Traditional MBAs explore business topics like management, marketing, and finance. Those with economics concentration offerings train students to assess business through the perspective of economic theory, practices, and trends. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects economists to experience an 8% increase in employment from 2018-2028. MBAs in economics lead to careers in business, education, and government.
This page helps learners choose from the top online MBAs in economics by offering information on program curricula, potential career paths, and professional resources.
Here are the 5 Best Online MBA Programs in Economics:
- Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
- Endicott College - Beverly, MA
- Ball State University - Muncie, IN
- Murray State University - Murray, KY
- Western Illinois University - Macomb, IL
Top Online MBA Programs in Economics for 2020
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
Carnegie Mellon University
|Location Pittsburgh , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 60||Student Population 14,029||Tuition $136,000||School Type Private||
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CMU offers a top online MBA in economics with synchronous and asynchronous components. Students attend live online classes twice a week alongside occasional in-person weekend events. Online content includes lectures, study materials, and asynchronous coursework.
Core courses in CMU's economics MBA explore marketing, finance, operations, and accounting fundamentals. Students learn about optimization, prescriptive and predictive modeling, and comparable data analytics techniques in order to build strong decision-making skills essential for leadership roles.
The economics specialization focuses on economic policies, practices, and principles as they apply to business environments. Students examine emerging markets, business forecasting, and international monetary policy.
Students can earn the part-time MBA in economics from CMU in 32 months. Online learners pay the same tuition rate as their on-campus counterparts.
Applicants to CMU's online MBA in economics must submit one essay, one professional reference, a resume, and GMAT or GRE scores for consideration.
|Location Beverly , MA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 96||Student Population 4,794||Tuition $31,962||School Type Private||
From a seaside campus near Boston, Massachusetts, Endicott's online MBA in maritime economics builds essential business acumen in as few as 18 months. The 42-credit curriculum includes 30 credits of required core coursework and 12 credits of concentration classes.
Endicott's MBA core emphasizes management through courses in managerial finance, project management, and managing information systems. Students also study management in the evolving workplace, operations management, and marketing and customer value management.
The maritime economics specialization blends foundational information in policy, scientific principles, and operational management for individuals in the maritime and logics industry. Coursework includes ocean sciences, maritime regulatory environment, port and shipping operations, and waterfront planning.
Online and on-campus MBA students at Endicott pay $761 per credit in tuition. To apply, students submit two letters of recommendation, transcripts from previous college coursework, and a personal essay for consideration.
Ball State University
|Location Muncie , IN||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 90||Student Population 21,884||Tuition $25,020||School Type Public||
Based in Muncie, Indiana, BSU traces its origins back to 1918. The online MBA in health economics, policy, and administration at BSU includes 30-33 credit hours for students with an undergraduate degree in business. Students with a degree in a non-business field complete up to 51 credit hours of foundation, core, and concentration coursework.
Twenty-four credit hours of MBA core classes include entrepreneurial leadership, accounting and decision-making, and statistics and quantitative methods. Foundational courses in information systems, economic analysis, and managerial finance prepare learners for nine credit hours of concentration courses. Health economics, policy, and administration MBA learners explore health economic analysis, health economics and policy, and human resources or risk management and insurance.
BSU offers online MBA courses in both synchronous and synchronous formats. Most courses integrate webcasts for live lectures and discussions. Indiana residents pay $442 per credit in tuition, while nonresidents pay $651 per credit. To apply, students submit documentation from previous college coursework demonstrating a minimum 2.75 GPA, as well as GMAT or GRE scores.
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Murray State University
|Location Murray , KY||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 94||Student Population 9,454||Tuition $16,320||School Type Public||
Murray State, established in 1922, offers an online MBA in economic development that includes 30 credits of core and concentration coursework. Students complete 21 credits of classes in accounting, business analytics, and corporate finance alongside required seminars in strategic management and organizational behavior.
The economic development specialization emphasizes processes and purposes of local economic development. Students explore methods and sourcing for the economic development process. Additional coursework includes cost benefit analysis and financial practices for economic development professionals.
Murray State requires prerequisite coursework in foundational business areas such as management, finance, calculus and statistics, and accounting. Applicants lacking prerequisites may take additional coursework as part of the MBA curriculum.
Applicants can receive unconditional admission with a minimum 3.25 undergraduate GPA, a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA with at least two years of experience, or a completed graduate degree. Individuals who meet these requirements may also request a GMAT waiver.
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Western Illinois University
|Location Macomb , IL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 90||Student Population 8,502||Tuition $10,659||School Type Public||
Located in Macomb, Illinois, WIU offers a 33-credit online MBA in economics. Most learners earn the top online MBA in two years.
Core classes in the economics MBA at WIU include corporate financial reporting and analysis, applied business forecasting and planning, and corporate information systems. Additional courses in financial management, decision-making for global markets, and economics for managers accompany an integrative strategic management capstone course. Specialized economics courses emphasize economic development, labor economics, and energy economics. Students also have options to take classes in game theory or international trade.
Applicants must submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores for consideration. Individuals with a minimum 3.6 GPA from an AACSB-accredited program or a 3.75 GPA from a business degree at WIU receive automatic admission. Some students also qualify for a GMAT waiver. Additional application materials include a resume and personal essay.
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Idaho State University
|Location Pocatello , ID||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 92||Student Population 12,363||Tuition $25,755||School Type Public||
Founded in 1901, ISU offers an online MBA in economics to accommodate learners with or without a previous degree in business. The program is divided into three sections: a foundational core, an advanced core, and an emphasis.
Eighteen hours of initial core classes build business acumen in applied economics, business analytics, and human behavior in organizations. Students also explore financial reporting and managerial accounting, finance, information systems for business, and marketing.
The advanced core includes 24 credit hours in quantitative information, managerial decision-making, financial and marketing management, and business policy and strategy. Students who choose an emphasis in economics complete nine credit hours of classes such as political economy, game theory, comparative economic systems, and econometrics.
To apply, students submit transcripts from previous college coursework and GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants with an overall 3.5 GPA or higher may receive a GRE or GMAT waiver.
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Wright State University
|Location Dayton , OH||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 90||Student Population 14,403||Tuition $25,740||School Type Public||
Based in Dayton, Ohio, WSU offers an 18-month online MBA in business economics. Students complete 24 credit hours of MBA core courses and an additional nine credit hours of specialized coursework.
The MBA core at WSU emphasizes strategic cost management, financial analysis and decision-making, and developing and implementing competitive strategies. Additional core coursework includes economics for managers, leadership and ethics, and marketing strategy.
The business economics specialization focuses on analytic and quantitative skills alongside knowledge of fiscal and monetary policies. Concentration courses examine applied microeconomics and macroeconomics. Learners can explore their individual interests and pursue their professional goals through an elective economics course.
To apply, individuals need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants with an overall GPA 3.0 or higher receive an exemption from GMAT requirements.
Texas A&M University - Commerce
|Location Commerce , TX||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 93||Student Population 12,411||Tuition $18,570||School Type Public||
Founded in 1889, TAMUC became part of the Texas A&M University System in 1996. The online MBA with a minor in economics at TAMUC includes 30-48 credit hours of coursework, depending upon previous educational and professional experience.
Core coursework in TAMUC's MBA emphasizes managerial accounting, economics, finance, and marketing. As part of the 17-credit core curriculum, learners also study management and organizational behavior, macroeconomics, and applied business research.
Students take 12 credit hours of economics courses, six of which are required and six of which students can select from the catalog. Required classes include applied economics and financial forecasting, as well as international economic problems.
Applicants to TAMCU's MBA degree may need to complete prerequisite foundational coursework if they lack an undergraduate degree in a business-related discipline. Application materials include one letter of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores, and transcripts from all previous college coursework. Well-qualified applicants may receive a GRE/GMAT waiver.
|Location Lynchburg , VA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 79,152||Tuition $20,340||School Type Private||
Training champions for Christ since 1971, LU offers a 45-credit online MBA in economics. Learners can earn their degree in as few as two years.
Students complete 33 credits in core coursework, including managerial finance, international business, and strategic marketing management. The comprehensive core curriculum also emphasizes global economic development, as well as policy and strategy in global competition.
Designed to train business professionals to observe, analyze, and anticipate market forces, the online MBA in economics integrates principles and practices of the discipline. Economics courses in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory accompany classes in econometrics, money and capital markets, and international economics.
Applicants must submit transcripts documenting a minimum 3.0 GPA from previous college coursework. Individuals with a master's degree or at least 12 credit hours of graduate coursework may receive transfer credit.
Residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition rates. Part-time students pay $615 per credit hour, while full-time learners pay $565.
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How We Rank Online MBA Programs
Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on academic quality, affordability, online flexibility, and student success.
Quality (30% of total score)
|A low student-to-faculty ratio, a wide breadth of specialized MBA programs, and a high retention rate of students returning after their first year are all indicators of a quality university.|
Affordability (10% of total score)
|The amount of financial aid offered factors into a school's net price; this, paired with a low loan default rate, indicates that students may find a school's tuition within their budget.|
Online Flexibility (20% of total score)
|Scores for online flexibility focus on schools that have a high percentage of fully online students, but consideration is also given to schools that enroll partially online students using hybrid programs.|
Student Success (40% of total score)
|Both strong hallmarks of student success, we look for programs with high graduation rates whose students go on to have higher-than-average median earnings.|
What Is an MBA in Economics?
An online MBA includes coursework in business fundamentals like management, organizational leadership, and finance. Core classes in online MBAs explore features of economics, but graduate degrees in business often allow learners to specialize in economic theories, principles, and practice.
MBA in economics programs equip learners with advanced knowledge of economic concepts and how they apply to the business world. Economics MBAs emphasize the global marketplace, local economies, pricing and purchasing, and consumer behavior. These programs prepare individuals for careers with the federal government, the biggest employer of economists, according to the BLS. Economists find high levels of employment in scientific research, development services, and consulting services.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Economics?
Graduate programs in economics fall into two categories. A master of science in economics includes specialized classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and monetary policy, while MBAs blend advanced economic coursework with business classes.
MBA in economics programs focus on business, but their expanded curricula prepare students to apply economic theory and policies in business settings.
Equipped with the knowledge and skills to collect, analyze, and interpret economic data, learners with MBAs in economics become economists, analysts, and consultants. Economic professionals work for finance and insurance corporations, teach at colleges and universities, and carry out research for federal and state agencies.
An MBA in economics may emphasize managerial, analytical, or quantitative economics. Each subset of economics prepares learners for exciting, lucrative careers. With a managerial economics MBA, learners may work in finance, management consulting, or accounting. An analytical economics MBA leads to positions in policy analysis, research, and actuarial science. With quantitative economic MBAs, students find opportunities in engineering, computer science, and information technology.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Economics?
Economists research production, distribution, and related economic issues. They collect data on goods, services, and resources to determine marketplace trends. Economists recommend solutions to economic problems, practical or theoretical, and often publish their research in academic or industry-specific publications.
Economists work for major technology companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. The BLS expects 1,700 economists to join the workforce from 2018-2018.
- Behavioral Economist
PayScale reports that behavioral economists earn a median annual salary exceeding $75,000. Behavioral economists focus on the psychological, cognitive, cultural, and social factors dictating economic activities. They often work as consultants, using consumer data to determine economic policy and practice.
Behavioral economists may focus exclusively on research as they attempt to improve understanding of economic motivators. They also work as personal economic counselors or instructors at colleges and universities.
- Analytical Data Scientist
Data scientists, according to PayScale, earn a median annual salary of over $91,000. These professionals possess mathematical, technical, and analytical expertise. Tasked with collecting and analyzing data, data scientists combine information from several sources to better understand business activities, human behavior, and social trends.
These scientists determine data sets, variables, and models needed to answer questions or solve problems. Data scientists create solutions, identify opportunities, and communicate their findings to clients, customers, and colleagues, depending on their specific duties.
Actuaries assess financial risks. Actuaries earned an annual median salary approaching $103,000 as of 2018 and remain in high demand. Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS predicts a 20% growth in the profession.
Actuaries work in insurance, accounting, and investments settings, designing policies and procedures to maximize profits. They compile quantitative data and develop models to determine probabilities and likely costs based on potential outcomes. Actuaries possess extensive knowledge of financial theories. They also use complex software databases and modeling tools.
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts, poised for an estimated 20% increase in employment from 2018-2028, study the marketplace to determine consumer demand. They track economic trends by collecting data on pricing, supply, and consumption. Their findings influence client marketing strategies.
Market research analysts conduct interviews, surveys, and polls to assess the viability of a product or service in the marketplace. They use database software, statistics programs, and related technologies alongside visual tools to create charts, graphs, and infographics.
Online MBA in Economics Curriculum
Online MBAs in economics vary in specific curricula. Core business classes emphasize foundational topics like finance, management, and marketing, while economics coursework focuses on economic theory, policy, and practice. An economics MBA also prepares learners to conduct quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
Econometrics blends economic theory with mathematics, statistics, and empirical findings to explain economic behavior and trends. Coursework in econometrics emphasizes models and techniques, variables and limitations, and data evaluation.
Macroeconomics explores how economic decision-making, structures, and performance impact regional, national, and global economics. Macroeconomic theory focuses on large-scale economic consumption, growth, and cycles to determine how and why economic changes occur.
Microeconomics looks at individuals, groups, and small-scale participants in the economy. Coursework in microeconomic theory assesses the influence of choice, consumerism, production, and competition on individual and group behavior in the marketplace.
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How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Economics Program
When choosing the right online MBA in economics, students should consider several factors. Program length, cost, and curricula play big roles in program choice. Additional determinants include accreditation and degree requirements like internships and theses.
Traditional MBA degrees in economics comprise 30-45 credit hours. Full-time students earn their MBAs in economics in two years, while part-time learners complete them in 3-5 years. Online students may choose accelerated options, earning an MBA in as little as 18 months.
An online MBA in economics provides a flexible, convenient option. Working professionals and students with busy schedules complete coursework when and where they can. Online degrees often integrate practical exercises, research, and internships into their curricula by allowing learners to fulfill certain requirements at their current workplaces.
Online MBAs mirror their on-campus counterparts, but many online schools offer lower or flat-rate tuition. Learners can study at out-of-state schools for in-state tuition or pay a lump sum regardless of how many credit hours they take. Online degrees also eliminate on-campus room and board expenses and commuting costs.
Colleges and universities may hold national or regional accreditation, attesting to their educational standards and outcomes. Many MBA programs obtain additional accreditation from specialized bodies. Programmatic accreditation for business programs indicates that an MBA meets an accrediting organization’s quality criteria. Accrediting bodies for business programs include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Scholarships for Economics MBA Programs
Students earning MBAs in economics enjoy opportunities to apply for scholarships. Many scholarships offer financial assistance exclusively to learners studying business or economics.
Business and economic scholarships support learners based on need, merit, and career path. Targeted scholarships assist minority and underrepresented populations studying business and economics.
Women of ALPFA Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Awarded by the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), the Women of ALPFA Scholarship supports students of Hispanic origin studying graduate-level accounting, finance, business, or engineering. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a member of ALPFA.
Amount: $5,000Apply for Scholarship
NBMBAA Collegiate Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Through partnerships with educational institutions around the world, the National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA) awards funding to students earning their MBAs. Applicants must be members of NBMBAA.
Amount: VariesApply for Scholarship
Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood MBA Scholarship, offered through the Daughters of the American Revolution, supports students studying business administration. To apply, learners must possess a minimum GPA of 3.25. Recipients can reapply for consideration each year.
Amount: $2,000Apply for Scholarship
Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Awarded by The Economist, the Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship funds five MBA students twice each year. Participants must attend one of the magazine’s business school partners, take a practice GMAT on the contest site, and register at the Brightest Minds Contest website.
Amount: $25,000Apply for Scholarship
Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation Graduate Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The AIERF graduate scholarship provides financial assistance to graduate students studying real estate, land economics, or a related field. Students must register at the AIERF website to submit an application.
Amount: VariesApply for Scholarship
Professional Organizations for Economics
Professional organizations for business and economics provide resources for students and professionals in those fields. Organizations offer news and research updates, career guidance, and events to facilitate collaboration and cooperation.
Networking opportunities, continuing education materials, and professional development programs also allow business and economic students and professionals to exchange ideas while growing their careers.
- National Association for Business EconomicsLinking economics, business, and academia, NABE is a leader in using and understanding economics in the workplace. NABE members receive weekly newsletters and quarterly journals, access to NABE’s continuing education program, and discounts on NABE conferences. NABE also offers economic surveys, roundtable participation, and consultant and services information to members.
- American Economics AssociationFounded in 1885, the AEA focuses on the discussion and publication of economics research. The AEA provides journals, news and announcements, and discounts on continuing education programs to members. Additional resources include education materials, best practice content for economists, and funding and grant information.
- Accounting and Financial Women’s AllianceEmpowering women in accounting and finance fields, the AFWA provides leadership training, career guidance, and mentorship programs to students and practitioners. AFWA members receive scholarship opportunities for AFWA continuing education programs, plus discounts at corporate partners and access to a nationwide network of professional resources.
- National Economic AssociationEstablished in 1969, the NEA supports minorities in the economics profession. The NEA brings together African Americans, Latinos, and other populations of color at annual events and through networking opportunities. Members receive the NEA newsletter, access to job bulletins, and scholarship and funding information.
- ProspanicaAs an advocate for Hispanic business professionals, Prospanica hosts annual career and professional development conferences to unite students, experts, and corporations. To support economic and social development among Hispanic professionals, Prospanica offers members access to special events, resume and career guidance, and partner discounts.