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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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If you’ve decided that an MBA in economics is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in economics is to find a job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a school that is well connected with local businesses can be an advantage. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program that adheres to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Economics program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

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.