What is an MBA in Economics?

An online MBA in economics can lead to careers in finance, banking, and government. The program combines the foundational knowledge of an MBA with field specific studies. Positions in economics are expected to grow by 6% over the next ten years.

Positions in economics are expected to grow by 6% over the next ten years.

Most high-level economist positions require an MBA or a PhD. An online MBA in economics will help increase your earning potential, as demonstrated in the table below.

Comparison of Economics Master’s Degrees

There are a few graduate degrees available in economics. An economics MBA online provides a broad business background in addition to studying economics. Other programs provide a narrower focus. Though the curricula and specializations differ, the following programs all prepare graduates for a career in economics.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Arts in Economics A master’s in economics provides a broad education that prepares graduates for a wide range of jobs in the public or private sector. Graduates are also prepared for PhD studies. N/A 1 Year
Master’s of Science in Economics & Computation The master’s in economics and computation incorporates elements of computer science, ensuring that graduates can be competitive in the modern landscape. This program is ideal for any professionals interested in big data and its applications. $64,341 2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Economics An MBA in economics provides a general business foundation in addition to a study of economics. Other subjects include marketing, production and operations management, and leadership. $60,193 2 Years

Graduates from MBA in economics online programs are expected to competently work with and analyze data. While schools and programs will differ in their coursework, all programs will cover general business skills. Below, we lay out a sample online MBA in economics program and explain how it will help you in the workplace.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Policy Analysis Analyze, critique, and improve economic policies and related economic tools TITLE: Economist
SALARY: growth of 14%
Econometrics Complete empirical work in economics and analyze data TITLE: Behavioral Economist
SALARY: growth of 3%
Statistical Analysis Analyze data, use SAS, and learn descriptive statistics TITLE: Analytical Data Scientist
SALARY: growth of 32%

An economics MBA online prepares graduates for many careers. Below, are a few of the more popular options.

Economist Median Salary: $71,385
  • Government Office
  • Company Office
The primary responsibility of an economist is to advise their organization about economic matters, which can include taxes, transportation, international trade/development, and more.
Behavioral Economist Median Salary: $72,633
  • Government Office
  • Company Office
Blending psychology with economics, behavioral economists utilize data about human behavior to make informed decisions in economic policy. The field often deals with consumer behavior.
Analytical Data Scientist Median Salary: $80,500
  • Government Office
  • Company Office
Analytical data scientists make sense of numbers and statistics, using them to provide recommendations to their companies.
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Carnegie Mellon University

Location Pittsburgh, PA Tuition Tuition $115,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 38% Student Population 12,963 School Type Private

Carnegie Mellon University's part-time economical online MBA degree is a hybrid program with a mix of online and in-person classes. Most coursework is asynchronous, though students meet for two, 70-minute online evening classes every week, which are offered in two different time slots that work for students on both the east and west coast.

In addition, students join their cohort for six "access weekends" throughout the year; access weekends occur in varying U.S. cities and include an in-person class and networking opportunities with peers and faculty. Students can switch to the full-time, on-campus program at anytime. On average, students spend about three to five hours each week working on assignments outside of class.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Gardner-Webb University

Location Boiling Springs, NC Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 4,329 School Type Private

Offered through the Godbold School of Business, the online MBA in economics from Gardner-Webb University provides students with a well-rounded curriculum in economics, marketing, and other key business operation areas. The curriculum, which includes interactive simulation and group projects, is designed to be completed in 10 months.

Graduates pursue careers as human resource directors, software analysts, and corporate executive officers. Gardner-Webb offers three different admissions paths, depending on a student's background. While admission is competitive, students who have an undergraduate degree with a 2.5 GPA at minimum, combined with at least three years of relevant professional experience, are invited to apply to the MBA program.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Idaho State University

Location Pocatello, ID Tuition Tuition $21,924 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 13,078 School Type Public

Idaho State University offers an economics online MBA, with degree requirements that can be met in one year of full-time enrollment. In the economics concentration, students complete 41 credits of in-depth study, including 14 core courses in macro and microeconomics, human behavior, and operations management, as well as three major economics electives.

Students have the choice to complete a dual degree in an area like pharmacy or healthcare administration alongside their MBA. Idaho State's degree is accredited by the The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students do not need an undergraduate degree in business to apply.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Mercer University

Location Macon, GA Tuition Tuition $26,640 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 8,600 School Type Private

An MBA economics online from Mercer University requires a minimum of 36 credits. Students have the option to waive nine credits of foundation courses with qualifying undergraduate coursework. The curriculum begins with seven core classes in topics like ethical leadership, managerial economics, and operations management science. A specialized economics track includes four concentration classes, as well as an MBA capstone.

This self-paced program begins at five different times throughout the year. Four dual degree options, in areas like accounting and divinity, are also available for MBA candidates. Online students also have access to the Mercer University campus, including the library and fitness center.


Concentrations
View School Profile

North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $41,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private

North Park University offers one of the top economics online MBA programs, with alumni working at organizations like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and JPMorgan Chase. Students can complete 36 semester hours, or 13 core courses and five electives, in as few as 21 months.

Average degree completion time is about two-and-a-half years. Core courses cover topics in microeconomics, quantitative decision analysis, and marketing and consumer behavior. The MBA capstone requirement is built around a business simulation game that allows students to compete against teams in a real-life market environment. North Park graduates receive a lifetime 50% tuition discount on any other degree or certificate through the university.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Regent University

Location Virginia Beach, VA Tuition Tuition $27,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 6,950 School Type Private

Regent University's online MBA in economics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and offered in a fully online or hybrid format. The 42-credit program includes 30 credits of core courses and 12 credits of concentration courses in topics like innovation and technological success, economic policy, and multinational organizations.

The curriculum blends Christian principles with modern business practices. Up to six hours of qualifying credits are eligible for transfer toward degree requirements. Students have up to five years to complete the program and must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Saginaw Valley State University

Location University Center, MI Tuition Tuition $24,252 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 9,633 School Type Public

The online MBA in economics from SVSU is available in a fully online or hybrid format. Program requirements include the completion of 31 core credits and three elective classes. Students can tailor an MBA concentration by choosing three related elective courses, such as international accounting, international finance, and international trade policy.

Core courses cover topics from organizational behavior to supply chain management. Students without a business-related undergraduate degree may need to complete foundational courses before beginning the MBA program. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at minimum to graduate. SVSU offers four start dates throughout the year, including a winter term.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Location Carbondale, IL Tuition Tuition $36,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 17,292 School Type Public

Southern Illinois University offers one of the best online MBA in economics degrees. Students join a small cohort of peers to complete the 23-month program, which requires 43 credits of graduate-level courses in a modular format. The unique agribusiness economics concentration prepares students to lead agribusiness firms.

Core courses, such as leadership development and international dimensions of business, provide a general business foundation for this specialized degree. All new cohorts start together during the summer term, though classes have an asynchronous format. Students spend an average of 15-20 hours per week dedicated to the program.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private

Southern New Hampshire University offers an economical online MBA with more than 20 concentrations, including economics. The program emphasizes the impact of economics on corporate decision-making, with courses in economic statistics, micro- and macroeconomic theory and analysis, and economics management.

Students take nine core courses, each spanning a 10-week term. SNHU offers a rolling admissions process, with start dates offered five times throughout the year. Service members and their spouses receive a 25% discount on tuition. SNHU's online MBA is accredited by the ACBSP.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Wright State University

Location Dayton, OH Tuition Tuition $21,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 17,070 School Type Public

The online MBA in economics degree is one of 11 concentrations available through Wright State University. Accredited by AACSB, the online program offers all core courses every semester and up to three concentration courses for each term. Part-time students have up to five years to complete the program.

Core courses take a lecture-style format and include topics like economics for managers, financial analysis and decision making, and developing and implementing competitive strategies. Graduates typically enter careers in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Ohio residents receive discounted tuition rates.


Concentrations
View School Profile

Bentley University

Location Waltham, MA Tuition Tuition $53,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 5,506 School Type Private

Bentley University offers an accelerated economics MBA online, with part- and full-time enrollment options available. Some students finish degree requirements in as few as 18 months. The average professional experience for students in the program is five years.

A student's leadership experience may qualify for waiver of one or more of the five required foundations courses, including accounting and marketing management. Students also complete six to eight advanced core courses, like designing for the value chain and business process management. Bentley offers a rolling admissions process, with start dates in the fall and spring.


Concentrations
View School Profile

The pursuit of an online master’s degree impacts your lifestyle, professional career, and finances. It remains vitally important to research a variety of options before selecting a school or program. When exploring economical online master of business administration (MBA) programs, use our checklist of important considerations.

  • Search for Schools in Your Area

    Online education provides students with the freedom to enroll at a school thousands of miles away, but sometimes the best online MBA in economics for your personal, professional, or financial situation may come from a school in your area. Living within 100 miles of your institution yields added perks, as well. Local employers will recognize it by name (and, in some cases, may be alumni themselves), and you can visit campus for networking opportunities, student organization meetings, or extracurricular events.

  • Ensure the School’s Admission Requirements Match Your Expectations

    Specific admission needs for an economics MBA online may vary slightly from one school to another. Evaluate each prospective school’s requirements and compare them to your credentials. Do you possess all required undergraduate prerequisites? Have you taken the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) within the last five years and earned an adequate score? Who do you plan to ask for letters of recommendation? Make sure you can successfully fulfill all requisites before you pay an application fee.

  • Compare Student Outcomes Data

    Nearly every school now offers prospective students and the general public the opportunity to view data about student achievements and outcomes through their websites. Outcomes data most commonly includes percentages of graduation or alumni employment rates, but it may also feature precise information about the industries and careers graduates go on to pursue. If available, compare outcomes data of each of your prospective schools to see how graduates stack up.

  • Estimate the Expected Costs of Your Program

    Tuition and fees for a master’s degree can quickly compound one another. To help avoid sticker shock or even an inability to complete your program due to overwhelming expenses, make sure to budget your income and financial aid to determine just how much you can afford. Estimate the total cost of every prospective school and program on your list, and remember that higher tuition does not necessarily indicate higher quality.

  • Check That Classes Will Fit in With Your Schedule

    Whether you plan to explore courses both in-person and online, or plan to complete your degree exclusively through eLearning, take the time to learn more about a program’s structure. Some require enrollment in only one class at a time, for a few weeks, while others operate on a more traditional semester plan, where you take as many courses as you like over a few months. Choose a program that fits well with your current schedule.

  • Look for Partnerships With Local Businesses

    Capstone courses exist as one of the highlights of pursuing an MBA in economics online, which often requires the completion of an extensive, industry-related project, such as devising a solution to a specific problem. This capstone project may provide the opportunity to work with local businesses in real-world situations, leading to direct networking opportunities and, in some cases, planting the seeds for a future career with them.

  • Make Sure the Program Maintains Accreditation

    Accreditation, the third-party evaluation of schools’ adherence to a variety of quality standards, observes a wide range of criteria, including faculty credentials and how the university budgets its money. Programmatic accreditation inspects individual degrees and requires adherence to industry-specific standards in curriculum and learning outcomes. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs provides accreditation for business administration degrees. Note that programmatic accreditation is voluntary and does not necessarily denote the best online MBA in economics.

  • Talk to Current Students and Recent Alumni

    Exploring a school’s website and speaking with an admission adviser provides a solid glimpse into what you can expect of a specific program, but you can also gain perspective by interfacing with current students and recent alumni. If you live close to campus, make the trip to interact with students in the economics department, or at least connect through social media, student organization contacts, or the school’s career center.

Search Programs by Concentration

Earning an MBA in economics online can go a long way towards acquiring a job in the field, and there are a number of certificates that can help strengthen your resume. Some of these certificates are prerequisites for higher-level jobs in the field. Below, we’ve highlighted two industry standard certificates.

Liscense Description
Certified Business Economist (CBE) This certification focuses on applied economics and data analytics. The CBE shows that you understand data in a practical, applicable sense.
Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) This certification focuses on economic development. As the industry standard certificate, the CEcD is crucial for professionals pursuing upper level positions in economic development.

There are a number of scholarships available to students in economics. Most are merit-based, and in many cases, the amount of the award varies based on the qualifications of the applicant. In addition to economics-specific scholarships, there are a number of general scholarships that can be applied towards studies in the economics field, such as the Gates Millennium Scholarship. There are a number of ways to reduce the cost of your online MBA in economics.