Education

Best Economics Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Economics programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Economics is the study of how people use resources to produce goods and services. Economics degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in business, government, and academia.

Economics degrees offer a broad overview of the economy, covering topics such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Students in economics degree programs learn about the different theories of how the economy works, and how to apply those theories to real-world problems.

How to Choose the Right Economics Program

When it comes to choosing the right economics degree program, there are a few key factors that students need to keep in mind. These include the cost of the program, the curriculum, the length of the program, and the location of the school.

The cost of the program is an important consideration, as tuition rates can vary significantly from school to school. Students should also research financial aid opportunities, as well as any tuition discounts that may be available.

The curriculum is another important factor to consider, as students need to make sure that the program offers coursework that is relevant to their career goals. Students should also check to see if the program offers any specialization tracks.

The length of the program is another consideration, as some programs may be accelerated or offer part-time options. Students should also check to see if the program has any internship or capstone requirements.

Finally, students need to consider the location of the school, as this can impact the cost of living and the availability of internship and job opportunities.

Best Bachelor’s in Economics Programs

The best programs for Economics ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

The Pennsylvania State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree is designed to teach students to think critically and analytically in order to make or recommend decisions, allocate resources, and solve complex issues.

Rank 2
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Whitewater, WI

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a well-rounded program that provides students with a solid foundation in the principles of economics. The program emphasizes the development of skills in analytical and critical thinking, quantitative and statistical proficiency, and economic literacy and knowledge. Students learn marginal thinking, acquisition and analysis of data, and the structure and function of economic systems.

Rank 3
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Economics – Business degree from Arizona State University provides students with the opportunity to combine a strong business curriculum with a stimulating core of economic theory and statistical methods. This unique program prepares students for a wide range of professional roles in industries such as banking and finance, general business, or graduate work in business or policy.

Rank 4
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Colorado State University provides students with a broad understanding of economic principles and how they can be applied to real-world situations. The curriculum includes coursework in micro- and macroeconomics, history of economic institutions and thought, econometrics, and seminar. Students also have the opportunity to customize their degree by choosing from a selection of minors, such as agricultural business, anthropology, business administration, gerontology, global and environmental sustainability, media studies, political science, or sociology.

Rank 5
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Florida International University provides students with an understanding of economic problems and institutions, and with the analytical tools to apply this knowledge to contemporary problems. The program is designed for students who desire a career in business, government, international agencies or multinational corporations; and for those planning graduate study in economics, business, law, public administration, urban studies or international relations.

Rank 6
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI

The online Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree completion program from University of Hawaii at Manoa provides students with an intensive knowledge of the theory and practice of economics, with an emphasis on the analysis of contemporary policy challenges of Hawaiʻi and the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region.

Majors in the program study a wide range of current economic policy issues and learn theoretical and empirical methods for analyzing these issues. Classes are held in a 16-week semester format. Qualifying students can have dual admissions and dual enrollment with UHM through the UH Kaʻieʻie Program.

Rank 7
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The Bachelor of Science in Economics from Washington State University is a completely online program that trains students to become critical thinkers and excellent communicators with advanced data analysis skills. The program prepares students to evaluate and apply economic concepts and quantitative methods, think critically, integrate concepts, and evaluate and clearly communicate the results of economic analyses.

Rank 8
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of New Mexico is an online degree completion program that is designed for students who have already completed a majority of the UNM general education curriculum, as well as college and minor requirements. A student with an associate’s degree or at least 60-70 transferable college-level credit hours is ideally positioned for eligibility.

Rank 9
University of Maine
Orono, ME

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maine provides students with strong analytical and critical thinking skills necessary for economics, business, and other fields, such as law, public administration, and public policy. The curriculum develops critical professional skills through service-learning courses, data analysis exercises, career development activities, the exploration of real-world problems, and active research.

Rank 10
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
North Dartmouth, MA

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth is a 120-credit program that can be completed online. The curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in economic principles and analysis, and students have the opportunity to customize their education with a concentration in Healthcare Services Administration. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in business, finance, government, insurance, management, or public policy.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Economics Program

Students in a bachelor’s in economics program learn about micro- and macroeconomics, as well as statistics and econometrics. They also develop research, writing, and critical-thinking skills. A bachelor’s in economics typically takes four years to complete and may lead to careers in government, finance, consulting, and more.

In addition to coursework, students in a bachelor’s in economics program may be required to complete an internship, research project, or capstone course. These experiences can help students build skills and knowledge in preparation for their careers.

Prospective students should be aware that there are different types of economics degrees, including a BA in economics and a BS in economics. BA programs typically offer more liberal arts courses, while BS programs focus more on math and science.

Common Economics Courses

Students may encounter a variety of courses depending on the school and curriculum options. To illustrate this variety, the following list examines several popular courses for a bachelor’s in economics program.

Macroeconomics

This course covers the principles of macroeconomics with an emphasis on the United States economy. Topics include economic indicators, gross domestic product, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, monetary and fiscal policy, and international trade and finance. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze economic data and apply economic principles to personal and current events.

Microeconomics

This course covers economic principles at the microeconomic level including market demand and supply, production and cost, market structures, and wage determination. Emphasis is placed on how these principles affect business decision making and the allocation of resources in domestic and global markets. Upon completion, students should be able to apply microeconomic principles to real-world business decisions and analyze the impact of economic forces on business operations.

Statistical Methods

This course covers the application of statistical methods to the analysis of economic data. Topics include probability theory, random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. Emphasis is placed on the use of statistical software to perform data analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the appropriate statistical methods to economic data and interpret the results.

Calculus

This course covers the study of limits and continuity, derivatives, integrals, and the applications of these concepts to problems in economics. Topics include limits and continuity, differentiation rules, partial derivatives, optimization, integration, and differential equations. Upon completion, students should be able to apply calculus concepts to problems in economics and understand the role of calculus in economic analysis.

International Economics

This course covers the economic principles governing international trade and finance. Topics include the balance of payments, foreign exchange markets, international banking and monetary systems, and international economic policy. Emphasis is placed on the effects of international economic activity on business decision making. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the impact of international economic activity on business decisions and understand the operation of the international financial system.

Career Options for Economics Graduates

Graduates of economics programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including finance, banking, and consulting. They may also work in fields such as government, education, and research.

Investment Research Analyst

Investment research analysts conduct research and provide analysis that helps investment professionals make decisions about what securities to buy and sell. They use their findings to develop recommendations about which investments to buy, hold, or sell. Investment research analysts typically specialize in a particular industry, sector, or type of security, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are responsible for providing insights into an organization’s financial health. They use their analytical skills to examine past financial data and make predictions about future trends. Financial analysts typically work in banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and investment firms. Their work is essential to the decision-making process of their organization, as they provide the data and analysis that help managers make informed decisions about where to allocate resources.

Economist

Economists conduct research and analyze data to better understand how economic principles affect people, businesses, and governments. They use their findings to help make policy recommendations, develop economic forecasts, and predict market trends. Economists typically specialize in a particular area, such as microeconomics (the study of individual consumers and businesses) or macroeconomics (the study of larger economic systems). They may work in the private sector, for the government, or for a think tank or research organization.

Actuary

Actuaries are responsible for analyzing the financial consequences of risk. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events and help companies and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry, and they are also employed in the public and private sectors to manage risk in a variety of fields, including healthcare, finance, and law.

Economics Professor

Economics professors typically teach courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics at the college level. They may also teach other courses related to economics, such as econometrics, international trade, and money and banking. Economics professors typically spend the majority of their time teaching courses, but they may also conduct research and publish their findings in academic journals. Some economics professors also work as consultants for businesses or government agencies.

Insights From an Economics Graduate

Andre Lloyd is a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University. Andre has over 10 years of experience in economic research and policy analysis.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Economics program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Andre Lloyd: The biggest takeaway from my economics program was the ability to think critically about the world around me. I was able to learn about the different ways that people interact with each other and how those interactions can lead to different outcomes. I also learned how to use economic principles to analyze data and to make predictions about what might happen in the future.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Andre Lloyd: The most rewarding aspect of my career is the opportunity to conduct research that can have a real-world impact on economic policy. The most challenging aspect of my career is dealing with the uncertainty that comes with economic forecasting.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Economics program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Andre Lloyd: I didn’t expect the program to be as math-heavy as it was. A lot of the courses I took required knowledge of calculus and other higher-level math concepts. I would advise students to take as many math courses as they can before starting their economics program.

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