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The Best Online MBA in Economics Programs

If you’re looking for a graduate degree program that can boost your economics expertise and business management skills with a flexible schedule, then an online MBA in economics may be right for you. Find out about this year’s top economics MBA programs and more in this guide.

Author: Kenya McCullum

Editor: Staff Editor

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A woman analyzes financial graphs for her Online Economics MBA program on her laptop and printed charts at a white desk, with a coffee cup beside her.

Are you looking for a grad degree that focuses on the role that economics plays in organizations? Do you want to go to back to school without quitting your day job? An online MBA in economics allows you to do both. An online economics MBA sharpens business skills and increases economics knowledge through the convenience and flexibility of online learning.

To answer your questions and help you make the best degree program decision, this guide showcases 2024’s best online MBA in economics programs along with possible career options available after graduation. It also provides information on cost, admissions requirements, and potential timelines for completion. Keep reading to learn more about earning your MBA in economics online.

B-School Spotlights: Best Online MBAs in Economics for 2024

Many schools offer online MBA economics programs, but achieving your goals means choosing the one program with the content and structure that meets your unique needs. To help you find the perfect program, we’ve spotlighted below the best online MBA economics programs for 2024 based on the factors that matter to you most—curriculum, cost, and convenience. These spotlights will give you a good idea of what to expect from the MBA program you ultimately choose. They also provide a preview of our full program rankings which will be coming later this year, so be sure to check back.

Liberty University

Logo of Liberty University, featuring bold serif letters in a dark green color with slight shadows, highlighting the word "LIBERTY" prominently above "ONLINE ECONOMICS MBA PROGRAMS" in smaller text.

The 45-credit online MBA economics program at Liberty University takes about two years to complete and provides students with expertise in economics on both national and international levels to help them in making sound business decisions based on economic data. Course subjects include econometrics, capital markets, microeconomic theory, managerial finance, and macroeconomic theory.

Applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher on previously completed college coursework. Other admissions requirements include submittal of official college transcripts from an accredited bachelor’s degree program and, for international students, proof of proficiency in English.

Carnegie Mellon University

Logo of Carnegie Mellon University in dark green color with serif font, representing their Online Economics MBA Programs, displayed on a transparent background.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business has a long-standing reputation for innovation in economics thanks to its Nobel Prize-winning research in public policy and markets that has transformed the way companies everywhere do business. Students in Carnegie Mellon’s MBA in economics program are taught cutting-edge theories on global competition, incentives, microeconomics, risk management, and macroeconomics from some of the top leaders in the business field. Graduates gain a deep knowledge of economic theory and its application to the real world which they can use to make better business decisions throughout their careers.

Along with a bachelor’s degree, admissions requirements include a current resume, essay, one professional reference, and transcripts from their accredited bachelor’s degree program. GMAT, GRE, or EA test scores are additionally required.

Southern Illinois University

Logo of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, featuring the acronym 'SIU' in large, red block letters next to the full name and "Online Economics MBA Programs" in green letters.

Southern Illinois University’s online MBA program offers a concentration focused on agribusiness economics that allows students to study environmental economics, agribusiness management and finance, farm production management, international trade and agricultural policy, and economic and rural development. The 30-credit program includes a practicum that students with hands-on experience at a private company or public agency. Students also complete original research that is either presented in a thesis or tested in an oral examination.

Southern Illinois University’s online MBA students have access to their department’s numerous resources to enhance their academic knowledge as they gain invaluable practical experience. These resources include daily newsletters with up-to-the-minute information on environmental issues, a library system with an extensive catalog of 16,000 periodicals and 2.2 million books, and commodity market information systems.

What to Expect from An Online MBA in Economics Program

Online MBA economics concentration programs feature curriculums that combine core business courses with economics-focused classes. Students may additionally have the opportunity to further specialize their studies by taking coursework in specific areas within the larger economics field, like healthcare or agriculture. MBA programs with an economic concentration allow students to develop strong business skills in verbal communication, writing, and leadership along with a robust understanding of economic principles that guide organizational decision-making.

In addition to classwork, students are typically required to complete a thesis, comprehensive examination, or capstone project to demonstrate the skills obtained throughout the course of their degree studies. Depending on the school, experiential learning opportunities may be offered that give students a look at how the economic principles they’ve learned are applied in the real-world business environment.

Online program content is typically delivered in an asynchronous format that allows students to view prerecorded lectures at those times most convenient to their busy work and life schedules. In addition, online students may participate in live class meetings via live-streaming services like Zoom. Communication with fellow students and program instructors is facilitated through emails and text messaging, message boards, and video conferencing.

Common Online Economics MBA Courses

  • Econometrics

    Students in this class learn how statistical methods are used to explain economic relationships. This is accomplished through a review of the various components of statistical analyses, including forecasting, regression analysis, and basic data analysis as it applies to economics. Students additionally review specific applications of econometric theory to real-world situations.

  • Managerial Economics

    Managerial economics classes explore how economic models are used in everyday decision-making in organizations. Course topics include pricing strategies, governmental regulations, market structures, production costs, and elasticity. Students additionally review case studies to illustrate how managerial principles are applied in practice to solve actual economic challenges.

  • Global Economics

    As part of a global economy, those working in economics need to understand the similarities and differences of how economies around the world function. This course provides that understanding through and examination of the performance of economies in different countries, economic policies, and the factors that contribute to the growth or decline of an economy.

  • Microeconomic Theory

    Students in this course are taught the foundational the principles of microeconomics and the ways in which these principles are applied to economic problems. Specific topics covered include market structure, efficiency, and equilibrium, and consumer behavior as it relates to product production.

  • Money and Capital Markets

    This course looks at the financial system in the United States and its effects on various markets. Students learn about the Federal Reserve System and its functions, how management decisions are made based on money and capital markets, and how risk impacts asset prices and interest rates.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Economics

When students graduate from an online MBA in economics concentration program, they continue their careers with new and more finely tuned skills in business, economics, mathematics, communication, and management. These skills qualify graduates for rewarding and challenging careers in a wide variety of occupations, including:

Actuaries

Actuaries are responsible for determining financial costs and uncertainty to help businesses make decisions based on the risk associated with specific events like death, sickness, and natural disasters. Common job tasks include compiling and analyzing statistical data, creating documents that explain that statistical analysis, and creating proposals for insurance policies, pensions, and investments.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$75,380

$120,000

$209,310

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Financial Analysts

When businesses need to make financial decisions to ensure the health of their organization, they rely on financial analysts to guide them. These professionals also advise individuals needing help with their finances for retirement. Financial analysts keep their clients advised on how different types of investments are performing, make recommendations about investments based on their knowledge of the market, and stay of business and economic trends to provide sound financial advice.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$60,830

$99,890

$175,840

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Econometricians

Econometricians combine their understanding of economics with statistical analyses to make predictions about different theories related to business and employment. This happens by collecting economic data, building econometric models and analyzing how well they are performing, and making presentations about their findings.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$59,000

$93,000

$152,000

Source: PayScale, 2023

Pricing Analysts

Pricing analysts use their expertise to aid companies in setting competitive prices that help them meet their financial goals and increase their share of the market. To do this, pricing analysts research and analyze pricing data to determine what other companies are doing, create models to predict the outcome of different pricing strategies, and develop tools that companies can use to increase sales.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$48,000

$64,000

$84,000

Source: PayScale, 2023

Statisticians

Statisticians solve real-world problems through statistical and mathematical means. This involves determining the type of data needed for solving a specific business problem, collecting, analyzing, and applying that data, and drawing conclusions to help solve the problem.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$58,690

$104,110

$163,360

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBA Degrees in Economics

A graduate degree helps advance your career, but earning one can come with a substantial price tag. So, finding the best online MBA economics program for you includes knowing how much programs cost. To give you an idea of what you might pay for your online MBA in economics, the table below highlights the current per-credit tuition rates and total tuition costs for three degree online economics MBA programs. To find out ways to can help pay for your education through sources like grants, loans, scholarships, and assistantships, be sure to visit OMD’s financial aid page.

How Affordable Your Online MBA in Economics Could Be

School No. of Credits Resident Cost/Credit Est. Resident Tuition

45

$565 – $615

$25,425 – $27,675

33

$464

$15,312

30

$564.50

$16,935

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Economics MBA Programs

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in economics?

When looking at online MBA economics programs, keep in mind that different schools have different standards and expectations. However, there are a number of admissions requirements common to most programs. They include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • A given number of years of professional work experience
  • High GMAT or GRE score
  • Professional and academic references
  • A personal essay explaining the applicant’s interest in the program

Are there online economics MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

Scoring well on the GMAT exam has traditionally been expected for admission into MBA programs. Times have changes, however, with many schools are dropping the GMAT requirement. As a result, you’ll find that several quality online economics MBA programs no longer require a GMAT score for admission. Instead, schools consider factors like an applicant’s job history, performance in their bachelor’s degree program, relevant experiential learning as an undergraduate, and any research they have been involved in.

How long will it take to finish my MBA in economics online?

You can usually finish an MBA in economics with about two years of full-time study. If you enroll as a part-time student, expect to devote three to four years to earning your degree, depending on how many courses you choose to take each semester.

Can I earn my MBA in economics 100% online or do I need to go to campus?

You can earn an MBA in economics 100% online. Some programs, however, are presented in a hybrid format that includes both online and on-campus requirements. Similarly, some programs allow students to take most of their courses online but have one or two classes, like a capstone course, that require a trip to campus.

What’s the difference between an MBA in economics and a master’s in economics?

Both degrees provide an education in economics but differ in terms of the depth and breadth of the knowledge delivered. An online MBA with an economics concentration considers economics as part of a broader business education that also includes marketing, leadership, human resource management, and accounting. This degree is generally for people in any field who want to move up the corporate ladder and achieve success in a managerial position.

An online master’s in economics, on the other hand, is generally for anyone wanting a deep knowledge of the discipline since these programs focus solely on economics. Those earning an MA in economics can work in research or public policy, or continue their academic studies to earn a doctoral degree in economics and teach on the postsecondary level.