In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for an online economics degree.
What’s not to love about an economics degree? In one program, you can study math, politics, computer science, sociology, culture, and public policy. It’s hard to get more interdisciplinary than that! In fact, many colleges offer both B.S. and B.A. versions of their economics program in order to account for the multiple perspectives – and career paths – associated with the field. And while a much smaller number of schools offer economics degrees online, there are still plenty of options from which distance learners can choose. These undergraduate and graduate programs provide everything that on-campus degrees do – sometimes even more! With opportunities for internships, concentrations, minors, and research projects, there’s no reason not to consider one of the best value economics programs we have listed below. And of all people, economics majors will appreciate the cost savings and wise investment of attending an affordable online college!
7. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
Online Bachelor of Science in Economics
The online economics degree at Penn State takes a seriously technical approach to its subject matter. You won’t be taking many courses in finance or business. Instead, you’ll immerse yourself in computer programming, data analysis, and statistics, developing a toolkit of special skills that you can apply in diverse fields. Students learn to think in terms of algorithms and visualize graphs as they develop complicated mathematical functions to describe everyday behavior. This option is ideal for students who love problem-solving and would like a career in market research or financial advising. However, PSU also offers a B.A. in Economics online degree that places more emphasis on the cultural, social, and political factors that influence the global economy.
6. University of Detroit Mercy
Online Economics (BA)
There are myriad career options for students with a degree in economics, and the University of Detroit Mercy’s broad-based curriculum will prepare you for most of them. A strong foundation in the liberal arts prepares UDM students for coursework in fiscal policy, moral and ethical considerations in economics, and basic economic theories. Conveniently, online students can also apply many of their major and elective course credits toward a teacher certification in the state of Michigan. And although this isn’t the most affordable economics degree online, UDM keeps costs down by offering generous need- and merit-based scholarships for freshman, international, and transfer students.
5. Eastern Oregon University
Online Economics Major
Eastern Oregon University’s online economics degree is practically minded and forward-thinking, with a strong emphasis on business and finance. On your journey through this major, you’ll visit topics such as job creation, financial markets, and even public policy – including environmental issues. Interactive learning modules make it easy for distance learners to get the information they need. In particular, recorded lectures and whiteboard sessions (which illustrate step-by-step solutions to problems) present information in a clear, engaging way. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree also gives students plenty of opportunities postgrad. You’ll find EOU alumni in private enterprise, law school, graduate programs in economics, the financial sector, and higher education.
4. Youngstown State University
Online Master of Arts in Financial Economics
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in economics, then you may be looking to take your education to the next level. Youngstown State’s M.A. in Financial Economics will help you do just that. Students will acquire a more powerful set of analytical techniques as they learn about statistical software like SAS and Stata, regression analysis, and calculus-based economic models. And the financial focus of the program is evident in many of the courses. Classes in Corporate Financial Management, Finance for Decision Making, and Securities Analysis will ensure that you are prepared to thrive in this competitive industry after you graduate. But that’s not all. In addition to being the least expensive online economics degree on this list, YSU has also placed 8th in the nation out of all Financial Economics programs for 2016 (according to The Financial Times).
3. Oregon State University
Online B.A./B.S. in Economics
Choices, choices! As far as personalized programs go, this may very well be the best economics degree online. Oregon State University students can choose between a B.A. or B.S. designation in addition to selecting one of three unique specializations. Aspiring business professionals should opt for the Managerial concentration, while future politicians and lawyers will love the Law, Economics, and Policy option. And for a skills-based education that will teach you to think critically, solve problems, analyze data, and communicate clearly, the General Comprehensive Training specialty is a no-brainer. Online students at OSU can also add a minor (there are nearly two-dozen options available!) to their degree program and graduate with a killer combination of marketable skills.
2. Purdue University
Online Economics MS Degree Program
One of only two graduate online economics degrees on this list, this program out of Purdue University is also one of the best in the business. The Financial Engineer ranks this Online M.S. in the top 10% in the country, while Eduniversal includes it among the top 25 in North America. Why all the fuss? The rigorous curriculum puts its students through a demanding set of courses that will teach them to interpret complex economic data and make recommendations to top-level decision makers. Concentrations in Applied Economics/Business and Advanced Theory/Thesis allow you to pick electives that suit your career interests. And with low tuition costs plus part-time, hybrid, and combined degree options, it’s no surprise that this affordable online economics degree attracts so much attention.
1. Utah State University
Online Bachelor’s in Economics
Utah State University humorously calls for economics students to “Get [their] geek on!” And while it may be intended as a joke, this expression also holds a lot of truth. The online economics degree at Utah State is a smart choice for smart students and stands as “both a practical major and fascinating topic.” Offering a breadth and depth of study that is rare for an undergraduate program, USU’s curriculum strategically combines the best aspects of theoretical and analytical subjects. Optional emphasis options include International Economics and Trade, Economic Theory, and Managerial or Prelaw Economics. Housed within the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, this AACSB-accredited economics degree online is long on quality but low on costs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
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- What is the Difference Between a Degree in Economics and a Degree in Finance?
By CVO Staff