Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics

Whether at the micro or macro level, economists study a society’s resources and its production of goods and services. An online bachelor’s degree in economics is the minimum requirement for most economist jobs, and most in the field hold either a master’s degree or a PhD.

An online bachelor’s in economics is an affordable, flexible degree. Earn it and you’ll acquire the foundation necessary to gain a higher degree and, in turn, become more competitive in a field that’s set to grow by at least 6% over a 10-year span.

Economists specialize in the collection and analysis of data related to a society’s finite resources and output. The demand for professionals is likely to grow as the world shrinks through globalization. At least half of all economists in the United States work for the federal government, where their analyses, trends research, and evaluation of economic issues play a vital role in the decision making process. Professionals in the field wield particularly notable influence in topics such as trade, spending, and cuts, all of which affect the nation as a whole.

An online bachelor’s degree economics program is a particularly cheap and accommodating path to becoming an economist, allowing students to continue their education without putting the rest of their life on hold. These accredited programs not only offer low, affordable tuition, but also strong ROI, which a future economist can certainly appreciate.

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Economics
Rank School Score Toggle Content

Fort Hays State University

Value Score 7.06
Average Tuition $3,574
Students Receiving Financial Aid 70%
Net Price $8,911
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 86%
Enrollment Rate 48%
Retention Rate 48%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77
Number of Online Programs 22

Fort Hays State's online bachelor's degree in economics is a 124-credit program that takes four years to complete for full-time students. It's offered as a bachelor's of business administration in international business and economics. In addition to the 55 credits of general education requirements, the university's affordable online bachelor's in economics includes 27 business core credits, 39 credits in the international business and economics component, and a three-credit elective. Students are required to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA for all courses in the major, which includes international finance, risk management, and managerial economics. The economics course is an upper-level elective that explores the application of economic theory to the decision-making processes in firms and private enterprises.

Graduates have strong skills in finance, accounting, marketing, and management and a deeper understanding of international business practices. Students can send in applications at multiple times throughout the year.

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Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Value Score 6.12
Average Tuition $8,301
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $9,808
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 81%
Enrollment Rate 32%
Retention Rate 32%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 25
Number of Online Programs 8

The affordable online bachelor's in economics from Colorado State University – Fort Collins is offered by the College of Liberal Arts, and graduates of the 120-credit program earn a BA. Core courses for the online bachelor's degree in economics include introduction to econometrics and the application of statistical methods to economic data. Students enrolled in this course use Gretl, a free, user-friendly econometric software package for graphics, data management, basic statistics, and econometric estimation. Economics majors must have an overall GPA of 2.0 to graduate.

Students pursuing Colorado State's online bachelor's in economics must choose a 21-credit minor, options include media studies, political science, and gerontology. It typically takes four years to earn an online bachelor's degree in economics, but the time frame may vary depending on intensity of study and qualifying transfer credits. The school requires 30 upper-division credits to be completed through CSU.

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Oregon State University

Value Score 6.02
Average Tuition $8,535
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $15,026
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 33%
Retention Rate 33%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34
Number of Online Programs 20

OSU offers a 180-credit online bachelor's degree in economics with three concentrations to choose from: managerial economics; law, economics, and policy; and general comprehensive. Managerial economics offers a strong business component. Law, economics, and policy is designed for students interested in a public service career. General comprehensive is the standard economics degree. Regardless of concentration, the core curriculum for OSU's affordable online bachelor's in economics is 51 credits, and it includes courses such as the economics of traditional and renewable energy. This course analyzes the market structures of the various energy industries, including nuclear, natural gas, coal, and the renewables. Students are required to maintain an overall 2.0 GPA in core courses to graduate.

Tuition for OSU's online bachelor's in economics is affordable, and to meet academic residency requirements, at least 45 credits of the last 75 must be completed at OSU. The university operates on a quarter-term system, and classes last 11 weeks. Full-time students can complete the degree in four years.

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Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Value Score 6.00
Average Tuition $13,012
Students Receiving Financial Aid 53%
Net Price $22,187
Graduation Rate 25%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 51%
Retention Rate 51%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 25

Pennsylvania State University World Campus offers two affordable online bachelor's in economics: a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science. The BA focuses on economic social behavior, culture, and international relations; the BS emphasizes mathematics and statistics. Both are 120-credit programs, with 55 credits allocated for the major in the BS program and 36 core credits required for the BA. Students pursuing a BA must meet a 12-credit foreign language requirement, while students in the BS program must complete eight credits in math and computer science. Courses for the online bachelor's in economics typically last 12 to 15 weeks, and most are asynchronous to provide maximum flexibility.

Students must successfully complete two introductory courses before declaring an economics major. Tuition rates vary according to credits previously earned and the number of credits taken per semester. Penn State has a fall, spring, and summer application deadline.

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Utah State University

Value Score 5.23
Average Tuition $6,214
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $10,525
Graduation Rate 49%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Admissions Rate 97%
Enrollment Rate 30%
Retention Rate 30%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47
Number of Online Programs 7

USU offers a BA and BS in economics through the Jon S. Huntsman School of Business. Students pursuing an online bachelor's in economics at USU can choose one of four concentrations: economics theory, managerial economics, pre-law, and international and trade. It is not required to choose a concentration. A dual accounting and economics major is available. Students who meet the requirements for the dual major can receive a BS or BA; the BA requires proficiency in at least one foreign language.

In addition to the core curriculum and the general education courses required for an online bachelor's in economics, USU students must satisfy the college's depth education requirements. The requirement includes two communications intensives, one quantitative intensive, and an additional two credits in an intensive course outside of the social sciences.

Transfer students applying to USU's affordable online bachelor's in economics must have 24 or more approved credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and in and out-of-state tuition rates apply.

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