have a good grasp of analytical models in order to recommend the appropriate level of wages and benefits to be provided to employees.

Career Outlook for Economics Majors

Those with knowledge of economics help a business's bottom line and will likely always be needed. However, actual career growth can vary by occupation. Here's a closer look at how the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics expects different jobs in the field to fare in the years to come.

JOB TITLE
AVERAGE SALARY($)
EMPLOYMENT
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
Economists$116,02018,6508.1%
Economics Teachers, Postsecondary$117,18012,7507.9%
Home Economics Teachers, Postsecondary$77,1702,0803.8%
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
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Financial Aid and Scholarships in Economics

In addition to government loans and grants, scholarships are available for both on-campus and online degrees for economics. Some of these scholarships are available through non-profit organizations. For instance, the Daughters of the American Revolution offers the Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship for those studying economics while the non-profit IASA offers an award for those planning a career as an actuary. Beyond these programs, many colleges and universities offer their own scholarships as well.

Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Students
Applicant must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Award is intended to support an academic year of residence at any national residential research centers. Program encourages exchanges across disciplinary lines that can be especially helpful to deepening and expanding the significance of projects in the humanities and related social sciences. Applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (OFA). OFA is accessible through the Fellowship and Grant Programs section of the web site. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$75,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

October 2

ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowship
Applicant must identify specific resources and benefits to be gained from affiliation with the Center for Scholars and Writers. Applicant must be selected by both ACLS Committee and the New York Public Library. Applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (OFA). OFA is accessible through the Fellowship and Grant Programs section of the web site. Applicant must apply separately to the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library (csw@nypl.org). More

AWARD AMOUNT

$65,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

September 28

Davidson Fellows Scholarships
Applicants must be under the age of 18 and be able to attend the awards reception in Washington, DC. In addition to the monetary award, the institute will pay for travel and lodging expenses. Three nominator forms, three copies of a 15-minute DVD and additional materials are required. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$50,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 12

Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Applicants must be full-time students who have completed no more than 12 months of graduate study and be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents. The fields of study are interdisciplinary, computer and information science and engineering, mathematical sciences, geosciences, psychology, social sciences, life sciences, chemistry, physics and astronomy and engineering.  More

AWARD AMOUNT

$44,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 4

Scholarship Database

Professional Organizations

Established in 1885, the AEA is non-profit organization devoted to the scholarly discussion and publication of economics research.
The NABE was founded in 1959 specifically for those who use economics in the business world.
The Society of Actuaries - known as SOA - was formed in North America but represents actuaries across the globe today.
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