Best Economics Colleges in the US

A degree from the best economics colleges can open the door to several prosperous careers. From accountants to investment analysts, professionals with economics degrees are essential. With this specialty, you can find jobs in many sectors, including government entities, private banks, public banks, think tanks, and accountancy firms.

Economics Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

With that said, economics is a highly competitive field, meaning you’ll need a degree from one of the best schools nationwide. We’ve curated a list of the top ten economics colleges to consider in this guide. Each of the ranked schools meets the following criteria:

  • An average annual cost of no more than $10,000
  • A median starting salary no lower than $100,000 after graduation
  • Accredited programs by recognized bodies

All of the data collected for this list was derived from the U.S. Department of Education and college-specific sites. Notably, our list features schools in descending order from least to most expensive annually.

10 Best Economics Colleges

1. Irvine Valley College

2 to 4 Year; Irvine, CA

Average Annual Cost: $1,819

An economics degree from Irvine Valley College can give you an adaptable field of study that you can complete in four semesters. In this program, you’ll explore a variety of economic problems while using decision-making skills. Students will gather skills to allocate finances, make changes within the market, and explore the benefits of financial modeling.

Another significant component of economics at IVC (Irvine Valley College) is government policy solutions. Students will test their skills using specific models to determine market failure and the effectiveness of potential solutions to said problems. During your studies, you’ll acquire many skills, including financial analysis, market research, and mathematics.

There are several different career fields to consider once you graduate with your degree from IVC. The majority of students become economists, climate change analysts, and city planning aides. It’s also common for degree holders to explore market research and analysis and then teach economics in high school.

Regarding general statistics for Irvine Valley College, they have an approximate graduation rate of 25%. With your degree, there’s the potential to make a minimum of $20,140 annually, depending on your area of expertise.

2. Santiago Canyon College

2 to 4 Year; Orange, CA

Average Annual Cost: $2,543

Santiago Canyon College is a fantastic solution for students who want to acquire a transfer degree. Instead of enrolling directly into a four-year program, you can earn an A.A. from the school and then transfer onto a four-year program. This feature is essential for economics majors, requiring an elevated degree for top job opportunities.

At Santiago Canyon College, students will take several economics-related classes to diversify their skillset. You can expect to enroll in business, social science, and mathematics courses along with economics. In total, you’ll be required to take up to 22 units to acquire an A.A. degree.

Once you’ve completed your studies, you can then transfer onto a four-year program of your choosing. You’ll also have the added benefit of prior experience in economics, such as using analytical reasoning, working through market systems, and aggregating data. One of the more unique features of this program is that it’s from a Hispanic-serving institution, making it ideal for bilingual students.

A few examples of the courses you’ll be expected to take during your time at Santiago Canyon College include:

  • Urban Economics
  • Introduction to Labor Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Public Speaking
  • Introduction to U.S. Government
  • Business Law
  • Accounting
  • Mathematics

3. CUNY Brooklyn College

4 Year; Brooklyn, NY

Average Annual Cost: $2,683

Dipping your toes into the world of economics can be overwhelming, especially for first-year students. CUNY Brooklyn College helps make the adjustment simpler by exposing students to many areas of finance in their studies. The economics program features top-tier faculty paired with innovative tools to help students find their ideal specialty.

There are multiple sectors of economics you can specialize in, such as public policy, international economics, political economics, and financial economics. Along with your studies, you can get real-world experience working alongside major organizations and companies.

There are four different majors and minors to consider from CUNY Brooklyn College. You can opt to work towards a B.A. in economics, an economics minor, or a global studies minor. Additionally, you can choose to acquire a B.A. in Social Studies as a teacher for grades seven through 12.

Overall, their programs are some of the most diverse to cover all possibilities for your future career.

During your studies, you’ll explore several concepts of economics. Students will explore several course options, including:

  • Labor Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Public Finance
  • Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics
  • Theory of Economic Growth
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Urban Economics

Another fantastic benefit of this school is its high graduation rate of 55%. On average, graduates can earn up to $56,776 with their degree in their desired career field.

4. CUNY York College

4 Year; Jamaica, NY

Average Annual Cost: $3,433

As an alternative to CUNY Brooklyn College, CUNY York College has a diverse economics program. The central premise of their collection of economics courses is to prepare students for a career revolving around solving complex problems. Each student will graduate with critical reasoning and quantitative thinking skills to assist with economic issues.

Throughout your course history, you’ll be able to develop critical thinking skills to apply to significant financial problems. You’ll also learn to analyze different financial patterns to avoid economic concerns. It’s a relatively well-rounded program, especially if you intend on moving onto a diverse financial career.

Many courses will be included in your academic planner. In the economics program at CUNY York College, you can expect to enroll in:

  • Public Finance
  • Advanced Economic Statistics
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Urban Economics
  • Business Law
  • Principles of Finance
  • Principles of Managerial Accounting

5. Chabot College

2 to 4 Year; Hayward, CA

Average Annual Cost: $4,192

Chabot College’s economics program is structured similarly to other schools nationwide. Instead of offering a four-year program, they help students earn an A.A. that they can use for transfer. Upon completing your courses, you can move onto a four-year school of your choice to acquire a B.A. and graduate degree.

At Chabot College, you can expect to experience several courses that assist with developing fundamental knowledge of economics. Students will also diversify their logical thinking to analyze and solve various problems. All of the courses also have a strong backing in public policy, allowing you to explore markets effortlessly while adhering to ethical analysis.

During your time in the program, you can expect to try your hands at many valuable topics. The entire curriculum revolves around micro and macroeconomics paired with general economics. You’ll surely find you’ll have the necessary skill set to move on to a major in economics or social science.

Chabot College’s graduates earn approximately $69,338 annually after graduation. The school also has a reasonable graduation rate of 24%, and 77% of students return to their studies after their first year.

6. American River College

2 to 4 Year; Sacramento, CA

Average Annual Cost: $4,816

The economics program from American River College is designed for career-ready students. You’ll have the ability to earn an A.A. in economics, either full or part-time, depending on your availability. With this level of flexibility, you can get the fundamental knowledge needed before moving onto a four-year university program.

The economics curriculum from this school is impressive in that it helps students study societies and individuals. You’ll explore macro and microeconomics on a deeper scale with an emphasis on unemployment, domestic product, banking, business finances, industrial finances, and more. Another exciting facet of your studies will include analyzing consumer and business behaviors about finance.

Undoubtedly, you can expect to take many economics and math-related courses during your study. The most common courses for full and part-time students include:

  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Calculus
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • Public Speaking
  • Introduction to Government

7. Copper Mountain Community College

2 to 4 Year; Joshua Tree, CA

Average Annual Cost: $5,578

Copper Mountain Community College has two primary learning pathways for students to consider. You can either acquire an A.A. and move onto your desired career field or transfer to a four-year program after graduating. Depending on your chosen career field, you may have to complete an additional four-year program.

During your time at Copper Mountain Community College, you’ll explore an assortment of fundamentals revolving around economics. Students will be required to have basic knowledge of the legal system, use financial information to make decisions, and complete bookkeeping. Undoubtedly, you can expect to explore a significant number of finance-related topics, including:

  • Use technological resources for analysis and data interpretation
  • Explain how economics operate and the roles institutions play
  • Complete accounts payable, asset acquisition, and bank reconciliation functions

As with any economics program, there is a list of compulsory courses you’ll need to take during your studies. At this school, students need to earn a minimum of 60 units to acquire their A.A. Some of the courses you can expect to take include:

  • Statistical Methods
  • Calculus
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Accounting
  • Mathematics

8. Fullerton College

2 to 4 Year; Fullerton, CA

Average Annual Cost: $5,794

Completing the economics program at Fullerton College will provide you with an Economics Associate in Arts Degree. Alternatively, you can work towards an Economics Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer to move onto a four-year program. Both degree pathways provide students with the fundamental skills to understand better how resources are allocated based on conservation, production, and scarcity.

This economics program is developed similarly to many others in that it helps students focus on micro and macroeconomics. You’ll get exposed to data analysis methods, tools, and models to help you successfully learn about economics through your classes. You’ll also acquire experience in various other areas of study, such as sociology, psychology, and business.

Approximately 71% of students from Fullerton College return to their studies after their first year. Also, 29% of students graduate, with many moving onto a four-year university to continue their studies.

9. Cabrillo College

2 to 4 Year; Aptos, CA

Average Annual Cost: $8,487

Pursuing an economics degree from Cabrillo College makes you a part of the Entrepreneurship and Business & Global and Human Studies department. With your courses, you’ll focus on the ways societies and individuals allocate scarce resources and how these resources get distributed. As one of the most critical aspects of society, it’s an in-depth field of study.

Your course selection will provide you with the skills to better understand microeconomics and macroeconomics. You’ll also explore social welfare, taxation, international trade, and environmental protection. Cabrillo College provides students with an A.A. degree upon graduation like many other programs.

If you want to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, simply transfer with your A.A. after completing your studies. At this point, you’ll be able to find many notable careers within the government and private sectors. Alternatively, you can pursue a graduate degree to find specialty careers in many fields, such as government research and teaching.

10. Utah Valley University

4 Year; Orem, UT

Average Annual Cost: $9,159

Instead of opting for an A.A. program in economics, Utah Valley University offers a four-year Bachelor’s degree program. During your studies, you’ll be required to obtain 120 credit hours through various fascinating topics of study. The economics program at this school is specifically designed to make students more effective decision-makers while working with economic theory.

As part of the Woodbury School of Business, you’ll receive a Bachelor of Science in Economics when you graduate. This specialty degree is different from other schools that are likely to offer a Bachelor of Arts. With that said, there’s a considerable number of courses you’ll need to take to acquire your B.S.

As one of the best economics colleges, students can expect to enroll in the following topics:

  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Marketing
  • English
  • History
  • Humanities

There are also electives that you’ll need to take. On average, students should take 15 total economics electives to obtain their desired degree. Also, it’s required that you complete one Global or Intercultural course at a minimum.

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