Credits and costs
Move Ahead in Your Profession with an Online Degree in Economics
Reducing costs, being sustainable, and performing effectively — these are all issues that many business and organizations face today. Thus, there is an increasing need for professionals with strong analytical and problem-solving skills that can help make their organizations more efficient.
A degree in economics can provide you with the knowledge necessary to view and describe society and organizations from an analytical perspective. Economics is the social science that aims to understand human behavior not only by using psychology or sociology, but also by studying society through mathematics and statistics. The curriculum of this program is designed to teach you to think critically and analytically in order to make or recommend decisions, allocate resources, and solve complex issues.
In this program, you will have the opportunity to study with highly regarded faculty from Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts, one of the premier institutions in the world to study and work in the liberal arts disciplines. This degree can provide you with the knowledge about mathematical models and statistical techniques and an understanding about how incentives affect human behavior, markets, and economies, so you can design solutions that utilize resources effectively and lead to the most optimal outcomes.
Gain Practical Skills
With your bachelor of science degree in economics, you could obtain a position requiring you to perform such tasks as the following:
- understand and forecast market trends to predict how they will impact your business
- determine pricing policies for products in order to maximize your organization’s profits
- evaluate the impact of the economic environment on the bottom line of any organization
- advise and make recommendations to management about key strategic decisions
- collect and analyze data using spreadsheets, statistical software, and computer programs to understand preferences and design incentives
Who Should Apply?
You could be an ideal candidate for this program if you have a strong analytical or programming background, and are accustomed to using numerical data to describe and understand many situations. The curriculum of the bachelor of science degree places a strong emphasis on mathematics, statistics, and programming; the most successful candidates will be those who are passionate about quantitative analysis.
Consider Your Future
The Bachelor of Science in Economics can offer you excellent preparation for your graduate studies in economics or business, such as our online Master of Business Administration (iMBA).
Choose Your Path in Economics
We offer both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Both programs offer a strong economics foundation, but your choice may depend on your preference for quantitative or qualitative analysis.
- The Bachelor of Science in Economics can help you develop solid analytical skills, especially in mathematic theory, research, and computer programming. It can provide you with the strong quantitative knowledge necessary to represent and interpret individual and group behavior through numerical concepts and models. The main benefit of the bachelor of science is its advanced focus on mathematics and statistics.
- The Bachelor of Arts in Economics program is best suited for you if you want to focus on the qualitative aspect of economics. The program places a stronger emphasis on social behavior, culture, international relations, and foreign languages to prepare you for work in national or international organizations.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.
The Bachelor of Science in Economics requires you to complete a minimum of 120 credits.
If you are a transfer student, the number of credits you must take will vary according to the courses that transfer into the economics program. Once you are admitted to the program, your assigned academic adviser can help you select the remaining required courses.
A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.
Prescribed Courses (18 credits)
Additional Courses (select 7–8 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 30 credits)
- Select 18 credits in economics 300- or 400-level with department approval, including at least 9 credits at the 400 level
- Select 3 credits in Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Select 6 credits in Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Select 3 credits in Quantification
Courses should be selected from the department Supporting Courses list.
Additional 400-level courses are being developed. Please check with your adviser about their availability.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.
In order to declare economics as your major, you must complete the ECON 102 and ECON 104 courses with a grade of C or better.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript - First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.)
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Economics, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Economics, Florida State University
DegreeB.A., Florida Atlantic University
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Jaime Brown has taught Introductory Microeconomics, Introductory Macroeconomics, Labor Economics, and International Economics. She is especially interested in helping students see how economics connects to current events and other "hot topic" issues (immigration, gender wage gap, etc.).
Katherine S. Coll
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Dr. Paul Kagundu is associate director of the Undergraduate Studies program in the Department of Economics and a teaching professor of economics. His interests include development economics, public finance, and economics pedagogy.
Pitchayaporn "Peach" Tantihkarnchana
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DegreeB.A., Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Dr. Pitchayaporn "Peach" Tantihkarnchana is an assistant teaching professor of economics. Her areas of interest and research include environmental law, environmental and natural resources, and land development.